The Jodie books

Diane Fagan

ABOUT ME... I was born in northern Canada where the temperatures in winter can drop to minus 25 or 30 on many winter days. That’s pretty cold! So when I got the opportunity to teach school in Australia, I jumped at the chance, and jumped on a plane for Sydney!

I taught Primary school for a few years, and then stopped when I got married and started raising children, 4 of them! When the kids were all at school, I taught English as a Second language, to children of all ages. I loved meeting children from different cultures and backgrounds, and still do.

I’ve always loved books and reading, and when I was young, I used to sit on the shelf in my bedroom closet, hiding away and reading books. I even studied English literature at University, so writing followed on from my reading, and became second nature to me.

I never thought that I’d publish a book! I wrote short stories for adults and children, and even had some published, but something always was at the back of my mind to write a children’s book.

My husband introduced me to sailing and when we moored our boat after a day of sailing, I’d gaze at the boatshed connected with the marina, and imagine a girl living upstairs surrounded by water and boats. The idea kept niggling away in the back of my mind, until I finally realized that I had to sit down and put it all on paper. And so the series about Jodie Jackson was born!

I absolutely LOVE living in Australia. What could be better than sun, sea, sand, swimming and sailing! I like sushi too!

My hobbies are: sailing of course! getting out in nature, travelling, meditating , and golfing.

I also love my little corgi dog, who keeps me company on my walks! And my kids too of course!

Sydney has so many beautiful bays, with lots of boatsheds tucked at the ends of sheltered coves. We’d drop anchor in some of these spots and sleep on the boat, listening to the waves lapping against the topsides, and falling asleep to the gentle rocking motion.

In my reveries, I pictured a girl who loved sailing, and was adventurous, and courageous, who loved the outdoors and cared about the environment. I also wanted her to face challenges like kids do today, to make it realistic. And I wanted her to be strong and determined and not succumb when things got tough.

I’m also a strong believer in life after death. Lots of people have lost that sense of purpose and I think that we’re all here for our own special journey, and when we die, we go back to that beautiful place where we came from. I want to give children hope, especially those who have lost a mother or father, a sister or even a pet. To believe that our souls never die; that we come here to learn a life lesson, and be the best we can be on our beautiful planet Earth.

Blog notes from Diane

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

This is a quote by E.E. Cummings, a famous poet, and he’s saying that kids are facing pressure from their peers and media influences, and it takes determination to be the kind of person that you want to be.

It’s always tough being a child. I know what it’s like , for I too had challenges. Not only was I younger than my classmates, but I was short, and then when I skipped a grade, I felt really out of it! I felt I always had to try and catch up with my peers-they were always prettier, smarter, more mature than me. In truth, I felt like someone on the outer. A loser!

It took me a long time to realize that the popular girls weren’t as confident and composed as they appeared to be. That actually, they were often just as insecure , only they were better at hiding it!

That’s why I like to have a positive message in my books. Jodie faces challenges as well, but she perseveres and keeps going, never giving up.

I feel it’s important that Jodie can be a positive role model for kids and also have wonderful adventures too!

Favourite books ; Matilda, Pippi Longstocking, Judy Blume books, Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars, and CS Lewis books about Narnia, where there are strong male and female child characters.

Kids are the best!

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