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Tuesday 24 September 2013

'Perfect North' by Jenny Bond: Interview

When I was sent this book - 'Perfect North' by Jenny Bond - I was a little floored.

Two things. Jenny has secured a two-book contract with Hachette Australia (the Aussie arm of a huge global publisher). For a new author, this is virtually unheard of.

And second, she has been referred to as a 'modern-day Jane Austen.'

How much more excited could I get, gosh darn it!

Here is Jenny Bond:

A little tip to those reading the book: don't start reading this beauty before bedtime. It's engaging, and delicious, and so beautifully written and well researched, you're drawn in immediately and kinda don't want to let go.

The story is inspired by true events, and while ever deep love and deceit are involved, it's as compelling as you expect it to be.

The gist, and how it came to be? Best answered by the author herself.

Here, Jenny Bond answers some questions just for Josie's Juice:

Tell me about the catalyst for writing the book?

Jenny: Seventeen years ago on the day of our marriage my husband toasted his new wife with a heartfelt speech. The only part of the speech I remember is the part saluting me as his inspiration to write a novel.

Over the years, Chris has written the first two chapters of many novels. But the demands of paying the mortgage, raising a family and walking a dog have meant all the beginnings have remained without middles and endings. I have often reminded him of his words at our wedding, hoping he would be driven to action.

In 2010 I broached the subject again. Believing that my suggestion was conveyed in the most friendly and supportive of tones, I was shocked when he turned to me and said, quite crankily, “Why don’t you write a book?”

“Well, I will then,” I snapped in reply.

That was the catalyst for Perfect North.

What was the inspiration for writing the book?

Jenny: Around the same time that Chris threw down the gauntlet I came across the fascinating and tragic story of a Swedish balloon expedition to the North Pole in the late 1800s in The New Yorker magazine. It was the lunacy of the plan that gripped me the most and I thought it would be an excellent starting point for a novel. It became a story of adventure, love, loss and the people the adventurers left behind.

How do you feel now that it’s out (just released today):

Jenny: I’m thrilled that Perfect North is finally in book stores but that feeling has grown very slowly over the past few weeks. It seems so long ago that I began on the massive undertaking of writing Perfect North. Since then I have completed my second novel and begun my third so Perfect North hasn’t been on my radar for a while. But the excitement I have felt from my publisher, friends and family has rubbed off on me. Likewise, discussing the novel and the characters again with journalists has rekindled my absolute delight in the tale.

Who would you like to have read the book?

Jenny: I’d love to have Steven Spielberg read Perfect North. It seems like a story that would be right up his alley – adventure/romance/mystery. It would make a fantastic summer blockbuster! We can always hope, yes?

YES! What do you hope the reader gets from reading the book?

Jenny: I hope, first and foremost, that readers will simply enjoy reading Perfect North. I hope the characters resonate with them long after they’ve finished reading as they still resonate with me.

Here is the beautiful book cover:

Follow Jenny Bond's journey, plus Jenny's tips on the book writing process, and much more, right here.

Perfect North is on sale now, at bookstores and Big W outlets across Australia and NZ.

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