24 November 2015

What started as a story idea in high school has grown into a published novel for University of Queensland Bachelor of Music graduate and first-time author Tess McLennan.

Ghosts – to be released on 1 December – follows the story of Imogene, who, after the mysterious disappearance of her mother, is left as the sole carer of her younger sister.

Henry – who helps Imogene uncover answers to what really happened to her mother – is an original character from the story Ms McLennan, now 23, started writing at the age of 14.

Ms McLennan said Ghosts was definitely something she had been planning for a long time.

“When I started writing the story when I was in my teens, it surrounded two sisters and a boy named Henry,” she said.  

“Henry is the only character who has survived all this time. In a way, I guess we have grown up together.

“He was a teenager when I started, and now he is all grown up too.

“The only problem with the story at that time was that I had no idea what I was meant to do with these characters.

“Then one day something clicked. My story finally had a plot line, and the rest is history.”

Ms McLennan said the novel took readers on a journey to discover “what really happens to people when they go missing”.

The Jimboomba-based writer and music teacher said writing was always something she knew she would do.

“Writing has always been therapeutic for me. When too much is going on in my head, putting things on a page helps to simplify everything,” she said.

“I remember my first amateur novel at the age of 10, which I printed from my parent’s computer and stapled together.

“It had a clipart picture on the front for the cover, and my grade five teacher read it to the class.”

Ms McLennan also has a Graduate Diploma in Education from UQ.

Her book Ghosts is published by Short Stop Press.

Media: Gillian Ievers, g.ievers@uq.edu.au, 07 3346 1633; Scott Eathorne, scott@quirkmarkmedia.com.au, 0418 475 801.