Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz is stopping by for a visit today. In fact, we’re doing a blogswap, so when you’re done here, please stop by and check out her blog as well. Here’s the link: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/2014/06/susan-royal-from-now-on-plus-free-ebook.html
Penny has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and non fiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications. She is a former editor for MuseItUp Publishing, Damnation Books, and 4RV Publishing. Visit her web site at http:// pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com. Her writing blog is located at http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/.
She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror. She recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has three other children’s books under contract with them: Ghost for Rent, Ghost for Lunch, and Many Colored Coats. Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Alban Lake Publishing and Smashwords.
Email: pennylane97053 at yahoo dot com
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mirror-mirror-penny-lockwood-ehrenkranz/1108148500?ean=2940032955863
Now let’s find out some more interesting things about Penny. Tell me, how long have you been writing?
Like many other authors, I have to admit, I’ve been writing since I was a child. I became interested in telling stories when my dad would make up bedtime stories for us. As soon as I learned how to write, I crafted my first tale. My mom actually saved some of those little stories, which I hand wrote, illustrated, and tied together with string and cardboard covers.
How funny. I did the same thing. I guess it’s something in the genes. What made you finally decide to get serious about writing?
My high school English teacher complimented my writing and encouraged me. I even got him to agree to let me not do homework assignments in lieu of writing a novel (which I never did finish). After high school, not really knowing what I was doing, however, my first attempts at submitting manuscripts yielded only rejections. I lost interest and put aside my ambitions until much later in my life. I got back into writing by doing grant writing for some local non-profits with which I had become involved. When I learned I could get paid for grant writing, I decided to try again and took a course through Children’s Institute of Literature, and my career was off and running.
Describe what you consider your ideal writing conditions.
I like to either sit in my office with the door closed and no distractions, or outside on my deck during the warmer months when I can listen to the birds and my water feature. I prefer quiet to music or other noise when I’m writing. It’s not as crucial though when I’m editing.
Describe your rituals for preparing to write.
I really don’t have any rituals. When the mood strikes me, I just sit down and start to write. I’m a pantser; I don’t outline; and I tend to see the story playing like a movie in my head.
Me, too. I start with a scene and build on it. How often do you write?
Not often enough, LOL. Life tends to get in the way. When I was younger and still working outside the home, I somehow found the energy to write in the evening. Now, I’m retired, but I help care for my grandchildren, and until recently, I was the primary caregiver for my mother. I recently retired from my job as an editor, and I’m now hoping I can find more time to work on my next project.
Name one of your all-time favorite movies, the one you instantly recognize when it flashes across the screen, the one you stop and watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it, the one where you find yourself mouthing the dialogue along with the characters.
I tend not to watch a movie more than once, nor read a book twice. If I had to pick an all-time favorite movie, though, it would be the original Star Wars. That is one movie I definitely saw more than once.
Name a book/author you can read again and again and always learn something new.
My favorite authors tend to lean toward the fantasy genre, so I’m not sure if I’m actually learning something. Right now, my favorite is George R. R. Martin, author of the Song of Ice and Fire saga (Game of Thrones).
I’m reading Game of Thrones now, and it’s addictive!
What song makes you want to cry?
The Righteous Brothers song, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.”
Describe one of your favorite characters and tell us who you patterned them after and why.
Lindsey Baker the main character in my time travel novel, Mirror, Mirror, is one of my favorite characters. She’s actually a combination of a lot of people I know. She’s spunky, creative, intelligent, and not afraid to speak out about an injustice if she perceives one.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I usually find ideas in magazine and newspaper articles. Something will spark my interest, and I’ll start to play the “what if” game. Other stories have come from events in my life or from one of my friend’s lives. My animals will creep into my stories, too.
Name an author or authors who never fail to inspire you.
Oh, but there are so many! To name a few: Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, Margaret Atwood, Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, and Jane Austen.
Tell us about your current WIP.
The story I’m working on had its original incarnation as three separate short stories, published in three different genre magazines. I like the main character, Raven, and wanted to bring all her stories together, adding additional information to round out the tale and hopefully make it into a novel.
What is the thing you like best about being a published author?
I love it when readers tell me they’ve enjoyed my stories, but what author doesn’t like that. Mostly, I have to say I just enjoy telling the stories. I know I’ll never be rich or famous as an author, but if I can tell a story that I have fun writing and someone else can enjoy reading, then I feel I’ve done what I set out to do.
What is the one thing you like the least about being a published author?
That would have to be marketing. It’s so hard for me to say, “Please buy my book.” I haven’t figured out a way to do that without feeling like I’m begging. I live in a small rural community, and we recently lost all our bookstores, even the used ones. It leaves me few options for exposure to readers, other than the Internet and bloggers such as yourself who are willing to host me. That said, Susan, thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about my work and myself.
Always a pleasure, Penny, especially since you write my favorite kind of story–time travel. Everyone be sure and check out her excerpt below. Those of you who leave a comment with an email address will be entered in a drawing for a free copy of Mirror, Mirror. Good Luck!
Here’s an excerpt: After Stefany left, Lindsey adjusted the water spigots on her tub. A few drops of bubble bath went into the water, and the soothing scent of lavender filled the moist, steamy air. While the tub filled, Lindsey tried on her Renaissance outfit for the upcoming Faire. She couldn’t believe her good luck at finding the perfect pieces. She tested the bath water to be sure it was the right temperature. Then she picked up her antique mirror to get a better view. Was this a scryer’s mirror at some point in time? It slipped from her wet hands into the bathtub.
“Nuts,” she mumbled as she leaned over the tub. She pulled one sleeve up on her blouse and fished around in the bubbles for the mirror. When she pulled the mirror from the water, spots appeared in front of her eyes, and she felt faint. While she watched her reflection in the old mirror, the background changed. She no longer saw the inside of her bathroom. She closed her eyes as the room around her went black.