About Me

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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.

42 comments

  1. Hey Jenny !
    I’m 13 years old and from germany, and in my german class I’m going to do a presentation about your book “Flirty Dancing” , and I really liked reading it !
    Greetings, xx
    Amy

    1. Hi Amy
      How lovely to hear from you and how amazing to think that you read Flirty Dancing in Germany! I’m so pleased that you enjoyed it: I loved writing it, particularly as the main character, Bea, is very similar to me when I was at school. I wanted to write about someone who was very shy because that was what I was like and I found it very frustrating! I’ve changed quite dramatically since then and I think that now I’m a bit more like Betty!
      I was particularly pleased that Flirty Dancing was translated into German because I was born in Germany (in Lindau) and have spent many lovely holidays there and in Berlin. One of my most vivid childhood memories was going to kinderfest and dressing up in a dirndl and making a flower garland. I remember that we were given some tokens to spend at the fair afterwards, but my mum said I wasn’t allowed to get a gingerbread heart unless I promised not to eat it. She said it was too pretty to eat and I would have to hang it on the wall. Looking back, I can now see she just didn’t want me to eat an enormous biscuit smothered in icing, but next time in Germany I am going to buy one and eat it!!
      I hope your presentation goes well. It is the sort of thing Bea would dread, but I’m sure you will do a fantastic job of it!
      Love Jenny xxx

      1. Dear Jenny,
        I just wanted to thank you for your reply, I was very exited when I saw it ! Right now I’m working on my presentation, and I’m super thankful for the extra information you gave me in your answer ! Thank you very much for your nice words , and think I’m similar to bea , too (at the moment).
        Best wishes
        xx
        Amy

  2. Hi jenny!
    I am a big fan from your book “flyrity dancing” and from you.I am 12 jears old an in my class i pressent the book “flyrity dancing”it’s my favourite book.thany you for the book.I am very happy

    1. Hi Hila – what a lovely message! Thank you. I’m so pleased that FLIRTY DANCING made you happy – that was my hope when I wrote it! I hope your presentation goes well (I’ll be thinking of you!) Let me know if it was a success. Lots of love, Jenny xx

  3. hi Jenny,
    I am a very big fan of yours, I am reading ‘Flirty Dancing’ and so far it is fantastic and at school I am doing presentation about your fabulous book and thank you for letting all of us to read your fabulous and I have got my friend into that book and she loves it and again I would like to say a VERY big thank you P.S I live in Cleethorpes, England xx

    1. Hi Megan
      What a lovely message. Thank you! I’ll have to try and do some school visits up in Cleethorpes some time. I absolutely loved writing Flirty Dancing. Because I write in the first person it always feels like it’s happening to me which is really fun. I hope that you (and your friends!) experience Bea’s story in that way too – like you are right there with her. Thank you for doing your presentation on my book. It makes a massive difference when readers do things like this. I’ll give you a couple of facts that I’m not sure anyone else knows so you can put them in your presentation. Originally I called Pearl ‘Coral’ (for some reason she needed a seasidey name!) and Ollie was called ‘Sam’. If you want to read more about the girls, my next book, Love Bomb, is all about Betty, but Ollie, Bea, Emma, Pearl and Kat are all in it too. Thank you again for getting in touch! xxxJenny

  4. Hi jenny im one of your biggest fans I love your books and I’m trying to find out things about you I would be so thankful if you replied
    Lots of love
    Shannon
    xox

    1. Hi Shannon
      What lovely news – I’m so pleased that you like my books! I’m really enjoying writing my 5th book right now, so much so that this evening I just can’t stop. My husband has put the TV on to make a point that it’s time for me to put my laptop away! I’m happy to answer any questions you have about writing and my books. I have a real fondness for my characters – in my head they seem like real people, almost like friends, so I love talking to readers who see them in the same way. Thank you for getting in touch and ask any questions you have. You can also ask me questions on my Facebook page. xx Jenny

  5. Hi Jenny,
    I read the whole “lady-bird” series.
    Personally my favourite is ‘Sunkissed’. I have only 3 words to describe it ” It was Awesome! “💜💜💜💜💕
    I never read such a hilarious and wonderful book!
    I finished the book within two days!
    I am eagerly waiting to check Pearl’s Story!
    And I want to whole-heartedly thank you for creating such beautiful works!

    Love,
    Debasmita.

    1. Hi Debasmita I just realised that you’ve already answered the question I asked in my other message! I’m so glad that Sunkissed gripped you and that you enjoyed it so much…really that’s all I wanted to do when I became a writer! Thank you again for the lovely comments. Pearl’s book is out in March and I’m already working on a fifth book. This one is about a girl who is obsessed with space!! xx Jenny

  6. Dear Jenny
    Just finished ‘Sunkissed’.
    That book is just simply awesome.
    I really love it!!!!!
    Good Job Jenny!
    I am really looking forward to checking out Pearl’s adventure!

    With love,
    Debasmita

    1. Hello! Thank you for your lovely message. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed Sunkissed. I absolutely loved writing it and I felt a bit like I was on the island with Kat even though I wrote it in the winter! I really hope you enjoy my next book. Have you read Flirty Dancing and Love Bomb? xx Jenny

  7. Hello Jenny, I am attending the Writers and Artists event this month and have chosen your writing workshop. I was wondering, if at any point at this event, if I could interview you briefly about how you broke into the writing industry and what tips you could provide to aspiring authors out there; this is for my university project and this would really help me out.
    I am looking forward to meeting you, thank you!

    Antalia x

    1. Hi Antalia It will be great to see you at the event – I think it’s going to be a really fun day. Yes, I’m sure there will be time for an interview and I’d love to help you with your project. I’m looking forward to hearing about it. See you soon! x Jenny

  8. Hi Jenny!

    We are all in year seven and we go to school in Warrington – we love your books. We are all reading ‘Flirty Dancing’ together and we think that Bea is just like us! We would like to know what inspired you to start writing books? We have ordered the rest of the books in the series and we can’t wait to start reading them!

    Please keep writing your amazing books!

    Year seven girls at BCA 🙂 ❤ x

    1. Wow, what a lovely message -it’s made my day! I’m so pleased that you have enjoyed Flirty Dancing it it was great to hear that you identify with Bea because this is one of the reasons I wrote the book – Bea was like me when I was a teenager – very shy! – and I really needed to read a book about a girl who has the confidence and bravery to be herself. I hope you enjoy the rest of the books – Bea is in all of them and there’s a bit of Emma and Ollie in Love Bomb too. Let me know what you think as it’s so wonderful for me to hear from real readers!! xx Jenny PS If any of you are on Instagram you can follow me on JennyMcLachlan_writer

  9. Hi Jenny,

    I’m Lauren. You met me on World Book Day at my secondary school (where you used to work)! I’ve read Pearl’s book in 6 days and I loved the twist…didn’t see it coming!!! I don’t know how you’re going to do another for the Ladybirds cause there’s no more Ladybird characters. You are a FAB writer and I honestly can’t wait a whole year for the next book. Please write another one as I am dying to know more. If you are allowed to give me any clues as to who the next one is about, then please do!! It was nice meeting you again and I’m hoping to see you next year!
    Lauren x

    1. Hi Lauren
      Thank you for this lovely comment. This is the first feedback I’ve had from a teenager about Star Struck so it means a lot to me! I remember meeting you, by the way! I’m working on a book right now all about a girl who is obsessed with space and secretly wants to be an astronaut… Hopefully meet you again at UCTC. xx Jenny

      1. hi may name is C
        i am writing to you to tell you how fantastic Flirty Dancing the book is and how i love it.
        I have to congratulate you for this book and that you keep your success all your life and that you write Flirty Dancing 2.
        your are a great writer and thank you again.
        xxxxxxxx

      2. Hi C! Sorry it’s taken me a few days to reply to your comment. Somehow I missed it! I’m so pleased you enjoyed Flirty Dancing and thank you for getting in touch. It means a lot to me when I hear from readers like you. I hope you read the sequel, Love Bomb. This is Betty’s story, but Ollie and Bea are in it and they’re still jiving! X Jenny

  10. hi jenny , i read flirty dancing on holiday and it was AMAZING , and now i am half way through love bomb and i can’t wait to see what is going to happen, you are an amazing writer and your front covers are awesome to!!!!

    1. Hi Lizzie – I’m so pleased that you enjoyed Flirty Dancing so much – I think it’s a good book to read on holiday…but I might be a bit biased!! I hope you’re enjoying Love Bomb. It’s a book that’s really close to my heart – a lot of the things that happened to the mum when she was a teenager happened to me, including the taking the rock home from the beach story! I’m so pleased you like the covers – me too! xx Jenny
      PS I love the name ‘Lizzie’. I’ve got two daughters and if I’d had a third she’d have been Lizzie – I’m sure I’ll use it in a book soon. xx

  11. Hi Jenny, my name is Rylee and I’m from Seton college in Westen Australia. I’ve recently started reading your book “Love Bomb” so far I’ve really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to read other books of yours. Your a really good writer and once I finish this book I will swap it with my friend for Sunkissed.. CANT WAIT.

    1. Hi Rylee
      Thank you for that lovely message all the way from Australia! You’re very lucky living there. I’ve not visited the West of Australia, but I’m definitely planning to come back with my family. I absolutely LOVE Australia and had an amazing time going round the East coast in a campervan with my husband. I’m so pleased you’re enjoying Love Bomb. I think it’s my favourite of the four books (am I supposed to admit that??), but I did love writing Sunkissed too because it’s real escapism. I hope you do swap with your friend – great idea. Let me know what you think of Sunkissed. xxx Jenny

  12. Hi Jenny,
    My name is Ana from seton collage Western Australia, and yes I am rylee’s friend. I have been reading “sun kissed” and I’m almost frinished I really enjoyed it so far. (it’s been one of the funniest books I’ve read) I can’t wait to Swap “love bomb” with rylee. I usually don’t enjoy reading or I find it hard to find a book I like but I really been enjoying your books…keep up the good writing!!!

    1. Hi Ana
      I love having a message from friends! I hope you enjoy the end of Sunkissed – it still makes me seriously happy to read it!! It means a lot to me that you enjoyed the book even though you don’t usually like reading. This is just why I wanted to write the series. I wanted anyone to be able to pick up my books and start turning the pages straight away so it was great to hear that it worked for you. By the way, I based Strala (the island in Sunkissed) on a real island called Grinda. Maybe one day you and Rylee can go on a European trip and visit it – recreate a bit of Sunkissed! Keep reading and enjoy your beautiful country. xx Jenny

  13. Hi Jenny,

    This is Lauren again. I’ve been sorting out all my books at home and I’m so frustrated! For some reason, I believe I don’t have Sun Kissed. Is there any possibility that next World Book Day, could you bring a copy for me? Otherwise, the series would be incomplete; I don’t want it to be like that.
    Looking forward to seeing you and your new book next year. NEVER STOP WRITING!!!!!

    Many Hugs
    Lauren .H. 😉

  14. Hi Jenny,
    My aunt is friends with you and she gave me a signed copy of you book for my birthday. At first I steered clear of it, mainly because of the title because I don’t really like love books I’m more of a fantasy and sci-fi kind of girl. I started reading your first book, flirty dancing, the other day—I now totally regret not reading it sooner—I am only on about chapter 5 but I am already knee deep in your new and exciting series. In my book you have written: “I hope this book makes you happy” and that is certainly what it has done!

    1. Hi Daisy I’m so glad that you gave it a go and I’m thrilled that you are enjoying it so much and that it has made you happy! You must tell me who your aunt is. Did I work with her at UCTC? I love sci-fi too and I’ve had this idea for a sci-fi book ticking away in my head…actually, I’ve also had an idea for a fantasy book too. There are so many books I want to write! My next book that is coming out is about a girl who loves science and wants to be an astronaut. It’s a science-rom-com! Keep reading and keep in touch. xxJenny PS I remember writing the message on your book…I just can’t remember who your aunt is!!

  15. hi jenny!
    i am always hated to read a book, but after i readin your book “sun kissed” i am being to like to read a book. i LOVE your book “sunkissed” and i am going to have a conversation with my teacher and write a book review and it’s something i want to ask and the question is could you write litle more about you and little about the book ” SUN KISSED” like where it was published and when it been published or the date of published

    1. Hi Lilly I’m so pleased that you’ve enjoyed Sunkissed and that it’s got you reading. I hope you try the other books in the series. They’re all like Sunkissed – funny, easy to read, romantic. Sunkissed was published by Bloomsbury on 13th August 2015. I based it on a holiday I went on in Sweden. I’ve also visited the island I based Strala on in the book, but in reality it’s called Grinda. It’s even got a floating sauna, just like in the book, but I never visited it. I think Sunkissed was one of the books I most enjoyed writing. I loved describing the islands, swimming at night, diving into the pools. I wish everything that happened to Kat in the book happened to me when I was 15!! Anyway, I’m so pleased that you liked it, loads and loads of love to you and keep reading!! xxxx Jenny

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