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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

ℚ Making Headlines - Jennifer Hansen

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about her debut novel, Making Headlines (, Impulse Australia, 259 pages), a Contemporary Fiction tale.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


Hello Jennifer!  Welcome to BooksChatter and thank you for being with us today.

What was the inspiration for Making Headlines?

"I worked in the television news industry for more than twenty years.  After I left, I took up the RMIT Professional Writing and Editing course in Melbourne (Victoria, AUSTRALIA) – completing the Diploma after focusing on the subject of Creative Writing.  As new novelists, we were always encouraged to write about a world we knew well, for our first book.
So I thought it would be interesting to examine what many believe to be an aspirational career – that of a female TV newsreader – but to also look at the challenges women face in this often male-dominated world."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I have had to be careful to make sure all my characters are completely fictional, so as not to upset any one that I may have worked with in the industry.  At the same time, I didn’t want to compromise my desire to tell a story that also examines the way bosses can abuse their power in any work situation to make life difficult for those working under them.

I wanted to show people – women in particular – that no matter who you are and what position you hold – your satisfaction in your job and your self-esteem can be greatly diminished if someone treats you badly or bullies you.

I had many wonderful bosses in the TV industry so this is not a message directed at anyone in real life – rather an exploration of a theme.  I have witnessed though, other people being treated badly and have had to deal with a couple of tricky situations myself."
I wish I didn't know what you are talking about... good on you for exploring this topic!

The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Making Headlines - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.

"I wanted an illustrated cover rather than a photographic image – largely because I didn’t want people to think the story was an autobiography.

I felt a stylized image of a woman with a shadowed face was perfect – also allowing the reader to use their own imagination to define how Rachel would appear to them.  I wanted it to be stylish and elegant, and also to make an impact.  I think the bold use of the fluorescent pink with black and grays achieves that.

The Harper Collins graphics studio presented me with several options put together by Michelle Payne and she did a fabulous job, giving me exactly what I was looking for."
Why should we read Making Headlines and what sets it apart from the rest?
"I’m not sure there are many television newsreaders out there who have written a novel, so I guess that gives me an advantage – being able to bring readers a very clear and real representation of what goes on behind the scenes in the TV industry.  Even though the characters are fictional, I have an absolute understanding of the inner workings of the game, so it’s a very accurate depiction on many levels, from a basic operational level to career hierarchy."
Can you tell us something quirky about Making Headlines, its story and characters?
"The main characters name is Rachel Bentley.  That took a bit of thought…  I didn’t want the name to sound anything like Jennifer, but given there are some elements of the book that are drawn on from real life, I did want to feel a connection to the main character’s name.  Many, many years ago – when I was much younger – people would occasionally say I looked a little bit like Jennifer Aniston.  This was very flattering and I’m sure Ms Aniston would have been horrified, but as Rachel is much better looking than I am, I thought it would be funny to give her the name of the character Jennifer Aniston played in the long-running TV series, FRIENDS.

I wanted her surname to be classy but also a little wacky.  I thought Bentley sounded a bit like the classy Bentley vehicle, but like the fact that in also contains the word ‘bent’.  There are some twisted scenarios, after all!"
If you could / wished to turn Making Headlines into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Ah, what an exciting question!  As well as books, I’m a huge movie buff.  I’m sure many people might – at first glance – want to put my story into the ‘chick lit’ genre and allocate a ‘Sex and the City’ director, like Michael Patrick King – I’d nominate Quentin Tarantino.  I’d love to see his take on a different type of ruthless world – as opposed to the wild west or gangland crime."
What is in store next?
"I’m working on a new novel in a different genre.  It’s another romance, but this time set in a supernatural world.  This time, it’s a story completely from the imagination.  In fact, the idea came to me in a dream.  I don’t want to talk about it too much before it’s finished but suffice to say the working title is BLACK ANGELS."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"If you like watching Australian TV series, you might be interested to know that I’m married to an actor – ALAN FLETCHER – who has played the role of Dr Karl Kennedy in the long-running series, NEIGHBOURS – for twenty years.


And while I love our two children, our two dogs, Teddy and Lola are our babies.  Teddy is a pedigree West Highland Terrier and Lola is a mix of Pomeranian and Maltese and something else!  Here are two photos that show them before and after their grooming sessions. "

Hello Teddy and Lola! You are so cute!  And posing :-)  Lots of belly rubs for you!  I love your little coats :-D
Thank you for sharing them with us, Jennifer, and best wishes with your new and future releases!

Making Headlines
Available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

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