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  • Jenny Brigalow

The Trail of a Tale

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Or at least, most do. But there is always a story behind the story. This tale has not ended. But I do know where it began.

I wrote my first young adult novel, The Overlander ten years ago when my children were still children. They were of an age where they still enjoyed listening to books. Together we enjoyed many marvellous tales. But one day, when we’d all reached the end of a terrific series, both girls expressed a disappointment in the roles that the female characters were allocated. And a general dissatisfaction in the limitations of a girl’s part in YA books at that time.

“Why do they never get to do the good stuff?” They asked. “We want to read a book where a girl gets to kick some butt too.” They said.

“OK.” I said. “I can fix that.” And so I did. I wrote The Overlander.

A short while after I finished the manuscript I entered it into a competition co-run by the Queensland Writers Centre and publisher, Allen & Unwin. To my surprise and delight I won a place on a residency. Part of the prize was feedback and editing advice. Invaluable stuff! It also gave me the confidence to forge on with my writing. And I finished the trilogy with The Madonna and The Game, to complete the story through these futuristic books.

In 2013 I sold The Overlander, signing a contract with Bloomsbury Spark (USA). Such excitement! Edits and book covers and such like. But alas and alack, a year later the story had not been published. I still don’t know why. But in time I got back the publishing rights. On reflection I decided that the world wasn’t ready for a dystopian, young adult series. So I cracked on with other projects, delving into paranormal YA novels and fantasy books, whilst The Overlander took some time out, collecting (metaphorical) dust on the hard drive.

And then 2020 arrived bringing COVID-19. Human fears escalate. Human frailties are suddenly only too apparent. There is a surge of concern for our planet. For the future. And I felt that the time was right for a tale of tomorrow. A tale of what may be. A dark tale but not without hope.

So, with no small amount of trepidation, I decided to venture forth into the unchartered territory of self publishing YA books. It is as good a time as any to introduce a strong female character into an unpredictable world, and follow her journey as she navigates through the unknown.

And so the end is finally in sight as The Overlander gears up for Amazon! Sign up to the newsletter find out The Overlander’s release date and for more information about upcoming books. A whole new world awaits!

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