Well Jenn, here you are. It’s all happening now. Who knew! So let’s start as we always do here on Harvest … with food.
Can I offer you scones and tea or some other homemade delight?
Definitely not! I think I’ve had a little too much harvest love from my guests. Did no one see that butt-to-camera angle when NBN News filmed me launching the Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival a few months back. No food! No butts!
Mum says garden gnomes make a house a home! Am I loud and proud in my love of garden gnomes at home, a closet gnomer or with a strict ‘no gnomes’ policy at my place?
I’m afraid I did inherit a love of the cheeky gnome. This one at my dad’s place is by far my favourite. (And clearly I have a butt obsession at the moment!)
What vegetable (or fruit) have I always wanted to grow at home?
I have a nice collection of both fruit and vegie: avocado, orange, ruby grapefruit, mandarins, oranges, custard apple, lychee, mango, lime, lemon, pecans. The vegie garden will have seasonal vegies: I love strawberries and cooking with fresh herbs.
If someone looked in the refrigerator, what would they find?
Grotesque, alien-like vegetables that I somehow managed to grow/create. (eg. my carrots are orange in colour, but that’s where the similarities end.)
If someone was to sort my wardrobe by colour, what colour would stand out? (Is anyone volunteering?)
You will mostly find the colour of ‘Opp Shop’. I do love finding a hidden pre-loved treasure. Opp shops are a kind of story starter. I find myself wondering about the person/history behind the treasure.
What am I wearing now?
Opp Shop favourites – shorts and a tank top. I love supporting the volunteers who run the shop.
Whose home would I like to housesit and why?
I was going to pick a few places. Then I thought previous Harvestees might get all precious and say: “Ooohh… Jenn J never said we could do that ….” To which my response would be: Hey folks, it’s my party and I’ll give answers in triplicate if I want to …
So, (with that out o the way) I’d do a progressive thing with some of my author pals so I can soak up some inspiration during my stay: Fiona Palmer’s (I’ve heard about that Pingaring pub!), Fleur McDonald (her photographs of home are gorgeous. Must go there.), my publisher’s house Larissa Edwards (so I can nose around in her book collection), Helene Young’s (in tropical north Queensland – say no more!), Christine Stinson’s (because she said I could stay there anytime I wanted to “come home to the city“!), Rachael Johns’ (she owns a supermarket for goodness sake. Imagine that!), Bronwyn Parry (she has kangaroos watching her work through the window), and speaking of rooms with a view – Annie Seaton’s place (have you seen that writing chair of hers?) 😉 I could go on…. In fact I could go to New Zealand and visit Rae Roadley (becasue she has found ‘Love At The End Of The Road’.)
We love a sunburnt country (slip, slop, slap and all that). What’s my ideal hat? Or am I a boots person?
Love my leather hat. Hate hat hair. Love my comfy Redbacks. Hate spiders!
If I were a tree (or animal) what kind of tree (animal) would I be?
A meerkat: stands tall, inquisitive, cautious, highly excitable, aggressive only when provoked! (Best of all, cute as all get out and no butt to speak of.)
Now for the big question… Why did the chicken cross the road?
It went to the shops to by House for all Seasons by this lovely new author called Jenn J McLeod. They heard there was a rather elaborate chook house described in the book as well as a competition with a great prize when you buy the book.
My turning point: when was that point in my life that I realised being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a reality and a career?
A year before my 50th birthday I said: “It’s now or never.” I’d written two novels already (contemporary fiction set in glamorous locations) but coud not interest a publisher or an agent. With a growing interest in Australian rural fiction I decided if I couldn’t sell an Australian small town story then I couldn’t sell anything and I would give up.
Two days before my 50th birthday I signed with Clare Forster (Curtis Brown Literary Agency). The rest, as they say, is history!
What is the hardest part of writing for me?
Picking up where I left off the previous day. I have to get into the flow (it’s a voice thing) which means reading a few previous chapters. I’m afraid I can’t read without editing so I get bogged down with the detail, which then ends up limiting my word count at the end of each day.
If someone was to write my biography, what do I think the title should be?
She did a good job, butt …!
What does my protagonist think about me? Would he or she want to hang out with me, the author, his/her creator?
My contemporary fiction tends to have a cast of characters rather than the protagonist/antagonist structure. Not sure any of them would want to hang out with me but, boy, would I LOVE hanging out with them. Especially a couple of my secondary boys. Will, the local cafe owner who makes great soy lattes, and Alex, the country vet and all-round nice guy. Both have the wonderful, witty (verging on wicked) sense of humour. I reckon we’d get on, don’t you?
If someone said, “Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk,” what would I do?
I’d show you the NBN News clip and ask you: “Does my butt look big in that?”
What food would I be?
Ummm … something nutty perhaps!
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
I have no idea. I only included this question to see what others would say. But check this. Will we all be asking in a few decades, “What’s the best things since the super-duper toasting bread knife thingy?”
Name 5 uses for a stapler that has no staple pins.
With an obsessive partner there is NEVER a stapler without staple pins (nor a toilet roll holder without paper, a fridge without a cold beer, or a car without petrol).
How weird am I? Rate yourself on a scale of 1 (not) to 10 (very).
I’ve just interviewed myself. What do you think?
Don’t forget to lock March 1 into your diary (or subscribe to receive a reminder). On online launch will be … colourful and loud 😉
Now … follow that chook and go buy my book. No butts about it! Check out the links in my book room.
(My thanks to Lily Malone for suggesting I interview myself. BTW – check out her Author Harvest and the other fabulous writing folk who have come home to the country so far – Author harvest line-up.