Stoke Ash woman publishes debut novel with Harper Collins imprint Avon
A woman from Stoke Ash has landed a book deal with Harper Collins imprint Avon.
Jenni Keer celebrated the launch of her debut novel, The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker, on Thursday at The White Horse Inn in Stoke Ash.
The digital book, which has been inspired by her father and East Anglia, has been picked up by book publisher Avon.
The 45-year-old said: “I’m excited as I’ve been trying to do this for years, but I am also quite nervous because there is no looking back now.”
Jenni, who is originally from Kent, graduated from Southampton University with a history degree.
Writing a book was not always on her radar, even though her sister Linda Taylor is a published author with Random House.
“I was never one of those people who always knew they were going to write a book,” she said. “I used to read a lot with my friend, Lauren, and she suggested having a go at writing a chapter or a scene and we both went off and did it. That was a light-bulb moment and I thought ‘Oh my God, this is what I want to be doing’.”
A decade later, Jenni published her digital book, which tells the heart-warming story of the intergenerational friendship between 25-year-old Lucy and her 79-year-old neighbour Brenda, who has dementia.
Before her memories slip away, she wants to see Lucy find true love.
Dementia is a topic close to Jenni’s heart, as her father, who died in 2015, had the condition.
“In my book, both women are able to laugh about it and that’s what we did with my dad, too,” she said.
Prior to publishing her novel, two family members already had the chance to read it: her sister Linda and her 14-year-old son Leo.
"One of my twins has read it and he loved it, which is funny because he is absolutely not my target audience," said Jenni.
"Obviously, getting the publishing deal was my dream but him reading and loving it was really special.”
In early February, Diss Publishing will organise an evening with local romance authors, including Jenni and Heidi Swain.
Jenni’s next novel, which will be published in the summer, is set in a market town that is home to an auction house and a mere. Sound familiar?
More information about her book can be found on Amazon.