Lancaster woman pens first sci-fi novel
Fantasy and science fiction writer Jenny Collyer has gone from Zero to hero with the publication of her first novel.
Zero was launched at a science fiction convention in Hull on Saturday, August 16 – a huge day for Jenny who has aspired to be a published novelist since childhood.
She said: “It’s so exciting. I’ve been writing stories since I was little.
“I like the escapism of fantasy, sci-fi and horror fiction. I like reading it and I like writing it.
“I was working on a fantasy novel when a small independent publisher called Daga approached me.
“I wrote Zero over a few months. I have loved writing it.”
By day Jenny works in admin support for the North Lancashire Stop Smoking Service at Slyne Road in Lancaster, and in her own time she is a prolific blogger, short story writer and novelist.
Jenny, 29, who is originally from Shrewsbury and lives in Lancaster, studied Creative Writing at BA and MA level at Lancaster University.
She said: “I started taking writing more seriously when I did my Masters in Creative Writing at Lancaster University.”
Jenny, who writes under the pen name of J S Collyer, describes the novel as a “dystopian post-apocalyptic” tale following the adventures of the crew of the spaceship Zero.
She said: “I wanted it to feel like it was something that could really happen.
“It’s not hardcore sci-fi. It’s more accessible than that.
“It’s a story that just happens to be set in space. It’s all about how the characters cope with the explosive situation they’re caught in. I wanted them all to feel real, though none of the characters are based on real people.
“It has been really well received so far. Reviewers have said you don’t have to be a hardcore sci-fi nut to like it.
“Star Wars was a big influence on me. As a teenager I was into Japanese films and Manga. Star Wars is cowboys and Indians in space; Zero is pirates in space.”
Jenny joined the NHS in 2008 and worked at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary before moving to the Stop Smoking Service.
The acclaimed Lancaster novelist, Jo Baker, was Jenny’s tutor at Lancaster University.
Jenny added: “Jo has been a great inspiration to me. She is lovely and is still very encouraging.”
Jenny will be promoting her book Zero at an event at the Novel Café in Lancaster on Saturday, August 23, from 10am to 4pm.
She added: “Do swing by the Novel Café and say hello. Come for the space pirates, stay for the cake!”
*Zero is published by Daga Publishing and is available to buy on Amazon. It can also be ordered at Waterstones.