Jack Messenger | Feed the Monkey

Reading | Reviewing | BLEATING INTO A GUNNY SACK | Writing | Publishing

First, Find an Agent


There Was This Old Lady …

Her name’s Miss Bird, Harriet Bird. She is on her way home to England after sixteen years in Malaya, where she served as housekeeper to her brother Paul on a rubber plantation. It is 1935 and war is brewing. Tensions exist between the passengers on the Estonia as it makes its way to Port Said. Not everyone is what they appear to be. Miss Bird is beset with troubles and worries.

I wanted to write about a character who doesn’t usually count, who is overlooked, despised, forgotten, who appears not to have lived her own life. I wanted to redeem her in the eyes of others – of readers – by showing the inner workings of her mind and the extent of her participation in the lives of her family.

There Was This Writer …

That’s me. I think my novel is pretty good. Those who have read it think so too. You can read an excerpt here.

I’ve decided to take myself in hand and try to find an agent. I’ll let you know how I get on.


  1. Just read the extract and am looking forward to reading more! You’ve created a believable, touching character in a richly realised world full of period atmosphere. Miss Bird is a person I want to accompany on this long voyage home – good luck!

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