Jacqueline Harrett

An image of Jacqui

I'm Jacqueline Harrett

Welcome to the website. I’ve been writing for years and in a variety of genres but retirement gave me the opportunity to develop the more creative side of writing. I joke that writing is my therapy but there is something wonderful about creating characters and being pulled into their worlds. Have fun exploring the website and do feel free to contact me with any questions about my writing.

White branch with leaves
"There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story."
Frank Herbert


Jacqueline Harrett was born and brought up in a small village in Northern Ireland. After living in various places in South Wales she settled in Cardiff with her husband of many years, Lola the mad cat and Speedy, an ancient and territorial tortoise. Her two grown-up children – critical reader and technical advisor – live nearby.

As an only child she was a voracious reader and loved stories. Her father was a wonderful storyteller, encouraging her to tell her own stories and developing her love of oral stories. This was the inspiration behind her mini-book, Tell Me Another… Speaking and Listening Through Storytelling and her PhD on the effects of oral stories on young children’s language and imagination.

Jacqui has always been a writer but it wasn’t until 1997 that she started publishing her work with articles in English in Wales and then in the TES. A book for teachers, Exciting Writing, won the UKLA author award. As a former teacher and academic, she published and gave presentations on the value of story for children’s development.

After retiring from academia, Jacqui concentrated on more creative writing, attending classes and developing the craft. She had stories published in anthologies (Honno, MTP) and flash fiction online, and hidden in the depths of her computer are many other stories, a novel, novella and books for children. Like reading, writing is an obsession.

With her friend and colleague, Janet Laugharne, she has written a novel, What Lies Between Them, to be published in February 2022 under the pseudonym J. L. Harland.

Jacqui’s debut, The Nesting Place, was started in lockdown and the culmination of several different elements. It started with Katherine Stansfield’s excellent Crime Writing courses at Cardiff University, pre-pandemic. Then, during lockdown, a further course with Writing Magazine’s James McCreet, when the ideas began to take shape and the feedback from James helped with the process of producing the novel.

DI Mandy Wilde’s first investigation involving a suspicious death will be released in 2021 by Diamond Books UK. A sequel is in progress.

After years of writing lesson plans, lectures and short fiction it seems I’ve turned to crime. Writing crime fiction that is.
The non-fiction books, Exciting Writing and Tell me Another… were both from personal experience in the classroom which I wanted to share with fellow practitioners. They are still available and selling well.
With the publication of The Nesting Place and in 2022, What Lies Between Them, co-authored with Janet Laugharne, I am moving into more creative pastures.

Speedy the TortoiseSpeedy the tortoise wandering on a lawn.

Lola the CatLola the Cat

With fiction it is always the question ‘what if?’ What if someone took a different route home and had an accident? What if the person next door isn’t who they seem to be?
I also seem to return to the themes of identity, where people belong or don’t feel that they belong. What motivates people to do things? Is it always sex or money or are there other reasons why crime is committed? Human behaviour is fascinating.
Inspiration is all around; a sound, a smell, a piece of music, a newspaper story. They are all possible sources for fiction.