Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Welcome to Musical Comedy Author - Jenny Worstall

I’m delighted to welcome Jenny Worstall to my blog.

Hello Jenny - When asked what your genre is, you told me: “romantic comedy, usually with plenty of music, so, musical romantic comedy, if that is a genre!”
Wow! I’ll have to research and see if there is indeed such a genre. Perhaps you are about to start a new trend in the romantic novel category. But before we hear about your latest release, Three Hundred Bridesmaids, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.

Arabella: Are there any organisations, writing or reader groups, you belong to? And, how do they support or help you in creating such wonderful, inspirational novels?
Jenny: I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association last year as a member of the New Writers' Scheme and was lucky enough to have my NWS manuscript published by The People’s Friend as a Pocket Novel in the spring of this year. I found the advice and encouragement offered by my NWS reader absolutely invaluable and I’m delighted to announce that my pocket novel, ‘Love And Lies’, is a contender for the Joan Hessayon Award this year.
I greatly enjoy going to the RNA chapter meetings – what fabulous talks we’ve had over the last year and a half. I have to say my first chapter meeting was just incredible – the pub which was our venue for the afternoon had ‘forgotten’ we were coming and was firmly closed. In the end, someone climbed up a ladder, got in via a first floor window, and made their way down the stairs to unlock the front door. Then it was drinks all round and a brilliant talk from Jean Fullerton. Truly memorable!
I’ve made many good friends at the RNA and through one of them, Viv Brown, was invited to join the Society of Women Writers and Journalists (SWWJ) earlier this year. This again is a fantastic organisation, so welcoming and nurturing. I was lucky enough to join during the 125th year of the organisation and we recently had a celebratory lunch at the Stationers’ Hall, with inspirational talks from Floella Benjamin and Kate Mosse. 

Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
Jenny: I read anywhere and everywhere, paperback or kindle – I also often listen to a talking book when I’m cooking or out running.

Arabella: In your latest release, Three Hundred Bridesmaids, who is your favourite character and why?
Jenny: The two main characters are Rosie Peach and David Hart, but my favourite character has to be Tristan Proudfoot, a rather badly behaved musician (is there another kind?). He also appears in my two self-published novels, ‘Make a Joyful Noise’ and ‘The Funny Business of Life’, but as an older man.
Tristan is a conductor with a mighty ego and personality, brilliant and talented, but prone to making selfish decisions and with a train wreck of a personal life. When we meet him in Three Hundred Bridesmaids he is at the beginning of his musical career, but we can see glimpses of the man he is to become.

Arabella: When writing a novel, how do you work? Are you a plotter or pantser?
Jenny: I always plot, marking out the lengths of each chapter with a rough idea of what will happen before I start to write, although it’s fair to say the end result is often far from what I had originally planned – but that’s OK!

Arabella: Which would you prefer to do: 1) spend a morning vigorously working out at the gym, 2) be pampered from head to toe at the spa and beauty salon, 3) indulge and pile on the pounds with a romantic dinner for two?
Jenny: I’m not a fan of the gym but I do love pilates and particularly yoga. Being pampered at a spa sounds fun but my natural love of food (greed!) means I’d go for the romantic dinner with my LSH (Long Suffering Husband).

Arabella: Which do you prefer to wear: beach shorts and top, a long evening skirt and blouse, pyjamas and slippers?
Jenny: I haven’t worn shorts for years, or pyjamas! So it would be the evening outfit – which would be black because it would mean I’m singing in a choral concert.
Choral singing has always been an important part of my life and I’ve been a member of various choral societies, including the BBC Symphony Chorus, where I met my husband. My blog is called ‘Sing with the Choir’ because my first two novels (‘Sing with the Choir’ series) are bursting with choral music. There’s a fair amount in Three Hundred Bridesmaids too!

Arabella: We all have a long list of books we keep meaning to read but never have the time for --- which book is a must read for you this summer?
Jenny: I had always meant to read Labyrinth by Kate Mosse and managed to finish it earlier this summer in time to hear her inspirational talk at the SWWJ. Now I need to find time to read the rest of her Languedoc trilogy.

Arabella: What about your future plans? Any books or series in the making?
Jenny: I plan to keep on writing short stories – I have had some success as a womag writer – and there’s an idea for a novel brewing away.

I had a great time answering your questions, Arabella! Thank you so much for inviting me to appear on your fabulous blog.

Jenny – thank you for taking time away from a busy writing schedule to entertain us on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat.
You gave some great answers and I’m still delving into the possibility of a “musical romantic comedy” genre. *Thought provoking.*
Best wishes and good luck with your latest release, Three Hundred Bridesmaids
Arabella Sheen

About Jenny Worstall

I started writing stories when I was on maternity leave, attending a local creative writing course. The first piece I shared with the group was about a baby monitor; my tutor liked it and suggested I sent it to The People’s Friend (which, shock horror! – I had never even heard of!). They liked it as well, suggested some changes which were duly made, then bought and published it. I was beyond excited at this point, as you can imagine. I carried on writing short stories, then found one of them grew into a novel. From then on, it was a bit of a challenge to find the time to write as life inevitably got very busy with work and family, but I persevered and managed to snatch moments here and there, finishing and self-publishing my first novel, Make a Joyful Noise, in 2012.
I recently retired from the job I’ve spent my whole adult life (so far!) doing – teaching music. I know I’m going to miss the buzz you get working with kids (think ‘School of Rock’ – if you haven’t seen this fab film about a music teacher, do so, tonight if possible – it’s totally awesome!) but at the same time I’m really looking forward to being able to spend a lot more time writing.

Jenny’s Social Media Links:

BOOK BLURB - Three Hundred Bridesmaids: a romantic comedy novella.


The opening scene of 'Three Hundred Bridesmaids' takes place on a remote Dorset hilltop in the middle of the blazing hot heatwave of 1976.
We travel back to 1975 and follow Rosie Peach as she starts her first job as a music teacher at Shaston Convent School. It is not long before she falls for the dashing David Hart, but he is haunted by his dark and troubled past and unable to give her the love she craves.
Rosie's friend and colleague, Grace Browning, cautions Rosie against David as a suitable partner, but what exactly are her motives and who is she intent on pursuing?
The situation is complicated by the arrival of Tristan Proudfoot, a conductor, who has romantic designs of his own.
A madcap trio of sixth form girls keep us entertained with their ludicrous antics while the drama unfolds and a cast of irrepressible nuns join forces with the redoubtable Miss Spiker to do their utmost to ensure the path of true love runs smoothly.
The final scene before we return to tender and touching events on the remote Dorset hilltop involves a plate of chocolate eclairs and iced buns, a fight on the Nuns' Lawn and a denouement quite possibly even more complicated and far-fetched than the average opera plot.

If you have read the novels 'Make a Joyful Noise' and 'The Funny Business of Life' by Jenny Worstall (Sing With The Choir Books 1 and 2), you will have met Tristan Proudfoot before, as an older man.

This story has been previously published in an edited version by The People's Friend ('Love And Lies' People's Friend Pocket Novel 883).

Release date: 18th July 2019


  1. Great interview, and thanks for the mention. Both the RNA and SWWJ are such lovely friendly organisations. I have met so many writers and learnt a lot from them. Well done on your award nomination.

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment, Viv. And yes, the RNA members are very friendly and supportive. I wouldn't know where I'd be today as a writer without them. :)

  2. Thanks Viv! They certainly are incredibly friendly.



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