IT is not everyone who can sit down and pen a novel, however Jugiong local Stephanie James has done just that.
Her first book ‘A Black Rose For The Angels’ Share’ will be launched at the Sir George Tavern in Jugiong on Sunday, December 9.
Stephanie, who originally hails from Canada, moved to Jugiong with her husband Matt Butt (a born and bred Jugiong local) six and a half years ago. Recently the pair have been managing a sheep property at Boorowa, however they still call Jugiong home and plan to return to the town. When it was time to decide on a place to launch the book, there was nowhere else but Jugiong Stephanie wanted to be.
“Jugiong is such a charming community, it is hard not to fall in love with the community,” Stephanie said.
A Black Rose For The Angels’ Share is set in 1923 in eastern Canada, harking back to Stephanie’s home country, and deals with prohibition and the after effects of the Irish civil war.
Stephanie has always had a love of writing and began with poetry while she was still young.
During her university days she became involved with some political fundraising and her writing aspirations built from there.
Armed with this love of writing she decided when she moved to Australia it was time to release the novel she knew she had in her.
“If I had known what I was getting into before I started I probably never would have written that first page,” Stephanie laughs, before adding on a serious note that she is proud of what she has achieved and it is amazing to see the story she had in her head for so long come to life in the pages of a book.
“It is exciting to see the book come alive,” she said.
The book was essentially written from the property Stephanie and Matt are currently living at in Boorowa. She said there is no more inspiring venue to write than country NSW with her menagerie of dogs and other farm animals around.
While other budding writers can spend years toiling away sending their work to publishers, Stephanie was fortunate to have an Australian publishing house contact her directly after hearing she was working on a novel.
She had an editor guide her through the writing process.
Eventually Stephanie, with the backing of an investor, decided to self-publish the book.
Despite her pen name Stevi James now gracing the cover of her first novel, Stephanie said she still feels a little uncomfortable with the term ‘author’ preferring to think of herself as a ‘writer’.
“When you love what you do it is not really work, and I love to write,” Stephanie said.
The book will be launched by George Holm who runs the tavern at Jugiong with Stephanie’s husband Matt to also speak at the launch.
Canberra-based Irish folk band Cassidy’s Ceili will provide entertainment at the launch.
Stephanie said she is excited for people outside her immediate family to read the book.
“I’m really looking forward to it getting out there and getting feedback from different people,” she said.
Not one to step away from the writing process, Stephanie’s attention has already turned to her next book.
She recently returned from a trip to Paris to take in the sights and sounds of the French capital, all in the name of research of course.
Stephanie’s next novel will be set in the 1950s and revolve around the world of pin-up girls.
She said there was no hesitation whatsoever in throwing herself into this next project.
“Writing is not a job for me, I love it and if I can make a career out of it then it would be a dream come true,” Stephanie said.
If you are interested in attending the book launch please RSVP to the Sir George Tavern or email email@example.com for catering purposes. Otherwise simply pop in on the day to see what is sure to be start of a wonderful literary career for Jugiong’s Stephanie James. The launch will take place between 3pm and 6pm with the book available for sale.