Hi, my name is Jacqui. I’m a writer, blogger, photographer and teacher based in Melbourne, Australia.
I’ve been writing since I was little. I completed a degree in professional writing in 1986 after I won the Mary Grant Bruce short story competition. I have worked in many different industries, most recently as a teacher at a local high school.
Jacqui’s 5 min chat:
- Favourite books?
- I still love my childhood favourites -> Narnia, A Wizard of Earthsea, Anne of Green Gables, Lord of the Rings, Dove, To Kill a Mockingbird. I have all the original copies although the only ones I re-read semi-regularly now are A Wizard of Earthsea, To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Rings.
- As a teenager, dreaming of escape and trying to find meaning, I discovered the wonderful story of Dove. It’s the true tale of the youngest person to sail around the world alone not for fame, but for the journey of discovery – of people, places and himself.
- More recent treasures -> No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, People of the Book, Possession: A romance, My Brilliant Friend, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Cranford.
- Favourite films:
- Hands down, Ordinary People. It’s the story of a family who suffer a terrible tragedy and the underlying fault lines the tragedy raises. I just love the way the tensions are revealed and the exploration of how the superficiality of this family’s life is exposed for what it is.
- Other films (they’re pretty eclectic!) -> The General, Red River, The Sound of Music, Tokyo Story, To Sir With Love, Blue Angel, Iron Man, Star Wars (but which one?!), Mad Max: Fury Road.
- When I was young I was often in trouble for daydreaming too much or being ‘too quiet’. For a long time, I thought these were bad things! Only much later did I realise these character traits were actually gifts. Daydreaming allowed my imagination to work. Being ‘quiet’ meant I took in what was going on around me and allowed me to process a very noisy internal world. I am so grateful now that I have these two qualities because I can disappear into make believe worlds and, hopefully, come out the other side with something to share with the world.
- I’m not sure where the ideas come from. Some of them just pop in my head. Others come from a comment or story or snippet of information I overhear or read. My mind plays with this idea and sometimes it takes me further into the story. I try to write down the ideas as they appear – I never know if it can be worked into something more concrete. I ask ‘what if’ questions to see where else the story could go and try to hold the idea for a while to see if I think it might be worth continuing with. I try not to tell anyone the idea early on – ideas are like tiny drops of dew that can dry up too quickly if they’re exposed to the harsh air for too long. I believe in walking an idea. The longer I can walk (or ride or daydream) without screen, or other, distractions, the longer the idea has to percolate.
5 minutes is up!