I am pleased to introduce Jenni L Walsh, author of Becoming Bonnie and Side by Side!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I can't remember when that urge for creativity and storytelling developed. I think it's always been there. My mom read to me every night (thanks, Mom!). That led to me writing my own stories and poems. After schooling, my day job was a writer, specifically as an advertising copywriter. Any and all promotional words on an advertisement- that's what I did for about ten years. Then, about eight years ago, the motivation to write a novel struck me. I wrote one book, then another, and another- that won't be published, but turned out to be amazing practice. My fourth go-around, Becoming Bonnie, which is a prequel that tells the story of Bonnie (of Bonnie and Clyde) before she met Clyde, was my first book published. And now I also happily have Side by Side, which puts us in the passenger seat of Bonnie and Clyde's infamous crime spree. The books can be read together, separately, and in any order.
What are some of your favorite books?
That question is always so hard, so I'm going to cheat and speak to genre. I write historical fiction because I love to read it. I am really drawn to the stories that feature an actual person, place, or thing. Hazel Gaynor has written about the Titanic. Greer Maccallister about the first female Pinkerton agent. Ariel Lawhon about the Hindenburg. Kate Quinn about a real-life ring of spies. I could go on and on, and I'm thankful I can go on and on.
Where do you get the inspiration to write?
My kiddos. I love being an author. Character voices are constantly filling my head. I wiggle in my chair when I'm writing a scene I'm really excited about. I have a long list of story ideas. But I sit my butt down to write every day because I want to help inspire my children, provide for my children, set a good example, etc. They are both really young, not yet in school full-time, so I feel very fortunate that I can spend my days with them and spend nap times, early mornings, or late nights with my words.
What inspired you to write about Bonnie and Clyde from Bonnie Parker's perspective?
I debated both tense and POV, actually. But I landed on first person, present tense because I wanted readers to be both in her head and also sharing the moment with her. The reader sees, thinks, experiences just as Bonnie does. It made for some intense writing moments!
Do you plan on writing more in the historical fiction genre?
Definitely. I just completed a draft of a novel that's set during the California gold rush. It's a time periods that's always intrigued me. I also write narrative nonfiction for children and have a new series, called She Dared, starting with Scholastic in 2019. Those books will feature young women, who at a young age, accomplished daring feats of perseverance and bravery.
Where is your favorite place to write?
Wherever it's quiet! No music, no distraction, no noise. I usually write while everyone else sleeps!
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read. I mean, you had to expect that. Beyond that, with a two-year-old and a four-year-old, I like to do whatever they like to do :)
What is your latest book about?
As I mentioned, my latest WIP is set during the California gold rush, and it's about a remarkable woman, Eleanor Dumont. She was witty and smart and mysterious and independent. And, she's actually began blackjack in our country. However, later in life, Madame Dumont bested an individual in a card game, and, in response, he bitterly called her Madame Mustache, due to a thin strip of hair she'd developed on her upper lip. That name stuck, and often overshadows her real name and her real story. I felt that unfair and I wanted to tell her story.
So, if any of your books became movies, who would you want to play the main characters?
In my books, Bonnie and Clyde write a song together. Bonnie also finds herself up on stage. So, my Bonnie would need a set of lungs. I've always thought Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Peebles, or Darcy Rose Byrnes would do wonderfully!
You have been given a week vacation to visit ANY fictional town, where would you go?
So cliche, but I have to say Hogwarts. I have to. I've spent so much time in that world. Fortunately, that fictional town could only exist on a vacation one day :)
Quick! You have a date with your favorite fictional character, who are you meeting tonight?!
I've long been a fan of J.D. Robb's In Death series. The main character is a badass detective named Eve Dallas. I'd probably be very intimidated and it's doubtful she would even want to spend the evening socializing. So, maybe I could be of help on one of her cases.
Connect with Jenni!
Becoming Bonnie and Side by Side can be found at Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Amazon, Audible, and Indie Bound!
The She Dared series releases January 2019 and can be found at Barnes and Noble, Indie Bound, and Amazon!
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