Musing on Her Recently Published Book's Success: Consular work, which may seem like a glamorous activity, is actually very demanding of time and energy, as eloquently described by former Puerto Vallarta Consular Agent Jenny McGill in her recently published memoir. Titled "Drama & Diplomacy in a Sultry Mexican Beach Town," the book describes her experiences prior to and during her consular years in Puerto Vallarta. Sitting on her porch overlooking the beautiful town of Talpa de Allende, no sounds heard but the summer breeze and a few curious hummingbirds, she is surprised with the unexpected success of the book: "There are even a few English students here in Talpa who are requesting their teachers incorporate it as part of their textbook materials!"
Twelve years have come and gone since Jenny passed on the consular torch to Laura Holmstrom and moved to Talpa, where the tranquil pace has allowed for a great deal of introspection. "Life in Talpa has been an education," she ponders, "and getting to know other people whose way of life is so different from mine has made me like the person who I am today even more."
Although a long time coming, it took her only six months to complete the book once the writing process began in September 2005. But that was no easy task. "I experienced every possible emotion while I was writing," she recalls. "Some things were funny and some very sad, and reliving them was as challenging as they were when they were actually going on." However, she feels good about it.
Now sought after by several US settlements around Mexico, Jennny and Howard, her husband, are enjoying a fair amount of traveling for book signings and lectures, rekindling old friendships and making new ones. When asked about future plans, she smiles: "There may be another book."
Jenny McGill, author of Drama and Diplomacy in Sultry Puerto Vallarta, recently announced the launch of her new website aimed at Puerto Vallarta enthusiasts. McGill’s book, which covers the fourteen years she served as the United States Consular Agent in Puerto Vallarta during the 1980’s and 90’s, captures the essence of how Puerto Vallarta used to be before developing into the modern city it is today.
The book covers historic moments in Puerto Vallarta history such as a visit by the Queen of England as well as details of many of the cases McGill dealt with during her service. A consular agent’s job is dealing with the four D’s: death, disappearance, destitution and detention; and there’s no shortage of any of those in the book. The website includes sample chapters and stories from the book as well as reviews by authors such as Linda Ellerbee and James Tipton. Visitors will be able to listen to podcasts of McGill telling some of her favorite stories, some of which will be new material not included in Drama and Diplomacy. www.mjmcgill.com
The final essays written by the late Jenny McGill have been collected in a tome called Tales from the Sierra Madre Including the Woman in the Trunk by her husband, Howard McGill. Featuring a foreword by Linda Ellerbee, the book has been available locally through Howard McGill (222-2828 or cel 322-152-6937) and online through amazon.com. The online distributor has recently also made the book available in Kindle format.
To purchase the Kindle edition of Tales from the Sierra Madre Including the Woman in the Trunk, please click here.
December 31, 2009, Jenny McGill, former United States consular agent in Puerto Vallarta, passed away at age 76 in Jackson, Mississipi, where she was being treated for lung cancer. A prominent and much admired resident, McGill worked 14 years as consular agent in Puerto Vallarta, during which she help boost its tourism development. She is remembered as a passionate, loving and selfless consul, especially during Puerto Vallarta’s challenging 80s. Her book, “Drama & Diplomacy in a Sultry Mexican Beach Town" candidly describes her experience during those years. Learn more about Jenny McGill by reading a profile published in Vallarta Lifestyles.