Jessica Bell is an award-winning author/poet, writing/publishing coach, graphic designer, and singer-songwriter who was born in Melbourne, Australia.
In addition to having published a memoir, four novels, three poetry collections, and her bestselling Writing in a Nutshell series, she has been featured in a variety of publications and ABC Radio National shows such as Writer's Digest, Publisher's Weekly, The Guardian, Life Matters, and Poetica.
She is also the Publisher of Vine Leaves Press, and CEO of Independent Publishing Assistance.
For more information about Jessica’s other projects, visit, iamjessicabell.com.
All it took was one secret drink at fifteen for Jessica Bell to binge-drink herself into oblivion for the next ten years.
In 1980s Australia, Erika Bach and Demetri Vlass, who founded Ape the Cry and Hard Candy, two of Melbourne’s iconic indie bands, encouraged Jessica with unreserved love to pick up the guitar and write her own songs. But Erika’s back problem became a nightmare of pill-popping, alcohol abuse, and anxiety attacks, and Demetri retreated into silence for fear of triggering Erika’s drug-induced psychosis.
To escape the madness at home, and the torment of hating herself, Jessica experimented with bisexuality in a high school rife with bullies, lost her virginity to rape, and tried to supplement absent love with unprotected one-night stands. All under the influence of alcohol.
Until one day alcohol nearly drove Jessica off a cliff.
Jessica had to look at herself honestly and frankly. Why did she keep running from reality, and more importantly, herself? And was finding happiness from within, possible?
Praise for GO
“Admirable” The Sydney Morning Herald
“Ends on a note of optimism, of finding a sense of self amidst extreme chaos” Newfound Journal
“One of those memoirs that will stay with you” The Compulsive Reader
“Highly relatable” Babydolls and Razorblades
“A testament to the power of the human spirit” Writers' Know-How
“I'll admit it. I was won over.” Karl Drinkwater
“A great, touching and very eye-opening experience.” Avalinah's Books
“Gut-wrenchingly open and honest – the like of which we haven’t seen that often since Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.” T E Shepherd
“A moving, frightening, intense and beautifully-narrated page-turner” Bookmuse
Imagine being put to death for the crime of your child's unhappiness.
This is the tale of Icasia Bloom: how she is caught up in a story not initially her own, and how it changes her world.
In a Globe controlled by a trusted yet elusive leader who has granted immortality to those who live by The Book, misfit Icasia Bloom is doomed to die young for the crime of her child's unhappiness.
Like all 'Tatters' she gets food by bartering, and when she brings customers to the new local bakery, she meets another borderline outcast, Selma Beyett, whose plight touches her.
Selma’s husband Jerome must die in six months if his quest for perpetual happiness is not successful.
What starts as a desperate attempt to save Jerome takes the two women on a profoundly enlightening search for happiness. Icasia questions the Globe's judgement on its people and on the nature of happiness itself.
Heart-warming, yet strangely unsettling, How Icasia Bloom Touched Happiness, questions everything we take for granted, and takes a long, hard look into our souls.
"A heartfelt novel ... a welcome twist of convention" The Booklife Prize
"Exploratory, frightening scenarios... followed by a curveball epilogue... satisfaction is a matter of the soul’s survival. Foreword Reviews
“A gem of a novel.” The Wishing Shelf
“A touching, deceptively deep novel for anyone who ever loved.” Bookmuse
"A refreshing dystopia that captivates and charms." Stephen Oram, author of Eating Robots
“Icasia is one of those beautifully crafted characters that we can see the best of ourselves in.” Monkey Review
“I have not been so comforted by a novel for a long time.” K. Parsey, writer
“A quick, delicious and important read... that is, if you are constantly wondering what this life here is for.”
Elaina Battista-Parsons, author of Italian Bones in the Snow
“Wow. A book I will be thinking about for a while to come.” Perry Iles, editor
“A metaphor for our times, lives and society, and shows what we should strive to achieve.” Peter Snell, bookseller
“This novel is indeed a rare bird.” Jean Gill, author of the Natural Forces series
“Totally absorbing race against time.” Steve Zettler, author of Careless Love