By Gabriella Payne
A new, local author has sprung onto the literary scene with her debut novel – a crime thriller filled with twists and turns that’s sure to have you on the edge of your seat.
Jennifer Phillips, a long-time Pakenham resident and black belt karate instructor, said she was thrilled to have finally published her first novel, ’Our Cause’ (Let the Monsters Live in Fear Book 1).
“It’s been a long time coming,“ Ms Phillips said.
“There’s been a lot of trying different styles, but I feel I’ve finally found my voice and I’m very proud of this book – I think it could really help people.“
Published under her pen name, Jennifer Jane Jennings, Ms Phillips said that ’Our Cause’ is a captivating tale and is all about learning to take control and stand up for yourself.
“So the book is called ’Our Cause’, and it’s the first book in the ‘Let the Monsters Live in Fear’ series and it’s set in a karate gym mostly,“ she said.
“It starts off with the main character being honourably discharged and sent home from Afghanistan after militia took over and killed his fiance in front of him.“
“So he is sent home and takes over his family’s karate gym, when a transfer student comes in.“
“She’s just taken a year off karate after being attacked – so he [the war veteran] stops feeling sorry for himself and starts helping her.“
Ms Phillips said that it’s an empowering story, all about learning to overcome hardships and taking a stance against evils in life.
“The series is called ’Let the Monsters Live in Fear’ because it’s all about turning the tables,“ Ms Phillips explained.
“Victims don’t need to stay victims, and attackers don’t need to win – it’s about turning things around.“
Being passionate about self defence and karate, Ms Phillips said she wanted to bring these elements in to her novel as it’s important for people to believe in themselves, and she hopes it will inspire some readers.
“Yeah, you might get hurt in life, but you can survive and not just that – but you can flourish,“ she said.
“I try to teach this in my karate classes too, because it’s what I believe in.“
As well as being a karate expert, Ms Phillips is an avid long distance runner (who runs about 100kms each week), and she said that having that time to clear her head while running was when all her story ideas came to her.
“I find I get my ideas while running, it’s a great chance to take some time for yourself and think about it all – and it’s a good opportunity to be creative as well.“
She said it was incredible to see all her ideas finally come to fruition in this published book, and she couldn’t wait to release the next one, which is already in the works.
“I want this series to be inspirational and to be able to help people,“ she said.
“I think we can make the world a better place with people believing in themselves and helping each other.“
Ms Phillips book, ’Our Cause’ is currently available online at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09DJVDGSM and can be purchased as either an e-book or a hard copy.