An Interview with JKenny: A Hubber with a Flair for Fiction, History, Nature, & More

JKenny may have joined HubPages a mere two months ago, but don’t let his newcomer status fool you! This inquisitive Hubber, whose real name is James, has already published 45 Hubs on a wide range of fascinating subjects- and shows no sign of slowing down!

In an attempt to discover more about the man behind some of HubPages most interesting new Hubs, we asked JKenny for an interview. The following exchange reveals a Hubber well worth following.

How did you find HubPages? What inspired you to join?

I’ve harbored a passion for writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember, and was desperate to try and turn my passion into a career. I was on the internet one evening and decided to conduct a search for ghostwriting jobs on Google; after a little browsing, I came across this site called HubPages and clicked on it out of curiosity. After taking the time to investigate what the site was all about, I thought ‘Wow, what a great idea.’ So I signed up and started writing straight away.

You share in the bio on your profile that your main passions in life revolve around natural history, flora, fauna, and environmentalism.

Yes, like writing and storytelling my passion for the natural world harks back to my early childhood. Whenever I study, write or simply immerse myself in the natural world, it helps lift my spirits, especially when feeling low. I love how you can go to the same places loads of times, and yet see or witness something you’ve never seen before. The biggest thing I love about nature is that you never quite know what to expect, it makes you want to go back more and more.

You also express an interest in history- particularly the Classical, Medieval, and Napoleonic eras. What about these particular time periods attracts you?

My fascination with the Napoleonic era derives from reading about the adventures of Horatio Hornblower and Richard Sharpe. I loved the stories, the locations, the weapons, and the way people spoke and dressed back then.

Living in England means that I’m never too far from a medieval castle, and as a child my imagination used to run wild whenever taken on a day out to one. I’m fortunate enough to live within ten miles of three famous English castles, Warwick, Dudley and Kenilworth Castle. I used to enjoy watching reenactments of jousts and sword fights, and then holding my own pretend sword fights with my brother; I’d always have to let him win though.

My interest in Classical history centers mostly on the Romans. I studied certain elements of it at school, but it wasn’t until I watched the film ‘Gladiator’ and taken a trip to Rome to see things like the Coliseum for myself, that my interest really fired up. I loved learning about legendary characters such as Caesar, Mark Antony, Claudius and Nero and reading stories originally written down 2000 years ago.

In addition to writing, you’re an avid reader. Do your reading and writing lives overlap?

Yes, definitely; I read almost as much as I write, if not more. One of the things I love about being on HubPages is reading books and articles for research that I normally wouldn’t have given a second look at. Every time I learn something new, it’s as though I’ve uncovered my own personal mystery, and the sense of enlightenment it gives you is awesome.

You have been publishing some creative writing on HubPages- namely your Temple of Cabal series, which you’re releasing in chapters. Could you tell us more about this?

The Temple of Cabal is a novel that I began working on before I joined HubPages. It’s a fantasy novel about how an ordinary student and his eccentric professor end up journeying into a fantasy world, full of weird and wonderful creatures that exists within a mirror in the professor’s basement. They have to rescue a family being held captive in the Temple of Cabal by an evil dark spirit. My inspiration comes from a variety of sources, but is mostly drawn from stories that captivated me as a child like ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia,’ and ‘The Lost World’ by Arthur Conan Doyle.

What are your goals for the next six months on HubPages? What sorts of Hubs might we expect to see from you in the future?

At the moment, I’m simply enjoying the experience of writing about things that I’m truly passionate about, and having people appreciate and take pleasure in reading my work. I’ll admit that money was one of the reasons I joined HubPages, and I hope to be earning a fairly decent amount in six months. Other than that, I intend to simply continue writing quality Hubs about subjects that interest me and enjoying the feedback that I get from them. When I’ve gained enough confidence, I may give myself a real challenge and trying writing about a topic that doesn’t naturally draw me in.

Why do we give gifts?

Right now, Christmas is all the rage on Hubbers are sharing entertaining and decorating advice, complaining about rampant consumerism, delving into religious holidays that crop up around the end of the year, and writing lots and lots of gift guides. But why?

Why do we give gifts on holidays? For how long have we been exchanging presents, and how did our current traditions emerge? We delve into this very subject in this week’s Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts- a look at the history of Gift Giving on Holidays.

In this podcast, we touch on a bunch of different Hubs, including:

So be sure to stop by those neat guides, histories, and articles for more information!

We hope that you are at peace with whatever gift giving practice you have developed over the years, and hope that you find the history of holiday gift exchanges as fascinating as we do! If you have any suggestions for future podcasts, or would like to tell us about the best gift you have ever received, send us an email at podcast-at-HubPages-dot-com.

The Meaning Behind Tibetan Prayer Flags

Chances are you have seen Tibetan prayer flags before, but do you know where they came from and what they symbolize? These beautiful pieces of cloth are more than just decorations, and in a Hub titled History & Symbolism of Tibetan Prayer Flags, melbel explains more about their background and meaning.

Melbel’s Hub is so fascinating that we decided to feature it in this week’s Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts podcast, so listen in as we discuss The Meaning Behind Tibetan Prayer Flags. You’ll find that these mantra-adorned flags have a beautiful purpose, and one that everyone can get behind!

If you have something (religious, cultural, commercial, or entirely random) that performs a purpose similar to Tibetan prayer flags, we’d love to hear about it! Send us an email at We’re also looking for cool new Hubs to discuss, so feel free to send future podcast suggestions our way as well.

Marshmallows – The Stuff Behind the Fluff

Marshmallows have grown to become a huge part of people’s childhoods, thanks to their prevalence in all-American snacks such as s’mores, Rice Krispie Treats, and Peeps, but there is more to these fluffy sweets than meets the eye!

In a fascinating Hub titled Marshmallows – Sweet Treats, Recipes and Herbal Origins, AliciaC shared a lot of the cool history behind marshmallows along with some fun facts and tasty recipes. We enjoyed the Hub so much we decided to do a podcast on it, so listen in as we discuss Marshmallows – The Stuff Behind the Fluff. We’ll cover the common marshmallow forms, their history, and lots of other interesting marshmallow trivia!

Props to AliciaC for writing yet another fantastic Hub (her articles on HubPages are consistently fantastic). If you have stumbled upon an amazing Hub that you think we should discuss in a podcast, tell us about it! Send suggestions and feedback in an email to

The Origins of Halloween

With Halloween approaching, we are morally obligated to do a seasonal podcast. When poking around the fabulous October-related Hubs on HubPages, we found an excellent Hub titled Where Did Halloween Originate? Halloween’s Pagan Origins by kittythedreamer.

Did you know that many of the roots of modern day Halloween lie in Samhain, a Celtic harvest festival? Kittythedreamer’s Hub traces some of our favorite autumnal activities back to this resilient holiday, and we decided to delve more into this interesting tradition in this week’s podcast. Join us as we explore The Origins of Halloween and get in the Halloween spirit!

What is your favorite Halloween tradition? Tell us about it in an email sent to podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com. We’d also love to hear any suggestions on future WAEE podcasts. Challenge us!  We love a good excuse to learn about something new through neat Hubs!

Daring Female Pirates

ARRR you a fan of pirates?  ARRR you a bonnie lass or in favor of rambunctious women? If ye answer’d AYE to these questions, ye’ll love this podcast.

For this week’s Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts podcast (Daring Female Pirates), we discuss four of history’s most famous female pirates: Mary Read, Anne Bonne, Ching Shih, and Grace O’Malley.  The inspiration for this podcast is a fabulous Hub titled Fierce Pirate Women: Women Pirates of the Caribbean and Elsewhere by kittythedreamer.

If you have a suggestion for a future Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts podcast, send it your way! Our email address is podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com and we are always pleased to get comments, suggestions, and feedback.

All Things Ninja!

Weekly Advice from Everyday ExpertsIf you’re a fan of ninja, you’ll find this podcast fascinating. In this episode of Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts (Ninja Training, Origins, and Gear), Marina and I delve in to a collection of articles written by Haunty which detail the origins of ninja, their homes, their training, their clothing, and of course their weapons! You might be surprised by what you hear- there is more to ninja lore and costume than meets the eye!

Because we covered seven of Haunty’s ninja articles, we could only scratch the surface, so we recommend checking out the original Hubs, which come complete with fantastic diagrams, cool videos, and LOTS of information.

If you have a subject or Hub that you would like to see featured in a future podcast, tell us about it by emailing us. Our address is podcast (at) hubpages (dot) com!


The History of the Ouija Board

Weekly Advice from Everyday ExpertsThe Ouija Board has been used for ages to communicate with the great beyond.  But for how long has this mysterious implement been in use? Where did it come from? Listen in to this week’s podcast (The History of the Oija Board) to find out!

The Ouija Board – A History, the Hub by kentuckyslone which forms the basis of this podcast, is an enjoyable and informative read.  It even includes some fun polls where you can weigh in and share your opinion on the evil connotations that have come to be associated with this spiritual board game.  Be sure to check it out!

We’d also love to hear about your experiences with the Ouija Board- whether you used it, whether you think it is legit, and if you have communicated with any spirits using this curious tool.  We are also taking requests for future podcast subjects.  Send your stories and suggestions to podcast (at) HubPages (dot) com!

Flip Flops

Weekly Advice from Everyday ExpertsIt’s summer, and you know what that means- footwear gets flippant!  Or at least flippy. And floppy.  And flip floppy.

In this episode of Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts (Flip Flops), Robin Edmondson and Simone Smith discuss the history, culture, practices, and marketing genius surrounding the world of flip flops, as inspired by a flip flop-loving Hub written by JSParker: World’s Best Flip Flops: Havaianas, Sandals Made in Brazil.

Listen in to discover where these fun shoes came from, as well as whether or not they’re admired or demonized by the business world (spoiler: it’s a bit of both).

Big thanks to JSParker for the fun, summer-friendly Hub.  If you recently published or stumbled upon a Hub that you think would be great for the Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts podcast, tell us about it!  We’d love to hear from you.

Where Did Polka Dots Come From?

Weekly Advice from Everyday ExpertsWhere did polka dots come from? And what do they have to do with gypsies, virility, disease, dancing, and moons?

Tess45 could tell you- she has proven herself to be the polka dot expert!  Tune into this episode of Weekly Advice from Everyday Experts (Where did polka dots come from?) to learn all about polka dots- from their history and meaning to their varied significance in international culture over the years.

Though Robin and Simone cover many of the fun facts that Tess45 shares in her Hub Why Do We Call Polka Dots Polka Dots?, don’t forget to check out the original for yourself- and bust out those polka dotted outfits!