Guest Post: Jenny M. Potts Talks About Her Journey As A Writer


Hey Bookworms! 

Today we have with us, Jenny M. Potts, who is not just a novelist, but also a screenwriter and playwright! 

Before I hand over the reins to her, let me introduce her to you in a proper, gentle(wo)manly fashion!


Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. 

Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with the family. She tries not to take herself too seriously.


Now that you know more about her, let's hear from her, the story of her writing life so far!

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I’ve been writing since I was around nine years old. I wrote quite prolifically in those early years and it was all plays, which gave me the opportunity to star in all my dramas! I also produced and directed the plays, casting my friends in the parts. It was a very creative and happy time, when we laughed so much, it was a challenge just to stay upright. My most successful plays (ie, they were given a stage at school) were: Murder at Barrington Place (incidentally, my new neighbours are called the Barringtons… I haven’t told them about my murderous early script), A Day in the Life of a Psychiatrist and The Ghost Train

Apart from the obligatory suicidal poetry everyone creates during their teens, I did not write again seriously until I was in my late twenties. My partner and I had moved to France. We renovated properties and had a holiday business, so I had some time in the winters to, at last, turn my hand back to the pen.

I started to write poetry again and did quite well publishing my work. I remember on two occasions having vivid dreams which I wrote about immediately upon waking. Both those poems were snapped up by prominent presses of the day. One was called Realistic Woman Flavour and the other Infidelity. I have copies of everything I’ve published in Gascony where we have renovated a ruin (it took eleven years) and where I have happily sawn wood and screwed together vast lengths of bookshelving. My own publications don’t take up very much space but they’re in great company with all my favourite authors: Attwood, Zadie Smith, all the old Frenchies like Flaubert and de Maupassant, the great Russians like Kafka and Solzenitsyn, wonderful Americans like Smilie, Proulx and Auster and some dear Brits like Forster, Atkinson, Glaister.

I wrote simultaneously a great deal of short fiction and managed to publish most of that. I won some competitions and tried my hand at experimental fiction too.

Then in my early thirties, I wrote a novel called The Wine Merchant of Little Venice. I don’t think it was terribly good but I got a very encouraging letter from an editor at Virago, giving in depth analysis and advice. You would never receive a letter like that now, so I was lucky to get it. I then wrote more novels, gradually getting better and receiving encouraging letters from publishers and agents. Then I submitted Romy & Raphael to the Mslexia Novel Competition and of 1,800 novel manuscripts, I got a place in the top ten. There was an event for the winners at Waterstones on Piccadilly, with agents and publishers. Just prior to that, however, I got signed to MBA. My agent was Laura Longrigg. I remember being terrified before our first meeting, I’d waited so long for this moment.

Romy & Raphael attained the interest of Virago again, and one or two other publishers but I didn’t receive a contract. I went back to the drawing board and wrote a novel called Rooken versus Ryder which I hoped was more commercial and a genre – mystery/suspense – rather than the non genre literature I’d been doing (my own favourite to read and write). But Laura didn’t like it. I could’ve walked into the sea, I was so depressed. 

I picked myself up and wrote Piano from a 4th Storey Window. Laura loved it. Hurrah! The novel did the rounds again and though it attracted lots of praise, no-one bought it. 

Meanwhile, another publisher was interested in RvR, so I had to resign from Laura and met with the new publisher. They didn’t want to publish RvR though and suggested I go and write a real genre novel for them. I did that and it was Hiding. But the new publisher turned it down as it was too upmarket for their imprint. Aaaaaaagh.

I decided to go it alone. Got myself a great cover designer and shazam, here I am. Hiding has done well on Amazon and I’m about to publish my next thriller, Just. There will be two more thrillers this year.

I’m also working on a memoir for a famous ballet dancer. I have to meet him in Spain for our sessions. Aw, the hardship…

And I’m collaborating on a book with a friend, who also happens to be a ballet dancer. This is a triptych story with, as you’d expect, three parts, going from the early 1700s to the present day.

~~~~~~

Wow, you've sure been through a lot Jenny! And your future endeavours sound pretty interesting! Thanks for stopping at the blog and sharing your story with us!

Curious about Jenny's books? 

Here's a bit about her latest, Just:


How far would you go to save a life?

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.

‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea. 

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.


Buy Just now:




Wait up! That's not all! We also have a giveaway! 

Win one of five eBooks of Just by Jenny M. Potts! (Open Internationally)

Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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That's all for today Bookworms! See you tomorrow!


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