There is an indiscernible joy and adrenaline rush when Gabriola author Jane Reddington starts writing.
Reddington released the third installment in her Mabel Hartley young adult fiction series, The Crusader’s Hoard, this year and is currently working on the fourth book. She describes the series as Nancy Drew meets Indiana Jones.
In each book, the main character, Mabel Hartley, and her friends are searching for a treasure. Each book is also set in a different country.
The inspiration for the settings came from Reddington’s childhood. Her father was an engineer and they moved around quite a bit when she was young. She lived in Turkey when she was three, Nigeria when she was six, Indonesia when she was 11 and visited her grandparents in England when she was 14.
Hartley is a tomboy who goes into “deep dark places and gets into all sorts of troubles,” said Reddington. “There are elements of darkness and things they need to overcome, there is a different treasure in each of the books.”
In The Crusader’s Hoard, Hartley and her friends are in Petra, Jordan with a map to a crusader knight’s treasure. Reddington made the crusader knight a woman.
“That is really a neat plot twist, because I like to have strong female role models in the books for readers to learn about, so that’s a common theme,” said Reddington.
Writing has allowed Reddington to manage her bipolar disorder and postpartum depression.
It’s a subject Reddington doesn’t shy away from talking about. In fact, she wants to share her experiences about living with bipolar disorder and being a professional writer.
“I have bipolar and after the birth of my daughter I had terrible postpartum depression. I had the idea to start the first book and it really helped with the depression because I felt like I had a purpose and I felt like I had a reason to get up and write the next part of the story,” said Reddington. “I was diagnosed with bipolar 20 years ago and so writing itself for me is a way to kind of alleviate a lot of the symptoms and I get a lot of personal fulfillment and meaning out of the writing.”
Reddington said once she started writing she couldn’t stop.
“It’s been probably the best thing I have done in my life to write these books and to be able to share them with my children and to have that sense of purpose of being a young adult fiction author,” said Reddington, adding she loves connecting with kids about the books through school programs. “It really brings a lot of joy into my life. There isn’t anything in my life like writing that makes me feel like myself. Like when I am having a really bad day, if I have a good hour of writing it’s like ‘oh I can do this.’”
Reddington said the young adult genre is one of her favourite genres.
“I feel like it’s a gift to be able to write in this genre,” said Reddington, adding that it’s possible to make a big impact on readers ages 10 to 15. “They will remember your books forever.”
For more information about Reddington and the Mabel Hartley series, please visit https://janereddington.com.