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.

57 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

      1. Hi Antalia – I’ve just seen this message. So sorry I haven’t replied earlier. I can’t do it today, but I will get on to it over the weekend. How has your week gone? Got any writing done?? xx Jen

      2. That’s okay, ah thank you – any time you can soon would be perfect! Thank you 🙂 I’ve had a good week thank you, been busy with uni and yes I have been busy writing away! (I’ve looked over my novel) and have been in and out of my new idea 🙂 how is reaching your deadline looking? X x

      3. Hi Antalia Here are my responses. Hope they are OK. xx Jenny

        What inspired you to write?
        My memories of being a teenager, the students I taught and my own daughters. I really wanted to write a book that might reassure them when they were teenagers!

        – How did you manage to break into the industry?
        My big break was going to Winchester Writers’ Festival where I heard the agent Julia Churchill talk. I also got very positive feedback on my book that day which gave me the confidence to approach Julia. Julia was the first agent I sent my book to and she accepted it so I found it relatively easy to get my book published – it took me a long time to write though!

        – Is networking an important aspect of being a writer?
        Yes I think it is. It’s hard to get published and then I’d say it’s just as hard to try to become established. You need all the support you can get.

        – Would you recommend any creative writing courses to take?
        I didn’t do any creative writing courses, but I would recommend all the Writers and Artists Yearbook courses. They are very dedicated to helping writers and provided genuinely useful events – plus you get to visit Bloomsbury, always a lovely experience!

        – Is it important to have a literary agent?
        For me, it was essential. My agent negotiated a contract that has allowed me to write fulltime. I know that if I hadn’t had an agent I would not have been able to do that and I’d still be teaching and writing at the same time.

        – What advice would you give other aspiring authors?
        I think that it’s important to know what your competition is and to read a lot of books in your chosen genre, particularly successful ones. It’s also important to be able to step back and look at your writing through the eyes of a reader….and don’t give up!

  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 Daisy so you’re Pauline’s neice – she’s lovely so lucky you!! Here are my answer to your questions:
    1) I love that you are like Bus Kelly and it’s a very good thing – it means that you love life and say what you think – two very important qualities!! I’m not planning to write a book about Bus Kelly, but to be honest I never thought of it until I got your message so maybe you’ve given me an idea…!
    2) I was EXACTLY like you when I was a teenager and never, ever would have gone up to someone and just started talking to them. I’d have liked to have been like Nanna too, but did you notice that Nanna just said whatever she wanted to Kat and it all worked out fine, in fact, Kat was happy to have someone talk to her. I guess this message is coming too late (sorry – I was on holiday too!) but I would go over to the girl and say, ‘Hi, do you want to (insert logical suggestion here – go swimming, go for a walk, get some icecream?)’ The absolute worse that could happen would be her saying, ‘Er, no,’ …and even that wouldn’t be that bad, would it? And if she was the sort of person who would say that then you wouldn’t want to hang out with her anyway so good job you found out quickly! Also, I find it helps just to get your shyness out there – eg Hi, I’m really shy, so sorry if I sound weird etc etc. Chances are she’ll be shy too – isn’t almost everyone?? Anyway, hope you are having an awesome summer and I’m really pleased you liked the end of Star Struck. Congratulations on seeing it coming because loads of people didn’t so you must be a very perceptive person! xx Jenny

  16. 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

  17. Hello,

    My name is Agha Haider. I’m a freshman student that attends Whitfield School in St. Louis, Missouri. I founded an organization called the Literacy Initiative. The Literacy Initiative is currently based in St. Louis, Missouri and Los Angeles, California. We organize books drives in schools and local businesses and donate the books to organizations that work closely with underprivileged children. Another program we have is the Literary Club where each month the students in the Literary club at Lee-Hamilton Elementary School pick a book to read and discuss based on the genre for the month. We then provide the books to each child free of charge. We also have book giveaway events in schools in areas with high rates of poverty. Students are able to pick a book and keep it for themselves.

    We currently have a 1,000 Books – $1,000 Dollars challenge where we are trying to get 1,000 people to post a picture of themselves holding up their favorite book on Instagram using the hashtag #1000books1000dollars and tagging @theliteracyinitiative. This challenge runs up until April 14th. Our goal is to spread the word about @theliteracyinitiative and raise money for our programs! I was thinking the perfect way to spread the word about this is to have authors make a post doing it and giving information about the Literacy Initiative and how to participate in this challenge! Let me know if you’d be interested.

    Or if you’d just be interested in donating! http://bit.ly/2FrjRpg We really need donations since we are only 1/10 of the way to our goal. Thank you!

    Agha Haider
    Literacy Initiative
    Executive Director
    E: agha.haider@literacy-initiative.org
    P: (636) 891-4531

    1. Hi Agha – sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. I have been neglecting an email address and today I found a load of messages waiting for me. It sounds like a very interesting initiative. I’m sorry that I missed the deadline for the photo, but do let me know if you have anything else you would like me to get involved with. xx Jenny

  18. Hi Jenny i am marilyn from a small country named Malta. I really enjoyed reading sunkissed. I can’t wait to get my hands on the other 3 books. xxxx

    1. Hi Marilyn I’ve never been lucky enough to visit Malta but I’d love to. Thank you for your message and I’m so pleased that you enjoyed Sunkissed. I loved writing it – in fact, I think it was my happiest book to write, especially as it involved a trip to Sweden. I hope you manage to read the 3 other books, and in the UK I have 2 others published too. I love getting a message from a Marilyn. I love your name and almost called my first daughter Marilyn… xxxx

  19. Hello Jenny! I loved your book ‘stargazing for beginners’ it is now one of my favourites! I was really sad when it ended as it was such a mesmerising story, and I loved how you finished it; I was really hoping Meg and Ed would get together. I writing to ask if you could please write a second book and start a series and maybe explain Meg’s adventures in Houston! Please consider my request!

    1. Hi sorry for the VERY late reply. I did that thing where I liked your comment on my phone then thought, I must reply when I’m on my laptop…and forgot! It was wonderful to hear from you and to know that you enjoyed Stargazing for Beginners. I would love to write a second book, but at the moment I’m working on something else. I will certainly keep your idea in mind…you never know!! xx Jenny

  20. Hello Jenny!

    My name is Joly(not my real name but it is the one I feel good about) and I’m a 13 year old portuguese.
    This week I’m going to do a presentation for my french class about your book “Sun Kissed” (I REALLY LOVED THE BOOK, spent an entire night in blanck, reading it, because I just couldn’t sleep until I knew the end!)
    I can’t wait to read another of your books.

    P.S.: Sorry if there’s any grammar errors 😦

    xxx

    1. Hi Joly – I think it’s a great name. I can see why you like it. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed Sunkissed and are doing a presentation on it. Please say bonjour to your French class and I hope you do read my other books. I loved writing it and based Strala on a real island I visited in Sweden. Thank you again for the ❤️❤️❤️message xxx Jenny ps your grammar is excellent!

  21. Hi Jenny, I’ve recently just read your book love bomb and I’ve fallen in love with everything about it, I am desperate to share my idea of making it into a movie, I would actually do anything to have it on TV and be able to see my favourite book come to life, what do you think?

    1. Hi I’ve imagined this lots of times myself, although I think this is probably something all authors do! I’d love to see Betty and Bill on the screen and I’m very touched that you feel the same way. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will happen one day! xx

  22. Hi, Jenny. Recently I found your one of your books in the library, it’s called ‘Star Struck’. At first I thought it was some same old boy/girl high school drama but when I read the summary I got suspicious so I decided to borrow the book and I had finished it in two days. I was shocked because I’ve never expected the story to be actually about two girls falling in love while I might have suspected it in the first place. I love how Pearl and Hoshi interaction sort of fell into the trope of ‘enemies to friends to lovers’ (I know, I know, Hoshi was never hostile against Pearl but from Pearl POV they fit the trope lol) Thank you for writing this amazing story, I cried when I read the part where Pearl and Hoshi finally kissing. I was wondering if we could have a sequel about them? Maybe about them going to college? Honestly I’m dying to know how Pearl’s mother is gonna sort out the Alfie situation and whether Pearl is really gonna leave her family? The book just left so many possibility! It would be awesome if you chose to continue Pearl’s story. Cheers!

    1. Hi Jo – what an awesome message for me to receive and I’m so pleased that Star Struck took you by surprise and that it struck a chord. My daughter has recently read all my books and it’s her favourite. If I’m totally honest, it’s probably mine as too. I love Pearl and Hoshi!! I would love to write a sequel but at the moment I’m busy writing a fantasy book. I will tell you how I originally planned for the book to end. Pearl was going to go to Japan and be picked up in a Limo at the airport and whisked to one of Hohsi’s gigs, and Hoshi would sing just for her. Afterwards they would go and walk in the cherry blossom. No one else knows this, so now you know the ‘secret’ ending. xx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s