Warning! If you are a fan of mangoes – cover your ears!
When Jedda moved to Cooktown, Australia, aged 8, there was one main street, a handful of people who lived there and hundreds of mango trees. Jedda picked soft, squishy mangoes off the trees and threw them at friends, she stepped in the rotting, revolting mangoes on the streets but she never ate a single one. Not the whole time she lived there. The smell of mango made her vomit.
In small towns, everyone knows everyone’s business and you get to know all the weirdness of people. There were pigshooters, religious fundamentalists, beachcombers, hippies, indigenous rights activists, kids from farms who rode horses before they walked, kids who grew up in missions and took the bus to school and kids who didn’t. This is great if you like listening to stories and making up stories.
Jedda rode to the beach in the mornings and swam in the ocean by herself. She cycled to rivers and walked through swamps with crocodiles living in them. She circled the main street, day and night, with friends. She snorkelled the reef, skied over crocs in the harbour and camped on rocks without tents. And mostly, she did it all without adults. There was freedom and fun and her children complain today that she had it better than they do.
There were upsetting things too! Evil step-fathers and mothers who ran off with neighbours, teenagers who had babies, alcoholics who beat their wives and friends who didn't have enough money for breakfast. She saw it all up close and it was uncomfortable at times.
One day, when Jedda was 12, and sitting in her caravan, a whole poem just popped into her head like someone had given her a ring with a ruby on it. Yes, she lived in a caravan with her family, in a caravan park, for two years. (And once, a writing tutor called her trailer trash which she thought was kind of rude. She and her friends were pretty cool kids.) She made up stories, just like these podcasts, sitting on a bench with her friend, on the main street, watching people walk by.
Jedda didn't know she wanted to be a writer until a lecturer at university told her she had a talent for writing. Since then, Jedda has edited books and scripts, and written film scripts, tv scripts, plays and adverts.
You can send a message to Jedda by clicking here.