Also writes as: Jaye Francis ; Jade Forrester ; Mary Forrest ; Rosa Tomaselli
Born: Established: 1948 Adelaide, South Australia, ;
Jenny Pausacker was born in Adelaide, her family moving interstate when she was still a baby. Writing, storytelling and books have been central to Pausacker's life since a very young age, and she still remembers her first story, written at the age of five. When she was ten, soon after the death of her father, she won first prize in a literary competition, and it was at this stage that her interest in writing became a passion.
In the difficult times following her father's death, when to Pausacker's family was struggling to come to terms with loneliness and the sense of loss, reading books and writing were her escape. She went to the Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne, then gained a BA (Honours) from Melbourne University in 1969. In 1971 she spent some time in London, where she became involved with the counterculture, consciousness-raising and protest. Pausacker completed her MA at Melbourne University in 1972 and a Diploma of Librarianship at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1974.
Pausacker lived in South Australia between 1975 and 1981, lecturing and tutoring in children's literature at Flinders University, the Salisbury, Adelaide and Torrens Colleges of Advanced Education and the SA Institute of Technology, and gaining a PhD in children's literature from Flinders University (1981). She has also taught at Deakin University. The story of Jenny Pausacker's writing life is recorded in Something About the Author Autobiography Series 23 (Gale 1997).
Pausacker's writing for children and young adults has challenged accepted stereotypes, and as well as the creative writing listed below she wrote Role Your Own: A Book About Women's Liberation for Fourth Form Students (1976) and Hands On: Trade and Technical Careers for Girls and Women (1985). She has also written about women and mathematics. Her lyrics were included in the feminist 'sing-along' book, Something Good (1981). Pausacker wrote novels for the Reading Rigby scheme from 1979, and following the death of her mother in 1985 and a period of suffering chronic fatigue syndrome, her writing changed direction and she wrote a series of teenage romances, writing under various pseudonyms, and some award-winning young adult novels under her own name. She has also, as 'Jade Forrester', written romances for adults. Pausacker contributed revue sketches for 'Out of the Frying Pan' (Arts Theatre, 1980) and she was script consultant to 'Is This Seat Taken?' (1989, The Space, Adelaide Festival Centre). She has also written and edited scripts for film and video, and has regularly written reviews for newspapers, including The Advertiser, The Age and The Australian, and various journals. In all she has written over sixty works of crime, fantasy, sci-fi, romance and picture books for young people, winning several awards along the way.
Pausacker has spoken at a number of conferences and festivals, and been on boards and planning committees for Writers' Week festivals in both Adelaide and Melbourne. Pausacker is a collector of detective stories and teacups.