Regular blog readers know each year I choose a word to live by. This year my word is ‘grow.’

From January to March, here’s how I ‘grew.’

Writing growth

In the last three months, I’ve had two new books published, Montana Reunion from Harlequin Heartwarming and The Sweetheart Locket from Orion Dash.

Carrie from Reading is My SuperPower says:

‘Montana Reunion…has it all – likable characters, a smooth writing voice, engaging layers…and a sweet-and-swoony romance!’

DJ Sakata from Books and Bindings called The Sweetheart Locket, my historical and women’s fiction debut:

‘An absorbing, heart-rending, and intriguing dual-timeline…between family members in WWII England and modern times. The storylines were original, engaging, well contrived, historically and culturally accurate.’

I’ve also written a draft of the sequel to Montana Reunion and planned another Second World War historical novel.

If you’ve yet to read my new books, get Montana Reunion here and The Sweetheart Locket here. If you’re on Goodreads, add them to your ‘want-to’ read shelf or ask your local library to order copies.

Growing my author profile

Thanks to two new books, I’ve also had unexpected publicity.

A journalist at my local newspaper wrote an article about me which was picked up by other Canadian and international news outlets including The Toronto Star for Canada’s largest online news site:

Author Jen Gilroy Signs Deals with Top Publishers

Personal growth

I bought a bicycle, my first in over twenty years, and as the weather warms, I’m looking forward to exploring my small-town world on two wheels.

During a long winter, I focused on improving my French language skills and can now watch (and understand!) French films with French rather than English subtitles. I also read my first French book since university, a fantastic contemporary women’s fiction title by Françoise Bourdin, a best-selling French author.

When life and writing come full circle

Long ago, I wrote several academic theses about tourism in places associated with writers.

As such, being featured in a tourism promotion about authors from my part of Ontario, Canada, including one who was a favourite of my maternal grandfather, is both special and surreal.

I’m #12 under 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Waterways: 15 Amazing Authors from South-Eastern Ontario

Just when I thought my life and writing couldn’t get more circular, a news article inspired by the piece in my local paper appeared with a questionable headline and giving me a new name: ‘Writer Jane Gilroy ties up with top publishers’

Jane Gilroy was my grandmother many generations back.

Born in Ireland, she came to Canada in the nineteenth century. From Jane to Mary Jane (pictured) and Sarah Jane, the name continued through to me since Jenny/Jennie (as I’m known by family) are diminutives of Jane.

Would that first Jane Gilroy be turning over in her grave or rolling with laughter at this twenty-first century usage of her name in a way she could never have imagined?

8 Comments

  1. Heidi Vanstone

    I like to think our ancestors had a good sense of humour, which would have been so essential to cope with the many ups and downs of pioneer life. Congratulations on your recent publicity- it is well-deserved!

    Reply
    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Heidi. I appreciate your good wishes. I also like to think that the first ‘Jane Gilroy’ would have laughed. From the little I know of her life, she indeed had many ups and downs and faced situations we in the twenty-first century would struggle with.

      Reply
  2. Deb Buxton

    Your growth is inspiring, Jane… I mean Jen. LOL I think the wonderful women of your family who came before you would find humor in the name slipup and be so proud of the journey you are on. Continued Best Wishes for many more writing achievements & accolades and enjoy exploring on your new bicycle!

    Reply
    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Deb. I appreciate you reading my blog post and your kind comment and good wishes. I’ll be sharing bicycle pictures on Facebook once I’m able to start riding. It’s still too cold here! Hugs, Jen/Jane 🙂

      Reply
  3. Jennifer Wilck

    Such an exciting three months! Love the bicycle (and of course, the books), and the name story is funny. Hope the next three months allow you to continue to grow in new and fun ways.

    Reply
    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Jennifer. I appreciate your kind comment and thanks for reading. As well as exciting, and after some rough times, it’s been a happy three months too and I’m grateful. I’ll be sharing some bicycle pictures on social media once it’s warm enough here for me to ride it. I bought a bicycle basket too so I can carry reading with me! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Susanna Bavin

    Firstly, many congratulations on the excellent and very highly deserved reviews of your two new titles. And thanks for sharing the snippet about unexpectedly becoming Jane. What a lovely coincidence that it ties in with your ancestor. It’s been an exciting few weeks for you and I hope all goes well with the next phase of your career.

    Reply
    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Susanna. I appreciate your good wishes and support in writing and life.

      Reply

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