A Mother’s Legacy: Jenn J McLeod Thanks Her Real and Fictional Mothers on Mother’s Day

A Mother’s Legacy: Jenn J McLeod Thanks Her Real and Fictional Mothers on Mother’s Day

About the author

When Jenn J. McLeod quit Sydney’s corporate communications chaos, she bought a little café in a small town and ran a unique, dog-friendly B&B in country NSW. Home for this nomadic novelist now is a fifth wheeler caravan, and Jenn spends her days writing heart-warming tales of Australian country life. Jenn’s debut, House for all Seasons, came in at #5 on Nielsen’s 2013 Best Selling Debut Novel list, and Jenn has since published five novels, with the latest, A Place to Remember, released in March 2018.

You’ll find Jenn on her website, and on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, where she shares travel pictures and chats about her ‘Paddock To Print’ philosophy that encourages readers to buy Australian-made fiction.

Words // Jenn J McLeod

Mums! I love ALL mine.

Every fictional mother I’ve created has come with a life lesson (and an awesome fictional daughter to butt heads with, of course!)

It was my real-life mum, Shirley, who instilled in me the love of storytelling when I was young. She was a big Mills & Boon reader and those lightweight books with pink roses on the cover had littered our lives. They were everywhere: on the kitchen table, shoved in the car’s centre console, hidden in caravan cupboards.

Mum wasn’t surprised I ended up being a published author (even if it did take me five decades to start trying) because my early scribblings had been a great source of amusement, evidenced by the fact she’d squirrelled examples away, which I only discovered in 2013. With Dad a jazz muso (and Mum his #1 fan) they often left me in the care of big sis, Kris, and came home to my scribbled stories.

Some of the things I wrote! I still have the occasional ‘spazim’, and I’ve never been able to stomach a ‘lettuce and cotshinel (cochineal) omlet’, but my storytelling (some might call it tattletaling) has improved, and I’m grateful to the writer’s unsung literary hero/heroine (a.k.a. The Editor) for correcting my gramma, grammer, grammar.

Mum would be proud of every book I’ve published and while I wish she’d made my debut book launch and Mother’s Day in 2013, she was there in spirit with her name forever on House for all Seasons’ dedication page. I was thankful advance copies did arrive in time to show Mum, but by then she’d been moved into a high care home, so I wasn’t sure what she’d make of me thrusting a book under her nose.

‘This is yours, Mum,’ I said, putting a copy on her lap. ‘I wrote it. See my name?’

She said nothing, her confusion clear, and my hopes plummeted. We sat there in silence and while she continually caressed the embossed title, I wanted to imagine her fingers stroking the face of her new-born five decades earlier—the one who would grow up to write novels.

It’s said of writing and publishing: “The moment you decide to quit, the magic happens”. It was true that day. I was about to give up and relieve Mum of the book when she raised it in both hands, rattled it a little, and with a waggish grin said, ‘It’s a heavy one, isn’t it?’

Mum’s been gone since 2013, but the best thing about being a writer is she lives on, with traces of her in every mother-daughter story I’ve written, and in my characters’ cheeky sense of humour. So, dear reader, next time one of my fictional mums says something to make you giggle, you can thank Shirley for being Shirley. I thank her every Mother’s Day—and every other day, too).

Find out more about Jenn J McLeod and her books here.

 

Related Articles

The Unlikeliest Location of Literary Bliss: Author Jenn J. McLeod Tells Us Where she Finds Books on the Road

News

9 September 2019

The Unlikeliest Location of Literary Bliss: Author Jenn J. McLeod Tells Us Where she Finds Books on the Road

    Where the Light Enters Author, Sara Donati Shares 5 inspiring books with trailblazing female characters

    News

    3 September 2019

    Where the Light Enters Author, Sara Donati Shares 5 inspiring books with trailblazing female characters

      Embrace Aussie Authors: Author Jenn J McLeod Talks About How Publishing Has Changed and Why Aussie Authors Now Rule

      News

      12 August 2019

      Embrace Aussie Authors: Author Jenn J McLeod Talks About How Publishing Has Changed and Why Aussie Authors Now Rule

        One Book Can Lead to Another: How Greg Growden Was Compelled to Write Major Thomas

        News

        6 August 2019

        One Book Can Lead to Another: How Greg Growden Was Compelled to Write Major Thomas

          Friendships Always Seem Like They Should Come Easily: Sophie Green, Author of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle, Talks About The Beauty of Friendship

          News

          1 August 2019

          Friendships Always Seem Like They Should Come Easily: Sophie Green, Author of The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle, Talks About The Beauty of Friendship

            I am Living on the Most Magical Place on Earth: An Article from Dave Glasheen, Author of The Millionaire Castaway

            News

            1 August 2019

            I am Living on the Most Magical Place on Earth: An Article from Dave Glasheen, Author of The Millionaire Castaway

              Na tschuss denn, or Good-bye, Then: An Article by Confession with Blue Horses Author, Sophie Hardach

              News

              29 July 2019

              Na tschuss denn, or Good-bye, Then: An Article by Confession with Blue Horses Author, Sophie Hardach

                Kaneana May, Author of The One, Tells Us About the Road to Publication

                News

                25 July 2019

                Kaneana May, Author of The One, Tells Us About the Road to Publication

                  While You Were Reading Authors, Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus, Talk About Books on the Rail

                  News

                  10 July 2019

                  While You Were Reading Authors, Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus, Talk About Books on the Rail

                    A Fascinating Voyage of Discovery: Kate Furnivall on Researching her New Novel, The Guardian of Lies

                    News

                    10 July 2019

                    A Fascinating Voyage of Discovery: Kate Furnivall on Researching her New Novel, The Guardian of Lies

                      Jenn J McLeod
                      About the author

                      Jenn J McLeod

                      When Jenn J. McLeod quit Sydney’s corporate communications chaos, she bought a little café in a small town and ran a unique, dog-friendly B&B in country NSW. Home now is a fifth wheeler caravan, her days spent writing heart-warming tales of Australian country life. Readers and reviewers alike enthusiastically received Jenn’s debut, House for all Seasons, placing it at #5 on the 2013 Nielsen’s Best Selling Debut Novel list. Season of Shadow and Light is the third book in her Seasons Collection, with a fourth Seasons Collection novel due in 2016.

                      Books by Jenn J McLeod

                      COMMENTS

                      Leave a Reply

                      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

                      1. Thank you, Better Reading, for letting me share this little bit of my mum today. xx

                      2. Trish Drinkwater says:

                        Just beautiful, Jenn – thanks so much for sharing.
                        Trish.

                      3. Ann-Marie Day says:

                        Love those notes.
                        So happy your mum got to see your book.