Newport author’s turbulent teenage years inspire trilogy

PUBLISHED: 08:15 04 April 2019

Janina Jones from Newport is writing a trilogy based on her teenage experiences in Nigeria in the 1970s. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Janina Jones from Newport is writing a trilogy based on her teenage experiences in Nigeria in the 1970s. Picture: CONTRIBUTED


An author from Newport is writing a trilogy based on her own turbulent teenage experiences, based on her diaries written at the time.

Set against the backdrop of the bushlands of northern Nigeria, Janina Jones’ first two books, Dust Road Days: An African Tale and Dust Road Nights: An African Journey, tell a tale of teenage angst, drama, love and rejection, born out of the freedom and dope-filled haze of the 1970s.

The first book sets the scene - the start of the adventure, a youngster rebelling against parental restraints - and the second grapples with the heartache of that first true love.

Janina said: “I began writing the books in 2003, but the original story was actually penned in 1974, believe it or not, when I was 19. I was still out in Nigeria, and had just suffered the horror of being dumped by the (then) love of my life in the most extraordinary circumstances and in the most extraordinary part of the world. To keep me from losing the plot completely, and because there was nothing else to do in the middle of nowhere, I just sat and put what had happened to me down on paper. I still have the original ‘book’ four decades on – it’s all tattered and torn, but intact – and Dust Road Days and Dust Road Nights are that story.”

The original books were published in 2007 under a different title, but Janina was keen to edit parts of the story.

“Telling stories has always been my forte. And I’ve got plenty of them under my hat and out in the open. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs – the Dust Road series is just a taster of what some of those are.

“There’s more to come as I’m also halfway writing a third book. Still based in Nigeria, it’s a contemporary story – with a twist – about a fictional woman who returns to Nigeria, having been brought up out there, and she gets kidnapped by a terrorist group. Whereas the Dust Road series is written with humour – even though some of the things that happened to me were awful – this third book has a more sombre flavour about it.”

The first two books are available to buy on Amazon.

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