Welcome Penny Estelle to my blog! I was excited to meet her and get a look at her work and I hope you are too. Leave a comment on the blog and win a free pdf copy of either “Hike up Devil’s Mountain” or “A Float Down the Canal,” your choice!
1. When did you first realize you were a writer?
I would probably have to say one year ago when I actually got a contract! I remember getting an email from Solstice Publishing offering me a contract for Hike Up Devil’s Mountain. I think I started hyper-ventilating. I screamed and my husband came running in to see what was wrong. We danced around a little bit, cracked a bottle of champagne (I think it was 8:30 am) and then I felt like a writer, because I could actually say, I have a story published.
2. What do you find is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
Can I give 2 answers? First, just sitting down to write. There is so much involved with trying to market and promote, sometimes actual writing takes a back seat. Second, is my patience level. You write, edit, edit more, and it’s ready to be sent in – then you wait!
3. Tell us about your work.
I have 2 books out and one coming out this month (yea) Hike Up Devil’s Mountain is about 3 boys who get in a world of trouble. Their only hope live on Devil’s Mountain. The story is how they try to reach the top and the dangers they face on their way up. It has a surprise ending that you just don’t see coming!
A Float Down the Canal is about a twelve-year girl who has to cancel all her plans to watch her brother and his friend, and then learns her prissy cousin is coming over for her to entertain as well. Pam Simpson is always the pal, one of the gang, second fiddle, and her cousin wants to help change this. This story tells how Pam’s worst day ever, ends up being one she will never forget and it all starts with a Float Down the Canal.
Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare, due out this month, is about 7th grader, Billy Cooper. Everyone in class has to do an oral report on whatever historical subject they draw from a box. Billy figures he will do a quick search on the computer and skate by on this assignment, but all that changes when he comes face to face with his 14th century subject!
I was a secretary for 21 years for a school principal. I have heard so many excuses from kids as to why they are in trouble or why it isn’t their fault, etc. Most of the kids that came to see the principal had a way of getting under my skin – in a good way. I love a kid with a great sense of humor and sarcasm.
I really like doing the dialogue in my stories. Kids of today are unique in their speech and showing emotions. I love it. I also have 5 kids and 7 grandkids. Most of my dialogue, I can hear coming out of their mouths as I type!
5. Now that you’re published, what has changed in your view when it comes to writing and publishing?
Oh my gosh, that is a really simple question for me to answer. I figured when I signed that contract, the money would start pouring in. HA! The writing part is easy. I am still learning the ways to market and promote. This process is not for sissies!
6. How important of a role do you believe social media will play in your success as a published author?
I think it will be huge! Honestly, I am not the best at promoting myself. My husband tells everybody he meets, “Hey, my wife is an author! Have a bookmark! Visit her website!” It’s almost embarrassing. Twitter, websites, blogs, facebook – these are a must!
I actually got Janet Evanovich to answer 3 questions for me on my blog (I know, isn’t that awesome?) I asked her, how much time she spends with social media. She said none! She’s my hero. Someday I want to be that good!!!
7. What one piece of advice do you have for unpublished writers?
If you are writing for the money, chances are you may be disappointed. Write because you love to put stories down on paper. Write, write, and write some more!
8. Tell us about your next project.
I am hoping to do a series called the Wickware Sagas. It is along the lines of my story Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare. Today’s kids, meeting historical legends of years gone by. I think the stories could be funny, adventurous, and with a little education thrown in, would make a great series.
9. Where do you see yourself as an author in the next ten years?
Have you ever seen the film or read the book, The Secret? You see what you want to happen – soooooo, I’m going to say I see myself sitting on my balcony of my beach house on the San Diego coast, looking out into the Pacific Ocean, with my laptop and typing The End to my 5 greatest American Novel!
10. Where can we go to find about more about you and your books?
11. Finally, would you be so kind as to share an excerpt of your work with us?
Escerpt from Hike Up Devil’s Mountain
The boys looked into a black gaping hole, the size of a basketball. The top was lined with tiny razor sharp teeth. From the bottom, two, huge jagged teeth jutted out over the top, like elephant tusks.
The sucking in of Danny’s breath could hardly be heard, but it was loud enough. Time froze! Andy didn’t draw a breath, but his heart was pounding so hard in his chest, he was sure this thing would be able to hear it.
It looked first to the right and then slowly to the left. A low growl could be heard way down in its throat, waiting to erupt. Neither Andy nor Danny moved a muscle. Two large, dull, red globes with black slits in the middle of each globe, scanned the room, and then slowly looked down.
It took only seconds for the thing to focus in on his unexpected guests. The black slits in its eyes practically disappeared to tiny dots and the eyes turned from dull to a blood red. The bellow was as loud a noise as Andy had ever heard.
Danny screamed and ran for his life. He ran through the tunnel on the right.
Andy was right behind him, but the monster’s tail came around knocking Andy back against the rock and blocking the entrance. He was back on his feet in a flash, diving through the partially opened second tunnel. Andy felt one of the claws brush through his hair.
The monster’s roar followed him down the tunnel. Andy looked over his shoulder and saw the monster trying to get through the narrow opening. He tripped, falling down hard. When he looked back, the thing was gone.