Name: Jenny Jones
Date of birth: 28 January 1952 (ancient!)
Place of birth: Lower Hutt
Now living in: rural Masterton
- What is your favourite food?
- I do like fruit especially when I travel overseas and try new fruit and foods.
- Do you have a nickname and if so what is it?
- Yes - ‘JJ’.
- What was your most embarrassing moment?
- I have had lots - cannot think of one.
- How do you relax?
- I go to the beach.
- Who inspired you when you were little?
- Peter Snell. I did children’s athletics and he was inspirational.
Also living in the Marlborough Sounds in a place you could only get to by boat - only my family was there and there was native bush all around the place which gave me my love of nature and New Zealand, so it was not a ‘who’ but a ‘what inspired me’ in that case.
- What were you like at school?
- At primary school a tomboy. I loved sports and nature and kept little fish in bowls and lizards.
At secondary school I loved surfing, athletics and volleyball, but I also studied hard as well as I loved learning.
- What was your favourite/most hated subject at school?
- Favourite: Science and Nature Studies at primary. Secondary - Geography and English/Reading.
- Hated: Maths.
- What was the book you most loved as a child?
- Moonfleet by John Meade Falkner. I have read it many times since and still enjoy it.
- Which person from the past would you most like to meet?
- William Shakespeare would be interesting or Charles Dickens.
- Who is your favourite author/children’s author?
- It would have to be Roald Dahl. I think all of his books are brilliant.
- Why did you want to be a writer?
- To pass onto children all the wonderful things I have learnt about New Zealand species in a way that they would enjoy and also learn from.
- Do you have a special place where you write your books?
- Yes - in my head. I think a lot about things to write and especially when I am teaching children and then I do my writing in my office at home.
- What’s the best thing and worst thing about being a writer?
- Getting back from children how much they enjoyed my books (best) and not being able to write more than I do (worst) - maybe when I retire.
- If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
- Well, I am also a Conservation Educator working at Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre and I teach children who come in with their class for lessons on New Zealand species. I have been a teacher all my life - first in a classroom for 18 years, then I taught at WWF (World Wildlife Fund) New Zealand for 7 years, and now at Mt Bruce for the last 7 years.
I also work with my husband who is a palaeontologist and we go out looking for fossils like big moa bones, which I really enjoy.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
- Write for yourself first and just keep going. Keep all the writing you do.
This interview is from 2002.