Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published in The Irish Examiner on October 26th.
Beginner’s Pluck Jennifer Ridyard.
Jennie enjoyed an Idyllic South African childhood, unaware of apartheid. After school she had various jobs, including waitressing and nursing. She worked in a bank for years before becoming a journalist in 1994. After a stint in London, she became Lifestyle Editor for a South African National newspaper. She moved to Ireland in 2004 to be with John Connolly.
“I met John in 2000, when I interviewed him.”
She now works as a copy editor, and has written three unpublished manuscripts.
Who is Jennifer Ridyard?
Date of birth: 8th October, 1981, in Stockport, Manchester. “But I emigrated to South Africa when I was two years old.”
Education: A government school in Benoni, near Johannesburg. Jennie went to WITS university but left when she became pregnant in her first year.
Family: Partner, the writer John Connolly. Cameron, 22, and Alistair 15. Two rescue dogs, Sasha and Coco.
The Day Job: Fulltime writer/copywriter.
Interests: Dogs, cake and reading.
Favourite Writers: Jeffrey Eugenides; Chimamanda Adichie; Dennis Lehane and Marian Keyes.
Second Novel: “We’ve started writing the second in the series. We spend hours discussing it over dinner.”
Top Writing Tip: “Just do it. Don’t edit yourself all the time. Writers can get so caught up in the words that they forget about the story. The story and the characters are paramount.”
Web; www.chroniclesoftheinvaders.com Twitter: @JennieRidyard
The Debut: Conquest. Part One of the Chronicles of the Invaders. (With John Connolly.) Headline: €18.75 Kindle:€7.67.
Conquest shows a time when earth is ruled by the Illyra. Syl Hellais is the first Illyra to have been born on earth. She longs to escape her father’s stronghold. At 16, she saves the life of a human, Paul Kerr, and, cast out, her life changes for ever.
“John had the idea, but not enough time to write it. He gave me the beginning and the synopsis, I wrote it, and we both bashed it into shape.”
The Verdict: The first of a new series for teenagers. Original, funny, and beautifully written.
© Sue Leonard. 2013