Penny will be giving away a copy of her latest book, Hailee. To enter to win a copy leave a comment and your email address.
Hi Penny, welcome. First, tell us a little about yourself. Hi Gail! Thank you for hosting me on your blog. It’s great to be here! I am a wife, mom, and author of several books and numerous magazine articles. I also write a humor blog “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author” (www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com). I am an active volunteer in my community, serving as a women’s Bible study small-group leader and co-organizing a women’s prayer group. My passion is to use the gift of the written word to glorify God and to benefit His Kingdom. I devote my time to assisting and nurturing women and children into a closer relationship with God. However, all that being said, my greatest ministry is to, with my husband Lon, raise our two daughters for Christ. When I’m not dreaming up new characters for books, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening, and playing volleyball.
Sounds like you have a full life, and it’s great that you can bring us humor. Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read? I was an avid reader as a child. I loved Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mysteries and read every copy of those books I could get my hands on! I also loved The Little House on the Prairie series.
This is funny and not something I have shared much, but beginning when I was 10 years old, I also loved the romance stories in the back of “Good Housekeeping Magazine.” In those days, the stories were wholesome and I would sneak outside with my mom’s copy into our playhouse to read. I loved the stories because they would have pictures of the characters drawn by an artist with a little tidbit under each picture, such as, “Lydia thinks she’ll never love again – that is until James unexpectedly walks into her life…” I laugh when I think of those early days reading those stories! I suppose I have always been a romantic at heart!
I remember those days too. Tell us about your latest book.
Hailee is the third book in my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series, which began with McKenzie and Kaydie. Following is a short blurb:
For years, orphan Hailee Annigan was just a ragamuffin in the Cincinnati streets, stealing food to keep her two younger brothers fed. Her thievery landed her in a home for delinquent youngsters, where her life was changed, thanks to her teachers. Now, nineteen-year-old Hailee excitedly heads to Montana to be a teacher, yet she's still plagued by her shameful past and the fear of never seeing her brothers again.
Based on his upbringing in high-society Boston, no one would have guessed that Nate Adams would attend seminary and become a church pastor in rugged Montana. Even now, Nate's parents refuse to put aside their own plans for his future and accept his calling.
When their paths converge, an immediate attraction draws Hailee and Nate together, even as the pressures and demands of others pull them apart. Can the unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?
Watch a Trailer for HaileeI’m excited about the new trailer for Hailee, which was just produced and can be found at http://youtu.be/LEGoM43jtwA
Are you a plotter or a pantzer? I am definitely a pantzer! *grins*
Does your faith affect your writing? How? My faith influences my writing 100%. In November of 2000, I gave my writing to the Lord. I quit my fulltime job with a social services agency to stay home with my infant daughter. That was the start of my writing career, beginning with magazine articles in national and regional publications. I am humbled that God has called me into a ministry of writing.
Because faith plays such an important role in my writing, I love the opportunity it has given me to share Christ with others. Being able to talk about my career has opened the door to sharing the Gospel in countless ways.
What are you working on right now? Next on the agenda is my historical romance series set in the post-Civil War era. I recently completed the first draft of the first book and am hard at work on the second.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? God calls us all to do different things for His Kingdom. If He has called you to write, seek His guidance. Never give up, even when you feel like it or when someone has unkindly criticized you. Seek to please and honor Him in whatever you write, whether it is for the secular or the inspirational market; whether it be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, song lyrics, or a screenplay. Find a mentor and be open to ideas and suggestions from one who’s “been there, done that.” Join forces with other Christian writers. After all, we are all working for the same Boss.
I speak from experience when I say that when He closes one door, He opens a (much better) one and I firmly believe that if God calls you, He will guide you.
I give more tips for writers, including sticking with writing and how to prepare for a writer’s conference here: http://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/sticking-with-writing/
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing? If I wasn’t a writer, I would love to be a television talk show host for a Christian TV show. I think that would be a lot of fun!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? I love to connect with my readers at my website http://www.pennyzeller.com/
my blog http://www.pennyzeller.wordpress.com/,
on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pennyzeller, and
on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pennyzellerbooks
where I post updates about new books, giveaways, events, making a difference in the lives of others, and Just-for-Fun Fridays.
Thank you again, Gail, for having me as your guest! I’m excited to see who wins the copy of Hailee.
It was my pleasure, Penny