Tag: author interview

Daniel Barker: Journey to Egypt Author Interview

An Interview with Jenny about why she wrote
Daniel Barker: Journey to Egypt

Why did you write the Daniel Barker series?

I love Roald Dahl and was reading The Magic Finger. After finishing it, thoughts began to bounce around my head. I wanted to write a fun story about a child who had some type of power. Out of that initial thought, combined with an idea that came to me when I was using Twitter, the seed was planted.
I have always loved ancient Egypt with the pyramids, pharaohs and mummies etc. so I thought it would be awesome to have ancient Egypt as the backstory and then the setting for Journey to Egypt. I wanted magic and fantasy in the stories as this genre is fun to write, and I realised as I wrote the books that they were horror as well. This was a new genre for me to write but I had inspiration from Goosebumps.
All of my books have some type of bully or evil character, so Daniel Barker does as well. When I was thinking about the antagonist – the meanie, the thought of having multiple antagonists came to mind. This gave me the idea for the theme of peer pressure. I know from my own experience as a teacher, and from my youth work studies, that peer pressure is a major issue for children in high school.
I also hoped that boys who don’t like reading, might pick up the book and read it.

What is the story about?

The story is about Daniel Barker who receives a Egyptian magical book on his tenth birthday. The book gives him 99 wishes which must be used for the good of the world. He writes a wish by writing a hashtag and then what he wants. All goes well in primary school and Dan the Man is a superhero. He then goes on to high school where he unleashes the Mummy’s blight due to peer pressure and bullying. In this book Dan and Grandma go back to Egypt to try and stop the blight. They visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities and the mummies come to life and chase Daniel. He meets Meryatum, Ramesses II’s son. Meryatum takes him to ancient Egypt and it is there the boys encounter many challenges and obstacles, in their quest. This is a story with suspense, horror and heaps of action!

What is your favourite part of the story?

I loved researching ancient Egypt, as ever since I was a girl I was fascinated by the pyramids and the sphinx. I remember hearing about the mummification process and being horrified by it – so of course I had to include that in the story!

What will people get out of the story?

Children will learn about ancient Egypt through the facts I have woven through the story. They will see a boy who is resilient and keeps on going towards his goal, with the help of a friend. And I definitely hope children will enjoy the story and be entertained by it.

Is there a Book 3 coming?

Yes, there will be a third where Dan goes back home from Egypt and tries to resume a normal life at home and school. You will have to wait and see what happens in it but like the other two books it will be full of action.

Where can people buy Daniel Barker from?

Daniel Barker: Journey to Egypt is available as a paperback. It can be purchased from many online bookstores which are listed on my website, and from me directly, via my website.

Amy and Phoenix Author Interview

An Interview with Jenny about why she wrote
Amy and Phoenix

Why did you write Amy and Phoenix?

I love Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. When I was a classroom teacher, I always enjoyed reading the story to my class of children. I found it such a heart-warming story. I also thought it would be fun to have talking animals, like in the Doctor Doolittle movies. So, initially these two ideas floated around in my imagination and morphed into a modern tale of a girl who wanted to save a disabled lamb on her farm, and her ability to talk to the animals would help her.

I took my youngest daughter on a holiday and there was a petting zoo in the caravan park. Each day my daughter wanted to go and feed the animals and pat them. She particularly loved the lambs. The photos of her feeding and patting the animals became cemented in my mind, and they became the characters in the book.

My passion is to write stories with disabled characters, or characters in diverse situations. Having a disabled lamb would add a different type of story to my collection.
I made Amy’s dad the antagonist. Dad is really just doing what many farmers do. They put down sick or poorly animals. Farmers may feed potty lambs when there is drought, but they don’t normally feed lambs just for the heck of it. They are too busy. Children do not see the world as adults do so I wanted to explore this relationship in the story.

What is the story about?

The story is about Amy Pringle who sees her dad striding through the loungeroom with his gun. She knows that on the farm that usually isn’t a good thing, and she pursues him to find out why. The bad news is that Amy’s favourite ewe, Edna, has given birth but there is a problem with the lamb. It has three legs. Dad wants to put the lamb down as it will attract the foxes to the farm, but Amy doesn’t want him to. She then has to work out how to change her dad’s mind. With the help of the other farm animals, Amy comes up with a plan which she puts into action. Through a series of events the lambs end up on the internet, and in a talent show. Amy thinks everything is perfect but it soon isn’t. I won’t tell you any more but the story is suspenseful and heart-warming.

What is your favourite part of the story?

I have a few. I loved that Amy could talk to the animals but none of the other humans could, and it was like a secret that Amy was keeping from them. And I loved the bond between Amy and Phoenix, particularly when she makes him a crown to wear after she names him.

What will people get out of the story?

Amy and Phoenix is about a young girl standing up for what she feels is an injustice. Amy is strong and bold, and fights for what she believes in and problem-solves to help her right the wrong she feels her dad is committing. I hope Amy will encourage other children to stand up for what they believe in. The story also has the phenomenon of videos going viral on YouTube, and the media attention this can attract. This part can lead to discussions about cyber safety.

Is there a Book 2 coming?

Yes, as the story does not end. You will realise that when you reach the last few words of the book. Amy’s adventures with Phoenix will be continued in a second novel where she will take the lambs to a TV talent show! I can’t say anything more – you will have to wait and see what happens.

Where can people buy Amy and Phoenix from?

Amy and Phoenix is available as a paperback. It can be purchased from many online bookstores which are listed on my website, and from me directly, via my website.

Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight Author Interview

An Interview with Jenny about why she wrote
Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight

Why did you write Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight?

I love Roald Dahl and was reading The Magic Finger. After finishing it, thoughts began to bounce around my head. I wanted to write a fun story about a child who had some type of power. Out of that initial thought, combined with an idea that came to me when I was using Twitter, the seed was planted.

I have always loved ancient Egypt, the pharaohs and mummies etc. so I thought it would be awesome to have this included. I wanted magic in the story and the things that go wrong in the story to be funny to kids. As I was writing the story, my son peeked over my shoulder, and read some of what I’d written. In shock he said, ‘Mum I didn’t know you’d write that!’ I had to chuckle. His mum is full of surprises.

All of my books have some type of bully or evil character, so Daniel Barker does as well. When I was thinking about the antagonist – the meanie, the thought of having multiple antagonists came to mind. This gave me the idea for the theme of peer pressure. I know from my own experience as a teacher, and from my youth work studies, that peer pressure is a major issue for children in high school.

I also hoped that boys who don’t like reading, might pick up the book and read it.

What is the story about?

The story is about Daniel Barker who receives a magical book on his tenth birthday. The book gives him 99 wishes which must be used for the good of the world. He writes a wish by writing a hashtag and then what he wants. All goes well in primary school and Dan the Man is a superhero. He then goes on to high school. All is great to begin with, but then things change. Kids start bullying and taunting Daniel about his powers. They want him to do pranks which are against the power’s rules. Daniel gives in, unleashing the Mummy’s Blight. Daniel must then try and stop the chaos that ensues. I don’t want to tell you the trouble Daniel gets himself into but it is kind of funny and a little bit of a horror story.

What is your favourite part of the story?

I loved researching the recipe for the antidote that would stop someone from becoming a zombie! It was fun to then write that into the story.

What will people get out of the story?

I hope people see that it is okay to be yourself… it’s okay to be different. Daniel is an only child in a single-parent family and at times the issues involved in living in this situation are raised. The story also shows what peer pressure can do and the trouble one can into when one gives into it. I hope children will enjoy the story and be entertained by it.

Is there a Book 2 coming?

Yes, there are actually two more books coming. In Book 2, Daniel and his grandmother fly back to Egypt to try and find the answers to stopping the Mummy’s blight. You will have to wait and see what happens in it.

Where can people buy Daniel Barker from?

Daniel Barker: By Power or Blight is available as a paperback. It can be purchased from many online bookstores which are listed on my website, and from me directly, via my website.

Land of Britannica Author Interview

An Interview with Jenny about why she wrote Land of Britannica

Why did you write Land of Britannica?

I was at a church ladies camp in 2016 and a fellow camper came up to ask me if I had written a book that could help her grandchildren. She was after a story that dealt with marriage breakup as her grandchildren weren’t coping with what was happening to their family. I hadn’t as I had only written Ride High Pineapple and Brockwell the Brave. This request bubbled around inside of me, growing into the story, Land of Britannica.

My inspiration for the way I wrote the story was the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy goes into a fantasy world. In Oz she must solve the problem she was been wrestling with in the real world. So it is the same with Land of Britannica – Brittney finds herself in the Land of Britannica where she goes through her adventure to work through her feelings of her parents’ impending divorce. The characters in the story are representative of people in Brittney’s real world experiences.

I also wanted the story to do more than just be an adventure story, so I made each of the obstacles Brittney meets in the Land of Britannica, representative of each of the stages of the grief cycle. The grief cycle is a step of cyclical steps humans go through when they are dealing with a traumatic situation. It is described on the Themes page.

This type of story is called an allegory.

What is the story about?

Brittney’s parents have separated. Dad introduces her and her brothers to his new girlfriend. This devastates Brittney as she realises her parents’ marriage is over. Brittney goes to bed upset. She hears a sound under her bed and touches a glowing green light. Brittney is taken into a strange new world, where there are talking animals, dragons, flying carriages and strange food. She meets Carly-Anna who tells her that she is the Chosen One and must save the heart that hangs in the sky from cracking and falling down. Brittney must also save the kingdom from the evil queen who is trying to take over the land. The story follows Brittney’s journey through the Land of Britannica where she must face obstacles and rescue creatures. Along the way she meets different characters, who give her weapons and clothing that give her powers. I won’t tell you what happens, but at the end of the story Brittney needs to make an important decision…

How did you decide on the green heart which hangs in the sky?

I love hearts, and green is the colour of healing. The fact that the heart was cracking and about to fall out of the sky in the Land of Britannica was symbolic of Brittney’s devastation about her parents’ marriage breakup. The evil Queen who was causing the heart to crack, was symbolic of Brittney’s father’s new girlfriend.

How did you decide on what superpowers Brittney would have?

I am a Christian and I thought about the armour of God talked about in the bible, in Ephesians. I created the powers based on this idea. When Brittney enters the Land of Britannica, Carly-Anna gives her a change of clothes. Then as Brittney progresses through the land, she is given items such as a shield, sword, crown, cloak and torch. It was fun to think of the things she could be given and how they could be used.

What would people get out of the story?

The story has five main themes: friendship, separation and divorce, courage, superheroes, and emotional health and the grief cycle. Therefore these are the themes that I hope the child will pick up on and take away from reading the story. Brittney is a strong female character as well. Once she has decided on her journey, Brittney confidently sets out and attacks her enemies with confidence. She problem solves and makes her own decisions. Brittney is a wonderful role model for girls.

Where can people buy Land of Britannica?
Land of Britannica is available as an ebook and a paperback. It can be purchased from many online bookstores which are listed on my website, and from me directly, via my website.

Brockwell the Brave Author Interview

An Interview with Jenny about why she wrote Brockwell the Brave

Why did you write Brockwell the Brave?

My first book, Ride High Pineapple, was based on myself and my eldest daughter. I wanted my second book to be based on my son. He also has my craniofacial syndrome but I didn’t want to write a boy version of the story. I decided to focus on another of my son’s qualities. He is not your typical boy. My son growing up has been a quiet, gentle and you could say, ‘girlie’ boy. He was always into dressing up, he loved dancing, he didn’t possess any action figures or trucks or cars. He owned ‘girl gender’ toys, loved sparkles and the colour pink. My son is now 14 and has hair nearly down to his bottom. He loves to read, to draw, to cook, video games and his soft toys.

Now one could say this is a product of his circumstances and environment. He has two sisters, so he grew up playing with them, and his friends from kindy upwards have been girls as well, so he has grown up in their world. My son was also banned from playing sport growing up because of his face. And his hair was shaved off multiple times with operations, so there could be a subconscious want to have a long hair. Who knows? But it doesn’t matter to us. We love him how he is.

The story Brockwell the Brave, is set in a fantasy Viking village called Enga. Brockwell, the main character, lives on a dragon farm. Even though the village is a fantasy, everything else relating to the village and Viking way of life, is factual, including the names used. Throughout the story I have inserted the Icelandic language which is the closest modem day language to Old Norse. This added some extra authenticity to the story.

I chose the dragons as my son asked for dragons to be in the story. At the time, he has obsessed with the How to Train Your Dragon series and was collecting the dragons he liked. I was very conscious, not to make my book similar to the films or books.

What is the story about?

So Brockwell is twelve, and lives on a dragon farm. His family raises dragons from eggs to be the working animals in the village, like bullocks in the olden days. He loves the babies but is scared of the older dragons which his father wants him to feed and care for. He also likes to do the ‘female’ jobs like going to the village markets to buy the food. Brockwell’s secret desire is to be a healer and he often sneaks off to the village healing hut to help out. Brockwell’s best friend is a strong girl, Ingrid. Mr Ness, Brockwell’s father, believes she’d make a better son then he is. The village bully, Colden, picks on Brockwell as he is a soft target. One day, Brockwell’s father goes on an expedition to rescue an injured wild dragon. He would bring the dragon back to the farm. When Mr Ness doesn’t return, Brockwell goes against his mother’s wishes, and goes with Ingrid and her brother, to find his father. He is given a magical dragon’s tooth which belonged to his grandfather, to protect him. Along the way Brockwell must face his fears and encounters many obstacles. I cannot tell you the ending. 🙂

What did you enjoy the most about writing the story?

I really enjoyed researching the Vikings way of life. I learned a lot! I enjoyed researching Old Norse names for the names of the characters. And I loved creating my own type of dragons and deciding what they would be used for in the village. I wanted them to be unique and the babies adorable.

If you could own a dragon, what would it look like?

Hmmm, my dragon would be hot pink, with scales that shine like the colours of the rainbow. It would be more cute than scary. It would probably also have a silver heart on its side, as I love anything with hearts.

What would people get out of the story?

Brockwell the Brave provides an insight into the world of the Vikings and teaches some of the Icelandic language. The story is a fun adventure with a magical component. It challenges gender stereotypes of both boys and girls. It teaches a child it is okay to be themselves, and that they can face their fears.

Where can people buy Brockwell the Brave?

Brockwell the Brave is available as an ebook and a paperback. It can be purchased from many online bookstores which are listed on my website, and from me directly, via my website.