Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, and her YA chapbook, Dragon Sight are available at Sam’s Dot Publishing. Love Delivery, Lady-in-Waiting and Mirror, Mirror are coming in 2011 from MuseItUp Publishing. Funny Dog, Boo’s Bad Day, and Many Colored Coats, all picture books, and Ghost for Lunch (a sequel to Ghost for Rent, formerly with Hard Shell Word Factory and now in the process of switching to a new publishing house), are scheduled for publication with 4RV.
Here is Penny's Book List:
A Past and A Future
Love Delivery, coming August, 2011
Lady-in-Waiting, coming November, 2011
Mirror, Mirror, coming December, 2011
Funny Dog, coming May, 2012
Ghost for Lunch, coming September, 2013
Many Colored Coats, coming October, 2014
Boo's Bad Day, coming June, 2015
Find Penny Online:
Website: Penny's Website
Blog: Penny's Blog
Facebook page is: Find Penny on Facebook
Twitter is: Find Penny on Twitte Author page at MuseItUp Publishing is: Penny's Author Page
Love Delivery is a story about two very normal people struggling to find happiness despite the hard-knocks life has thrown their way. Just as they feel they’ve found something special in each other, an evil ex-wife, an adorable child, and custody battles intrude on the path toward love.
Sounds very intriguing. Where can readers find your book online?
The direct buy link is: Love Delivery Purchase Link
Here’s a short excerpt:
Ann pushed open the door, and the bell jingled like an added alarm to wake her up. Sometimes she wondered how she could function this early in the morning, but a job was a job. At least waitressing in a donut shop was honest. Maybe someday she’d go back to finish college and do something rewarding with her life. Then again, maybe the man of her dreams would walk through the door this morning and sweep her off her feet. The closest thing to a dream man in her life was Tom, the delivery guy, looking like God’s gift to women. She sighed. It didn’t seem fair. He would never find her appealing with the figure she inherited from her mother. The only attractive thing she could find when she looked in a mirror was her startling green eyes.
I have known I wanted to be a writer since I was a young child. My mom saved some of my early works, and I enjoy looking back at my crude attempts. I’ve always loved to read and would spend most of my free time with my nose in a book, and I still do whenever I can. There’s something special about a writer’s words being able to transport the reader to places and times other than one’s own. I wanted to be able to do that myself, and thus, the writer in me was born. When I finally became a published writer, I felt like my life had at last been completed.
That's great. What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
My current release, Love Delivery, is a contemporary romance. I wanted to write a story where the main female character didn’t work in some high class job or live in a fabulous city. I wanted her to be a blue-collar worker who struggled to make ends meet and hadn’t finished her college education. I wanted her love interest to also be a blue collar worker who had his own obstacles to overcome before he could find love. I remembered my first job working as a waitress in a donut shop, and I decided to put my main character to work managing a donut shop.
True, you don't always find main characters with a blue-collar job. Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My characters are composites of people I’ve known, people I’ve seen on the streets, and idealized people who I think would fit the character I’m trying to create. I suspect a little of me or a family member turns up in them, too.
What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?
Besides romance, I write a lot of fantasy, so I don’t do much research for my books. However, my time-travel romance, Mirror, Mirror, coming from MuseItUp Publishing in November, 2011, did require some research into life in the middle ages. I’ve always been fascinated with that era as a lot of fantasy tends to include much of that time period…swords, horse travel, less than sanitary conditions, etc. Researching what people wore, how they spoke, and what they might have eaten was all interesting to me.
Sounds like interesting research. How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story? Is the process the same for every book you write? How long does it take you to write a book?
I am what is commonly known as a “punster” when I write. I don’t usually outline my books. I get an idea or a character who wants a story told and I’m ready to write. I tend to see a lot of my books like movies in my head. When I get to a particular part, I can close my eyes and actually visualize the scene. With the exception of my middle-grade novels, my books are all smaller and classified as novelettes, rather than novels. I have written a lot of short stories, and I find them easier to write than lengthy works. I guess that’s why I like writing middle grade novels, as they are, by nature, shorter than adult works of fiction. How long it takes depends more on the length of the story and how scattered I am at the time. Sometimes, I get focused and can whip out the book in a couple of weeks, other times, it’s spread out over months. Then, there’s the time involved once it gets accepted and goes through the editing process, which takes another few months before actual publication.
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
My writing schedule varies. I’ve never felt like I have to write every day to be a “real” writer. Life can get in the way. When I was younger, it was my children who needed things, now I’m caring for my 95 year old mom. While I retired from my 9 – 5 job, I now work at home as a contracted line editor for a couple of small traditional publishing houses. I also maintain a blog where I spotlight other authors. With my many activities and obligations, I often find I don’t have time to write every day. If a story, really grabs me, however, I will focus on it and work regularly to get it finished. Sometimes I feel like I should establish a writing schedule, but since I haven’t yet, I don’t really feel the need.
Know the feeling of life getting in the way...I work from home as a marketing consultant and usually work on my books at night. How did you find your publisher? What was your journey to publication like?
The publisher for my current book, Love Delivery, is MuseItUp Publishing. I first met the publisher and editor-in-chief, Lea Schizas, at the MuseItUp Online Writers Conference, which is a free conference offered every year in the fall. I was very impressed with Lea’s commitment to helping other writers. When she decided to open her own publishing house and sought people to work as editors, I applied and was accepted. After working as an editor, I decided to submit some of my own work. I went through the same process every other author goes through. In fact, the first story I submitted under another name so the acquisitions editors wouldn’t be biased. I was thrilled when the story was accepted and have since submitted two others, which are also coming later this year--Lady-in-Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror. The journey with MuseItUp has been a wonderful experience.
How have your friends and family received your career as an author? Are they supportive?
My friends are very supportive of my career and are my most loyal fans. I can always count on them to buy my books. My family is proud of what I’ve accomplished. In fact, my daughter is the reason I wrote my first middle grade novel. I’d been writing and being published in genre magazines and non-fiction for quite a while. She insisted I wasn’t a “real” writer because I didn’t have a book! Now, as an adult grade school teacher, she invited me to come to her classroom to talk about being an author. It was great fun to watch her in her work environment and to know she valued what I did enough to share it with her students.
What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you? ~ POV issues; using too much passive voice and not enough active voice; trouble creating active and engaging dialogue; using too many similar words in starting sentences; or something else?
I haven’t found it a challenge, but I’m always amazed when an editor sends me back a manuscript where she’s highlighted words I’ve overused! I find, although I’m an editor myself, I am a terrible editor when it comes to my own work. It’s so hard for me to see my errors. I guess I love my stories too much.
Penny, thank you so much for stopping by today. I enjoyed our chat.
To one person who comments on today's post, and leaves contact information, Penny will email a short romantic story, "A Midsummer's Knight."
At the end of her blog tour, she will chose one grand prize winner, who will receive a copy of Love Delivery in whichever eBook format works.
So please feel free to comment. We'd love for you to chat with us today.
Love Delivery Blog Tour – Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz, MuseItUp Publishing
August 16 -- Long & Short Reviews
August 17 -- Nicola Sheridan
Long & Short Reviews chatting on their forum
August 18 -- Su Halfwerk
August 19 -- Lin Holmes
August 20 -- Janice Seagraves
August 21 -- Joylene Butler
August 22 -- Roseanne Dowell
August 23 -- Tina Donahue
August 24 -- Grace Elliot
August 25 -- Marva Dasef
August 29 -- P.L. Parker