Jenny was born in Brisbane, Australia, with a rare craniofacial syndrome, called Crouzon syndrome. Growing up she was bullied constantly, suffered from anxiety and depression, and felt very misunderstood. In the 1970s Jenny underwent pioneer craniofacial reconstructive surgeries which left her visually impaired. From being bullied growing up, Jenny went into a domestic violence marriage, which she eventually was able to escape from.
Jenny has three beautiful children to her husband who she met on the internet. Her eldest two children have her craniofacial syndrome and her youngest child has Down syndrome.
Having three children who have needed surgeries and therapies, and constant hospital appointments, has given Jenny a unique perspective on life and has led to her advocacy and speaking work.
Jenny has earned a Master of Education (Honours), a Certificate in Creative Writing, a Certificate IV in Youth Work and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
As mentioned, Jenny is an advocate for people living with facial differences, mental illness and for the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream schools and out in the community. She admins the International Crouzon Syndrome Support Group and Our Faces Australia group on Facebook, and she is a working member of the Queensland Collective for Inclusive Education.
Before Jenny became an author...
Jenny enjoyed writing and learning as a child and teenager, and followed this passion into primary teaching, for 25 years. she
loved caring for the children, seeing them learn something for the first time, or achieve something that they had been struggling with. In 2014, a severe bout of anxiety and depression abruptly brought Jenny's career to an end. She grieved for her loss. While recuperating, she started to write again.
Jenny's writing journey...
As a child Jenny loved to write. She has memories of spending her lunchtimes writing stories in Year 3 and 4. In high school she turned to poetry and journaling to release her frustrations with the world. Jenny won a regional writing competition in Year 12.
When Jenny's children were young she started writing her blog: Crouzons, Downs and Me...Love and Life. This blog was a way of documenting what her family was going through with the children, and also as a resource for others to access. It was around this time that she also set up the International Crouzon Syndrome Support Group page on Facebook. In 2016 she began the blog, Jenny Woolsey - The ABCs of Life, which is a reflection of how she sees the world.
Jenny's debut children's novel, Ride High Pineapple was launched in July 2016. The story is about Issy who has my craniofacial syndrome, is bullied and suffers from anxiety. It follows her journal as she learns through skateboarding to be an overcomer. Jenny was fortunate enough to have the Children's Craniofacial Association in America write the foreword for her and endorse the story.
Her second novel, Brockwell the Brave was released in October 2016. This story is about a gentle Viking boy, Brockwell Ness, who lives on a dragon farm but he is scared of the adult dragons. Brockwell would prefer to be at the healing hut. His father is angry with him for not being tough. Mr Ness doesn't come back from rescuing a wild dragon and Brockwell must face his fears to find his father.
Jenny's third novel, Land of Britannica was released in September, 2017. This story is about twelve-year-old Brittney who is upset that her parents have broken up. When Dad introduces his new girlfriend to her, Brittney is plunged into the fantasy Land of Britannica. A land with talking animals, weird food, dragons and an evil queen. She finds out it is her destiny to save the cracked green heart from falling from the sky. Brittney receives a special suit with superpowers to face the many challenges she must overcome.
In 2017 Jenny had two short stories published in anthologies: Finding Alisha about teenage depression was published in Redemption, and The Power of a Woman's Eyes about women becoming superheroes was published in Like a Woman.
Her fourth novel, Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight was released in February, 2018. The story is about thirteen-year-old Daniel who receives a special book that originally came from Egypt. It entitles him to 99 wishes which must be used for good not evil. In primary school all goes well, but in Year Eight, in high school, Daniel is bullied and taunted. He gives in to the peer pressure and unleashes the Mummy's blight. He must then try to stop the chaos that ensues. This book is the first in a series.
Why does Jenny write?
Jenny writes to help people. She has been through a lot in her life and if she can assist others in the same situation through her writing, then that makes her feel happy and content with what she has been through. It's been a tough road.
The children's books are fictional but have an element of reality in them. They are aimed at helping children who are different; children who feel they don't fit in the world; for children with mental illnesses and fears; and for children who are being bullied.
Jenny writes about what would've helped her as a child and teen.
Jenny belongs to the following professional writing organisations:
- Queensland Writers Centre
- The Alliance of Independent Authors
- Book Links Inc. & Write Links
- Omega Writers
- Moreton Bay Arts Council
- Writers' Anthology Group