Aunt Jenny and the Delayed Quest

Aunt Jenny, small

Aunt Jenny and the Delayed Quest is my first novel set in the Halflands. It tells the story of Jennifer Winston, retired nurse, librarian and athletics coach at the prestigious Winston Academy for Girls, who finds herself on an epic journey into the Halflands.

Known to one and all as “Aunt Jenny”, Jennifer is not the sort of person who usually gets caught up in adventures, let alone heroic quests straight out of high fantasy. No, she’s got lots to keep her busy these days: gardening, long walks on the family estate, conquering her prodigious ‘to be read’ pile, tutoring and socializing with ‘her girls’—the students and faculty at the school. At least that's how it was until May Day, when the package arrived.


Aunt Jenny - Revised again+Rudy-200x300 At least until I have a better idea as to how Aunt Jenny is going to be published, I'm not ready to publish excerpts or snippets, but I would like to give potential readers at least a bit of an introduction to the story, the world and the characters. My solution for this is to create a serious of short standalone pieces under the rubric “Meanwhile…”. The first of these, which takes place shortly after the opening of the book is: “Meanwhile… Missing Persons”. I hope you enjoy it.

Little Jenny

Aunt Jenny is not the first Jennifer Winston to visit the Halflands. About 120 years ago, her Great Aunt Jenny, the ten year-old girl who became known as Litte Jenny also traveled to the Halflands and had a number of adventures there. Little Jenny joined the likes of Alice, Dorothy Gale and Wendy Darling when those adventures were retold by Cassandra Montclair in the “Little Jenny’s Journeys” books.

How we got here

About a year ago, a friend on Facebook linked to an earlier Tumblr post and comment that went like this:

December 16, 2015
The Brooding YA Hero  @broodingYAhero  Jul 31
It’s amazing how many prophecies involve teens. You’d think they’d pick more emotionally stable people, with more free time. Like grandmas.
…I would read the hell out of a series of a chosen eighty-five-year-old woman who goes on epic journeys throughout a dangerous and magical land, armed only with a cane and her stab-tastic knitting needles, accompanied by her six cats and a skittish-yet-devoted orderly who makes sure she takes her pills on time.

That evening, the Halflands found their heroine. Aunt Jenny came to me and insisted, rather strenuously, on telling her story. She’s nearly 20 years younger than grandma, has only two cats and a dog, and traveled with a high school senior, not an orderly, but she did bring her knitting.

Where Next?

As it stands at the moment I’ve completed chapter sixteen, more than 80% of the novel, according to my outline, and—with the aid of stalwart friends and beta readers—gotten both feedback and some first pass copy editing. It’s well enough along, and the outline is solid enough, that I know I can finish it. That means that I need to start looking for an agent, editor or publisher who’ll show some interest in it, or failing that, I need to figure out how to go about self-publishing it.

That brings us to this website, and the calling cards that may have brought you to it. If the story sounds interesting to you, and you’d like to see it published, I’d very much appreciate any help you can provide in getting it on its way. If you’re an agent, editor or publisher, please, drop me a line. If you know any of those, would you help put us in touch? Finally, I’d be more than grateful for anyone to link to this page, or ask for a couple of my business cards. Write me with sagely advice, or just encouragement.

The artwork used to illustrate Aunt Jenny on this website was created using Jeff Hebert’s HeroMachine 3 web app. It is not intended as the definitive or final representation of the characters, but is a handy visual aid. My thanks to Jeff for the app.

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