Please join us in welcoming our guest author this week Pennelope Price. We ask her some serious questions and some fun questions. Let’s get right to it…..
Where are you from?
I grew up in a suburb of Seattle. Went to college in a cow-town about 90 minutes east of it. Hopped to Spokane for a bit, then back, and eventually ended up in central Pennsylvania. I wrote a blog post about the concept of ‘home’ recently (link), and how it both is and isn’t where my heart is. But the short answer is that I’m from just outside Seattle.
A little about yourself (ie: your education, family life, hobby, etc.)
Easy enough. I’m Penelope, pleased to meet you. I’m in my early 30s, been writing since I could read, and its my number one hobby. I studied History and Japanese in college, but somehow ended up as an English major after all that. I adore rolling dice with my friends (yes, we play old school, pen & paper Roleplaying Games like DnD and Pathfinder), hanging with my significant other (Jack Morgan of PunchJackMorgan.com), planning to adopt a dog, and I spend a lot of time missing my loved ones back in WA (Mom, HP, Sis, Bro-in-Law, and Nephew, in particular).
Tell us your latest news?
Oh! Great timing. Jack and I have been engaged to be married, unofficially, for years. Just recently, we set a date! It’s actually going to happen, at last!
When and why did you begin writing?
I guess it just came as naturally to me as reading. I loved books and I loved stories and I wanted to tell my own. I have literally been writing since I was four and could only cobble together words from “Little Bear’s Christmas” which had a vocabulary list in the front to go with the audio tape. My first story went something like this: up, down, stairs, christmas bear. It was self-illustrated in marker with totally incongruous pictures of pink and green ponies.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve identified as a writer since… I was maybe seven or eight. It’s as intrinsically a part of who I am as breathing, I think. There have been unhappy stretches of time in my life where I simply did not write, but I am always happiest when I do.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Ugh. That’s a stretch back. My first ‘book’ was a kidnapping story. It kicked off my weird obsession with desert settings, its original title was ‘Desert Race’ and I have no idea what inspired it. Probably because I was highly fed-up with the dreck being spoon fed to kids my age at the time. Middle-grade and YA literature has come a long way since 1990 but back then, it felt very…marshmallow. All fluff and sugar, no substance. Mostly, though, it was probably just a combination of urge to create and summer vacation boredom. Tee-hee.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Yeah, but I’m hard pressed to describe it. My blog tends to be very conversational. My current WIP is much more informal and casual than my other works. I just love the English language and I think that shows no matter what I’m working on — or at least, I hope it does.
How did you come up with the title?
Which? Titles are not my strong suit. I have always tended toward bad puns for scholarly papers or blog articles. My books — most of which have never seen the light of day — are all still sitting around with working titles. This includes “Incandescence” and “Inferno” which I am feverishly trying to complete for release! Eeek!
How much of the book is realistic?
Realistic… that’s a hard thing to gauge when you’re writing a Modern-Day Fantasy novel. I mean, the setting is a fictionalized version of a real place. The people, I hope, come across as real. Their emotions and troubles and whatnot – those are real. It’s just that… there are also mages and magic and horrible monstrosities tromping across the landscape.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life, or are they a figment of your imagination? (i.e. – is your hero/heroin you? – is your ‘bad guy’ you or someone you know?)
I think its impossible not to be influenced by the people around you. Some of the characters in “Incandescence” bear names from people I know “in real life”, others possess characteristics. I would not go so far as to say they are ‘based’ on people, but tinged with real-life influence — yes.
What books have influenced your life the most?
Little House on the Prairie. Les Misérables. The Dragon Prince. The Player’s Handbook v.3.5. (Tee-hee). The Fellowship of the Rings. Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
That would be impossible.
What book(s) are you reading now?
Hmm. I am actually between books right now. My summer has just been too crazy to really facilitate any good reading. I have been following a bunch of blogs thanks to the VBT though. There are a lot of talented people in the MasterKoda/TTC group!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
The next book on my list is by Catrina Taylor. Birth of an Empire and Below the Surface. I am SO excited to get my mitts on them, but without a Kindle, it means reading on my computer and that’s kind of a pain. I’ve been planning to buy once since my birthday, but alas…circumstances being what they are…
What are your current projects?
Right now I am finishing up the second edit of “Incandescence”, a modern-day fantasy novel about mages and the apocalypse and working on the first draft of its sequel, “Inferno”.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Two of my English teachers in particular, really celebrated my love of writing and encouraged me to keep it up. Mrs. Dorland and Mr. Dillon.
If you could pick any celebrity to star in the movie version of your book, who would it be?
Argh! I don’t know! Maybe, if we could go back a few years in time, the girl who plays “Alexis”, Castle’s daughter in “Castle”, would make a lovely Hannah. But she may be too ‘pretty’. C’est la vie. I haven’t really thought about it.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Well, it’s not ‘done’ yet, so… yes. Tee-hee.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? (a short excerpt would be great)
Of course! Here’s a brief section from “Incandescence”, consider it a world premiere:
Michael was glad for her eagle-eyes because he was having trouble concentrating on the mundane. His mind was weighed down and roiling, full of turbulent thoughts and worries. It had been at least three days now, since they had fled Ocean Shores in his Jeep. Three days with no news, no media, no contact with anyone. They had not seen a soul on the road.
More than anything, Mike just wanted to know what was going on. Worse than the cramping in his empty belly was the absolute dearth of information. He felt starved, as if he were going through withdrawal. Professor McCormick was right, he grinned like a madman, the memory of her impassioned lecture crossing his mind, we are all like crackheads when it comes to the ‘net. Total junkies.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Just finding the time and motivation to go on can be daunting at times. That’s my biggest hurdle. And then of course, scraping up the guts to let people read it.
What is your particular writing quirk?
When I was younger, I wrote exclusively while wearing earphones and playing my tape of Bryan Adams’ “So Far So Good” over and over. I’m pleased to say I’ve evolved past that.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but maybe some day!
Who designed the cover(s)?
No one yet.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Really, writing it wasn’t hard. Editing has been a labor of love; hard as can be, but worth it. Worse, is letting it go into beta readers’ hands and waiting to hear back! That’s the worst!
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Writing “Incandescence” was a departure from my norm. It was a challenge to myself that I could still write a full novel and that it could be good. And in finishing it, I learned that I was right. I can write novels and they are good.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I quote Dory from “Finding Nemo” by telling people this: Just keep swimming.
Thanks for having me, ladies! Much love to you and I cannot WAIT to read the sequel!
PS (the link for the home post is: http://www.penelopeprice.net/2012/07/home-is-heaven-for-beginners/)
Author Bio: Penelope Price: author, gamer, nerd. Though she has been writing since she learned to read, P.P. did not emerge from her cocoon to join the writing circuit until the year of Tangerine Tango. She is the crazy chick behind this summer’s Incandescence and its sequel, Inferno and can usually be found plotting projects with her partner-in-crime, Jack Morgan of PunchJackMorgan.com. Get updates, gossip and geekery by following P.P. on Facebook (http://facebook.com/PP_TheWriter), Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/PP_TheWriter), and at her blog (http://www.penelopeprice.net).
Pennelope, it was so awesome to have you with us today. You mentioned above the show “Castle” and using the girl who plays “Alexis” to possibly play your Hannah. She is beautiful, but also real and has the ability to portray a strong yet vunerable young woman. “Castle” is one of our favorite shows, lol!!
We always love getting to know our fellow authors better. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and share a bit of yourself with us and our readers.
Please feel free to leave any comments you want here on our blog and we will make sure that Pennelope sees them.