Young reporter has first novel out soon
A YOUNG journalist head-hunted for her first book has described the experience as "surreal".
Jessica Thompson, who grew up in Grange Road, Sevenoaks, will see her debut novel This Is A Love Story hit the shelves on February 2.
It tells the tale of two young professionals falling in love after catching each other's eyes on the train.
The 24-year-old gained work experience at the Chronicle before joining the team at the Kent and Sussex Courier for four years.
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While she was running the Edenbridge edition, she was contacted by publisher Mark Booth, who had read several of her articles and wanted some sample fiction.
Miss Thompson said: "It was amazing – I'd been a journalist for years but have been a writer my whole life.
"I finished my first novel when I was 14 or 15 – it was based on the kids in Grange Road, and I've always written a lot of poetry. I put together a book idea fairly fast and it's amazing how quickly the last year or so has gone."
Now living in Crouch End, north London, and working as a reporter in the Wembley area, Miss Thompson said she is keen to get her second book finished.
She has written the volume – which she describes as "a lot more complex than the first book, with several stories weaving in and out of each other" – and it is currently at the editing stage.
The keen singer visits Sevenoaks regularly to see her parents.
She said: "I really enjoyed reporting in Sevenoaks, Edenbridge and all the other patches that the paper covers. I look back on it very fondly, and loved the sense of community.
"It has been such an exciting time for me, I cannot wait to see the book on the shelves.
"The response I have had so far has been really encouraging, and it's really lovely to make people smile and entertain them in this way."
Miss Thompson will be signing copies of her book in Sevenoaks Library on Saturday, February 11.