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.
Jennie Gilbert Ross (children’s book pen name “Jennie Wren”)
What is your age?
Fiona: Where are you from?
Austin Texas (currently in Reno Nevada)
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I graduated from Austin High School and attended the University of Texas at Austin. I currently live in Reno, NV with my husband of 61 years. We have a dog and 2 horses. We have 3 grown sons.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have just published my 5th Slicker McQuicker and getting ready to release the first Slicker McQuicker character of my upcoming Slicker toyline.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
My older brother and my parents were both into poetry. They were a big influence on me. When I was in the first grade my older brother introduced me to the works of Robert W Service and Rudyard Kipling. My father and I would walk down the street quoting “Thanatopsis”. I still to this day quote the poems that my parents and I shared while I was very young. At about 4 years I was already reciting poetry by Robert Lewis Stevenson. When I was in first grade I always carried a poetry book in my back pocket. It was by Robert W. Service and was called “The Spell of the Yukon”. When I was in the fifth grade, the teacher read “The Cremation of Sam McGee” and I was so enthralled by it that I went to the library, learned it and still to this day recite it word for word.
I still have the same poetry book that I kept in my back pocket from my childhood.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In High School I won a prize for writing for the veterans. I guess that was the point that I began to feel like a writer.
Well, I can’t remember what my first book was but I did not publish it. However, I was inspired to write my children’s books about Slicker McQuicker due to:
While raising 3 sons and my youngest having learning disablilities, I realized that there were so many important values that were not being taught. I created the character Slicker McQuicker to be someone that kids could relate to and look up to. Slicker is a real funny boy. His ears spring out, his eyes change from brown to blue, he has red curly hair, freckles and looks different than the other kids. He teaches kids about acceptance, self love, friendship, safety and bullying while taking the audience on fun adventures.
Because of my youngest son’s learning disability, he was seeing a child psychologist by the name of Tom Oakland who was world famous for helping children. He read my Slicker books and felt that they had values that children could benefit from.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I came up with it because it rhymed. I thought it would draw kids’ attention. I felt that Slicker McQuicker had a fun sound to it, was fun to say and easy to remember.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
For my children’s books Iuse rhyming because it’s easy for children to read and remember.
Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Not for my children’s books but for my mystery novels I sometimes get a writers block and right now I’m writing a sequel to my first mystery and find that it’s more challenging due to keeping characters in line and maintaining the flow.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of my mysteries have incidents that happened in my own life and personal experiences from people I’ve met or known.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I do not have to travel but I have come up with characters and locations due to travelling.
Fiona: Who designed the covers
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My message in my Slicker McQuicker books is to teach kids self respect, respect for others, safety, importance of friendship, anti-bullying, using your imagination and to know that it’s ok to be different and you don’t always have to others around to have fun.
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?
I don’t have a favorite but currently I am listening to Anne Perry’s audiobooks and find her work intriguing.I also really enjoy Jeffrey Archer.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Dr Tom Oakland
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, it’s really hard to get through, haha.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
If it was THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BLANKET I would like someone like Clint Eastwood.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
It takes hard work, determination and regardless of what publishers or agents say, you know your work. Never give up.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Be on the lookout for many more SlickerMcQuickers and our toyline that is being produced.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Wrong Side of the Blanket by me😊
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet?
Benjamin Franklin would be great to meet because he respected the average American, he had a great sense of humor, could speak several different languages and believed in freedom.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Horseback riding, swimming, traveling and politics.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
None. I don’t watch tv because I feel that it could affect my own ideas for my work. When I was writing songs, it was suggested that I don’t listen to others on the radio because it would have an effect on what I would produce.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
My favorite food is steak, favorite color is blue and favorite music is country.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Spend time with my horses and friends.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I’m going to be cremated.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Children’s book pen name “Jennie Wren”