Hey! My name is Jacquelyn but feel free to call me Jackie. Everyone does! As a little kid who was learning how to write, Jacquelyn felt so long and complicated. Add in my surname and it’s even longer. My Mum didn’t want my name shortened, but it ended up that way. It was just easier and the shortened name stuck. I did make a promise to myself though that if I wrote a novel, I would use my ‘proper’ name. My Mum always believed in me, always said I would write a book, so I feel like I’m honouring her by using the name she so lovingly bestowed on me. I’ve dedicated LONDON BELONGS TO ME to her. She passed away a few years ago, and I miss her every day. More than anything, I hope she’s proud of me.
I live in Toronto with my British husband and love nothing more than spending time with him and going for walks with our dog. Career-wise, I worked in television broadcasting for years before switching to my dream job—writing. At first, I wrote freelance health and lifestyle articles. My work won several national writing awards and was published by USA Today, Canadian Living, Best Health, National Geographic Travel, The Toronto Star, Reader’s Digest, Chatelaine, and Today’s Parent.
One day, I decided to do what scared me most—write a novel. I’ve always wanted to try, but you know…fear, self-doubt, time. There’s always a reason not to try, right? But I did. It was challenging and nerve-wracking but fun. So much fun! Seriously, why didn’t I try this sooner? Writing novels, creating worlds and characters, exploring emotions and why people act they way they do is the best job ever.
If I had to sum up my books, I’d say they’re character- and relationship-driven stories about people dealing with the triumphs and disasters we all experience. They’re also love stories for hopeful romantics—I say hopeful because my novels are always optimistic and ‘happily ever afters’ are more important now than ever before. But life is messy, relationships are messy, and my books aren’t afraid to go there too.
I’m proud to be an own voices author—I’ve had anxiety, panic attacks, and depression all my life, and I include mental health in my books. I’ve always felt that there should be more representation of mental health in novels. And by more representation, I mean realistically and empathetically portrayed mental health. I’ve seen many novels where mental health issues are treated like a character trait and nothing appears on the page to show its reality. Anxiety and depression aren’t disorders you can try on like a trendy pair of jeans. So, who would be better equipped to show anxiety and depression in a true-to-life way than someone with those very challenges? I’m pleased to have this platform to inform people about this misunderstood affliction. My goal is to entertain AND bust the stigma—one book at a time. If one person with anxiety or depression comes away after reading my books and feels understood and not alone, I’ve done my job.
Another ‘must’ present in my books—pop culture! Like me, my characters adore books, TV shows, music, theatre, and movies, and that love is shown on the page. My addictions to hockey and soccer, comic cons, food, and travel also show up here and there. You’ve got to write about what you love, right? Right! I often say, give me British milk chocolate, magazines, and tickets to a play, and I’m a happy girl.
I’m a proud member of the Author’s Guild, the Canadian Freelance Guild, and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I’m also the creator of AUTHORS CELEBRATING AUTHORS, a column in my blog featuring Q&As with my favourite authors. Christina Lauren, Jill Santopolo, Karen Swan, and Penelope Douglas have been among my esteemed guests.
LONDON BELONGS TO ME, my debut novel released in October 2016, was chosen as one of eight honourable mention winners in the mainstream/literary category of the 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. If you want to read more about how this contemporary coming-of-age story almost didn’t happen, check out my blog post about how the book came to be.
My second book, LONDON, CAN YOU WAIT?, published in October 2017, won the 2019 prize for WOMEN’S FICTION from the Indie Reader Discovery Awards, the GOLD MEDAL in the ROMANCE category of the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards, received an Indie Brag Medallion, *and* was a finalist in the 2019 Las Vegas Romance Writers ‘I Heart Indie’ Awards. It can be read as a stand-alone novel; however, if you’ve read LONDON BELONGS TO ME, you will have a deeper understanding of the characters and their world in LONDON, CAN YOU WAIT?. Because there are more sexy times in LCYW, I would recommend it for readers 18+.
UNTIL THE LAST STAR FADES, was released in November 2018 and earned me the title of 2019 BEST CANADIAN AUTHOR at the Toronto chapter of the Romance Writers of America’s Northern Hearts awards. UNTIL THE LAST STAR FADES won the ROMANCE category at the 2019 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARDS held by the Independent Author Network and was also a triple award finalist in not one, but three Romance Writers of America chapters including Contemporary Romance Writers, Toronto Romance Writers, and the Las Vegas Romance Writers. It’s a standalone contemporary romance/women’s fiction novel with new characters, however, it takes place in the same world as my previous books…in other words, it’s a companion novel and there might be people, places, and things in UNTIL THE LAST STAR FADES that ring a bell (and hopefully, bring a smile to your face) if you’ve read LBTM & LCYW. If you’re a goner for a friends-to-lovers romance set in NYC featuring a strong American heroine, a fun-loving Brit hero, and an unbreakable bond between a mother and her daughter, UNTIL THE LAST STAR FADES is for you!
SAY HELLO, KISS GOODBYE will be released on November 26, 2020. This contemporary romance is a switch on the traditional flings trope. Leia, a sustainable fashion designer and recent divorcee, wants no strings sex with zero emotional attachments or pillow talk, while wealthy British property developer Tarquin is searching for The One. SAY HELLO, KISS GOODBYE is a heartfelt, sex-positive story with both mental health and accessibility reps amongst the lead and secondary characters. It’s told in alternating third person and whisks the reader off to London, New York City, and the Orkney Islands of Scotland. It’s also really sexy!
Want to discuss my books and hang out with the coolest, most fun booklovers around? Join Keeganites United, my private Facebook group. It’s the place to make new bookish friends, get breaking book news before anyone else, and enter exclusive contests.
Anything else you would like to know? Drop me an email via my contact page or reach out on social media (links are on this page). I love hearing from readers and seeing your beautiful book photos—I often share your photos on my social media. It really is my favourite thing ever. 🙂
If you want to check out my other work, visit my freelance writing portfolio featuring articles on health, fitness, travel, pop culture, and pets.
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