A new week is here once again and this time I bring you a new interview with the authors of “Mrs. Jingles” Vickie Britton and Loretta Jackson, where they talk about scary harlequin dolls, the inspiration behind teh story, its characters, fun facts and more. Enjoy!

  • Read our review for “Mrs. Jingles” here.

Caro: What was the inspiration behind Mrs. Jingles?

Vickie and Loretta: Both of us like to go antiquing, and one day we came across two that Harlequin dolls that strongly resembled us.

Caro: Did Mrs. Jingles and Jezebel have lives of their own?

Vickie: Everyone knows dolls have lives of their own.  That’s why I don’t collect them.

Loretta: In our story, they come to life only in the minds of the sisters.  What appears to be a game is really a way of expressing longtime and deep-seated emotions.

Caro: Was Mrs. Jingles taking over Mia’s body, since Cassie mentioned that Mia didn’t make a move to speak yet she heard a voice or was it side effects of her nervous breakdown?

Vickie: This could be taken either way, depending on how much one believes in the supernatural.

Loretta: We intended this voice to be a symptom of a mental problem, one which is steadily growing worse.

Caro: Why did you decide to have Mia die at the end?  Would she have not handled another trip to the hospital?

Vickie and Loretta: We intended to write suspense with an ending that bordered on horror.  She might have improved, but would never have completely recovered. Mia had to die for the theme to unfold.

Caro: Did you have any dolls like Mia while growing up?

Vickie: Not really, I have always been a little afraid of them, and clowns in general.

Loretta: I have always loved dolls and have kept some from my childhood, but they weren’t the collectible type.

Caro: As sisters, was there any time that you felt angry at one another, like Cassie and Mia, over the blue sweater or something like that?  My sister is good at kidnapping my pens and art supplies.

Vickie: The story is about sibling rivalry, and sisters often do fight over the smallest of things.  But this is a work of fiction, exaggerated to the maximum.  Most sisters do compete for pens and toys and for parental affection, but in the case of Cassie and Mia the rivalry got out of control.

Loretta: This story does in no way reflect Vickie and me, who have always been the best of friends.  We have traveled the world together and have co-authored over 43 novels and numerous short stories.

Caro: If you had the Harlequin dolls, which one would belong to each one of you?

Vickie and Loretta: Loretta has black hair and Vickie is a blond, so that makes Vickie the owner of Mrs. Jingles.  The big contrast in our physical appearance is the only thing concerning us that has been portrayed.

Caro: Why would Cassie go to live at Mia’s house and that pink room?  I felt that was even weirder than keeping the Harlequins.

Vickie: Because she always wanted everything Mia had.

Loretta: What appears to be a game ends with the revelation that both sisters are unstable.

Time for fun questions to get to know you more.

Caro: If you went into an antique store and could only buy one thing, what would you look for?

Vickie: Definitely not a Harlequin doll.  I’d rather have a nice piece of Native American pottery.

Loretta: I love beautiful dishes.  I’d likely be searching for red depression or carnival glass.

Caro: If you had the chance to get away with a prank call, who would you call and why?

Vickie: I might call Loretta and pretend to be Mrs. Jingles.

Loretta: But she wouldn’t want to hear back from Jezebel.

Caro: If you had the opportunity to go to any part of the world for free on vacation, where would it be and why?

Vickie: We’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled many places, but I would like to go back to Italy and see Pompeii.

Loretta: I’d probably return to Edinburgh, Scotland, which is a place filled with mystery and intrigue.

  • Favorite place and hour to write:

Vickie: I get distracted by pretty settings, so my favorite place to write is in my study and usually after my third cup of coffee.
Loretta: I do most of my work in my study early in the morning.

  • Favorite author:

Vickie: Ruth Rendell.
Loretta: Vickie loves psychological mysteries and the supernatural.  I prefer the traditional mystery, one with a good puzzle and a realistic and logical conclusion like the kind written by Erle Stanley Gardner, Aaron Elkins, and Margaret Coel.

  • Favorite movie:

Vickie: “Interview with the Vampire”.
Loretta: “The Edge”.

  • Favorite book:

Vickie: A Dark Adapted Eye by Ruth Rendell.
Loretta: The Case of the Runaway Corpse by Erle Stanley Gardner.  I also enjoy literary works like John Steinbeck’s marvelous novelette, The Pearl..

  • Favorite color: (here is where we are complete opposites.)

Vickie: Blue.
Loretta: Red.

  • Favorite food:

Vickie: Chocolate cake or anything chocolate.
Loretta: Indian Fry Bread and Stew.

  • Favorite music:

Vickie: Classic rock and alternative.
Loretta: Country music.


Thank you to authors Vickie and Loretta for an amazing interview! It was a good book to enjoy.