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First successful novel for this Teesside graduate

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A TEESSIDE University graduate and owner of a thriving independent bookstore celebrates the release of her first novel.

Jenna Warren graduated with an MA in creative writing in 2008 and owns The Book Corner, an independent bookstore in Saltburn which last year featured in the Guardian’s list of Britain’s top 10 independent bookstores.

She is now ready to see her first novel of contemporary fiction “The Moon and the Stars” published, with pre-orders now available. “The Moon and Stars” is inspired by Jenna’s passion for musical theater and is tinged with a touch of romance.

She said: “I wanted to write a book loosely inspired by ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, which is my favorite story, but I wanted it to be in a different genre from the original, so not a gothic novel. I hope I’ve written something characterful and uplifting that people will relate to.

“The story follows Matthew, a classically trained singer. Unfortunately, he suffers from low self-esteem and chronic stage fright. He is desperate to perform again, so he sings in the shadows while his handsome friend, Ralph, takes the stage.plan has the potential to go horribly wrong, which it does.

“The story generally centers around Matthew’s journey to self-acceptance.”

Jenna graduated from Teesside with an MA in Creative Writing and is reflecting positively on her time at university.

She added, “My teachers were so enthusiastic and offered constant support and encouragement throughout my studies. They really opened my eyes and showed me that there are a lot of writers going on in the area.

Jenna has already started working on her next project, adding: “I have some ideas for future books. I’m currently working on another novel about music and performers. In the same vein as ‘The Moon and Stars’, it’s contemporary and character-driven, but there’s also an element of folklore in it. I’m still writing the first draft, so I’m excited to see where it’s going.

The Moon and Stars is published by Fairlight Books and is available for pre-order now with an October 20 release date.

Find out more about studying for a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Teesside – www.tees.ac.uk/postgraduate_courses/English_&_Creative_Writing/MA_Creative_Writing.cfm.

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