Kemptville author Jen Gilroy is a small-town resident who recently signed a deal with two major publishers. Jen has signed a contract with Canadian romance and women’s fiction publisher, Harlequin, for whom she is writing a series of western romance novels. She also landed a three-book deal with Orion Dash, a publisher described as a “new brand of digital-first commercial fiction from Orion Publishing Group, one of the UK’s leading publishers”.
Two of the books written under the contracts have already been released. “Montana Reunion” was released in January and was described by critics as having “likable characters – a smooth writing voice, engaging layers, and a sweet, swooning romance”. Another, titled “The Sweetheart Locket,” was released last week on March 17 as an e-book and will be available in paperback later this year. Beginning during World War II in England and stretching into the 2020s, ‘The Sweetheart Locket’ is “a story of love, loss and family secrets, as well as resilience, survival and hope. covering four countries and two continents”. In general, Jen describes her work as “romance and women’s fiction – uplifting books with heart and hope – about characters who find homes, families and new beginnings – and who also find themselves “.
Jen grew up in Manitoba, but spent her summers with her family in Merrickville-Wolford, where her Irish roots date back to the 1840s. She lived in England for years before moving to Kemptville in 2015 with her husband, daughter. teenage girl and her rescue dog.
When asked how she got into writing, Jen told The Times, “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Before college and adult life kicked in, as a child and teenager, I loved writing stories and dreamed of seeing my books on library shelves. As an adult, I was still writing, but it was non-creative and for work – corporate speeches, marketing materials, academic papers, etc. In 2009, after some big personal losses, I realized that by losing my creative writing I had also lost a part of myself. If I wanted to write and publish creatively, I had to make room for her in my life. Supported by my family and a full-time job, I took up writing for traditional publication and joined various professional organizations to learn the craft of fiction writing. Several unpublished manuscripts later, I signed with a literary agent who secured me a three-book contract with an American publisher. My first published book, which I started writing during my lunch hour at my then job, came out in 2017.”
In terms of influences, Jen has a lot. “For me, and I suspect most writers, inspiration is everywhere,” she told The Times. “Every book I write begins with a ‘what if’ question, and I keep an ideas folder with photographs and articles from newspapers and magazines that pique my interest. I’m also an attentive listener (my family would say an eavesdropper!) of conversations when I’m on the go. I never leave home without a notebook and pen in my bag because even though I don’t put people I know or personal experiences in my books, inspiration for writing can strike in the darkest places. unlikely. Reading inspires me a lot too, and seeing how other authors create stories helps me become a better writer.
Jen is a member of the North Grenville Writers Society. All of his books can be borrowed from the North Grenville Public Library and can be purchased on Amazon.
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