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Young reporter’s talent caught publisher’s eye

A journalist who was headhunted to write a book while working on a regional newspaper has had her first novel published.

Jessica Thompson, 24, did work experience on the Sevenoaks Chronicle and later joined the Kent and Sussex Courier for four years.

She wrote This Is A Love Story after being contacted by publisher Mark Booth who had read several of her articles in the Edenbridge edition of the paper and asked for some sample fiction.

The book tells the story of two young professionals who fall in love after catching each other’s eyes on the train.

Said Jessica: “It was amazing – I’d been a journalist for years but have been a writer my whole life.

“I finished my first novel when I was 14 or 15 – it was based on the kids in Grange Road, and I’ve always written a lot of poetry. I put together a book idea fairly fast and it’s amazing how quickly the last year or so has gone.”

Jessica now works as a multimedia journalist in London and is finishing her second book which she describes as “a lot more complex than the first book, with several stories weaving in and out of each other.’

She said: “I really enjoyed reporting in Sevenoaks, Edenbridge and all the other patches that the paper covers. I look back on it very fondly, and loved the sense of community.

“It has been such an exciting time for me, I cannot wait to see the book on the shelves.

“The response I have had so far has been really encouraging, and it’s really lovely to make people smile and entertain them in this way.”

The book will be in shops from 2 February.