Ronnie Ray Jenkins is a Prince Rupert Resident who recently published his second novel, The Flynn City Egg Man, with the Larry Czerwonka Company. His first novel, The Flowers of Reminiscence has received mostly positive reviews on Internet sites such as Amazon and Goodreads. He has also recently started a blog called A Writer’s Life (blog.ronnierayjenkins.com).
Jenkins is holding a book signing at Rainforest Books in Prince Rupert on July 5 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
NV: What is your new book, The Flynn City Egg Man, about?
Jenkins: It’s Easter 1969 in Flynn City. And there’s an exocentric peddler that goes door-to-door to sell his goods. He’s had a lot of trouble with his customers in the past because of bad business deals and selling bad products, but this year it’s going to be different.
He gets great prices on his eggs, he has inflatable bunnies that he’s selling and it’s all new to Flynn City and they love celebrating Easter. It’s going to be the best year ever.
Until the local drama queen of Flynn City High, Sandy True, turns up missing, and she was last seen with the Flynn City Egg Man. So now the entire town is suspicious; what happened to Sandy True?
So a jealous boyfriend enters the picture, Sandy True’s boyfriend, and when he enters this fray he’s insanely jealous. The Egg Man has a warehouse with all of his Easter goods in it. He’s ready to sell. The insane boyfriend goes in and destroys everything, just annihilates all the products.
Then a reluctant hero by the name of Cuffy Landers, a 17-year-old high school student, befriends the Egg Man. There’s a lesson in this book, what it will prove at the end is that a little hard work pays off.
NV: A man who sells Easter supplies door-to-door. Where do you get an idea like that?
Jenkins: Years ago, when I was growing up in Appalachia, there was a peddler that actually did go from house-to-house selling eggs and butter. That’s where the idea came from. What if?
I used that idea to create the character of the Flynn City Egg Man.
NV: Tell me more about this lesson the book centers around.
Jenkins: The lesson boils down to: you can your dreams with a little hard work. We see that around here all the time, Alan. You see kids here just hanging out and they’re hoping to do something, but without working to get there they’re not going to make it.
You have a job, you have to get up, you have to be here, but you’re achieving what you wanted to do. You wanted to be a journalist, but you have to be here and do things. There’s a lesson in this.
I can’t give you all the details of this, but it all comes together.
NV: You’ve been writing for 18 years, how does it feel now that you’ve had two novels published within months of each other?
Jenkins: It’s the dream, man. It’s every author’s dream to do that. I’ve had more rejections than Jack London, who had 600. But the key is I never quit; you keep going because sooner or later you’re going to hit that person who says “Wow! How did we miss this guy?”
I’ve turned down publishing offers because people have wanted to change my books to the point where I would have went ”hey, its not my book anymore, it’s your book.” That doesn’t work for me. I write it and send it to my editor in California, and I have all creative control of my books. I even negotiated my own contract without a literary agent. It can be done, if you have that dream, it can be done.