I'm pleased as punch to interview Jenni L. Walsh for today's #WomensHistoryReads Q&Q&Q&A. Jenni's novel BECOMING BONNIE is a fascinating fictional spin on how Bonnie Parker might have gone from churchgoing teen to compromised moll, with her journey to notorious criminal due to be explained in the upcoming sequel, SIDE BY SIDE. And good timing -- the e-book of BECOMING BONNIE is on sale for a limited time for $2.99. So make like Bonnie and snap it up! Read more about Jenni and her inspiration below.
Greer: How would you describe what you write?
Jenni: I'd like to think my books are a mashup of historical fiction and women's fiction. Women's Historical Fiction, if you will. My novels are set in the 1920s and 1930s (so far!), but more than just the era, I strive to bring my real-life protagonists to life. In Becoming Bonnie and Side by Side, both featuring Bonnie Parker of "Bonnie and Clyde" infamy, the story is very much about Bonnie's personal journey and life experiences.
Greer: What do you find most challenging or most exciting about researching historical women?
Jenni: You know that feature in US Weekly? "STARS--THEY'RE JUST LIKE US!" Well, I often have that thought when I'm researching historical women. Their lives may be very different than my own (i.e. I've never raided a prison like Bonnie Parker), but they still have many of the same emotional and physical struggles we all face. I find that aspect exciting, intriguing, and humanizing. The challenge, I've found, is trying to bring the woman's real voice to life. Sometimes it can take a while for the voice to fully form in my head.
Greer: What book, movie or TV show would your readers probably be surprised to find out you love?
Jenni: Gold Rush! And I'm #TeamParker all the way. If you haven't seen the show, it's set nowadays, but I find the gold rush from the 1800s so interesting. Methinks I'd love to write about it someday! In fact, I see Wikipedia has a page on "Women in the California Gold Rush"!
Jenni: Question for you: How would you describe your next novel's leading lady in three words?
Greer: Great question! If I had four words, I'd say "In over her head," but with three, I'll just give you three adjectives: loving, loyal, and unprepared.