Author Jen Carney from Chorley has launched her debut book
- Credit: Jen Carney
A story written for her children has helped Jen Carney achieve her life-long dream
As a girl growing up in Bolton, Jen Carney knew she wanted to be an author, but she has her own children to thank for making that dream come true.
Jen and her wife, Val, were among the first same-sex couples in Lancashire to adopt and she said: ‘These books came about because of my children. My son is 16 now and has never been an avid reader but when he was 11, he asked me why there weren’t any books about families like ours. I wrote the first draft quickly because I didn’t want him to lose interest.
‘It represented his reality of having two mums. I wrote it, he read it and I was happy with that. It went in the loft and stayed there until my daughter was nine and had run out of things to read. She read it and really enjoyed the fact that the girl was like her. She said she wished it could be a real book so other children could see families like ours are normal.’
And now it is. The book, The Accidental Diary of B.U.G., has just been released, with the second in the series due to be launched in August and the third expected next year.
Jen, who now lives in Chorley, is a former teacher and has worked for a literacy charity in Bolton, but has always been interested in writing.
‘I started when I was about eight and wrote a little book which was stuck together with a cut up cereal box,’ she said.
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‘My primary school teachers used to say I was good at writing and at secondary school a teacher commented on my use of words and how funny my writing was. That all inspired me.
‘When I was a Saturday girl in a shoe shop I wrote a made-up newsletter for the people who worked there with silly stories about the staff and customers. I’ve had a few jobs, but I’ve never stopped writing and trying to make people laugh.
‘I was a teacher for a while in a Warrington primary school and my favourite thing was writing the plays for the children. I was mainly teaching Year Five and that’s where my stories are set now.
‘I have tried to have work published before but I was really green and didn’t know what I was doing. I never gave up my dream and I have a whole range of books in my back catalogue – a thriller for adults and others for children.’
Jen and Val have three children – a 16-year-old son and daughters aged nine and four – and since adopting, Jen has served as an independent panel member for two different adoption and fostering panels as a way of giving back to a system that helped her to become a mother.
‘I am very keen that schools and families should have access to diverse books that represent the world they live in, with all its different people and ways of living,’ Jen said. ‘We have always been open and honest with our children and they are very matter-of-fact about the situation – the only thing that’s different about families like ours is the route to parenthood.’
The Accidental Diary of B.U.G. is in bookshops across the county now, priced £6.99.