Tuesday, December 8, 2009
This is a bit late but I haven't posted an author interview in such a long time I was not use to posting early. I have newly published romance author Penny Watson being interviewed here on my blog today after having contacted me about scheduling an author interviewed, guest blogging and having her debut novel reviewed by me a couple of months ago. Her debut romance novel, Sweet Inspiration, was a wonderful read and you can read my review of it that I posted a while back. Also don't forget to come back on Thursday, December 10th because Penny will be guest blog about how she came up with Sweet Inspiration and more. Now onto my very interesting and informative interview with Penny:
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Phoebe Jordan: When did you know that writing romance was going to be the thing that you would do with your life? Which author inspired you to start writing romance? Penny WatsonPenny Watson: To tell you the truth, Phoebe, I still don't know what I want to do with the rest of my life! :) But I do know that I am passionate about reading, writing and discussing romantic fiction. Since I discovered this wonderful genre, I've become a serious addict. I've been interested in creative writing since I was a little girl, but got somewhat sidetracked (happily so!) by a career in science and education. After reading Sherrilyn Kenyon's Night Play, I decided to write my own werewolf romance novel. Ha! Just ask my writers group (The Quirky Ladies) about that book.... I didn't know what POV meant, had no clue about central conflict, and wasn't sure if my genre was dark paranormal or comedy. Needless to say, I chocked that one up as a good learning experience, and then started to write Sweet Inspiration once I figured out that light paranormal is really my thing. Phoebe: Did you know what type of romance you wanted to write about or did you experiment with different genres before you chose the one that you felt was for you? Penny: I was so confused with my first novel. I wasn't sure if it was a serious paranormal or a comedy. I finally realized that writing light paranormal was coming more naturally to me, so Sweet Inspiration was born. I definitely like thinking "outside of the box" in terms of mixing up different elements in my writing. Making a romance novel where the paranormal setting was the North Pole with Santa and his elves qualifies as "outside of the box!" Phoebe: What was the first fiction you ever wrote? And do you still have it with you? Penny: I wrote a story about a girl who lived in a tree house when I was in third grade. I remember the heroine's name was Mandy. Sadly, the original manuscript has been lost forever! :) Phoebe: How much research do you have to do for your novels and does it take you a long time to gather that research? Penny: I do research as I go along. I like to jump right into my story and I don't have the patience to do months of research (or plotting, for that matter). Phoebe: How did you come up with the concept for your debut novel, Sweet Inspiration, which is the first book of your Klaus Brothers Series? Penny: Most of my story ideas come from a single scene that pops into my head, and then I expand on that. For Sweet Inspiration, I saw a couple making love in front of a roaring fire, and then I thought, "Maybe they're in the North Pole, and the guy is Santa's son...." And it just took off from there! Phoebe: How do you come up with each of your characters for your novels? How do you choose their names out of so many names out there? Penny: My characters develop as I write. I usually have a "kernel" that I start with, and as the story progresses, I learn more and more about each character. I just pick the first name that pops into my head! For my elves, I am using a list of German names. Phoebe: Do you have a favorite character that you really enjoyed writing about in your debut novel, Sweet Inspiration, which is the first book of your Klaus Brothers Series?? Did you have a character that you felt you could really relate to in your debut novel, Sweet Inspiration, which is the first book of your Klaus Brothers Series? Penny: I love Nicholas, the hero. He is a super-starched uptight guy who loves to cook. Falling in love with Lucy sends him into a big tailspin. He was really fun to write. I am personally more like Lucy, the heroine. She cooks by the seat of her pants, and doesn't follow recipes. That's totally me! Phoebe: Do you have a process of how you start to write your novels? Penny: I'm a pantser. I start with a single scene or idea, and just expand on that. I figure out the story one chapter at a time. Phoebe: Have you ever considered writing a series or are writing stand alone novels your preference? How would writing each be different for you? Penny: Sweet Inspiration is the first of a five-part series, The Klaus Brothers Series. I am working on book #2 right now. It's called Sweet Magik…it's Oskar's story. I am also working on a stand alone botanical mystery/romance called Diabolical. Phoebe: What process did you have to go through to get your debut novel published and did it take you long? Sweet Inspiration by Penny WatsonPenny: Once I finished my story, I entered a ton of writing contests. I also started querying a huge long list of agents, plowing through alphabetically! I was lucky enough to win first place in the paranormal category in the 2008 Gateway to the Best Contest. I think that helped a lot with the query letters. Once I figured out that the regular market was not interested in a 55,000-word Christmas-themed romance novel, I searched for publishers that offered shorter holiday stories. There were quite a few e-pubs that fit the bill, but most of them were looking for erotic stories. Luckily, The Wild Rose Press had the exact specifications I was looking for, and they loved my story. Yippee! It took about 6 months from the time I finished to the contract offer. Phoebe: Do you ever get writers block? What do you do to get rid of it so you can get back to writing your novels? Penny: All the time! Walking the dog is the best way for me to work through my blocks. And good exercise, too! Phoebe: What is your biggest reader pet peeve, if you have any? (stock characters, unresolved endings, predictability, everything wrapped up hurriedly in the end, etc.) Penny: The Big Misunderstanding. That drives me nuts! Phoebe: Which aspects of writing do you enjoy the most and why? And what is your biggest writing pet peeve? (overuse of exclamation points, adverbs, bad guys named Wayne, etc.), if you have any? Penny: I love pantsing a book, not knowing what's going to happen. Every new chapter is an adventure for me. I love exclamation points, adverbs, guys with beards, hard-cussing elves, etc. The Quirky Ladies keep me in line! Phoebe: What is the one writing tool can you not live without? Penny: My computer! Phoebe: How do you handle your writing schedule and your personal life without going insane? Penny: Who says I'm not insane? (diabolical laughter).... I try to make a schedule for myself each day when the kids are in school, but it doesn't always work. Balancing my writing and personal life is still a work in progress. Phoebe: What do you do to relax after having spent a long while writing? Do you have any hobbies? Penny: I love walking my dachshund Lucy....she's the best! I also love working in my garden, cooking, biking around the neighborhood with my kids, and trying out new martinis with the Quirks! Phoebe: Is there any advice that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Penny: Someone did give this advice to me...after my first horrendous pitch appointment. (I pitched Sweet Inspiration at a writer's conference and I totally crashed and burned). Just because the story isn't right for an individual publisher or agent does not mean that it's not right for someone. Keep trying until you find your niche! Phoebe: Is there any writing tips, research tips, promotion and marketing tips that you would give to an aspiring romance writer that you wish someone had given you? Penny: Don't forget that you are the master of your own destiny. It's easy to feel like the outcome of your writing career is in everyone else's hands but your own. You can't think that way. Make a plan for yourself and stick to it! Phoebe: Do you have a favorite genre you like to read? Who is your favorite author(s)? Penny: My favorites are historical and paranormal. I have WAY too many favorite authors to list them here. Check out my review blog (Penelope's Romance Reviews) to see some of my favorites! Phoebe: What are you reading now? And what do you plan to read after that? Penny: I am just about to dig into two new books...Jacquie D'Alessandro's Touch Me and The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide by JR Ward.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Phoebe for the great interview. I had a lot of fun answering these questions. Hope you are having a good holiday! :)

    Penny

    ReplyDelete

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About Me

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Phoebe Jordan
I'm a part-time aspiring romance novelist, book reviewer and blogger. I've always wanted to travel the world and learn everything I can about other countries. Learning the Italian language is one way of trying to make that dream come true. Traveling will help me with my writing because I'll be learning about the history of the U.S., Latin America, England, Italy, and Ireland, the countries I find so fascinating while reading the romance genre.
 
I read and review romance novels of almost every subgenre along with erotic romance, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy and young adult novels. You can find the reviews at my blogs, Talk About My Favorite Authors and Phoebe Jordan's Reviews. I’ve also started a live podcast show called TAMFA | Phoebe Jordan hosted on Blog Talk Radio. This show is dedicated to everything I love about romance and young adult novels. I love having romance and young adult authors live on my show to be interviewed and showcase their books.

I plan to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotic romance, paranormal romance and young adult when I get my writing career started with help from Keta. I'm not sure what genre I'll write to begin with since I love to read so many different romance genres.
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