Carleton Place and Beckwith roots inspire first novel

Jackie Bennett, daughter of Cliff Bennett of Almonte and the late writer Carol Bennett McCuaig of Renfrew, has had her first novel published.  Even though the story is set in a fictitious town her childhood memories of growing up in Carleton Place and Beckwith have inspired many aspects of the story.

When Am I Supposed To Sleep, published by Rocks Mills Press in Oakville, is about a teenager trying to find where she belongs both at home and at school.  The story begins with the main character, thirteen-year-old Jennifer Grant, claiming she is a, “flat-chested teenybopper and nobody likes me.  At least not today.  Maybe if I’m lucky someone will like me tomorrow.” Although she doesn’t really believe that, that’s how she feels most days.  And from there we hear Jenny’s account of the trials and tribulations of her grade eight year while living in the country and going to school in town.  At times hilarious and other times heart wrenching this story describes experiences universal to all young teens.  This book is written with teenage girls in mind but also offers a nostalgic glimpse of life that anyone who grew up in the 1970’s will enjoy.

Although When Am I Supposed to Sleep? is her first published novel,  writing is not new for Jackie who is also a playwright and songwriter.  Her play, Get What You Need, about a church’s attempts to raise money for a new roof by hiring the Rolling Stones, was produced this year in Barrie.  Another production  Star So Bright, which includes a story and ten original songs written by Jackie, has been enjoyed by audiences over the past seven years.  Soon to be published is her guide to teaching drama for grades one to six.  She is currently working on the sequel for When Am I Supposed to Sleep?.  Jackie hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps, who had over fifty books published during her lifetime.

 When Am I Supposed to Sleep? is available through amazon.ca and chapters.indigo.ca.