Author Interview – Penny Estelle
Penny Estelle is a multi-talented author with many works of literature across different genres. There’s a fairly complete list at the bottom of the interview with links for you to go check them out. I say fairly complete, because by the time you read this, she will have more out for sure! With me today is writing powerhouse Penny Estelle! <audience cheers and as Penny virtually walks in and sits down across from Debra>
Penny: Hey Debra, I am so excited to visit with you today.
Debra: So happy you could be here too Penny, I just finished reading one of your books last night and so enjoyed it!
Penny: Thanks! Which one? Heeeyyyy, are you going to review it too?!
Debra: Actually, I was planning on reviewing it this week, it’s a must read so I want to let everyone know. It was Hike Up Devil’s Mountain, really made me miss being a kid again and reading those types of great fantasy filled books! Anyway, Penny, please tell our readers a little about yourself before I start the 21 questions.
Penny: Oh no, you promised this interview would be painless! <laughs> Well, where to start, um, my name is Penny Estelle and I have been retired about four years. My husband built our retirement home in NW Arizona. We live off the grid on solar and wind. What that means is I can’t blow dry my hair whenever I feel the need. I have to wait until Mr. Sunshine is floating in the sky. This has been a huge adjustment as I had been a city girl for 55 years!
Debra: Seriously? You have no power bill, I am so jealous! Could live without the hair dryer but what about TV and powering your laptop?? I’d go nuts!
Penny: Well, there have been times when I wanted to jump in the car and head to the bright lights of the city for instant heat, instant AC, or hot water on demand, but when I sit on my patio and see a blanket of stars for as far as the eye can see, I honestly don’t think I could give this up.
Debra: I know what you mean. I’m not switching to solar power but I live far out in the country too and I love the serenity and beauty of it. So Penny, on to the first question. Why did you start writing?
Penny: I worked with kids for twenty-one years before retiring from an elementary school. I was the principal’s secretary. I heard so many stories (I mean some outlandish stories) I figured how hard could it be to write stories about kids of today, especially with all the material I had gathered throughout the years. Well, reality smacked me around a little bit, but then I got serious and wrote books for the MG/tween kids. (MG is middle grade level)
Debra: I bet you’ve heard some stuff – I know my son came up with some good ones in school, maybe he’ll write fantasy fiction one day, who knows! So, when you first started writing, how did you write (typewriter, iPad, laptop, pen, pencil)?
Penny: I wrote a story a hundred years ago, when I first started reading. I thought I could do this! Well, I wrote a 400 page historical romance on a Brothers typewriter. Put it in a box and it lives, to this day, in my closet!
Debra: You should drag that out one day and see if you could do something with it, “the lost Penny book”, you never know! In your opinion, Penny what do you think makes a great story?
Penny: Believable characters who have gotten under your skin and a plot, believable or not, that keeps pulling the reader back in. Sometimes that is easier said than done!!!
Debra: You said it, that is every writer’s challenge! So, I’m dying to know about your latest book, what is it and in twenty words or less, what’s it about?
Penny: I have an MG story out titled Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare – the Wickware Sagas. Billy draws William Tell’s name for an oral report. He awakens in the fourteenth century and comes face to face, with Mr. Tell.
Debra: Oh very cool! Can’t wait to read that one! Generally, what range of readers do you think will enjoy the book?
Penny: I think kids and adults would like this story. It actually has some facts about William Tell that I didn’t know. It’s funny, adventurous and it’s kids of today, with their lingo and American ways, talking to folks who, sometimes, have no idea what this young boy is saying.
Debra: Wow, so what is the hardest part for you when your working on your books?
Penny: I’m a very early riser. I will get up at 4 am and sit on the couch with pen and paper. If I try to write any other time there are way too many distractions. I need more discipline!!!!
Debra: So what’s next, Penny, do you already know?
Penny: Yeppers…. It will be another MG story about a divorced mother with a ten-year-old son and fourteen year old daughter. All I can say is there is a jigsaw puzzle and a wizard involved.
Debra: I’m curious about how long it took you to write Hike Up Devil’s Mountain, can we talk about that one for a minute?
Penny: That was my first actually. I had written a few chapters and wondered, “Maybe this sucks!” My daughter was teaching 5th grade and I asked her to read the first chapters to her class and tell me if they fell asleep, talked through it, or liked it. Well they liked it a lot and she used the rest of the chapters as incentive for good behavior. I wrote a chapter every few weeks, so it took me about six months.
Debra: That’s a great way to test your work before publishing! Is your sister teaching middle grades now so you can run the puzzle and the wizard by her kids?
Penny: Not telling! Can’t give all my secrets away!
Debra: Ok, I’ll let you pass on that one but come and tell us something about you we won’t find on the internet? A little peek into Penny the person, not the writer?
Penny: I am terrified of the dark – I mean the dark outside. That being said, we live on 54 acres out in the middle of nowhere and believe me – it gets dark.
Debra: That’s pretty common I think, I read to many scary books myself to be out where it is really dark! Thanks for sharing that with us. One more, if this was your last book and your last day on earth, what would be your last words?
Penny: Oh my…. you wouldn’t be able to put it in this interview!!! <laughs>
Debra: <laughs with Penny> Penny, you’ve been a great guest on my interview spot today and I want to thank you so much for being her today! Tell everyone where they can found out more about you and your books and I hope we get to chat again sometime!
Penny: My website is www.pennystales.com
I have a blog www.pennyestelle.blogspot.com
@pennystales – twitter
I also write under the name P. A. Estelle for adult stories. My first attempt was a women’s contemporary fiction story – At What Price. A grandmother steps up to take in Rio, her six-year old granddaughter when Rio’s mother, who is hooked on drugs, deserts her.
Another women’s fiction was just picked up and will be out, hopefully in 2013. Her Cracked Heart. A woman who loses her family in a car accident has a second chance for happiness, but the ghosts of her past are keeping her from reaching for that brass ring!
My last claim to fame is a non-fiction story I wrote with my hubby titled Solar – One Family’s Reality. It is our story and our life on solar. Our story talks about how it is not for everybody!
Hike Up Devil’s Mountain – This is in eBook, printed, and audio format!
Solstice Publishing – http://store.solsticepublishing.com/hike-up-devils-mountain/
Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/69443
Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare
A Float Down the Canal
Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/140005
At What Price
Solstice Publishing – http://store.solsticepublishing.com/at-what-price
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