Rachel’s path sees her pitched against egos in the newsroom, office politics and corrupt politicians, not to mention rampant sexism, and a mystery stalker. Juggling a messy personal life doesn’t help, nor does the emotional impact of reporting on life’s tragedies and when it all takes a toll and Rachel starts partying too hard, she finds herself making the headlines instead of reading them.
Will she survive a world where dreams are shattered daily and will she find the man who can help her keep her soul?
What do you do when you aren’t writing? Hobbies? Interests?
Given my job is in breakfast radio with Smoothfm 91.5 in Melbourne, I feel like I spend most of my regular day writing – although not necessarily of the creative variety.
I present the news in the mornings and chat about all sorts of things going on in Melbourne, with Mike Perso, who is the host of the show. That means I also write and put together the news bulletins I read. My job makes creative writing all the more fun, given journalistic writing is a lot more formulaic.
Other than working, I enjoy catching up with friends over a casual dinner out along with a glass of wine! I’m very particular about the sort of wine I drink and prefer Chadonnay when it comes to white wine, and Shiraz if we’re opting for a red. I also spend a bit of time at the gym and workout with a personal trainer twice a week. It’s so important to keep fit when you spend a lot of time at the desk writing!
I’m also a mum with two teenage children – actually Veronica is now 20 (!!) – and they both still live at home so that keeps me busy too. My husband, Alan Fletcher, is an actor who is a regular cast member of the Aussie soap NEIGHBOURS. He plays Dr Karl Kennedy so our schedules are both very demanding. We both love going to the movies, theatre and seeing musicals.
On the creative front, I also play the piano and flute and love to dabble in oil-painting – if I can ever find the time. At the moment, writing is my priority although I try to play piano for at least ten minutes every day because I feel like my skills are slipping from a lack of practice! At the moment, I’ve begun work on my second novel, BLACK ANGELS.
A Sneak Peek Inside!
‘Then whack! He slams that cricket bat smack down on your desk, missing your hand by a whisker!’ Julia slapped her hands under Rachel’s chin.
Rachel jumped, vibrations ringing in her ears. ‘And this is the man you think could be our new boss?’ she said, spinning her chair around to switch on her computer. As she reached for a notebook a growing unease began to fester. Her fellow reporter had an uncanny knack of being spot-on with rumours.
‘Yep,’ grinned Julia, leaning back in her chair. ‘That’s Helmut Becker for you. Bit of a nut job, but they say he gets results. And it is all about the ratings after all.’
Beyond their desks the usual pandemonium reigned. Early-morning rush hour — TV monitors blaring, phones ringing and people shouting, and Rachel didn’t want the glue that held it together leaving. She stared towards the news director’s office. ‘I wish I could change Tony’s mind.’ It was like the plates beneath her feet were shifting. Too much change, too soon.
‘Fat chance. The media release is already out. And stop looking like that. Anyone’d think you had a boss-crush.’
Rachel turned back to Julia. ‘Don’t be ridiculous. I’m just sad he’s leaving. I mean, he gave me my big break and has always been so supportive. Are you sure this Helmut character is taking over?’
‘That’s the word on the office grapevine. It’s a hundred per cent gossip guaranteed.’
‘Damn. Just when I thought I had a career plan mapped out, a bat-wielding crazy guy comes along …’ She paused as a striking man with shoulder-length dirty-blond hair strode past their desks towards the edit suites at the back of the newsroom.
‘And don’t get hooked on him either.’ Julia rolled her eyes. ‘That’s the new head editor, Mitch. Really rates himself, and hates working with juniors, so steer clear.’
‘You crack me up,’ said Rachel, shaking her head. ‘You know I’m taken.’ She turned back to her computer, inhaling deeply. The editor had left a scent in his wake and it wasn’t aftershave. It was like he’d just shaken the surf from his hair after riding a wave into work. An absurd thought. Who’d go surfing in the middle of autumn? She snuck another look as he walked away, taking in his strong physique. As if feeling her eyes graze the back of his neck, he turned, giving a lopsided grin as he caught her out.
Embarrassed, she smiled back stupidly and sucked in her breath. Damn, he was good looking. She wondered what he was doing at work so early. Surely as head editor he could take his pick of the shifts and leave the early stints for the juniors? She shook her head. She had to stop this. No flirting. That’s what had landed her in enough trouble already.
Who is Jennifer Hansen?
JENNIFER HANSEN is best known to TV audiences as the former co-host of Channel Ten’s 5pm news. These days Jennifer works in radio as part of Smooth FM’s breakfast show where she reads the news and chats with Mike Perso about all things Melbourne. In between media gigs, Jennifer went back to ‘school’ – taking up the ‘Professional Writing and Editing’ course at RMIT. That has helped her complete her first novel and two screenplays. Occasionally she remembers to look after her family – including husband Neighbours actor Alan Fletcher (aka Dr Karl Kennedy) and their two children, Veronica and Tom.