the write stuff

What does it take to be a writer, a mother, a wife, and a woman in 21st Century Australia? Why, the “write stuff”, of course!

Works In Progress

As stated on my About the Author page, my work ranges from YA and contemporary fiction, to thrillers and chick-lit, to fantasy trilogies and family sagas. It all depends on the story or the characters, whichever comes into formation first. I also write screenplays for film and television, reviews, biographical articles, memoirs, essays and cultural critiques.

I have not yet had any work published, but I hope to amend this soon! Please revisit this page from time to time for updates on my writing and publication progress.

1. Clubland
Clubland is a New Adult novel following the adventures of four city girls in their late-teens-early-twenties, specifically in the months leading up to a major festival.

Eighteen year old Lexie Perkins was never one of the popular girls at school, but the club scene is a whole different playground. Beautiful and well-liked but easily susceptible to criticism and judgment, Lexie just wants to forget; forget about what a failure she is, and forget about the ghost that is haunting her relationship.

Her boyfriend Troy Fallon is still mourning the death of his former girl friend Nicole, who died from a bad ecstasy pill two years earlier, and Lexie’s desire to fit in begins to conflict with Troy’s inability to let go. Meanwhile, Lexie’s best friend Daria Delgado is unable to handle Lexie’s increasingly self-destructive behaviour and finds herself questioning her loyalty to the friend she has known more than half her life.

Tegan Parker is underage, popular and wants to be the Queen of the party scene – and she doesn’t care who she has to hurt to get to the top.

Ashley James is happy to be unattached and drama-free; until Tegan starts dating her ex-boyfriend and Ashley begins to realise that maybe Tegan is not as loyal as she expects her friends to be.

Relationships and loyalties are tested, mental boundaries are pushed to their limits and true character is revealed as their high life comes crashing down around them, and Lexie, Valeria, Ashley and Tegan will learn that they may not yet be as grown up as they think they are.

Clubland by Tara Jenkinson ©2016

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2. Olympus
The first instalment in a mythic fantasy trilogy, Olympus begins with an Ancient Greek prophecy foretelling an epic battle between the Gods and the Titans that will span across space and time. The almighty Zeus fears that the prophecy also predicts the resurrection of his contemptuous father Cronus by Ares, the God of War and Zeus’ enemy, so Zeus calls together every God, Goddess, demi-God and Titan to discuss alliances and strategies. No other civilisation will risk involvement in a conflict of this scale and it is concluded that the only solution is to banish Ares’ soul to another planet.

Despite her anger at Ares for leaving her for an Egyptian witch, Aphrodite – unaware that the God of the Oceans, Poseidon, has been in love with her since their brief relationship ended some time ago – is unsure where her loyalties lie… until Ares and the Egyptian witch, Isis, attack her. It turns out that the prophecy has come true, and Ares has indeed resurrected Cronus in an attempt to overthrow Zeus.

Zeus’ plan to banish Ares’ soul to another planet goes awry when Ares’ allies, led by Isis, Hades, the God of the Underworld, and Hermes, the messenger of the Gods, interrupt during the ritual and the souls of Zeus, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Hades, Hermes, Cronus, Gaia (the primal Greek Mother Goddess) and Uranus (the primal Greek Father God) are also banished to the planets in the immediate Solar System.

In the fight that follows, Isis is able to salvage the bodies of Ares, Hades, Hermes and Cronus but the physical bodies of Zeus, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Gaia and Uranus are destroyed. With the desperate quick-thinking of various powerful entities, a spell is cast to create human dummies, or shells, to house the souls when they return for the final showdown, which – according to the prophecy – will be when the planets and stars are in the same position.

It is not until the twenty first century that the planets and stars again align and the shells Casey Sutton, Oliver Parrish, Cyrus Lambros, Georgia Galanos and Luke Naylor are oblivious to their impending fates. In Greece for their senior year school trip, they soon begin to notice unexplainable things happening to and around them, and a beautiful but mysterious woman who seems to follow them everywhere. The woman soon reveals herself to be Hera, Zeus’ wife. After convincing the shells that prophecy is real, and that they are in danger since Ares, Hades, Hermes and Cronus have already returned to their human states, Hera and Apollo, the God of Knowledge and Healing, perform the ritual to recall the Gods’ and Goddesses’ souls and therefore sending the souls of the shells to the planets in their place. However, the ritual creates a shift in astrological balance as the human souls struggle to adjust to their new, otherworldly forms.

When Ares kidnaps Aphrodite in an attempt to force her affections and allegiance, Zeus and his allies must race against impending universal chaos to save her and meet Ares, Hades, Hermes and Cronus for the final showdown at Mount Olympus.

Olympus by Tara Jenkinson ©2016

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3. Mistaken Destiny
In Mistaken Destiny, another first instalment in a fantasy trilogy, the shallow, nasty and ignorant Princess Chantrea Vanir of Everdale is preparing to marry the equally unpleasant Prince Caydiss Lattimore of Heville in the biggest union in Royale’s history. A seemingly perfect match, the marriage is actually a business deal orchestrated in the hopes of pulling the kingdom of Heville from the brink of economic and social meltdown.

One month before the wedding, Princess Chantrea travels to the neighbouring dimension, known as the Wilderness, to purchase a black market aphrodisiac for the official Consummation.

When she fails to return home her father, King Bastien, sends a search party to locate her. But instead of the princess they find Adelaide Barnes, a feisty and intelligent 17 year old orphan human who bears a striking resemblance to the beautiful Chantrea. Despite Adelaide’s vehement protests that she is not who they think she is, the search party brings her back to Royale. Only Darius Bhodel, King Bastien’s Chief of Ministry and Chantrea’s nemesis, suspects that Adelaide is not the spoilt, arrogant and shallow princess.

As Adelaide becomes involved in the complicated relationships of her doppelganger and the dangerous politics of her new world, she unknowingly sets off a chain reaction that will change Royale forever.

Mistaken Destiny by Tara Jenkinson © 2016

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4. One in Three
One in Three is a short story collection focusing on the domestic violence epidemic in modern Australian society. The title is a play on words referring to both the amount of short stories in the collection, and the statistic from the Australian Bureau of Statistics stating that 1 in 3 women will experience emotional, physical or sexual abuse at the hands of an intimate partner during her lifetime.

Caroline’s Story explores physical abuse and intergenerational transmission of abuse, specifically from father to son. Now divorced, Caroline has been free from the blows of her violent ex-husband for years. Then she receives a late-night phone call from the police station. Her 16 year old son, Owen, is being charged with assaulting his girlfriend Kayla – and according to the police, Kayla, and her parents, it’s not the first time Owen has been violent towards her.

Ashley’s Story explores intimate partner sexual violence, also known as spousal abuse, and the conflicting emotions that victims face when reclaiming their sexuality. Ashley has been dating Patrick for eight months – her first serious relationship since she escaped a brief yet volatile marriage – and things have been heating up between them. However, despite intensive counselling, Ashley is still torn between a) needing more time, and b) wanting to again experience a deeper level of intimacy. When Patrick makes a profoundly romantic gesture, she makes a decision that will affect the rest of their relationship.

Sophie’s Story explores emotional abuse, also known as mental, verbal or psychological abuse. Sophie has spent years rationalising the humiliating, intimidating, manipulative and controlling behaviour of her de facto boyfriend, Bradley, with thoughts such as, “It’s not abuse because he doesn’t hit me” and “If I act better, he’ll be nicer to me”. But she’s about to learn that the threats of violence, constant insults and blatant disregard for her opinions and feelings are just as damaging as a black eye.

While each short story has its own individual focal themes, the uniting theme of the collection is the unspoken yet far-reaching impacts domestic violence can have on society.

One in Three by Tara Jenkinson © 2016

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5. Working Girl
Working Girl is a short story depicting discrimination against mothers in the Australian work force, particularly single mothers, pregnant women who request parental leave and mothers returning to work after giving birth. The narrative follows three central characters – Lisa, Emma and Megan – who have one thing in common; they have all experienced discrimination in the work place due to their familial status.

Pharmaceutical sales rep Lisa Barnes, 24 years old, is delighted when she discovers that she and her fiancé are expecting their first child. Her new boss, however, is less than impressed and soon the promises of commission and luxurious incentive packages that dazzled Lisa during her interview are mere illusions. When she inquires about maternity leave, things go from bad to worse for Lisa’s once promising career.

Emma Canning is a 27 year old single mother to twin six year old boys. When the opportunity for a promotion to manager at the restaurant where she waitresses becomes available, Emma is confident that her numerous licenses and qualifications, ten year dedication to the company in spite of her personal circumstances and popularity with her customers and colleagues will guarantee her the position. So she is naturally surprised and upset when a newly hired, less experienced and less qualified colleague is given the position based on her ‘unattached status’ and ‘commitment to availability’.

Due to a difficult pregnancy which resulted in an emergency caesarean, 33 year old Megan Morris needed to take extended leave from her job as a hairdresser. She is excited to return to work part time now that her daughter is 12 months old but her excitement is short lived when the new manager of the salon reduces her hours and begins to blatantly criticise her performance.

Written in third person restricted point of view shifting between the three central characters, Working Girl looks at the disturbing way women in Australia are still subjected to prejudice in the work place based on their familial status, and how women are often forced to choose between their home life and their work life by exploring themes such as discrimination, domination and out-grouping.

Working Girl by Tara Jenkinson © 2016

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