Are you enjoying my Wonderful Women Writers series? There are just so many wonderful women out there; I could probably keep this going for a long time! Today’s guest is Penelope Price, a friend from my online writing community.
There are some people who you meet or cyber meet that you are ok with, then there are those that you feel a kindred spirit with. There is a kindred spirit I feel with Penelope. Someday hopefully soon, when I can begin travelling – hopefully for a book tour or something (hey I’m allowed to dream!) that I would love to sit down for lunch with Penelope and have a real face to face!
Without any further delays, y’all came here to hear what Penelope has to say right? So let’s welcome today’s guest! (AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!) Yeah, yeah, yeah! *Men in back row stand up wearing body paint*
Alright, alright, settle down. *Tall handsome man with a sexy salt & pepper Van Dyke and dark curls stands up with large sign and yells: “I LOVE YOU PENELOPE!”*
My guest turns ten shades of red, then whispers “Jack sit down!”
I lean over and nudge her arm, “He’s a hottie, I’d keep him!”
We exchange smiles. “Shall we move on to the interview now that the men are settled?”
Tell me a little about yourself.
Greetings, I am the writer/dreamer/gamer/nerd affectionately known as Penelope Price. The vital statistics are as follows:
Sex: Please. *badum ching!* (girly giggles)
Stale jokes aside, female.
Location: Pennsylvania, USA (though I’m a West Coast girl, born & raised)
What genre do you write?
Genre is a weird subject for me. I find my own stuff pretty hard to classify beyond “fiction” and “fantasy”. There are so many sub-genres and niches! My current WIP (and its sequel) are modern-day fantasy set in a mostly rural region. It features several main characters, one of whom is a fifteen-year-old girl, but it isn’t exactly a “YA” novel… or maybe it is. Definitions have changed a lot since I was a “YA” reader exclusively. Anyway, generally, I would classify myself a fantasy writer.
Until “Incandescence” and “Inferno”, I had never really tried my hand at modern-day or real-ish world settings. Not since my very earliest novels (circa Middle School).
I think writing is one of those amazing things in life where you are not limited by labels. You can have a romance story set on a futuristic alien planet, or a mystery in the old west, supernatural happenings in a fictional world, or just about anything. I like to think that in all my works, they are more than ‘just’ the genre. There’s romance (and even lusty erotic moments, in some cases) in my war-based epic fantasy. There are life lessons set amongst the modern-day mages and their fight against the apocalypse. There is chocolate in my peanut butter…. No wait, that one is another stale joke.
How did you get started?
I started writing pretty much the moment I could read. I started putting those short stories and character ideas into ‘novel’ form when we got our first computer, around Christmas 1990. I was 10. I started typing into the word processor of that Tandy 2000 and never looked back.
Words have always been important to me. I’m a… linguophile? Someone who loves languages and linguistics? (Works for me, we are writer’s. We are allowed to make up words, right? Honestly I don’t know if it’s a word or not – let’s just go with it, it should be!)
Is that a word? Probably not. Anyway – whatever the term, I’m one of them. Words are life. Words are what separate us from (most) animals. Words are… dude, I can’t even express how important words are. To me, at any rate. I cannot express myself as well (or at all *cough* have you seen my artwork?) any other way.
My handwriting is terrible, but these days, I seem to do better when I’m scribbling into a notebook, old school-style. Probably because of the interwebs and their multitudes of shiny distractions.
Ooh Shiny! (We both watch as the back row does a shirtless wave.)
Where were we? (fumbles through index cards) Oh yes question 4.
Describe your writing routine.
My routine has been disrupted the past couple of months, due to my fiancé, Jack, and his whole ‘widow maker’ episode. People have joked that it’s a good thing we weren’t married yet, or he’d never have survived it (being that I can’t be a widow since we’re not yet legally joined on paper). Hah. (That had to be scary!)
Anyway – typically, I would get up a couple of hours before heading off to my day job and try to sneak in a solid 45-60 minutes of work. Then, snatch any downtime at work for quick bursts of writing time. Then, after the day job ended (and while Jack was still at work), cram in a little more writing time. It seems like a lot more time than it really amounted to, but I managed.
These days, I’m blessed to be working my day job from home, but there’s very little downtime so those 8 hours are pretty much writing-free. Not having a commute (or taking the time to get dressed, hah!) saves me a few minutes daily, which is nice, but since Jack is always home, it seems like I have even less time than I used to have. Probably, because he (like a small child) requires much attention.
(We glance over, noticing Jack is chatting with one of the shirtless men with a stern expression, and nod to each other.)
And yes, because we play LoTRO (him daily, me - usually only on the weekends).
How do you manage writing with the rest of your life as wife, mother, grandmother, employee and/or any other hats you wear?
.This speaks a lot to the previous answer, but I don’t look good in hats. I think that’s why I have so much trouble wearing intangible, symbolic ones. I’m not yet a wife or mother, but I am an employee, a friend, a fiancée, a gamer… and I hope to add wife and mother and puppy-haver to that list one of these days.
( We ooh and aah over pictures of my puppy, Ginger. OK, so she’s 5 yrs old but she’s still a cutie!)
I tend to move in cycles. One week, I am a great housekeeper, to the detriment of other roles. The next, I’m writing like a fiend and other things fall to the wayside. One weekend, I spend 12 hours watching a whole season of some TV program that I’ve never seen before, (*cough*Last Weekend. True Blood. Season One. *cough*), and not get any writing or anything done.
Finding balance is very difficult for me. I have an addictive personality and I do tend to get obsessed with things – single-minded, as it were. Which is great when it comes to pounding out words for a novel. But is bad when surprise guests arrive in the middle of a manic writing cycle and the toilet isn’t scrubbed and the floors aren’t mopped and AARRGGHHH!!
(Runs mental checklist of domestic responsibilities left unattended, hoping no one opens any closet doors!)
How long did it take you to have your first book published?
I sent my first query when I was eleven years old. I received the nicest rejection letter ever, encouraging me to keep writing and making up characters and to never stop dreaming.
I never did – but I have not tried again in the years since. Fortunately, the internet has taken over the world of publishing and there are many other options available to a writer today. A mere 20 years (twenty?!) later, I will make my mark on publishing by releasing my latest novel electronically. As it is in a stage of editing at the moment, I have not really begun to look for a small press or imprint to query – but I intend to do so over the summer.
So how long did it take me? I’ll let you know. Twenty years and counting, I guess.
What method will you choose and why?
I haven’t yet, to be honest. I would of course, adore to be traditionally published one day. Who wouldn’t? But I don’t think that getting my work out there requires that. Regardless of whether I choose to hire an editor and send my baby out into the world by uploading it to Amazon myself or I choose to seek out an indie press – I’m finally ready to open myself (and my work) up to the outside world. I will let the pieces fall where they may.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
. It seems a little impertinent to offer advice to other ‘aspiring authors’, being that I too am just a fledgling. But what I will say is something that another writer told me (and he was quoting Chuck Wendig from TerribleMinds.com). DO NOT CALL YOURSELF AN ASPIRING ANYTHING!!! You either write and are a writer, or you don’t, and are not. Period. You may aspire to be published, aspire to make someone cry with your words… things like that. But you cannot be an aspiring author or writer. Either you get off your butt (or, if you write sitting down, on it) and author something… or don’t.
Here’s a link to Chuck’s article, entitled “25 Things I Want to Say to So-Called Aspiring Writers”: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/02/21/25-things-i-want-to-say-to-so-called-aspiring-writers/
Love reading Chuck! He’s very in your face, get over yourself! He has a way of putting things into perspective that jerk me right out of my little pity parties. Ahem, moving on. . .
Who are your favorite authors?
I read pretty voraciously across genre-lines and the bounds of good taste. A smattering of my favorite authors: Shakespeare, George R.R. Martin, Victor Hugo, Melanie Rawn, Kathryn Anderson, Patricia Cornwell, JV Jones, Kate Elliot, David Gemmel, Dave Duncan, Paula Volsky, Kaya McClaren. I could go on
You can find Penelope Price and info about her upcoming releases at:
Thank you Penelope for stopping by Quotidiandose. ( Jack stands applauding wildly, gives the row of shirtless men glare until they stand and applaud as well. We exchange glances giving the knowing nod.)
Do you have any questions for Penelope? Please feel free to leave comments!
Thanks for stopping by and Write on my friends, write on!