Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Meet Penny Estelle: Author of "At What Price?"

Today I'd like to introduce Penny Estelle, author of "At What Price?" which is about a grandmother who steps up to take care of her six-year-old granddaughter after she is deserted by a mother who has a drug addiction. Penny reveals all of her sense of fiction secrets. Welcome, Penny! 

When did you discover you had a “sense of fiction?”

HA!  I’m not quite certain I have a “sense of fiction.”  I never made up stories at a young age (unless it was to get out of trouble) and I never invented stories to tell my kids or grandkids. I just told them the old fashioned stand-bys. 

One day I was watching my grandson playing with a toy dragon and an idea for a story came to mind, but it would have to be the END of the story. All I had to do was come up with a beginning and an ending. That ending is in my first story, Hike Up Devil’s Mountain, and Solstice Publishing picked it up. 

What was your favorite book as a child? As an adult? How did those influence you as a writer?

I didn’t read as a child.  In fact, I didn’t like reading at all, clear through my high school days. I finally started reading when I had two babies at home. It was only then that I found out I could escape reality and enter a whole different world. I started out on the historical romances of Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodwiss. To this day, they are still two of my favorite authors, but I honestly can’t say they have influenced my writing today. 

I did try writing an historical romance way back then. It was a complete novel but I put it in a box and that’s where it lives. I have decided to try to do something with that story and I just recently reread it. What pathetic writing! Thank goodness I have improved a little bit.

What inspired you to write this book?

At What Price is the first adult story I have written.  It’s about a grandmother who steps up to take care of her six-year-old granddaughter after she is deserted by a mother who has a drug addiction.  My own brother had a drug problem and I’ve seen first hand what pain it can cause. 

As for inspiration, personally mine come from an idea that I get from something as simple as a commercial I see on TV, or something I see while driving, or maybe some comment one of my kids say in jest. 

How would you describe your writing process? What must you always have while writing?

When I’m in the writing mode, I can write mostly anywhere.  I’m a horizontal writer and the best time for me is on the couch at 4 am while everything is quiet. 

What has proven to be your most successful marketing tool?

I haven’t been in the writing game very long so, unfortunately, I am still looking for that secret, successful marketing tool.  I know it’s out there – something other than Twitter, blogs and facebook.  I’m waiting for it to hit me like a sledgehammer!

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

There are five million different opinions out there.  One person might love what you have written, while someone else things it sucks.  If it helps you as a writer, take what they have to say and stick it somewhere safe.  If it doesn’t, throw it away, get rid of it, don’t let it fester.

The other was (and I’ve used it many times) write because you love doing it and not to get rich!
Side note: But you can always hope to get rich - LOL

Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.

Now, I sat at gate C9, watching as people, one by one, left the plane. My heart was
pounding so hard, waiting to catch a glimpse of my granddaughter. The last straggler
appeared through the door and I started to panic. What if she missed the plane?

A hand touched my shoulder and I almost jumped out of my skin. “I didn’t mean
to startle you, but would you be Katherine Gardner?”

“Yes! I’m supposed to meet my granddaughter!”

“Don’t worry, Mrs. Gardner,” the stewardess said. “Your granddaughter is on the
plane. She was afraid to get off. Please come with me and we’ll go get her.”

I followed her down the corridor, wondering what I was about to face. Would she
remember me at all? Had my daughter told her anything about me?

“Hey, Rio, here’s your grandmother,” the stewardess said as we entered the plane.

There sat my Lacey at the age of six. Long, curly messed-up hair, color of sand,
with big green eyes. Her face was pale and she looked scared to death. Her bottom lip
quivered. “Mimi?” she whispered.

My God, that’s what she called me when she was two! My eyes filled with tears
and my throat closed. “Rio,” I croaked.

I sat down and she crawled onto my lap, crying. I’m not sure how long we sat there before the stewardess cleared her throat, mentioning something about a schedule that needed to be kept.

Nodding my understanding, I wiped my eyes, then Rio’s and, hand in hand, we
left the plane and the airport.

Where can readers find you and your book?

Kathy, I want to thank you for allowing me to visit with you today on A Sense of Fiction.  It was great fun and I hope 2013 is one of your greatest years!

Thanks for being here today, Penny! I love it that all your inspiration comes from the world around you--those often make the best stories!

--KSR Writer


  1. Hi Penny

    This is definately a book I will have to get. Let all of us know when that sledge hammer hits!


  2. Hi Penny, yes, let us all know when the sledge hammer hits. I think we are all in the same position. Your story sounds sweet, poignant and very interesting. I'll be getting my copy soon.