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Author Information: Jahnna N. Malcolm

 
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Real Names: Jahnna (pronounced "Yaw-nah") Beecham & Malcolm Hillgartner. Together we're Jahnna N. Malcolm.

Real Lives: We've been married for over 20 years. We met at an audition, and got married on the stage! Our minister was Robert Fulghum, who later wrote a wonderful book called Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Cool, huh?

Real Kids:

Dash, 12 -- Seventh grade. Loves soccer (left defender), basketball (point guard), hippos, making his own videos, and playing in his band called QV4. Greatest dream? To go to Africa and be a wildlife biologist.

Skye, 10 -- Fourth grade. Loves singing, reading, tap dancing, playing the piano and softball (she's a catcher). Skye wants to be a vet when she grows up.

Real Pets:

Glory the black Labrador retriever -- we found her at the pound, and she was just what the doctor ordered. She's smart as whip, a great leaper and catcher, and 55 pounds of pure love.

Then Skye decided she had to have a puppy for Christmas, and Santa brought . . .

Huckleberry, the PBGV -- What's a PBGV? That's the nickname for a funny little French hunting hound called a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen. Huck looks like a shaggy haired basset hound, with a scruffy beard. He is a goofball. He's always getting into trouble, chewing shoes and furniture, but he's always happy and it is simply impossible to stay angry at him.

Samurai Sam the Siamese cat -- Sam decided to move in with our neighbors. He lives between our houses with about 3 other cats from the neighborhood. Everyone feeds them and makes sure their shots stay current. But he's decided life on his own with his pals beat being slobbered on by dogs all the time.

We also have two rats named Quasi and Ally (who are very sweet but dance in their cage all night and wake Dash up), as well as two goldfish, and 4 tropical fish that as yet have not been given names because we don't know them well enough.

How Many Books Have We Written?

86 (yikes!) Our favorites? The Jewel Kingdom series (of course!), all ten of the Bad News Ballet books, Scared Stiff and The Slime That Ate Crestview, and our Treasured Horses book: The Spirit of the West.

We also wrote a musical play called Chaps! which is a comedy about singing cowboys in England. We're working on a new musical right now.

How Did We Start Writing?

We both began our careers as actors. We loved pretending to be other people. We still do, only now we let our imaginations come to life on the page and screen.

What are Our Favorite Hobbies?

Music, reading, and traveling. When we first began writing The Jewel Kingdom, we took our kids on a trip to Scotland and England, and spent the night in a haunted castle. We visited Thailand (which is where Malcolm's dad lives) and rode elephants into the jungle. We've also spent a lot of time in France with our friends Claude and Janine (who are Dash and Skye's godparents). Favorite parts were kayaking in the Dordogne and eating cheese (French cheese is the best in the world!).

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