The first thing you need to know is that Jo Jenkins is my pen name.
I use a pen name because as a clinical psychologist I don’t want people I work with, including patients, to feel awkward or wary around me. I’ve decided the best way to keep things straightforward is to write under an assumed name (and I’ll never reveal real people’s sensitive or personal details in my writing).
But that’s enough about my professional side. I’m also a mum and I first rode a horse when I was 7 years old.
Here’s an ancient picture of me on a typical weekend, launching my horse into the unknown!
I spent many happy hours in his company, which partly inspired Elin’s story.
As a teenager I always found it easiest to relax and unwind while out riding, away from the stresses of family and school life.
Elin has a similar experience, and riding provides her with a rare opportunity to feel good about herself.
I started writing Girl Perfect several years ago. Like so many budding authors, I worked on it during the evenings while juggling work and family life.
I wanted to write a story from the perspective of someone suffering at the hands of others just because of the way they look. Elin’s story began to emerge from the clinical work I’d been involved in, along with some of my own adolescent experiences and memories.
I hope the result is both entertaining and helpful for anyone whose life is touched by visible differences, or who is made to feel like an outsider because of the way they look and sound.