Meet the Authors of “Dirty Laundry,” Wanda Jennings and Louise Turner.
The following interview was conducted by Southern Willow Publishing’s Editor-In-Chief, Jaimie Miller, on March 20th, 2020.
Jaimie: Hello, Mrs. Louise and Mrs. Wanda. Thank you both for agreeing to join us for this interview. Everyone is so excited to meet you and learn more about your new series.
For everyone who is just now hearing of these two, Mrs. Louise and Mrs. Wanda are some of our newest clients at Willow Bend Publishing. They have just finished book one of their new series entitled Dirty Laundry. They have agreed to sit down with us and answer a few questions. Let’s get started! What inspired you to write this book?
Louise: As most Southern families do, we all grew up telling tales. The funnier, the better.
Wanda: What Louise is trying to say is that she talks a lot. She’s always going on and on about something or another.
Louise: You’re one to talk. You’re right there with me. Half the time I can’t get a word in edgewise.
Wanda: You’re the one talking their ears off here.
Jaimie: Having read the book already, I can tell you that it is absolutely hysterical. Can you tell the reader a little about the book?
Louise: It’s 100% fictional.
Wanda: I wouldn’t say that, Louise.
Louise: I’m pleading the fifth on that one.
Wanda: This book is the first in the Magnolia Manor series. We haven’t agreed yet on how many books there will be yet.
Louise: At least seven.
Wanda: I’m committing to three, Louise! Anyway, this book is about the people of Rhinestone. Rhinestone is what we like to call the biggest small town this side of the Mississippi. There are secrets, scandals, mysteries, and a lot of hilarity.
Louise: And food! Don’t forget the food.
Wanda: No one’s forgetting the food.
Louise: Anyway, like Wanda said, we haven’t fully decided on the final number of books in the series. There are so many interesting stories yet to come and so many characters to explore. Each one of them have an interesting story to tell. Rhinestone is the happening place to be.
Wanda: Interesting stories and a lot of attitude.
Louise: Let’s just say they (characters) are feisty, and they like a touch of adventure.
Jaimie: Speaking of the characters, who is your favorite character?
Wanda: Maude and Opal are my favorite characters. I think they provide a certain comic relief. I know I had so much fun writing them because they didn’t follow any rules. I set out for them to do one thing, and they end up somewhere completely different. They practically write themselves. The next book in the series will center around them. It’s looking to be a hoot already!
Louise: That’s really a difficult question to answer. It’s a bit like picking your favorite child. They’re all special in their unique ways. I’ve honestly never laughed as much as when Maude and Opal showed up. Those two are a mess. But I think if I had to choose one favorite of them all, it would have to be Wilbur. That poor thing was always thrown into the middle of something.
Jaimie: Were any characters inspired by real people?
Wanda: Oh, honey, yes.
Louise: Wanda! You can’t say that. You’ll have people in three counties mad at you!
Wanda: But it’s the truth!
Louise: I’m not admitting to a thing.
Wanda: Well, I’m not naming names, but there’s quite a few Rhinestonians that may seem familiar.
Louise: Of course, they seem familiar. You’re related to half of them. Granted, I’m related to the other half. Lord have mercy! We won’t ever be able to show our faces back home again.
Jaimie: I know when I write a novel, I feel like the characters take on a life of their own. How do you feel about them? For instance, what do you think happened to the characters after the book ended?
Wanda: They’re still around! The great thing about a series is that you don’t have to say goodbye to anyone when the book is over. They’re all still living the high life over in Rhinestone.
Louise: They’re already working on their next adventure.
Jaimie: Speaking of adventure, how did you two meet?
Louise: Oh Lord, we’ve known each other since we were playing in the sandbox. I don’t remember a time when Wanda wasn’t around. We’ve always been as thick as thieves, even when we grew up and both moved away from home.
Wanda: Don’t tell them how old we are!
Louise: I didn’t. Kids still play in a sandbox.
Wanda: You’d still play in the sandbox if they’d let you.
Louise: I probably would if I could figure out how to crawl out of the thing.
Jaimie: You two are too funny! What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Wanda: I don’t know about Louise, but I can’t write without a cup of coffee and a snack or two.
Louise: It’s true, we do like to have a few snacks handy. I generally like to have some country music on in the background. You know, Conway Twitty or Loretta Lynn. None of the new stuff that’s on the radio today. They don’t make music like that anymore.
Wanda: Ain’t that the truth!
Jaimie: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Wanda: Believe it or not, I wanted to be an entertainer. Lord didn’t bless me with a good singing voice, though. I can’t dance to save my life, but I still love to move and shake it when a good song comes on. You got me thinking about Conway Twitty now!
Louise: I wanted to do everything. I wanted to see it all and do it all. Of course, things were a little different back then. Not as many opportunities for women as there are now. My grandkids are doing things that I never would have imagined. Wanda, stop it. No one wants to see you dance.
Wanda: I’m just showing y’all how the kids do it nowadays.
Louise: They don’t like that, that’s for sure.
Jaimie: You two seem to know a lot about each other. What is something you learned about yourself after writing this book?
Wanda: I learned that I really could do it. Sitting down and writing a book isn’t as easy as one may think. There were times I thought we’d never get it finished. Louise wanted to do a series for years, but I was always pretty reluctant. The older she gets, the more persistent she becomes. I guess, learned I’m even more hilarious than I originally thought!
Louise: I don’t know exactly what it taught me, but it definitely reminded me of just how much fun the two of us can have together. I haven’t laughed so hard in years. Laughing with one of my dearest friends was truly the best part for me.
Jaimie: Thank you both for taking the time to answer these questions and make us laugh! We are so thankful that you two heard about us and trusted us to take your precious characters and hard work to the next level. We look forward to many more hilarious outings with you two.
Dirty Laundry, Book 1 of the Magnolia Manor series, is currently available on Amazon and at fine book retailers nationwide. The second book of the Magnolia Manor series, Saints and Sinners, will be available May 1st, 2020!