About Me

Jenny_051

I have always loved reading and I studied English at university just so that I could read a bit more.  Next I found my way into secondary teaching and discovered that I loved it too: I got to read more books, show off and hang out with very funny teenagers.  What a great job!

Teaching English also encouraged me to write.  Soon I had planned and started lots of different stories, but they were all abandoned and shoved to the back of a drawer.  Then, one day, the plot for Flirty Dancing came together; Bea’s story was so alive it was like a film running in my head and I knew it was a story I would finish.

Over the next few years, various exciting events distracted me from Flirty Dancing: I got married, travelled the world, was chased by an angry elephant (and a pack of dogs) and I had two babies.  While I was sitting on trains, swimming in the Outback and raising two crazy girls, I kept thinking about Bea, and her friends, Betty, Kat and Pearl, until I realised I had planned three more books.

In 2013, after attending the Winchester Writers’ Festival, I plucked up the courage to send Flirty Dancing to Julia Churchill, a brilliant children’s fiction agent at A.M. Heath.  With dazzling speed I was then signed by Bloomsbury to write the four books in the series.

133 comments

  1. Dear Jenny Our son Niek is having a book review at school ahead of time. He also has a book that you wrote, Back to Roar. In addition, he would like to tell something about the author, that is you. However, there is not much to be found about you on the internet. Would you like to tell something about it so that he can include this in the book discussion. Thinking of your age, place of residence and of you have children. He would be happy if you respond to this message. Kind regards Raimond Smulders

    1. Hi – Thank you for getting in touch, Raimond, and I’m so pleased to hear that Niek is writing a book review about Roar. I’m 45 (although I don’t feel that grown up) and I live in a seaside town on the South coast of England. I have two daughters who right now are watching The Hobbit (I’m writing up in my bedroom – nothing is quite as exciting as making up your own story!) If Niek would like some facts for his book review please pass on to him that I never thought I would become a writer when I was at school because I found writing difficult – I was a slow writer and wasn’t much good at spelling. When I grew up I realised that having a big imagination was more important than these things so I’m glad I spent so many hours drawing, day dreaming and playing. Here are some more unusual fasts about me: I’ve held a baby penguin, been chased by an elephant and I once won a year’s supply of chocolate! I’m guessing from your names that you might live in the Netherlands? A brilliant thing once happened to me in Nijmegen – I was visiting my uncle and we went for a walk on a very rainy day. My mum said that my brother and I could get as muddy as we liked so we pulled our knitted hats over our eyes and fell over again and again (accidentally on purpose) until we were covered in mud. It was absolutely brilliant and even though it happened nearly 40 years ago I can remember it like it was yesterday. I hope this all helps – good luck with your book report, Niek! xx Jenny

      1. Dear Jenny,

        Thanks for the response to our post. Niek was very happy with it.
        And nice to read that you still have so much fun and adventures.
        We do indeed live in the Netherlands in the city of Breda. There are also plenty of adventures to experience here ;0).

        Thanks again for the response and we wish you a nice 2022.

        Greetings Raimond and Niek

      2. I’m so pleased. Happy adventures, Niek! I’ve just had a look at Breda and decided it’s time I paid another visit to the Netherlands. What a beautiful city! x Jenny

  2. Hey jenny ik am 11 years old my little brother is doing a presentation about lan of roar it’s his favorite book! xx Eva ❤️

    1. Hi Eva – that’s so great to hear. Thank you for letting me know! Please say hello to your little brother from me. It always makes my day when I hear that Roar has made someone happy. xx Jenny

  3. Hi Ms. Mclachlan,

    I’m Emil Ostrovski, a 5th grade teacher in San Diego, California. I read my students The Land of Roar as a read-aloud during the first part of the school year, and they really loved the story, so much so that we got them copies of Return to Roar as a holiday present. I was wondering if you might be interested in visiting the class via Zoom; they would be very excited to hear from you.

  4. Hi, I love reading your books as reading logs! My teacher even thinks that it’s amazing how they were written. I’m supper exited to read book three and learn more and see if crowsky is back! Xx Milo

    1. Hi Milo, it’s great to hear from you and I’m so happy to know that you like the Roar books. Enjoy your last trip to Roar and I’m going to give you a clue… He’s back!! xx Jenny

  5. Hi Jenny. My name is Zoe and I love reading all of the Roar books. My favourite character is Arthur because he went after Grandad when he was taken. I also love the pants jokes. The funniest characters are Grandad and Win.
    Thank you from Zoe.

    1. Hi Zoe, thank you so much for getting in touch. I’m so happy to hear that you love Roar – me too! I’m a big fan of Grandad and Win and they were both brilliant characters to write about. I think that Grandad is Win grown up! Do you like writing or making up stories? When I was your age I used to love playing games where I made up stories, and drawing pictures too, but I wasn’t so keen on the writing side! xx Jenny

  6. Hi, we have themed our world book day around the ‘Land of Roar’ because we are really loving it as our class book. It is fantastic, interesting and we think it is ‘imaginary’! We like the living scarecrow. We had to crawl into the classroom though a mattress tunnel and shout ‘HEAR ME ROAR!!!’, We tried to draw the characters from our imagination. We’ve had a go at creating our own imaginary lands. Can you tell us more about what the furries look like?

    From Class 11

    1. Hi Class 11, thank you for your lovely message and I’m so pleased that you’re enjoying reading The Land of Roar – this makes me very happy! Also, how exciting that you got to crawl through a mattress tunnel – I haven’t done this for about 35 years, but I can still clearly remember what it felt like. Have you enjoyed making your imaginary lands? Would you like to visit them? I imagined that the furries looked a bit like tiny hamsters with long legs and arms and sort of human faces. Now I’ve written that down I’m starting to realise why I didn’t describe them in more detail in the books – how bizarre!! Is that how you imagined them? xx Jenny

  7. Hi Jenny
    I am a TA at a school and our year 4 classes are reading Land of Roar and studying you! They have had to write biographies on you.
    Would it at all be possible for you to send them a short email?
    They are loving the book. I have messaged you on Instagram but never done that before so not sure if I’ve done it right x

  8. Dear Jenny,

    Is there going to be a Land of Roar movie or tv series because I want to play the part of Win! How old is Win because l am 9? I’m currently half way through The Battle For Roar – is there going to be a 4th Land of roar book?

    From Sonny

    1. Hi Sonny, I would LOVE there to be a Roar film, TV, cartoon, play or pretty much anything because it would be so much fun seeing the world come to life. At the moment there are no plans, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m sure you would make an awesome Win! I imagine him being 10/11/12 ish I think. I’m not currently writing a 4th Roar book, but you never know! x Jenny

      1. Thank you for your quick reply Jenny – Sonny will be thrilled, and thank you for the Roar series too! My youngest son Luka has never shown any interest in books, but a couple of months ago, whilst he was rolling around aimlessly on the floor, I picked up Sonny’s copy of Land Of Roar and started reading it to him and we haven’t stopped – you’ve completely ignited his love for books (and his love for No Problama t-shirts).

        We’re a few chapters away from finishing the third book, and none of us want to leave Roar! It’s been a great experience for the three of us.
        Thanks again,
        Jon (Dad)

      2. Thank you, Jon – what more could I ask for? That’s absolutely fantastic to hear. I’m so happy that Luka has found Roar to be a special place for him (and you!) and I love the idea of you reading it together. There aren’t many things better than sharing and enjoying a book together. Luka and Sonny might like to try my new book – Dead Good Detectives – which has a lot of similarities with Roar – comedy, high stakes drama, danger, a Win-esque character called Zen. It hasn’t got dragons, I’m afraid, but it does have some pretty cool ghosts! Thanks for sharing Roar with Luka, Jenny

  9. Hi Jenny,
    I am in my second year of teaching and have a Year 4 class in a school with a high level of deprivation. We finished reading Land of Roar together last week and it gave everybody so much joy. I think story time has been without question everybody’s favourite moment in the day, mine included. The groans when they realised it was the end of the chapter and that was it for the day were brilliant. They have become fantastic at walking quietly through school as a group by imagining the scarecrows are watching them.
    We didn’t have Battle for Roar in the school library so I bought a copy to lend out. The first child to borrow it (2 days ago) is already halfway through and his excitement is immense. In his parent consultation meeting tonight his Mum told me she has been woken up by a light on at 4am two nights in a row to find him reading! She said he has never shown much interest in reading before and now he reads everywhere, walking down the stairs, over dinner, on his way to school, he has even forgone his time playing Switch.
    I think your book may have sparked something quite wonderful so thank you 🙂
    Alice

    1. Hi Alice, what a wonderful message to receive – thank you! I’m so happy to hear that you and your class are loving Roar – this is why I wrote the books so it makes me very happy to know the books have made you all happy. Also, amazing reading from the student who borrowed Battle for Roar… he sounds a bit like Win! I’d love to send your class a video message – I’ll email you. xx Jenny

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