I met Penny at the Kentuckiana Author Fair a couple of months ago. Her book, A Girl’s Guide to Time Travel, is a fantasy romance.
How did you decide to become an author?
It truly was never anything I thought about. I’ve always penned stories (I still have some of my high school writings, one involving a romance at a horse camp – ha ha!), but the defining moment was when a professor in college put a note on a story I was developing that really pushed me to writing a complete manuscript. I have never stopped writing.
How does your professional background help with your writing?
I have no English or literature degrees. My degrees are in horse training (Bachelor) and in conflict management (Masters), but I found I can write more well-rounded conversations with my dispute resolution skills. As for horses, I try to incorporate them in as many stories as I can. In A Girl’s Guide to Time Travel, I wrote about a horse breed that is now extinct. It was a great way to bring something to life that has not walked this earth for 800 years!
Can you tell us more about why you wrote your latest books?
Sometimes my life helps provide story materials. One of my books was written due to a song and ice pick headaches. I know that seems strange, but the song was by a band from Germany called Seabound titled “Poisonous Friend.” At the same time, I was experiencing torturous headaches labeled “ice pick” headaches. It got me thinking about being possessed by a ghost that was taking over your spirit. Hence, my story was born.
Another story I finished (and hopefully picked up by my publisher) was due to the fact that sometimes I walk into a place and realize I just don’t fit in. Around the same time, my best friend at work died suddenly of a brain aneurism. I think I came up with the story to cope with my loss. I tried to picture her fumbling through a new life after death. Truth be told, it is my favorite story yet!
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Never give up. There always is something that will get in your way. It may be health, family, money, outside forces that no one can stop, but keep writing! It helps keep you sane, and it also gives you a goal to reach. Also, be aware of the different traps out there for authors. Many years ago, I fell prey to a woman who made me think my work was the best ever! Only to discover she was scamming hundreds of thousands of dollars from people like me. But I never let it get me down, and I have the same drive now as I did twenty years ago.
What are some upcoming publishing projects you are working on?
I’m currently about 40,000 words into a “Wizards of the Vatican” series I’m working on. It involves a dead necromancer, a wizard, and a woman that had NO idea there were necromancers and wizards! It’s a darker story than my “Girl’s Guide” series, but when my mind talks to me, I must listen! I’m also playing around with the third installment of my “Girl’s Guide” series, trying to come up with a crazy out-of-this-world place for adventure to be had!