Welcome to a special #TheQuickSixInterview with Jill Smith from The Ten Penners!

We are honoured to be invited to join the blog tour to celebrate the release of a wonderful collection of fun and whimsical (and a little bit spooky) tales from the amazing, The Ten Penners! ‘Adventures with ravenous witches, fantastical creatures and extraordinary animals, Backyard Beasts & Curious Capers by The Ten Penners brings the magic of the outdoors in with a potent cast of quirky characters in this enchanting collection of short stories. A magical anthology brimming with spellbinding fun; ensnaring the senses with intrigue, wonder and humour for young, intrepid readers to explore.’ Thanks to their current coordinator, Jill Smith, for sharing the story behind the stories today! 🙂

About the Authors

The Ten Penners began when their adults writing for children support group from the Gold Coast Writers Association decided to produce an anthology in 2004. At that time the name was very appropriate since there were ten authors contributing to the book titled SHOCK! HORROR! GASP!

In July 2008, they decided to produce another anthology, titled FAN-TAS-TIC-AL TALES, followed by the launch of their third anthology in 2022 – Mystery, Mayhem and Magic. Backyard Beasts & Curious Capers is The Ten Penners’ latest release with their new line-up of seven ladies contributing.

Visit The Ten Penners at their website: https://thetenpenners.wixsite.com

Jill Smith can be found at her website: http://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com and Facebook

Backyard Beasts and Curious Capers can be purchased via THE TEN PENNERS online store.

WHO wrote, illustrated, and published this book?

The Ten Penners wrote the stories. This is a collaborative book with our current seven ladies contributing. I am the coordinator, taking over from Marion Martineer who led us for 16 years. I wrote three stories with a quirky witch Floriece causing mischief. Jennifer Scicluna is the illustrator, and she also wrote three of the stories. She has a wonderful way of picturing the characters in her mind and then creating them. Katharine R Pepper writes with natural humour. A D Watson wrote the hilarious ‘Fart Fairy’. Julie Baythorpe added four unique stories, including our mascot – The Quoggle. Carly Been is our newest member and her stories are funny and slip right into the imagination.

WHAT is it about? What is your favourite part of this book?

I love my Floriece stories, of course. She drops right down on top of the kids and with her magic that doesn’t always work. She creates a magical delight in the backyard for Caleb and sister Maggie, and their neighbour Ash. The whole book is a magical wonderland of characters who evoke kindness, friendship, and cooperation to get things done.

WHEN did you begin writing this book?

We’ve been compiling this book over the last two years. Writing the stories and deciding which go in and which don’t is just the first stage. As a collective group meeting monthly, we’ve worked hard to present our best and most fun stories for children.

When is its release / launch date?

We are having our first launch on the 21st of October, 2023 at Books ETC, Paradise Centre, Surfers Paradise. We are having other presentations over the next few months to showcase the book. So, look out for more details of these dates soon.

WHERE did the inspiration for this book come from?

We love to write for children, and this is our fourth anthology. The Ten Penners originated with ‘Shock, Horror, Gasp’ with ten members and became the reason we were named this way. Some members have changed since then, with old members leaving and new members arriving. We simply love reading and want to inspire children to read and write.

WHY is this book meaningful to you?

As I’m now coordinator and have been part of the last two anthologies ‘Fan-tas-tic-al Tales’ and ‘Mystery, Mayhem & Magic’, these books are very close to my heart. I love to see children enjoying the stories.

Why would its message resonate with readers?

The message in these stories is ‘cooperation makes it happen’. The children in the various guises, be it the Pixie Detective, boys falling through a mirror into the Pixie Hollow – working together to help save the fairies, or the children creating backyard plays for their family. The feel-good, heartwarming stories will leave the readers with smiles on their faces and in their hearts. That’s not even mentioning Theo the Octopus!

HOW do you feel about the illustrations/cover design? How do they convey the feeling or mood you envisioned?

The images throughout the book and the cover are perfect for our stories. Jennifer Scicluna is an artist, and her work has enhanced the book and presented a bright and luminous world for children. Who could not help but be drawn to it?

How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?

Our first launch is at Books Etc in Surfers Paradise, on the 21st of October, between 11 am and 2 pm.

We have book presentations following at Big B Books, Burleigh Heads, and Bookness bookshop in Mudgeeraba, with dates to be confirmed on those two. The Gold Coast Writers monthly meeting is on the 18th of November, 2023. The Upper Coomera Library on the 9th of December, 2023.

Our books are also available through our website, and our individual websites.

OTHER information or experiences you’d like to share?

Over the years we’ve also presented our books in schools and will do more of these in the coming new year. This is a great way to get feedback from the kids. It’s also a way of making shy and timid members get up and speak about our work. Good work all around.

How fun and ‘powerful’! Thank you for having us on your blog tour, Jill! 🙂

BONUS! There’s a CHANCE to WIN a wonderful BOOK and PRIZE ACTIVITY PACK simply by colouring in The Quoggle below! Email your entries to thetenpenners@gmail.com.

Follow the BLOG TOUR for Backyard Beasts and Curious Capers at the following fabulous websites!

#thequicksixinterview #backyardbeastsandcuriouscapers #anthology #thetenpenners #chapterbook #justkidslit

2 thoughts to “The Quick Six Interview with Jill Smith on Backyard Beasts and Curious Capers

  • Gretchen

    Great interview, certainly a wonderful group of writers ❤

    • Just Write For Kids

      Thanks for your kind comment, Gretchen! Agreed, The Ten Penners are fabulous! x


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