During this week, I’m putting the spotlight on some of my favourite female authors. These are the ‘Renaissance Women’ that not only write amazing books, but who are also legendary in their own right: making statements, fighting for causes and dazzling us with their wide range of talents. Check out yesterday’s post on the inspiring Gennifer Albin.
Today I’m raving about Jessica Bell, author of Bitter Like Orange Peel, The Book, Muted, The Hum of Sin Against Skin, String Bridge, the Writing in a Nutshell series and several poetry collections including Fabric. Find out more about her books here.
About Jessica: “If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she currently resides in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a 30-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, award-winning poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she’s written.”
Why she’s crush-worthy:
- Jessica is the co-publishing editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, an online journal that specialises in the Vignette-a form of writing rarely published. “Vignette” is a word that originally meant “something that may be written on a vine-leaf.” It’s a snapshot in words. It differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot. Instead, the vignette focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object. It’s descriptive, excellent for character or theme exploration and wordplay. Through a vignette, you create an atmosphere.”
- As well as being an award-winning poet, she’s also a singer, songwriter and guitarist. She’s the daughter of a ‘semi-famous rock ‘n’ roll duo from Melbourne’ and has recorded dozens of songs both with bands and as a solo artist. I was lucky enough to be able to download her album, Melody Hill: On the Other Side for free. She has a beautiful voice with a haunted quality and her music is amazing to chill out or meditate to.
- Her writing voice is just as unique as her singing voice. This sums it up quite nicely: “her literary voice is said to overflow with “lyrical descriptions, unique metaphors, tight dialogue, and an abundance of sensory detail.”
- She’s well-travelled. She grew up in Melbourne, Australia and now lives in Athens.
- She runs the annual Homeric Writer’s Retreat & Workshop.
- Her ‘Writing in a Nutshell’ series is an invaluable guide to avoiding some of the pitfalls that novice writers can fall into. She explains each process methodically and then offers ‘before and after’ examples that clearly demonstrate how you can improve your writing. Read my review of Show and Tell in Nutshell: Demonstrated Transitions from Telling to Showing here.
Have you read any of Jessica Bell’s books? Who are your top author girl crushes?