24 March 2011

Getting to know you Thursdays with Jeanette Grant-Thomson with giveaway

Today I would like you to welcome Australian author Jeanette Grant-Thomson on my blog. A friend sent me a one of Jeanette's book hoping I would review it on my blog and I am happy to review it and also have Jeanette visit.

  1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I am a mature aged sincere Christian – a writer, speech and drama teacher and pray-er. I grew up in Brisbane a non-Christian and was converted to Christianity in my mid twenties. Since then I have worked as a high school English teacher, then a private speech and drama teacher and a writer.  I am involved in prayer ministry too.

  1. When you were a child did you have a favourite books or books? 
L M Montgomery’s Emily books. I read them many times and identified with Emily’s struggles and triumphs as she set out to become a writer.

     3. Do you have a favourite genre to both read and write?

I love writing anything, even shopping lists. I mainly write biographies and women’s fiction (usually Christian, but not always.) I love a variety of reading, no special genre.

  1. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you? 
Yes. Judith Wright, T S Eliot and various other poets. I loved reading and writing poetry as a child and teenager. I also enjoyed romantic fiction, especially Georgette Heyer.

  1. When did you know you wanted to be an author? 
When I was about seven, I wrote my first “poem” – a four line verse
about going to school. It was then that I began to envisage becoming an author of some sort, although all through my childhood and teens I expected to be a poet!

  1. How did you go about becoming an author? 
When I wrote that first poem, my father made me a little exercise book, with ‘Jeanette’s poems’ on the front. I quickly filled it with poems, some corny and some quite good for a child. My father also encouraged me to submit poems and essays to the Daily Telegraph and to enter essay competitions in the Sunday Mail, and I was fortunate enough to have most of these published.

During my high school and university years I attended several holiday creative writing courses, which were a lot of fun and very helpful. I continued to submit poems and short prose pieces to such publications as the university newspaper, and to attend creative writing groups. During this time the input from university professors convinced me that writing poetry was not my forte (I was devastated!) and that I should stick mainly to prose. I began to find that prose-writing is fun. I also wrote and directed a short film which was selected for the Sydney film festival.

My conversion to Christianity brought a change in the material I wrote. My church asked me to write Sunday School books, also tracts. After a while I began to write articles (testimonies) for the Teen Challenge newsletter. One of these was Jodie’s story, which moved me so deeply that I later wrote it in more detail as my first book. Its publication led to my being asked to write further books.

  1. If you were not a writer, what would you like to be? 
Well, I also teach speech and drama, so I guess that would be it! It’s a lot of fun and I get to read some very good literature for my pupils to use. I love acting and teaching it. 

8. Outside reading and writing, what do you like to do?

I love having coffee or meals with friends, walking on the beach or in the bush, swimming, and prayer meetings. How’s that for a smorgasbord?

  1. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit? 
I love Tamborine and the North Coast and go to either whenever I have the opportunity. I would love to visit England, the Greek Islands, and parts of Africa.

  1. If you could have a meal with 3 living people, who would you choose and why? 
Well, putting aside my friends, with whom I love having meals, if it could be anyone on earth, I’d like to get together Rolland and Heidi Baker and Steven Spielberg. Rolland and Heidi are highly intelligent and educated Christians, who are working  with the poorest of the poor in Mozambique. They see radical miracles, including people being raised from the dead.  Steven Spielberg is the founder of the Shoah foundation, which preserves the testimonies of survivors of the holocaust. His brilliantly directed films include The Colour Purple and Schindler’s List (Apparently he requested no payment for the latter.) I would hope the Bakers’ spiritual passion and Spielberg’s intense creativity would rub off on me. And who knows, perhaps Spielberg would decide to make a film of their work with in Mozambique!

The books I have currently in the shops are:
 Jodie’s Story, my first book. It has been a best seller – the true story of a heroin addict and prostitute who was converted to Christianity and freed from her former lifestyle (including the drugs). It’s an easy read – three hours – and is a great evangelistic tool. Teen Challenge Qld still use it in their ministry twenty years after its initial publication.

 Also Mirage, a novel inspired by various true stories. At the beginning the heroine is enmeshed in a cult and pregnant to the cult leader. The book follows her exit from the cult and her journey with her baby and a friend to her home, Christianity and happiness. It is a helpful book for readers to learn to distinguish between cults and Christianity as well as being a good story.

Both books are usually available in Koorong or Word, but can easily be obtained from me at jeanettegt@optusnet.com.au. I don’t have a website yet but can be contacted by email.
Jodie's story is also available at Amazon.

In the previous post I have put a review of Mirage.

I am giving away my copy of Mirage to one commenter on my blog. This is an open giveaway. To enter please leave a comment
on this post by Sunday April 3 at 6pm South Australian time with a way to contact you.  Leave your email as myemail (@) myemail (.) com to avoid spammers.


Tami said...

I sure enjoyed getting better aquainted with author Jeanette Grant-Thomson! I'm adding Mirage to my reading list.

Maggie Munce said...

Wow Jenny, two great books. Would love to read both 'Jodie's Story' and also mirage.
As you know, Chris was in Teen Challenge for a short time, in Toowoomba QLD.
Jeanette certainly sounds like a aldy I'd like to know. Loved reading about her here.
I have been to Tamborine Mountain. It is behind the Gold Coast, in the hinterland. So beautiful there.

Ausjenny said...

Hi Tami and Maggie thanks for stopping by Maggie Jeanette is a fellow Queenslander like you.
and I think you would love the stories.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments, Tami and Maggie.

Maggie,I wrote the Teen Challnege newsletter 2983-4. That's how I got to know Jodie.

Anonymous said...

OH dear, this is Jeanette. I'm not used to blogging! I clicked 'anonymous'. that was me above!

Maggie Munce said...

Hi Jeanette,

Lovely to meet you. I'm not used to blogging either. These comments are the first time I have done it as well. So I understand.

We live on the Sunshine Coast, QLD. My son spent a short time at Teen Challenge, Toowoomba a few years ago. I have also read some of David Wilkinson's books. What a wonderful program Teen Challenge is.

PurlingPenny said...

Thanks for this interview Jenny. I always enjoy "meeting" the person behind the pen. I wonder if Jeannette's books are available here in Canada? I've got my eyes peeled now. We support Teen Challenge here...... so we are connected! I must read Jodie's Story. I love to read about the redemptive work of Christ. God bless!

Nancy Sanders said...

this sounds really interesting. thanks for the interview

Vicki said...

Hi Jeannette, Your books look awesome. True-to-life stories about new Christians always get my attention. It must be pure pleasure to know your books have touched so many lives.

Victoria Bylin

Jeanette said...

Thanks for all your comments. Yes, it's an incredible blessing to know my books are being used to reach people.
Maggie, I used to live in Nambour. Loved it there.
Re Jodie'S STory being available in Canada, Regent College Publishing put out an editon which should still be available in Christain bookstores if you were to order it.It's a different cover but same book.
Thanks for your interest, everyone.

Ann Lee Miller said...

Mirage sounds fascinating! I'd love to win. :) Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

Jo said...

Sounds like a great book to read and one that I am adding on to my list of books. Would love to win a copy of it.


Penny Zeller said...

Hi Jeannette ~ I enjoyed reading your interview and your books look great. Please enter me for a chance to win!

Penny Zeller

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy the interviews with the authors, its neat getting to know them better! And this sounds like a great read1

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