Hi and welcome to my stop on Wendy H Jones’s Bertie The Buffalo blog tour 🙂
Many thanks to Wendy H Jones and to Kelly @ Love Books Group Tours
Interview with Wendy H Jones…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Firstly, thank you for inviting me on your blog. It is a real honour.
You’re very welcome, Wendy 🙂
I am actually the author of 9 adult and young adult crime books, set in Scotland. I started writing after spending twenty-three years in both the Royal Navy and the Army. I reached the rank of Major, a rank I keep until the day I die. I then worked in Academia where I wrote frightfully boring textbooks and articles. I turned my hand to fiction after a long period of illness.
I currently have four series running and another one which I am planning. The first, the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries, is a police procedural. Shona is smart, sassy funny, sharp and always knee deep in dead bodies. The books are unusual in that you see the story from both the police point of view and the point of view of the killer. You get to see inside the killer’s mind and what motivates him or her. The first in the series is Killer’s Countdown and there are five others so far with another three planned.
The second series is the Cass Claymore Mysteries. Cass is a red headed, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina who inherits a private detective agency and accidently hires an ex-con dwarf and an octogenarian. The first book, Antiques and Alibis, is a laugh out loud tale of bungling incompetence littered with dead bodies, antique teddies, hapless crooks and a Lord of the Realm who has gone AWOL. This series does not take itself seriously.
My Young Adult series, The Fergus and Flora Mysteries is a bit Famous Five meets Scooby Doo but for an older age group. Fergus and Flora are a couple of teens who rattle through the countryside causing havoc whilst saving Dundee and other parts of Scotland from all manner of evil. There are two books so far – The Dagger’s Curse and The Haunted Broch. I am currently half way through writing the next one, The Warrior’s Revenge.
I was commissioned to write Bertie the Buffalo as the story is based on a true story of real buffalo who escaped in Scotland. Scotland’s very own wee escape artist managed to rattle around Fife for 13 days escaping detection.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I’m never short of an idea or two and people say my mind is a worrying place to be. They are probably right as everything comes straight out of my head. Remember one of my series involves serial killers. With regards to the humorous books I find life extremely funny anyway and try to see the laughter in everything. I have a fairly dry sense of humour and even in my police procedurals there are elements of laughter. Life is too short to take yourself seriously.
The initial idea for Bertie the Buffalo was handed to me on a plate. Thankfully the Buffalo on this plate was still alive and kicking. The wee chap escaped from a Buffalo Farm in Fife and was on the run for 13 days. The idea was that I wrote about his adventures whilst the wee escape artist was on the run.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
I have real characters in all my books, apart from Bertie the Buffalo. My friend’s son, Brian Gevers, is a policeman in the DI Shona Mckenzie Mysteries. Two of my friends sons are written into the Fergus and Flora mysteries. Both Bek Slater and Nathan Black are characters and based on the boys themselves.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
I chose Cass Claymore because I started with the name Cass and needed something Scottish and strong to go with it. Shona McKenzie started out as Shona MacLeod until I thought is sounded too much like a character in another crime series. I then went through every Mc until something sounded right. With Fergus and Flora, I wanted the female character to be a descendent of the original Flora MacDonald. Then I needed a Scottish boy’s name which would go with that. I sat in the car going through boys’ names until I came to something that sounded right.
Bertie the Buffalo was actually called Bert by the BBC. They were looking for him when he went missing so I already had a name. Bertie sounded much better then Bert so I used poetic licence.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I’m an any time, any place, anywhere girl, in a literary sense of course. I have written in some odd places and have turned where I work into a game on social media. For example:
Today’s writing is brought to you form Captain Scott’s cabin on board the RRS Discovery
Today’s writing is brought to you from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s desk in the Toronto Public Library
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
My this is a tough one. They have to be:
Eleanor M. Brent Dyer
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
It would have to be Enid Blyton and I would ask her how she managed to be such a prolific writer.
Were you a big reader as a child?
I was a huge reader as a child. I was an early reader and had a library card at age three. You couldn’t get one until you were five way back then. I also had an adult library card at the age of ten as I’d read my way through the entire children’s section of the library.
When did you start to write?
About six years ago when. I moved back to Scotland from the South of England. I was bored and had an idea for a book. The rest as they say, is history.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change? Is there a book you wish you had written?
Blimey, that really is a tough one. I can’t give any specifics as I can’t remember the names, but there are a couple I would have written a happier ending. I like books to end on a positive note, although I appreciate life is not always like that.
I wish I had written The Hound of the Baskervilles as I truly love that book.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
Grab Life by the Horns
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Sherlock Holmes and I would take him to Fortnum and Masons for afternoon tea.
What are you working on right now?
Five different projects but the main one is Killer’s Curse, the seventh DI Shona McKenzie Mystery.
Tell us about your last release?
My last release was The Haunted Broch, my second Fergus and Flora Mystery. The Detective Duo, as they call themselves, are on an archaeological dig at Scotland’s Lost Broch, in Stirling. Within minutes of touching base, they are awash in ghostly events and evil deeds. Will the Detective Duo be able to save the dig from ghosts, ghouls and deadly goings on/
Do you have a new release due?
My next release is Bertie the Buffalo which will be out by the beginning of November.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Have a glass of champagne, a slice of cake and start the next book.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Through my website wendyhjones.com. There is a contact form on there.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Writing books is the most fabulous job in the world. Being able to write for so many age groups is a privilege and I enjoy every single minute of it. I want to thank all readers everywhere. You are what makes it all worthwhile. Thank you once again Kerry for your hospitality and for asking such interesting questions.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Wendy 🙂
How cute is this…..
Bertie the Buffalo is based on a true story of when a Water Buffalo escaped from a Buffalo Park in Fife, near Dundee, Scotland. A rhyming book about the adventures Bertie got up to and how he safely returned home, demonstrating how important each of us is no matter how insignificant we feel. Bertie felt that no one noticed him. But he didn’t need to think that as we are all special. We are all a part of one big family.
Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer’s Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer’s Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer’s Crypt being released in August, 2017. The Dagger’s Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.