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Coffee chat - Jeanette O'Hagan and writing for Like A Girl anthology

photo courtesy FreeDigitalImages.Net

Today I'd like to welcome to Jeanette O'Hagan to my blog. Jeanette is here to talk about her writing and to launch of Like A Girl anthology.
Review at the bottom of the page.

ALSO - WIN print copy. 3 copies up for grabs. Entry form at the bottom of the page.

D L : How do you have your coffee, and what is your favourite time of the day to partake? 

JEANETTE: I do coffee two ways. Most days I just drink 3 cups of Moccona(milk without sugar) but I love a Mugachino on Lactose free milk when chatting with friends. The first cup in the morning often tastes the best, though enjoying one in excellent company adds an extra zing to the day.

D L: Why did you submit a story to this anthology?


JEANETTE: I love writing stories and I’m passionate about girls and women getting a fair go in life. I can remember when I was five being devastated at getting a Doll’s Tea Set for Christmas while my two brothers got Tonka trucks. We were an inseparable trio looking for adventures together. My dad encouraged me to pursue knowledge and education, which I did and have never regretted it. So for me, Like A Girl is for a great cause — supporting girls’ education, nurturing and encouraging their abilities to make a difference in the world.

D L: As a child, is there a woman who influenced you? How did she help shape you into the woman you are today?

JEANEATTE: Well, of course my mum but also my dad’s older sister, Aunt Kath. When our family lived in Africa, I lived with Aunt Kath for a year. She was single, she left school at 13 but eventually became a kindergarten teacher and the hub of our extended family — never forgetting a birthday, even down to the grand-nieces and nephews. I found her love for a cuppa, quiet faith and openness to life inspiring.

D L: If you could tell your teen self just one piece of advice, what would it be?

JEANETTE: Not to worry so much about how things will turn out — and to relax, your parents love you and you have lots of great qualities that make you a good friend.

D L: What are you currently working on?

JEANETTE: I’m in throes of finishing the third book in an unpublished fantasy trilogy – Mannok’s Betrayal. TheAkrad’s Legacy trilogy(including Akrad’s Children and Rasel’s Song) follows the adventures, friendships, loves and rivalry of five young people caught up in Tamrin courtly intrigue, assassination attempts and border skirmishes between Tamra and their fierce northern neighbours.

D L: Which writer/s influences your writing?

JEANETTE: Both C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien inspired my imagination as a child and I’m sure my world and stories owe them a great debt. I’ve enjoyed reading a great many writers over the years (Blyton, Austen, Asimov, Christie, Dickens, Heyer, Lessing, Long etc). I think Anne MaCaffrey and Julian May have most likely influenced my writing. A few readers have suggested my WIPs have some similarities to George R R Martin or Robert Jordan. I’ve just started exploring Martin’s books (I’m currently reading A Clash of Kings) — I can see some parallels though significant differences as well. Jordan is on my to-read list.

D L: How many print books do you have in your house?

JEANETTE: Too many to count— I can tell you how many bookcases we have — eleven — and then there are the book piles all around my room (I need another bookcase, but where to put it?) —so at least 500, possibly over 1000 print books.

D L: Because this is a coffee chat, I also must know, if you came to my house for coffee/tea would I have to put out a cake or biscuits for you?

JEANETTE: Well, only if you wanted to —I do like to have a snack with my coffee, but as I have a wheat allergy, the cake and biscuits would need to be wheat free.

Thanks for inviting me for a chat over coffee. It’s been fun.


Jeanette O’Hagan enjoys writing fantasy, poetry, blogging and editing. She is currently writing her Akrad’s Legacy Series— a Young Adult secondary world fantasy fiction with adventure, courtly intrigue and romantic elements. She has short stories and poems published in Tied in Pink romance anthology (December 2014) and Poetica Christi’s Inner Child (July 2015), in several upcoming anthologies, and on her website Jeanette O'Hagan Writes. 

She has a medical degree, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Theology and has completed her Master of Arts (Writing) with Swinburne University of Technology in June 2015. Jeanette loves reading, painting, travel, catching up for coffee with friends and pondering on the meaning of life. She lives in Brisbane with husband, two school-aged children and two cats.

Tied in Pink (Romance anthology for Breast Cancer Research)

Her websites: 
Twitter:  @JeanetteOHagan
Pinterest :

Since I have contributed a story to Like A Girl anthology, my review is written around the concept of the book and reasons to buy it. The brief was to write a story with the theme of "helping girls stay in school". PLAN Australia is using the proceeds of the book to help fund education in countries where girls are denied it through poverty. So all the stories feature some element of learning from a mother, issues around running away from home, problem solving on a space ship, lessons on a violin, or outwitting an age old problem that could lead to a war.

All the stories are well written, with characters and plots and well rounded stories. Many of the stories are told in a child or young adult's point of view, but not all are. I guess that if girls and teens are going to be the target audience then it makes sense to make the characters girls and teens.

What's truly beautiful about this anthology is the message it sends to girl, boys, women and men. While the heroes in these tales are all females, this isn't a chick's book. It's a must read for both male and female.

Girls and women should read it to know they are supported with whatever decision they make in life or whatever journey they take. The tales in Like A Girl will no doubt inspire girls to make an effort to become educated and thus improve their lives.

Boys and men should read it to see that woman can be strong and still be sweet. It's a bit like it you want a boy to grow up and treat a woman as an equal then don't let him see women doing everything for men. It's worth the read. And if it inspires you to take that new job or take that trip or book that course or simply stay in school, then we authors have achieved our brief of improving the lives of women.

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