Interview with Jenni L. Walsh + #DebBallGiveaway of BECOMING BONNIE

You’ve heard the news, but I’ll say it one last time: BECOMING BONNIE, our fifth and final 2017 Debutante Ball book, launched this week!! BECOMING BONNIE is the untold story of how Bonnelyn Parker became half of the infamous duo, Bonnie & Clyde.

Here’s my favorite review of Jenni’s excellent novel:

“A dazzling and compulsively-readable adventure of self-discovery, with a voice both singular and irresistible. I dare you not to fall in love with Bonnie, and her intoxicating, wholly immersive world.”―Lee Kelly, author of A Criminal Magic

“Adventure of self-discovery” is such an apt description. Becoming Bonnie is impossible to put down because Jenni brings us readers inside Bonnie’s psyche, inside what she must have been thinking and feeling and she meets Clyde and makes the decisions that will ultimately lead to her demise.


Have you seen Jenni’s   on Twitter? Each week she posts a captioned image, and they are often hilarious. Check it out if you have read BECOMING BONNIE already and need a little extra Bonnie fix while you wait for the sequel, BEING BONNIE, which hits shelves in 2018.

Wait, what? You haven’t read BECOMING BONNIE yet? It’s your lucky day! Jenni is giving away an autographed copy!! Enter to win a copy in the #DebBallGiveaway by retweeting our post on Twitter:

Or you can also enter by sharing the post on Facebook. We will select and contact the very lucky winner on Friday, May 19th at noon (US Only).

And now, we get to know Jenni Walsh even a little better with her official Debutante Ball interview:

1. When you were a teenager, what did you think you’d be when you grew up?

I always knew I wanted to do something creative or something with animals. For a while, I wanted to be a veterinarian — until I saw a vet put a thermometer up my dog’s rear end. Then, I moved onto wanting to be an architect. I have a huge folder of different houses and buildings I’ve sketched. Then, after my dad got me a fancy schmancy computer program so I could draw them to scale, I realized how much math was involved in architecture and I jumped ship. I’m not a numbers gal. I often still use my fingers to count (kidding, sorta). Ultimately, I landed on words — and have been writing poems and quick one-page stories for as long as I can remember — and spent the past decade as a copywriter in an advertising agency.

2. Share something that’s always guaranteed to make you laugh.

Whenever my husband leaves me a note, he always signs it “Matt (Walsh)” with our last name in the parenthetical. It’s cute. He’s cute.

3. What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Read a ton of books. It can be hard to find time to fit in reading — with your own writing and critiquing and jobs and kids and life and et al — but reading is really important. Not only does it give you an idea of what’s selling / what people are buying, but it also gives you examples of what you like and don’t like as a writer as far as style, word choice, pacing, narrative, voice, tense, etc.

4. Do you have any phobias?

I’ve been known to get panicky around mascots. First, it could be anybody inside that oversized-head. Second, it’s their job to make people laugh, often at someone else’s expense by making them do something ridiculous. Third, you can’t see their face. Hence, you can’t see their expression and maybe reason what they’re thinking. It’s all so terrifying to me. I’ve been known to flee, even if it means climbing up and over bleachers, knocking over drinks and popcorn during my escape. There’s actually an actual name for this type of fear: maskaphobia.

5. What’s your next big thing? (new book, new project, etc.)

I’m really excited that there’s going to be a sequel to BECOMING BONNIE. While BECOMING BONNIE is Bonnie’s coming-of-age origin story, BEING BONNIE is full on gangster’s moll. That book will be the story of Bonnie and Clyde’s notorious crime spree. And, if you’ve read BECOMING BONNIE, you’ll be happy to know BEING BONNIE will include the remaining verses of Bonnie and Clyde’s song!

I’m also thrilled to be beginning a series called BRAVE LIKE ME with Scholastic in the fall of 2018. The books are middle grade narrative nonfiction and will feature women who at a young age completed daring feats of perseverance and bravery. We’re kicking the series off with two books — about Bethany Hamilton and Malala Yousafzai.

6. The road to publication is twisty at best–tell us about some of your twists.

I actually did an interview with Writer’s Digest this week about how I got my agent, with twists and turns (and contests) abound!

A big, big congratulations, Jenni! Even as the sequel publishes next year and your other books launch, Becoming Bonnie is a novel you will feel proud of forever more. This is just the beginning for Bonnie, and all of us on the Debutante Ball will be cheering you on at every twist and turn for her.

Post from Lynn K. Hall

Author: Jenni L. Walsh

Jenni L. Walsh spent her early years ​chasing around cats, dogs, and chickens in Philadelphia's countryside, before dividing time between a soccer field and a classroom at Villanova University. She put her marketing degree to good use as an advertising copywriter, zip-code hopping with her husband to DC, NYC, NJ, and not surprisingly, back to Philly. There, Jenni's passion for words continued, adding author to her resume. She now balances her laptop with a kid on each hip, and a four-legged child at her feet. BECOMING BONNIE (Tor Forge/Macmillan, 5/9/2017) is her debut novel that tells the untold story of how church-going Bonnelyn Parker becomes half of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde duo during the 1920s. SIDE BY SIDE, telling Bonnie and Clyde's crime spree story, will be released in the summer of 2018. Please learn more about Jenni's books at

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