Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Burly and Grum Interview Jennifer Wilson, aged 10, one of Amazon's youngest authors

Burlington Bear (Burly to his friends) and Grum the groblin are sitting at the entrance of Burly’s cave in the Great Forest waiting for Jennifer Wilson, aged 10.  Jennifer is already an author having published a book of poems ‘Dogs Forever’ with her mother, Dawn Colclasure, and Burly and Grum are going to talk to her not just about her writing but also her drawing.

Burly is a little bit nervous and is eating a large slice of honey cake to calm himself. Grum is grumbling about the lack of mud in Burly’s cave. “I think you should have one of those things like the humans have, you know, a tub thing but with mud in it instead of water so I can sit in it all day.”

Burly ignores Grum and wipes cake crumbs from his snout with a large paw. “What if Jennifer doesn’t like cookies?” he asks worriedly, pointing to a huge basket stuffed full of different types of cookies that Max, his friend, has baked for this very special occasion.

“Mum’s packed me some spare crispy fried earwigs, she can have those.”

Burly raises his eyebrows, “She won’t want… oh!  Look here she is!”

Jennifer appears. She’s a little out of breath having climbed up a narrow path that runs along the side of the mountain to get to Burly’s cave. Burly immediately drops what’s left of his cake and rushes to greet her. “Jennifer!  How lovely to see you, I’m so glad you made it – do come and meet Grum.”

Jennifer has a big smile on her face: Hi, Burly. Hi, Grum! It’s good to be here!

Grum: “You’re a lot shorter than I thought you would be.”

Burly: “Grum, mind your manners, Jennifer, would you like a cookie before we begin?”

Jennifer:   ….*stares at Grum, looks at Burly* Yes, please.

Burly and Grum and Jennifer sit down at the entrance to the cave. There are no comfy chairs or seats but the view overlooking the Great Forest is beautiful. The interview begins.

Burly: I’m so pleased you agreed to speak to us about your writing Jennifer and thank you so much for coming, I know the Great Forest is a little out of your way.

Jennifer: No problem! I love the wilderness!
Burly: I’ve read ‘Dogs Forever’ and really loved your poems. You seem to know all about dogs. Have you got one of your own and what is his – or her - name?

Jennifer: We have a family dog! His name is Chewbacca, from Star Wars. “Chewie” for short.

Burly: How long have you been writing poems and do you write anything else? And do you need another cookie? 

Jennifer: I sometimes write poems. Yes, I write short stories and comics. And of course I need another cookie.

Grum: Burly has read your poems to me and I really like the one where you say dogs poo in the house, it reminds me of home and made me laugh.  What’s your favourite poem?

Jennifer: “Poems!” My faves are: “Dogs” on page 6, “You Are My Best Friend” on page 4, “Small Dog, Big Heart” on page 11, “Dog Sport” on page 18,  “Dogs Dream Of. . . .” on page 20 and “I Love Dogs” on page 24! Those are my faves! J

Burly: What did you say when your mum asked you to write a book with her? Or was it you that suggested it?  Were you very excited?

Jennifer: When Mom asked, I was happy, but not sure. But I decided to do it!

Grum: I really like your drawings of dogs, they look like very tasty snacks. Are they your dogs and can I meet them?

Jennifer: No. And, no.  . . . . Dogs are not snacks, Grum! And thank you. J
Burly: What do you like doing best, drawing or writing?
Jennifer: Drawing. Writing is awesome, but I’m a drawing girl! J
Burly: Do have another cookie Jennifer. You are a very talented girl and I’ve heard you also write songs!  Are you going to do an album as well? 

Jennifer: Thank you! (eats cookie) My and Mom are thinking about making my own CD! :D And, yes! I do write songs and sing them, too! . . . . But I can’t reach high notes without screwing up.

Grum: My mum has read your poems and she likes them but wants to know if you’d write a poem about groblins because we don’t get mentioned much. 

Jennifer: Sure! I’ll try my best! And I know you don’t . . . . !! Thank you, Grum. You gave me another idea for another poem book! :D

Burly: What do your friends say about the fact you have had your poems and drawings published? 

Jennifer: They’re pretty impressed and I said that if Mom needs help drawing a certain . . . thing, that I would recommend them!

Burly:  What are you going to do next Jennifer?  Are you going to publish another book and, if so, what kind – a story book, a comic or a book of poems?

Jennifer: I’m working on my own book now! It’s called The Legendary Wolf! I like how it’s turning out! J

Burly: I love the sound of The Legendary Wolf – we have a few wolves in the Great Forest you know, they’re mostly friendly but sometimes they can be quite scary.

Grum: My mum isn’t scared of them, she whacked one on the nose with her rolling pin.

Burly: Do you know if you are the youngest author on Amazon, Jennifer?

Jennifer: I don’t know. Maybe?

Grum: Where did all your cookies go Burly?  Have you eaten all of them Jennifer?
Jennifer: (makes a startled face) . . . Noooo . . . I’m innocent!

Burly: It’s been a real pleasure to talk to you Jennifer and I’m sure you have a wonderful future ahead of you whatever you decide to do and that you will be an inspiration to other children.  Thank you so much for coming to see us.

Jennifer stands up and gives Burly a big hug and he gives her a big bear hug back.  She walks over to Grum ready to give him a hug.

Grum holds his hand out: Yeah, bye Jennifer.

Burly (raised eyebrows): Grum?

Grum (big sigh and lets himself be hugged): Thank you for coming Jennifer, it’s been lovely having you.

Jennifer: It’s been lovely being here. J

Burly and Grum wave goodbye to Jennifer as she leaves. 

Burly: Well, I really enjoyed meeting Jennifer didn’t you Grum?  Do you think she’ll come and visit us again?

Grum: Yes, she was okay but d’you think she could bring her dogs with her next time – I really want to find out what a hot dog tastes like…

Note: Jennifer recently finished illustrating a children's bookthat her mother, Dawn Colclasure, wrote on upcycling. She is now not only going to illustrate another children's book written by her mother, this one is a story about a boy who wishes for a million doughnuts and one day his wish comes true, but is going to write a song for it as well!  Here at Burly and Grum we all love Jennifer – what a brilliant girl and we are sure that she will inspire other children to write and draw and sing and do whatever makes them happy!


  1. This is by far one of the most adorable interviews ever! We love Burly & Grum and Jennifer you were amazing! Your mother is truly a blessed woman to have a daughter like you! :)

    Many hugs to you and Burly & Grum!


  2. Great interview, some brillaint questions there. Such an inspirational girl Jennifer, keep up the great work.

    Love Gem x x x x

  3. Thank you Kitty and Gem for leaving messages and I agree with you both, Jennifer is pretty amazing! :)

  4. Kate, love the interview. Thank you so much!! :) I think it went really well for it being Jennifer's first interview ever. She had fun answering your questions. I will direct her to this page when she logs in later. Just a note that she uses my Gmail account (just as she'll comment with my Facebook account) so you might get another comment from this email addy from her. Good luck with your books! :)

  5. :D!! yay! my girl in sunglasses are on here! :D! thank you burly and grum! oh! and grum....hot dogs are not dogs at all.....just a word of advice. im gonna read your burly and grum books, they look intresting. i promise that i'll try my best to get better with my drawing and show it off! :) - jenny (just in case you think im mom!)

    1. Hiya Jenny - yep, got cool picture of the girl in sunglasses in there! :) If you're going to read the B&G books start with the Birthday Surprise (which I think is free at the moment) - there's a girl in there just like you! And your drawings are just perfect as they are! :) lots of love, KateX

    2. thanks Kate! can I call you Kate? I'll call you Kate until my awnser! :)
      I just want to let you know do NOT get your hopes up for my new book: the legendary wolf
      to come out soon. there's a lot of things going on here. Not to mention SCHOOL!! (dun dun duuuuun dun!)
      well, hope you have a good day! :)! - Jenny

    3. Hi Jenny - of course you can call me Kate (my proper name is Kathryn but I only get called that when I'm in trouble so I'm always happy to be called Kate!). I'm sure you're really busy now that you're back at school and I guess you'll be spending all your spare time doing homework (that was a joke!) but I'm looking forward to reading the Legendary Wolf whenever it's finished. I hope you're still drawing lots. I'm still writing - just can't stop! You have a good day too! Kate :)

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    6. GOD! i am so so sorry about the 2 reply's above cause heres what happened: i saw your reply and typed up a reply, then after i published it i realised there was a mistake, so i tried to delete it but after i did it showed up as not deleted, so instead i posted another reply pointing out the mistake and after i published THAT i relized that the FIRST reply actually DID delete!!! XD! it was a computer mistake!!! so i deleted the p.s. reply and typed this. so anyway, i AM drawing lots! and I'm getting ALOT better! :D!! i want you to know that the legendary wolf is taking longer than the other books cause its my FIRST short novel!! :D!!! do you have any tips? - Jenny

    7. I'm laughing - don't worry about the replies you deleted,it's not easy getting the hang of this writing comments on blogs! I'm glad you're drawing lots - and a first short novel, well that's brilliant! Hmm, tips? Well, just relax when you're writing and don't go near the internet because you will always get distracted! Good luck! XXX

    8. HAHA! you got that right! thanks for the luck! :)!! is anyone else anoyyed by the "please prove your not a robot" thing? it is to me! and mom too! -_-
      so are you thinking of writing any more burly and grum books? - Jenny

  6. This was very fun to read, you all are very entertaining. Way to go Jen!! I look forward to your future work! :)

    -Love Millie

  7. Hi Jenny, sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I've been working evenings and haven't been able to get on the laptop. Good news! there's a free Burly & Grum short story for Halloween coming up - yay! I really enjoyed writing it (just a big kid at heart!), I'll let you know when it's out. XXX

    1. wow! cool! and its allright. :) do you have a brother?? I do - and you know what??

      HE'S SO ANNOYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      (more than usual!!!)
      and If he does not stop buggin me soon, Im gonna EXPLODE!!!
      whoop - too late *EXPLODES* - exploding Jenny
      P.S. LOL!