May 22, 2012

Summer Teen Reading Party! Welcome to Penny Estelle, children's author and solar pioneer!

Today I welcome author Penny Estelle who's turned her 21-years of writing all the principal's notes as a school secretary to writing her own stories in ebook form. She did start that "Great American Novel" way back then, stuck it away, and came back to writing again—35 years after she retired. Now there's perseverance!

** Go to the SUMMER TEEN READING PARTY for prizes and more!**

Estelle originally wanted to write romance but found her niche in writing for kids. She now has three stories out. In BILLY COOPER'S AWESOME NIGHTMARE (coming JUNE 1), 7th grader Billy thinks he'll skate by on his oral report on some William Tell guy. All that changes when he meets the 14th century legend in person. BUY: (June 1) MuseItUp Publishing

In HIKE UP DEVIL'S MOUNTAIN, it's every kid's dream come true when the school bully Jason Crew turns into—a toad!! Now 10-year-old Andy Thompson and Jason's brother Danny have to reverse the spell, by hiking up that dreaded mountain—if they survive.
BUY: Solstice Publishing

In A FLOAT DOWN THE CANAL, 12-year-old Pam Simpson has to babysit her brother, his friend, and entertain her prissy cousin, Candy, whom she doesn’t even like. Their float down the canal to get to the pool turns the day from horrible to the best of her life. BUY: Smashwords

Her other story, a bit different, is nonfiction about living green and using solar power in SOLAR – ONE FAMILY'S REALITY. Solar – One Family’s Reality BUY: Smashwords.

Talking with Penny Estelle:

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes when I see or hear something that triggers a story idea for me. Once I get an idea and start to form the story, I want to get it down on paper right away because if I don’t, the idea will be gone the next day.

What inspired this story/book?

For Hike Up Devil’s Mountain, I saw my grandson playing with a certain mythical beast. I came up with a great, surprise ending of a story – and all I had to do was come up with a beginning and a middle!

What's your favorite line from the book?

My favorite line is at the end, but that would give the whole surprise away, soooo I am going with this one. The bully is somehow turned into a toad. They decide to try saying a spell that might turn him back.

“Okay, okay, just let me think for a minute,” Andy said. After a few seconds he pointed the stick and said, “Here sits a toad where there once was a boy, so please turn him back,” then there was a pause as he tried to think of a word that rhymed with boy, “so we could feel joy!” Andy’s eyes lit up with pleasure for making up the great spell.

If I wasn't writing, I'd be....

We live on 54 acres and believe me, there is always a project going on – normally something outside! We also do a lot of four-wheeling and exploring. We have tons of dirt roads everywhere and though we have lived there almost three years, we haven’t even scratched the surface on checking them out!

Besides writing, I'm...

... Kind of embarrassed to say it, but I am a jigsaw puzzle junkie. This is sometimes a downfall as until a started puzzle is done, most everything else stops. And…um…is gambling a hobby?

Do you include your hobby/interests in your work?

It’s funny you should ask - I just finished a puzzle that was of a mean looking wizard that glowed in the dark. I have an idea forming in the back of my head that involves a wizard trapped in a jigsaw puzzle!

Tell us about your pet/s:

Truth be told, I am not a huge animal lover. When we moved to our property, I wanted a dog so she could bark, alert us if anything was amiss outside during the night, as I am not a lover of the dark either! We ended up getting a 3-year old black Lab. Afterwards we found out she was abused in a puppy mill. She was terrified of anything and everybody. It didn’t take long at all for her to warm right up to my husband and me, but when anybody comes over, she goes right to her corner and doesn’t come out until they are gone.

She has managed to weasel her way into my heart and is now my walking partner wherever I go! Oh yes – and in the three years we have had her, she has probably barked 10 times! Oh well, what are you going to do?
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