Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hello Darlings! I’m Jasmine Jhounkin, but known to the writing world as Gerri D. I’m 27 soon to be 28 on the 28th of November
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Lancaster Texas a suburb not too far from Dallas.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I want to first tell you where my pen name Gerri D. originated from. My middle name is Geraldine after my late grandmother. She passed away from breast cancer 11 months before I was born. Geraldine was going to be my first name but my uncle saved me and persuaded my parents to use it as my middle name. The D comes from the first initial of my husband’s last name Davis.
I am the middle child of two sets of twins. I find it odd that I was only one to be in the womb by myself. My older sisters Kimberly and Bridgette are twins and my younger brothers Nicholas and Myles are twins.
I graduated high school from Townview Magnet Center in 2008 (people in Dallas say that’s where the smart kids go). From there I attended Xavier University of Louisiana where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and minor is Sociology in 2012. While attending Xavier, I became an undeniable member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated. I also met the man that I would marry 5 years later.
In 2013 I became a proud member of the Order of the Eastern Star through the Dallas chapter Daughter’s of Zion #5. In 2015 I started working on my Masters and became a teacher. On June 25, 2016 I married Joseph Davis. Which is very weird to me, because I NEVER wanted to be married. As a young girl I always said, “I never want to be married”. But he came along and showed me the definition of true love and turned my never into a couple of forevers.
In December 2016 I received my Masters from the University of Texas at Arlington in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a 4.0! I was recently hired as an online tutor to teach kids in China, English.
My parents Gregory and Kimberly Jhounkin are my everything and are the reason I have accomplished a few things in my life. I often doubt myself in life, but these two reassure me every time. My parents make me believe I have the ability to do whatever I set my mind too. I do what I do to hear them say, “I’m proud of you.”
Joseph and I have no children but we do have fur babies Candy (shih tzu) and Tyga (pit bull). I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I love dancing, not structured dancing, simply dancing. An important fact that everyone needs to know is that I am a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan. Number 88 is my favorite player. If you want to get on my bad side, say something negative about the Cowboys. It’s also important to know that I don’t watch football, I only watch the Cowboys.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m currently working on my fourth book. It’s a sequel to my third book Thick as Thieves
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
In 2015, I was working as a temporary employee at Nissan and was often bored at my desk. I picked up a pen and paper and started my first novel. Months later, I started my masters program, became a teacher, and began planning a wedding. These events caused me to put the pen down. It wasn’t until my second year of teaching that I made it my goal to finish my book. During the winter break I finished my book December 31, 2016.
When I was in the 2nd grade I told myself I wanted to be a writer. I would make a book out of construction paper and note book paper, but I never knew what to write about. My father Gregory would often tell me I would be great writer, but I didn’t think so. Until I got bored that day at Nissan and tried it out. I know I didn’t answer the question of why I began writing, but I don’t have an exact answer. I don’t really know why, I just did.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer when I searched Gerri D. in the Amazon.com search engine and my first novel was available for purchase.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
There were some events that happened in my life that I believed could be turned into a book. All I needed to do was change a few names and add some twist and turns for it to be interesting and enjoyable.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My publisher Grand Penz Publications helped me with coming up with the title. The book was saved in my documents as Novel for the longest. I would send her many titles that were rejected until she approved I Deserve Him.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I don’t have specific writing style. The most challenging thing about writing is that I haven’t studied the art of it. Grammar is something that I struggle with, I might have unnecessary commas or go in and out of the current tense I’m writing from.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I will say that 85-90% of my books are based on my own life experiences.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t have to travel for my craft, because I’ve already been to these places. I’m simply traveling back down memory lane.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher Grand Penz Publications handles those affairs for me. Sorry, I don’t know who designs the covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, there is a message in my novels that I want readers to grasp. I want them to understand that life is all about choices, good and bad. Some situations can be avoided if you make the right choices. I also want women to know how important it is to remember who you are. It’s detrimental to lose yourself in a man. No, man should have that much power over you, that you forget who you are and what you stand for.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Yes, there are a few new authors that have grasped my interest. Miz. Lala, Chiquita, Teagan Lee, T. Miles, Tra’Niqua, Dominique Washington, and Taniece formally known as J. Syn. Shan is my favorite writer because she references Dallas in her books and I love my city. That’s what originally drew me to her. But her books take you through the motions and she never disappoints.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
There were three women that I trusted to send my book to when I finished writing it. Kristeena, Shalonda, and Ashleigh. They boosted my confidence enough for me to send it book to a publisher. My friend Kendell Simms was also a big supporter when I told him I wanted to write a book. He still tells me to this day that we are going to Oprah.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I don’t see writing as a career, only as a hobby.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would change going over my edits more thoroughly. I was so eager to get the book released, that I didn’t go over my edits as intensely as I should have. As a result, the book was published that way.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned from reader reviews that they don’t like when I retell the same scene from another character’s point of view. I kept that in mind when I wrote the next two books.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would be so excited that the book was turned into a film, I wouldn’t care who played the lead.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Writing is a passion. If you’re in it for the money then your work will show. Don’t get discouraged by bad reviews or if the sales aren’t off the chart. Don’t get discouraged when your first, second or possibly third book is not picking up like you want it to. Keep writing and believe in yourself. Promote yourself and get your name out there. Also, if you want 100% of your sales to go to you, self-publish.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I want to tell my readers that I love you and I thank you for your support. Without you there is no me. What’s the point of writing if there are no readers. Thank you for taking a chance on me by spending your hard-earned money on a writer you’ve never heard of before. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Because I’m working on my fourth book, I’m not reading at the moment. But I’ll pick it back up when I finish the book.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I consider myself to be a goofy person, so just about anything makes me laugh. Really sad things make me cry. Although there was this one time when I really wanted pizza and my husband brought home a pizza with no toppings and I cried.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Yes, I would love to meet Malcolm X. I want him to feed me knowledge.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Outside of writing, I love to read, create videos for birthdays, graduations, funerals, and book trailers. I also love line dancing and listening to music.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I enjoy watching The Bernie Mac Show, Martin, Power, Supernatural, Criminal Minds, Scooby-Doo, Family Guy, and Adventure Time. My favorite films of all time are The Five Heartbeats and The Lion King. But I can’t leave out Friday, Soul Men, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Menace II Society.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
My favorite foods are Mexican and Seafood. I love Snickers as well. The only color in the world I see is blue. I enjoy anymusic that I can relate to. But Old School R&B is my favorite with Maze Ft. Frankie Beverly and Al Green being my favorite artist.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
If I were no longer a writer, I would want to own a funeral home or be a college professor.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
It’s funny that you ask what I want on my head stone because people that know me, know I’m always talking about my obituary. Whenever I do something I deem as an accomplishment I say, “Add that to my obituary.” Back to the original question. I want this written on my head stone.
Jasmine Geraldine Jhounkin-Davis
Loving Daughter, Wife, Sister, Mother, Educator, and Writer
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Readers can visit Amazon authors page