When 24-year old Jeni returns to her childhood home, she hopes her parents will be understanding and maybe let her stay a while. She never imagines that she’ll end up hunting a white tiger escaped from the circus or competing with an ape for the affections of the boy she once loved. While Jeni waits for the man she has left behind to notice she is not coming back, she reconnects with her family and works to find direction and pick up the pieces of her life.
What genre is it?
Honestly, I had the book categorized as Chic Lit, thinking it would find an audience with women my age (40ish) who were looking for a light, fun read that didn’t take itself too seriously. Readership among New Adults (late teens to mid 20s) has produced favorable reviews, however, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the number of men and women who have responded that the book gave them some good insight regarding relationships with their young adult children.
You mention reviews. What have people been saying?
“I was hooked from the first chapter.”
“Wonderful book. Wonderfully written. Wonderfully felt.”
“This book holds the promise of enjoyment for readers of all ages.”
“I’ll be on the hunt for more from this author!”
That must be nice to hear. Tell us more about Jeni.
Jeni Renzelmen is that girl who did everything right. She studied hard, went to college, and listened to every bit of good advice that ever came her way. Yet, here she is at the age of 24 leaving a relationship with a man who doesn’t even seem to notice she has left, abandoning a job where she also won’t be missed, and returning to her childhood home with all her earthly belongings packed into her car. All she wants to do is figure out where she went wrong.
We’ve got to ask – what’s all this about a tiger and an ape?
Orville is the orangutan who just happens to have a crush on Joe, Jeni’s first love interest from way back in junior high school. Then there is Lucy, the white tiger. She’s simply lovely and remains a bit of a mystery all the way through the story. Many begin to question if she is, in fact, real at all.
So the tiger in the title might not even be real?
I tried out many titles before settling on Tiger Hunting. I was searching for a title that described that feeling of being lost or looking for direction in life. Hunting for a tiger is quite literally what the book is about, of course, but because the story takes place in Kansas, a place where there absolutely are no real tigers running wild, I began to see the title as more than a literal search for a circus animal. Jeni is looking for real meaning and direction in her life, and finding that—for some people—can be almost as rare as finding a white tiger, especially in the wilds of Kansas.
Wait, so the tiger is real? If it’s not a spoiler, can you tell us if Jeni catches him?
I can tell you that Jeni does manage to catch Joe (if shooting him with a sedative intended for a 300 pound tiger counts as catching) and she also manages to catch a break from her parents. I can’t say anything about the tiger, however. That would be a spoiler. You’ll just have to read for yourself.
Have you written any other books that we should read next?
Tiger Hunting is my first published book. My previous novels are in a box beneath the bed collecting dust, which is probably where they should stay. I am one of three contributors to a story called Green Bike which is currently being reviewed by a press for possible publication. A companion story to Tiger Hunting may very well be in the works. Stay tuned!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live and write in Kansas where I make my home with my husband and three teenagers. I am a ten-year, active member of the Kansas Authors Club where I edit and produce the yearbook. I put aside my early efforts at novel writing to “teach” myself to write via shorter endeavors. For more than 15 years I have worked freelance jobs writing everything from website content to feature articles for small niche and national publication. My work includes ghostwriting for health professionals and pre-press work, including editing, for other author’s novels. I finally gave all that up to manage the local farmers market and returned to novel writing in the process.
I am a past mini-fellowship winner from the Kansas Arts Commission and have been an honorable mention in the annual Kansas Voices contest. I enjoy reading books of many genres and I love meeting and interacting with others who love to play with words on paper.
Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?
How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
Another novel, a collection of short stories, and probably a memoir collection of “glimpses” of a life with children. Plans for Chasing Tigers Press are underway and I am looking forward to publishing more of my own work, as well as perhaps the work of others.