Unsuitable Girl



 Unsuitable Girl

Jeannie Mehta




 Here I am in the garden.  I'm a retired teacher, and  I've been writing for several years, on courses, keeping journals, with writing groups, and now I've decided that it's time I wrote a novel.

What do I bring to the task you may ask? As well as much trepidation, a  teaching career of twenty years or so, a  ten year career break for two children, more than a  decade of retirement and  some local voluntary work. 

Other distractions are tending a collection of bonsai trees, gardening, watching  and encouraging butterflies, bees  and birds, learning Italian and going to the National Theatre and concerts on the South Bank mainly, though sometimes to the Barbican. Regular trips to the gym keep the mechanics of my body, and probably my mind, more or less fine.

Now we live in the Midlands, visits to the South Bank are fewer but no less loved! We have a new little grandson. Ivor,  in London too as well as a new grandson, Angus,  in Staffordshire, a brother for Iona, who continues to delight us with her comedy, energy, curiosity and wisdom! How lucky are we?

The other pastime in common with all parents is enjoying the successes of our daughter and son as they engage with this rapidly changing and exciting world. At the base of my pyramid of course is my husband, and  small group of close friends who all keep me grounded and sane. I've been especially blessed by the warmth of new friends here in Eccleshall and in Stafford. So much to do ...so little time is the feeling now, in my seventy-fifth year!

Unsuitable Girl is my first novel, and is now available on Amazon,  print on demand, and Kindle  The story is about what happens when an Indian student, here for his higher education, meets an  'unsuitable girl'. She has a different religion, is of a different race and from a different culture.

The time span stretches across the early twentieth century and ends up in the sixties. It begins in  Dundee, Scotland in the sixties, with the two students meeting, then a time jump back to Lalpur, India in the 1920s, then to Mombasa, Kenya, Kampala, Uganda and eventually back to sixties Dundee in Scotland. 

As for the second, sequel novel, it is two thirds written, first draft, and has the rest of the story. Some people do ask me regularly how it's going and the answer is, slowly, due to my lack of discipline and now the call of spring and the garden! I could get up early each day and do a thousand words a day, before breakfast...that is the ideal way! So I aim to now get up with the sun and get on with it. Once a momentum is attained, a flow ensues, almost writing itself as I sleep each night.  So that is my aim. I can do it. I just need the mental discipline and focus.

Now in 2022, post pandemic and still here, I can say that the second novel is finishd and is at the final draft stage. It's been professionally edited by Rosie Fiore, who declared that if I made the alterations and added the twist she suggested, it would be a  'stonking read.'  It can stand alone but my hope is, if it attracts a literary agent, Unsuitable Girl can be the prequel! I may call it Hold Fast to Dreams rather than Outsiders. 

Now submitting to the ninth agent.  

Easter 2023: To up date this , I've contacted fifteen agencies so far. And had the book edited again by the Blue Pencil Agency. Who liked it, classifying it as Commercial Book Club fiction. However they advised more character fleshing out of Pravin and Amy and this is what I need to work on now. 

Summer 2024: Another update. After a long viral infection which has begun to leave me at last, I can return to the task of finding an agent for the second book, or going straight to digital. I think at this stage I have run out of hope and energy for sending out of submissions to possibe interested agents, who more often than not actually state they probably won't reply. How soul destroying is that? It's like fly fishing in an empty river! Lots of energy and time wasted. I simply have run out of time and patience. 




[email protected]

or on my Facebook page.


Designed with Create