This is a story more than 20 years in the making.
Jacqueline is an inspiring woman - mum, author, mentor. And daughter to another amazing woman I just happened to work with about a million years ago.
Jacqueline’s mum made work a fun place to be and told me so many stories about Jacqueline, but we never had the chance to meet.
Fast forward 20-some years and I am creating my Memory Makers Self-Care Edition and write about reconnecting with old friends.
I did the FB and Insta stalk and found Jacqueline - now an award-winning author. I was so proud of her!!!
I sent her a message hoping, but definitely not expecting, a response.
She did respond, I got back in touch with her mum, and Jacqueline was kind enough to do an interview with us (check out her first interview here).
Then in October last year we actually got to meet IRL! It was very exciting.
Now, about 3 ½ years since our first interview, Jacqueline is back for our Inspiring Women Revisited series! Read on and be inspired by this everyday woman following her dreams.
Life must be looking a little different now, not least because you have 2 young children who grow so quickly and change so much! Remind us of your story – who is Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern?
I am a children's book author, creative coach, mother of two (three if you count our cheeky beagle Sherlock), wife, book lover and still a travel enthusiast!
I also hold a Masters in International Development and when I'm not writing stories, I work in international affairs.
How has your career grown and changed in the past 3 ½ years? Are you where you thought you would be?
COVID was challenging. It definitely slowed things down, but I enjoyed the pause. I enjoyed the time with my family and it provided an opportunity to create, read and write.
Over the years I have connected more with my community and readership. I have started mentoring aspiring writers and participated in a number of events, sharing stories and finding ways to encourage others to ignite their creative spark.
I feel more aligned now. I have a stronger sense of where I'm going on my creative journey. I needed the still to help me realise what is truly important.
I don't think I'm exactly where I thought I would be but I am very happy with where I am. Through the years I have realised that life is about going with the flow and trusting the process. I am enjoying the adventure and I am really excited about what's on the horizon.
What have been some of the low points over the last 3 ½ years?
There were some lows, most of which can be attributed to COVID. It was hard not being able to physically meet with friends, family and my writing community.
As a writer you need to connect with others, otherwise you can get lost in your writing bubble, creating in solitude and grappling with procrastination, doubt and fears all on your own. It prolongs the process and can even cripple your creativity. A writing community can help you work through blocks, they offer advice, encouragement and keep you accountable. Fortunately, I was able to connect with my writer friends via zoom and through other online platforms but it was still challenging not being able to see them face to face.
COVID also caused delays with book launches and production, which was also difficult.
What have been some of the high points?
I was fortunate to receive a few writing awards, including an international award. Being recognised alongside authors who have been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Huffington Post and Wall Street Journal was a pinch me moment.
Launching Meet Matilda at the Festival, which is part of the Penguin Random House Australia Aussie Kids series, was also a dream come true. It was a magical project and one I'll always cherish.
I also had the opportunity to mentor some young writers as part of Mighty Playwrights initiative through the Goulburn library. It was such a joyous experience working with budding writers. One of the best experiences I have had and something I hope to do more of.
What is your favourite part of what you do – what do you most enjoy doing?
I feel I have to steal the words from my last interview, sharing my stories with children. If I can make one child happy or give one child a glimpse of how beautiful the world is and how important reading is, then it’s all worth it.
I adore writing. I love putting words together on a page and weaving them to create thoughtful stories. Writing is innate in me. I feel compelled to write each and every day.
Supporting aspiring creatives has also been so enjoyable. I love encouraging others to dream big and helping them go after their creative goals.
Where do you see yourself in another 1 - 2 years?
I hope to be sharing more stories and working with more creatives.
It's a time of change and there are a few exciting projects on the horizon.
I am looking forward to the next couple of years.
A little about you -
What’s your favourite way to relax and take a break from it all?
Making a cup of coffee and finding a quiet place to read and journal.
I also love road trips. I love escaping to new places and just exploring.
Fiction Writing Made Easy - Savannah Gilbo - I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to writing. I love learning about different writing styles and techniques. This is my favourite writing podcast at the moment.
I love reading books that inspire, so anything from Lisa Messenger, Gabrielle Bernstein and Brené Brown. I also finished a young adult novel recently Completely Normal (and other lies) by Biffy James which was great. I am about to start reading The Bookbinder of Jericho by Pip Williams. I enjoyed the The Dictionary of Lost Words which she wrote so I'm looking foward to this one.
Only Murderers in the Building - I love Steve Martin and Martin Short. Selena Gomez is great in this series too. I haven't found anything else that has really grabbed me recently, so if you have any recommendations please let me know!
Website - www.derose-ahernstories.com
Anything else you would like to share (upcoming announcements/events)?
Stay tuned to my socials. I am hoping I can make some announcements soon!
Update 31 May 2023 - Jacqueline has 6, yes 6!, books in the works with Wombat Books. A huge congratulations to her on all her hard work and reaching such an amazing goal.