Sally Jenkins is today’s #AuthorInTheSpotlight | Little Museum of Hope | @ChocLitUK @RubyFiction @SallyJenkinsUK

I’m joined by Sally Jenkins today. Her novel, Little Museum of Hope, was recently published by Ruby Fiction. Welcome Sally. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?

I live in the West Midlands with my husband and I have two grown-up daughters who have both flown the nest. I feed my addiction to words by working part-time in the local library, running two reading groups and giving talks about my writing. I also work two days a week in IT. Aside from reading and writing, my passions are walking, church bell ringing and relaxing during shavasana in my yoga class.

What inspired you to start writing?

Years ago, I realised that magazines gave prizes or money to contributors to their ‘Letters Page’. I started sending in letters and loved the buzz from seeing my name in print and receiving a cheque in the post!

Tell me about your journey to publication

After a few successes with letters, I did a correspondence course (in pre-email days!) on article writing and, again, got into print. From there I moved onto short stories for women’s magazines (a hard market to crack!) until, finally, I felt brave enough to tackle novel writing.

In a nutshell, what is your book about?

Vanessa is bereft when her husband walks out and she loses her job. To fill the big black void, she creates the Little Museum of Hope. This is no ordinary museum – its aim is to help people heal. Visitors donate items associated with shattered lives and failed relationships, and in doing so, find a way to move on, perhaps even to start again. But maybe, Vanessa, the bringer of Hope needs a little help moving on herself?

How did you come up with the title for your book?

My working title was ‘The Museum of Fractured Lives’ because the book is loosely based on a fictional version of the real-life Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb. An agent I worked with suggested changing it to ‘The Museum of Hope’ in order to reflect the uplifting aspects of the book. My publisher, Ruby Fiction, felt that ‘Little Museum of Hope’ was a better fit – and I agreed with them.

How did you celebrate publication day?

With copious consumption of wine and cake!

Do you have a work in progress just now?

I have two more women’s fiction books going through the Ruby Fiction tasting panel – so I’m waiting to hear the verdict on those. And I am half way through the (very rough!) first draft another novel. I’d rather not say too much about any of these in case I jinx them and they never see the light of day! Suffice it to say: They are all standalone novels but, if Little Museum of Hope is well received, I’d love to write a sequel to it.

What one book would you recommend to a friend and why?

Mr Two Bomb by William Coles is a book I’d recommend to the whole of humanity. It tells the harrowing tale of a man who gets caught up in both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs and survives. He questions whether this makes him the unluckiest man on earth or the luckiest? Mr. Two Bomb is completely unlike the books I write but it makes compelling reading and shows strongly why there should never be another atomic bomb.

What are you reading just now?

I have just finished The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams and I loved it! It is one of those books where you get lost in the story but learn something new too. Such as the origin of ‘bumf’ – a handful of paper used as ‘bum fodder’ in WWI in the absence of toilet paper. The book is set in the early 1900s and involves the creation of the first Oxford English Dictionary.

If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?

I never read the same novel twice so I would want to take a very thick book that I’ve never read before. Possibly something challenging as I’d have a lot of time on my hands. Recommendations please!

How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?


Facebook: SallyJenkinsAuthor

Twitter: @sallyjenkinsuk

Instagram: @sallyjenkinsuk

Sally’s Amazon Author Page

And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?

As a child I was an avid Enid Blyton fan and I adored the Malory Towers boarding school books. I always wished I could be my namesake character of ‘Sally’, best friend of main character Darrell. It would have been fabulous to join in all the midnight feasts and other goings-on. Plus, Sally was good at sport – something I never was!

You can purchase Little Museum of Hope here

About the book

A jar of festival mud, a photo album of family memories, a child’s teddy bear, a book of bell ringing methods, an old cassette tape, a pair of slippers …

These are the items that fill the exhibit shelves in Vanessa Jones’ museum. At first glance, they appear to have nothing in common, but that’s before you find out the stories behind them …

Because Vanessa’s Little Museum of Hope is no ordinary museum – its aim is to help people heal by donating items associated with shattered lives and failed relationships, and in doing so, find a way to move on, perhaps even start again.

The museum soon becomes a sanctuary for the broken hearts in Vanessa’s city, and she’s always on hand to offer a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a listening ear.

But could the bringer of Hope need a little help moving on herself?

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