An Interview with Jenny about why she wrote Land of Britannica
Why did you write Land of Britannica?
I was at a church ladies camp in 2016 and a fellow camper came up to ask me if I had written a book that could help her grandchildren. She was after a story that dealt with marriage breakup as her grandchildren weren’t coping with what was happening to their family. I hadn’t as I had only written Ride High Pineapple and Brockwell the Brave. This request bubbled around inside of me, growing into the story, Land of Britannica.
My inspiration for the way I wrote the story was the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy goes into a fantasy world. In Oz she must solve the problem she was been wrestling with in the real world. So it is the same with Land of Britannica – Brittney finds herself in the Land of Britannica where she goes through her adventure to work through her feelings of her parents’ impending divorce. The characters in the story are representative of people in Brittney’s real world experiences.
I also wanted the story to do more than just be an adventure story, so I made each of the obstacles Brittney meets in the Land of Britannica, representative of each of the stages of the grief cycle. The grief cycle is a step of cyclical steps humans go through when they are dealing with a traumatic situation. It is described on the Themes page.
This type of story is called an allegory.
What is the story about?
Brittney’s parents have separated. Dad introduces her and her brothers to his new girlfriend. This devastates Brittney as she realises her parents’ marriage is over. Brittney goes to bed upset. She hears a sound under her bed and touches a glowing green light. Brittney is taken into a strange new world, where there are talking animals, dragons, flying carriages and strange food. She meets Carly-Anna who tells her that she is the Chosen One and must save the heart that hangs in the sky from cracking and falling down. Brittney must also save the kingdom from the evil queen who is trying to take over the land. The story follows Brittney’s journey through the Land of Britannica where she must face obstacles and rescue creatures. Along the way she meets different characters, who give her weapons and clothing that give her powers. I won’t tell you what happens, but at the end of the story Brittney needs to make an important decision…
How did you decide on the green heart which hangs in the sky?
I love hearts, and green is the colour of healing. The fact that the heart was cracking and about to fall out of the sky in the Land of Britannica was symbolic of Brittney’s devastation about her parents’ marriage breakup. The evil Queen who was causing the heart to crack, was symbolic of Brittney’s father’s new girlfriend.
How did you decide on what superpowers Brittney would have?
I am a Christian and I thought about the armour of God talked about in the bible, in Ephesians. I created the powers based on this idea. When Brittney enters the Land of Britannica, Carly-Anna gives her a change of clothes. Then as Brittney progresses through the land, she is given items such as a shield, sword, crown, cloak and torch. It was fun to think of the things she could be given and how they could be used.
What would people get out of the story?
The story has five main themes: friendship, separation and divorce, courage, superheroes, and emotional health and the grief cycle. Therefore these are the themes that I hope the child will pick up on and take away from reading the story. Brittney is a strong female character as well. Once she has decided on her journey, Brittney confidently sets out and attacks her enemies with confidence. She problem solves and makes her own decisions. Brittney is a wonderful role model for girls.
Where can people buy Land of Britannica?
Land of Britannica is available as an ebook and a paperback. It can be purchased from many online bookstores which are listed on my website, and from me directly, via my website.