PEN (PENNY WHITE): IF I DIDN’T WRITE, I WOULD SIMPLY IMPLODE
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Penny White, aka Pen, is a very active self-publishing author. She was bitten by the writing bug at the age of ten (copyright of the sentence belongs to Pen). Her latest novel Nero’s Fiddle was published a month ago. Pen’s interview is №100 on the blog, so it’s kind a special one. Let’s go to our next Q&A guest, who has interesting things to share.
– Pen, What is your last book Nero’s Fiddle about?
– Nero’s Fiddle is about an Electromagnetic Pulse attack crippling the United States. Captain Beverly Mossberg is assigned the task of getting to Washington, DC on foot to assassinate the terrorist before he strikes again.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– I listened to an audiobook called One Second After by William Forschten. It was about an EMP attack on the community level. I began to visualize my own version of an EMP attack on the United States. It had a larger feel to it and my heroes were women.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– Having enough hours in the day to work on it.
– Tell us something more about your main character? Is it 100% fiction or it’s close to someone from your real life?
– Captain Beverly Mossberg is completely fictional. Her characteristics are taken from several people I know. She is strong and stoic like my father was. She’s something of a smart-aleck like several people I know. She is determined to see her assignment through, even though she has her doubts, much like me. But she is also vulnerable and very realistic.
– How much time you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– It took approximately 8 months for me to write the rough draft. I completed the rough draft one year to the day of my heart attack.
– I loved the title of your book Grandma Was a Really Cool Vamp. Give me some insight on it?
– Grandma is a bit of a satire along the lines of the 1979 movie Love At First Bite. It has a mixture of vampires, werewolves, and zombies. I thought it would be cool to have a story with an “older” type of vampire. I tossed in her young great grandchild coming to live with her. I wanted it to be a bit lighter as well as a little different from most vampire stories.
– Who are you?
– I am a writer, first and foremost. It is my passion. I am a survivor and a fighter (I survived a heart attack in June 2013 after completing the Sword of Tilk Trilogy). And I am determined to be a successful self-published author.
– What are your writing habits?
– I like to write out my novels longhand first then type what I’ve written. When I have a job (I was laid off this past summer) I commute via public transportation. Writing in longhand is much easier this way and there’s no threat of someone stealing the notepad out of my hands.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book?
– The Kindle sales are doing well. I would like to see this book take off – both print and e-book – as it is very timely and about a subject of which many people are not aware: the threat of an EMP event, whether manmade or nature-made. And also because women are the heroes in this book.
– Do you have plans for your next novel?
– I am currently working on a science fiction series set on another planet.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your book?
– Using social media daily, sending copies for review to various places when I can, encouraging friends to read and review.
– Tell me which of your books are the best received by the readers?
– Nero’s Fiddle has been best received thus far.
– Is it tough to mix different genres in literature and not to focus on one or two?
– My imagination is all over the place and isn’t limited to one particular topic. I write whatever comes into my fuzzy little red head. Poetry, essays, science fiction, fantasy, young adult, action, thriller…there really is no limit to the imagination. So, no, I don’t find it difficult to write in different genres.
– Ask yourself a question (And don’t forget to answer!)
– Why do you write?
– Because if I didn’t write, I would simply implode. I have always had a deep-seated desire to share my thoughts, ideas and imaginings with others. Even as a kid, I used to write “scripts” for my little brother and I to perform on Christmas Eve before opening presents. I am compelled to write and propelled by a need to leave something behind for others to emulate or simply enjoy.