Jemma Forte grew up wanting to write for Cosmopolitan magazine, be a famous actress or work in a shoe shop (she loved the foot-measuring device in Clarks). Her parents didn’t want her to go to stage school because, according to them, she was ‘precocious enough already’. However, they actively encouraged her obsession with reading and writing and she wrote her first book, ‘Mizzy the Germ’, when she was eight. She sent it to a publisher (unwittingly backing up the whole precocious theory) and was dismayed when for some reason they didn’t want it.
Years later, due to The Kids from Fame (and she blames them entirely), her desire to perform hadn’t abated. Hundreds of l etters, show-reels and auditions later she finally became a Disney Channel presenter in 1998. After Disney, Jemma went on to present shows for ITV, BBC One, BBC Two and Channel 4 and, when not busy writing, can still be found talking rubbish on telly to this day. When I Met You is Jemma’s fourth novel. She lives in London with her children, Lily and Freddie.
The title actually refers to a daughter meeting her father and not the man of her life as one might imagine. Her mother has always told Marianne that he went to Australia but he was actually in prison for arson and manslaughter. Now he is out and dying of cancer. He wants to know his daughters, Marianne and her sister Hayley. Marianne is a gifted violinist who has never pursued her love. He persuades her to apply to the Royal College of Music. This is a charming tale of making amends and finding love. Told from Marianne’s perspective, it’s sensitive, lightly handled and beautifully written. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'Funny and poignant, this is a brilliant story about love in all its forms – not least within a family. Marianne is struggling to get out of a rut and cope with the return of her father after over twenty years, especially when he has some unexpected and shocking news. I don’t want to give the plot away, but I will say to have the tissues ready… There are a couple of scenes where they will most definitely be needed! A truly lovely book that will warm your heart.' - Sally Williamson, Commissioning Editor, MIRA Books