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Grantham teacher writes first book at 26

Jessica Collett
Jessica Collett

A Grantham trainee teacher has published her first novel at the age of 26.

Born-and-bred in Grantham, Jessica Collett attended Walton Girls’ School and Grantham College.

She studied history at the University of East Anglia in Norwich before taking a copywriting job in Coningsby.

She said: “Writing was always something I enjoyed. I used to write my school newletter. I started copywriting as a bit of work on the side, which led to a job after graduation. I have always liked writing, doing stories and coming up with ideas.”

Jessica worked with the Book Guild in Leicester to get it published.

She began writing it three to four years ago and it was published on March 28.

She said: “It’s about a girl from Grimsby who was evacuated in 1940 to a falling down house in Derbyshire. She lives with the lady of the house and her granddaughter and there is a big family secret.”

Jessica says the book is inspired by an eccentric real-life family and like the main character, she was a bit of a tomboy.

“I wrote and edited it while caring for my father who had terminal cancer. It gave me an outlet. There’s a lot in the book about grief and the passage of time and how to cope with grief in a healthier way.”

It’s early days, but the book has made the top 100,000 of six million books sold on Amazon.

Jessica says she would like to write a sequel once she has her teaching degree.

She has kindly donated two books as a prize.

To enter, answer the question: What was the official name of the operation to evacuate civilians in the UK in the Second World War?Email your answers to comment@granthamJournal.co.uk or send to Grantham Journal, St Peter’s House, St Peter’s Hill. Grantham, NG31 6QB by Wednesday May 2.


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