Singleton inspires fictional town in new romance novel

FIRST LAUNCH: Jasmine Stevens pictured moments after her first book launch at the Singleton Public Library.
FIRST LAUNCH: Jasmine Stevens pictured moments after her first book launch at the Singleton Public Library.

Jasmine Stevens has only been a published author for 48 hours.

However she has already celebrated a significant milestone in that short space of time.

This morning the Newcastle based author of “Waiting For You” conducted her first book launch and signing at the Singleton Public Library.

And those on hand were inspired to hear how this release was six years in the making while others were pleased to hear how the story’s setting of “Holbrook” was partly inspired by Singleton.

“I used to come up here quite regularly as a child to visit our family friends Cathleen and Colin Moore and Natalie Merrick,” she recalled.

“We spent a lot of time on their farm and that drew inspiration about the dairy farm for the fictional town which features nearly halfway.”

She added, “But I was happy to have so many positive comments and its inspired a lot of people to get their work published.”

“One lady took away some information to take to her grandson who wanted to be an author as well.”

ALL SMILES: Author Jasmine Stevens enjoys meeting her new fans.

ALL SMILES: Author Jasmine Stevens enjoys meeting her new fans.

The story is based on magazine journalist Charlotte Denver who returns to the town of Holbrook almost two decades after a tragic accident.

Her mission is to make her family home sell-able so that she may sever all ties with her tragic past.

That is until the one person she had spent all these years trying to forget is contracted by her magazine’s editor to help her complete the job.

Though we don’t find it appropriate to give away the ending there were a few interesting stories behind the author’s inspiration as a writer.

For example, she admits the fictional town of Holbrook came to mind when she was at her children’s swimming centre and heard the names “Holbert” and “Brooke” on the PA system.

“I didn’t realise there was a town called Holbrook until long after and when I came across it was nothing like the town in my book.”

She also admitted to naming one character after her charismatic English teacher from when she was a student at Francis Greenway High School at Woodberry.

Some listeners gasped in despair upon hearing how she had to reconstruct her initial 32,000 word draft; after two years of hard work.

“I sat down one day after the kids went to school and Harvey (husband) went to work because I would get one day off a week and that would be my writing time,” she reflected.

“But I noticed there was nothing there on the USB stick and it was a huge mistake.”

“We’ve learnt from then on and now.”

When question time came one local woman could help but point to the background poster and asked, “Does he come with the book?”

QUESTION TIME: One woman asks the author if the poster boy comes with the book?

QUESTION TIME: One woman asks the author if the poster boy comes with the book?

While the novel appears to be an appropriate Valentine’s Day gift its author assures purchasers that the story line caters for a bevy of genres.

“When people ask me what I write I say it’s just a romance when in actual fact I need to get out of that habit,” she added.

“It’s really about human relationships between people and rekindling friendships.”

“Many of the reviews admit that the characters are real and they have the same stresses as what we’re dealing with in our lives.”

MEET AND GREET: Singleton Public Library's Joanne Ingram with Jasmine Stevens.

MEET AND GREET: Singleton Public Library's Joanne Ingram with Jasmine Stevens.

She continued, “It deals with death and every one of us has to deal with death at some point in our lives.”

“It’s something that we can all relate to and even the guys can relate to Will who is 27 and doesn’t like the other guys looking at his girl.”

After its first two days of availability the book has already received appraisal from Blushing Book Reviews.

“​I read this book in the one sitting, it’s a page turner, tear jerker, nail biter, slow burn friends to lover’s romance,” the post read.

“It will have you laughing out loud and holding onto your heart.”