TESS’S TOP WRITING TIP: Always read your work aloud first before sending it away. It saves a lot of time later editing! And don’t be discouraged by rejection letters. JK Rowling was rejected by numerous publishers with her Harry Potter manuscript. Look where she is now.
Tess McLennan is a musician and instrumental music teacher who lives in a quaint country town south of Brisbane, Queensland. She is an avid reader and experienced traveller, and enjoys musical theatre and vintage artefacts. She has been writing since a young age, and Ghosts is her first novel.
Keep up to date with Tess’s writing life on Facebook.
Why do you write? Many reasons! Writing has always been like a therapy for me. I’ve written journals, stories and poetry since I was very young. I write when I’m happy, sad, overwhelmed, excited… Putting words on a page always de-clutters my overactive mind, and creating intricate characters and storylines has always been thrilling for me. You get to create a person exactly how you want, and decide what happens to them. It’s your own little world, and you’re in complete control of it.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I love musicals, and one day I would love to pursue a career onstage. Becoming a writer is just one of my many ambitions, so who knows… you might see me on Broadway next.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Finding a publisher who believed in my story.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The creativity. There is absolutely no limit. It’s such a fantastic outlet for me.
—the worst? Sometimes I overthink my work way too much, and wonder if it’ll ever be good enough for an audience.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I wouldn’t rush. I would take more care with the presentation of my work before sending it away to potential publishers. The publishing houses are not going to disappear if you wait a few more weeks and continue to perfect your manuscript.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? Not everyone is going to love your work, and that’s okay! Also, a lot more goes into a publishing a book than just putting it on a shelf.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Finish what you start, never ever give up, and hard work will get you everywhere.
After the mysterious disappearance of her mother Marella, Imogene is left as the sole carer of her younger sister, Clementine. Forced to give up her dreams of becoming a photographer, Imogene vows to support her sister’s ambitions of becoming a professional dancer, taking a menial job at Johnny’s Mega Market in the girls’ hometown of Miller Creek. Discontented and unfulfilled, Imogene meets Henry by chance, and his sister Aggie, the embodiment of everything Imogene wishes she could be. However, when Aggie goes missing unexpectedly, Imogene and Henry come across her journal, which sheds light on Aggie’s fragile state of mind in the months leading up to her disappearance. Imogene and Henry then embark on a perilous journey to find her, while beginning to uncover dark and frightening secrets hidden in the rugged outback, and also answers about what really happened to her mother on the day she disappeared.
Ghosts is available here.