Behind Real American: The Writers - Penni Jones
Updated: Nov 8, 2019
Penni Jones is the author of On the Bricks and Kricket. She is a native Arkansan who now calls Michigan her home except during the coldest part of winter when she hates everything. I first met Penni when she applied for a writer position on Real American. She sent her short story "Danny Dead Eyes" as a sample of her writing, and I remember getting to the end and audibly gasping. I knew that she would be a great asset to the series. Here are her thoughts on her experience working in the Writers' Room of Real American.
Jacob de la Rosa: What first attracted you to the project?
Penni Jones: When I read the short description of the project, the real-life parallels were immediately obvious. I love that about good sci-fi. It’s a great genre for telling stories about our society in a way that’s easier to digest.
Jd: What's your proudest contribution to the show?
PJ: I was really happy when you guys all supported the idea to give Anastasia two moms. It removed any gender politics from her family life, and that felt important to me.
Jd: What's your favorite memory from the Writers' Room?
PJ: I guess it would be a memory of a feeling. When I arrived I was really nervous and didn’t know what to expect. But the personalities in the room made it easy to quickly feel at ease. I also love going down conceptual rabbit holes with my friends. It felt like two days of that.
Jd: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? And when did you know you wanted to be a professional writer?
PJ: I knew I wanted to be a writer in the 3rd grade. But I grew up and decided to be practical and pushed writing to the side. I didn’t decide to pursue it professionally until my first child was born. I wanted my child to feel free to follow his dreams, and I needed to set a good example. That and watching him try to walk after repeatedly falling down showed me that failing and trying again is better than not trying at all.
Jd: Your novel Kricket just came out recently, what can you tell us about it? What can we expect?
PJ: Kricket is about a single mother who happens to be a bootlegger in a United States that requires all citizens to be registered with a Christian church. It’s a cautionary tale involving a badass mama with a drinking problem.