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Jenny Quintana Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Missing Girl (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Our Dark Secret (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jenny Quintana is a British mystery author that made her name with the publishing of her debut novel “The Missing Girl.” She was brought up in Berkshire and Essex and always dreamt of becoming an author. She went to Queen Mary in London and studied English Literature and then got a PGCE from Goldsmiths. Before she became a professional author she was a teacher at an East London secondary school in addition to stints in Athens and Seville. Coming back home to England, she started writing course books for teaching English as a Foreign Language. During this time, she won several awards for her short fiction which ignited her desire to pursue her passion in fiction writing. Quintana attended the creative writing course by Curtis Brown where she got the inspiration to brush up and complete her debut novel “The Missing Girl” that she went on to publish in 2017.

Jenny had always wanted to become an author since she was a child. Growing up in Berkshire and Essex she was the only girl and youngest of five siblings. She was a shy and quiet child that spent much of her time reading and writing stories. Her parents took her to bookshops and libraries and helped her pick out books as they sought to encourage her reading habits. Most importantly, they had the belief that she would one day become a professional author. She started out strongly even as a child as she sent out short stories and letters to newspapers and wrote comics that her parents bought off her. She also wrote a detective short story inspired by the Agatha Christie novels. But just like many children, her passion, confidence and enthusiasm faded as she grew into adulthood. Still, when she went to university she decided to study something to do with writing and hence took courses in English and literature. As a graduate teacher, some of the best things she loved about her job teaching secondary school students was their creativity. Nonetheless, she could not find time to write as teaching can be all-consuming and she did not have the confidence to write.

Jenny’s journey to authorship began in earnest when she came back from abroad and got her first child. She realized that she had to write if she was to fulfill her dreams. She sat down on her computer and wrote a few stories that went on to win some prizes on competitions and be featured in literary magazines. With her confidence bolstered, she started writing more, particularly in painful and dark themes that focused on the terrible things that affected ordinary people. She started and failed to complete several titles and even failed to get any interest in two that she completed. Jenny then took a step back and her characters finally came to her. They were two sisters with an incredibly strong bond and very different personalities. Gabriella was the popular and beautiful one while the younger named Anna was the sensitive and thoughtful type. She then put them in the context of the village and family they came from. Next, she made Anna the protagonist that would have something horrible happen to her that she was forced to deal with forever. Once she had her characters, she then went to the news to find the tragic things that happen to people, particularly teenagers and children who have to deal with life-changing tragedies. She made it all about Anna who faced such tragedy and how she tries to cope as an adult several years after the tragic events.

And so she began to write seeking to write a compelling mystery to make her readers want to turn the pages but also tell a story of terrible circumstance after the disappearance of one of the girls. Even with the main notion of the novel in her head, it was not until two years later that she got published. Despite discouragements and setbacks, she kept pressing on, writing every day that she could find the time. It was quite the feat since she held a day job and also had to take care of her children. For inspiration, she took a writing course where she got a chance to share her ideas with her fellow students and teachers. Over the course of the writing, the plot changed a lot though her characters and the central idea remained the same. It took several years before she was a published author but she asserts that looking back, she always had the characters lurking in her stories and scribblings. They were waiting for her to get the confidence to bring their voices to light which she finally did in 2017 with “The Missing Girl.”

Jenny Quintana’s “The Missing Girl” is a novel that tells the story of a twelve-year-old named Anna Flores and Gabriella her fifteen-year-old sister with whom she is very close. The two girls had always been very close but Gabriella who is now a teenager has been changing as she does the loud music, makeup and all things associated with teenage years. This means that they spend less time together. But then Gabriella goes missing one afternoon when they were supposed to meet their father changing her life forever and destroying the family. Three decades, later Anna’s mother’s best friend tells her that her mother is dead. She is hit by a sense of guilt having spent more than three years without visiting her home. Anna now has to go back home where her grief would not only be about her mother but also about Gabriella. As she sorts through her mother’s things, the memories from their childhood overwhelm her especially the question of what exactly had happened to her sister. She could not move forward without knowing her sister’s fate. But after all these years could she still be alive?

Jenny Quintana’s “Dark Secret” is about two girls, two decades of silence and two deaths. The girls have always victimized Elizabeth who was overweight and clever, which made her the favorite target for the bullies. Things changed when Rachel a beautiful and bright girl had come to the school and for Elizabeth, she at last had a friend she could relate to. Rachel wanted Elizabeth as her friend but had her own reasons for it. While it was not an equal relationship, Elizabeth loved Rachel and would have done anything for her. Things got complicated when a dead body was discovered. Two decades later, Elizabeth would do anything to ensure the secrets she has kept since her teenage years remain in the past where they belong. But she cannot keep running from the events of her teenage years.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jenny Quintana

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