Born and raised on the West Coast of Australia, N.J. completed a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Communications and Media Studies at Murdoch University in 2002.
Although writing was part of her degree, she never expected to write a book (let alone three!) when she left Uni and embarked upon a marketing career. Her professional ambition led her to London for a large part of her twenties, which was where the idea for Stories from the City was born.
With the first two parts of the story now complete, and the third in progress, N.J. is excited to get the series out into the world a decade after its inception.
From the Author's desk..
Thanks for checking out my page! It means a lot to have your support now that this series is finally out in the real world.
The Stories from the City series was a project long in the making!
It began as nothing more than a creative outlet way back in 2009, when I started to play with some characters and develop the beginnings of a plot. Instead of watching crap TV, I spent my evenings getting inside the minds of my main characters, Bobbi Granger and Jason Stone. Nope, I didn't get their names wrong, that's where our two protagonists began.
In the beginning, I was writing purely for myself - a guilty pleasure if you will - and I never dreamt that all the random scenes I was writing would become a completed book, let alone a whole series!
Over the following years, the fictional world that I had created, became an escape for me. Writing was my haven and, if I'm brutally honest, a therapy of sorts. When my world crashed down around me and real life grew more difficult to bear, I retreated further down the rabbit hole. It was me and my characters against the world. I'm not saying it was healthy, but it was my way of coping!
It was my productive rebellion. Creation amidst destruction. Love against rage. A sense of order in a world of chaos.
Soon enough, my own personal experiences infiltrated my beautiful imaginary world and, ever-so-politely, reality hijacked the entire plot and tormented my previously happy characters. I resisted it at first. My lovely story was all fairy floss and rainbows, so why would I want to upset utopia with the harshness of real life?
Then came an interesting revelation: Manure allows a garden to grow. Or in bookish terms, trauma makes characters more interesting. Pain creates strength. Struggle leads to triumph. In short, the problems that characters overcome is what makes them more, well, human.
So I embraced it.
Not only in my story, but in my life. I faced the storm, I owned my shit, and I decided that I would turn my traumatic experiences into a positive.
Before long, the story had evolved into something else entirely. It had taken on a life and a personality of its own, as had my beloved main characters. They were now tarnished and weathered but so much stronger for it, and after the trials and tribulations they had overcome, neither of their names suited them anymore. Thus Ashley Granger and Nathan Stone were officially born. Also Kirsty became Kat; Ryan, well... he was still Ryan; and one story became three. It was now a series.
Stories from the City may not be (aka: isn't) perfect; it probably won't win a Pulitzer Prize; and it may never get turned into a film series but... it's mine and I couldn't be prouder. When I look back at the original manuscripts, I can't help but be proud of how far we've all come: the books, the characters and me. We've all been riding this crazy, painful, dramatic, beautiful, lesson-filled ride together, and for that I am thankful.
STORIES FROM THE CITY
Love may be simple, but relationships are complex and this group of thirty-somethings is discovering just how complicated life can get when romance is involved.
Nathan Stone is the ultimate bachelor. Known as a high-flyer in the London Advertising circuit, Nathan loves his playboy lifestyle of casual sex, all-night parties and class-A drugs. Or so he thought. Nathan's well-ordered work-hard/play-hard world comes to a crashing halt when he meets Ashley Granger, the yoga-loving, down-to-earth, new Creative Director at work. Will Ashley be the one to tame the infamous Nathan Stone?
Ashley Granger has just returned to London after three years in Bali, where she fled to escape an explosively violent relationship with a well-known London drug-dealer. She's starting to pull her life back together with a new flat, her perfect job, and now possibly the man of her dreams... but just as things start to go right, Ashley's past comes back to haunt her with devastating consequences.
Ryan McPherson is Nathan Stone's best mate, who unbeknownst to Nathan, also used to be Ashley's best friend before she disappeared. Ryan was secretly in love with his off-the-rails friend before she vanished without a trace, but when she never returned, Ryan believed that she was dead... until now. Three years after her mysterious disappearance, Ashley shows up at Ryans office for a job interview... with his wife.
Kat McPherson has come to terms with the fact that she has always been the second love of her husband's life. The competition was pretty easy when the first was nothing more than a ghost. But what happens if the ghost struts her tall frame right back into your life? Kat's about to find out.
FROM CITY TO SEA
After the night from hell, the Artemis crew are now picking up the pieces of their shattered lives and figuring out how to move forward with, and without, each other.
Nathan Stone's world was turned upside down with the arrival of Ashley Granger. For the first time in his life he'd fallen in love, but now his new life has been violently shattered into pieces at the hands of a drug-dealing psychopath. In his girlfriends blood spattered apartment, Nathan is facing the reality of life without Ashley Granger.
Ritchie Carlton is a lovable rogue. Under his mischievous facade, the Aussie larrikin is madly in love with his non-girlfriend, Amy Vaughn. All he really wants is to do is get married, settle down and raise a family but Amy is resistant to his proposals and refuses to commit to him. It's time for Ritchie to make a choice, it's either stay or go.
Ryan McPherson no longer recognises himself or his life. Full of rage and unable to cope with the discovery that his pregnant wife had cheated on him, Ryan veered off the rails and found himself in rehab. After the arrival of his daughter, Ryan is more determined than ever to pull himself back together and he can return to life with his new family.
Kat McPherson made a huge mistake and has spent many months dealing with the fall-out. After spending time with her family in Framlingham, Kat decides to move back home so she can be near Ryan while he finishes his stint in rehab, but some unexpected news may change her plans. Will the McPherson's marriage survive this latest trial?