Friday, August 19, 2011

Here For a Penny, The Riches Of Muse Compounded

Welcome to my very first EVER author interview. It is only fitting that my first be with the very first person to open her own generosity to me when I first crossed the threshold from wanna-be to bonified author. Please join me in showing Penny Ehrenkranz the LINS OWN Blogging brand of love.

Penny Ehrenkranz

1.     Tell us about the very first story you ever wrote. How old were you? Did you have an audience already in mind, or was it just one of those stories that comes?   I'm not sure if it's the first, but it's certainly one of the first stories I wrote was titled, Patty and the Country Ghost.  I was nine or ten when I wrote it.  I printed it, illustrated it, and bound it together with ribbon between shirt cardboard.  There was no audience in mind as I wrote it for my own entertainment.   I find it somewhat amusing that my first published novel, Ghost for Rent, was about a girl who lived in the country and had a ghost in her house. This was written for a specific audience as it is a middle grade paranormal mystery.
2.     You took a divergent root into the publishing world as both an author and editor. Is it easier for you or harder knowing what is in store when you submit manuscripts?   I was an author long before I became a paid editor.  It's still really hard to edit my own manuscripts.  It's amazing what I miss when I'm doing my own editing.  When the stories are your own babies, you don't often see the mistakes. It takes someone who isn't attached to the words to find the errors.    I would say it's easier now for me to submit because I can understand the process and how many manuscripts are received in by a publisher.  You really have to be good to get your work accepted.  With so many choices, your story has to really shine and be professional.
3.     Do you have a critique group read your stories before submitting them, or do you do your own polishing and preparing, and then leave it to the submission process?    I've never worked with a critique group, although for a while a few friends and I who all wrote would get together to talk about writing.  I do my own polishing and editing before I submit the story.  After the story is accepted, the hard work comes when the editor points out all the weak places.
4.     As an editor is it difficult to shut off that part of yourself when you are writing? Does it make the wait time between submission and decision harder?       I don't let my inner editor get in the way of my writing.  I usually write longer works in spurts and when I start the new day, I go over what I wrote the day before.  Sometimes, I make minor changes, but mostly I do it so I know where I am in the story.  I'm not much or a note taker and I don't outline.  Waiting is never easy, but I don't think that's changed since I became an editor myself.
5.     You have just received a beautiful cover for your soon to be released Muse It Up book titled LOVE DELIVERY. What was your reaction when you received the mockup from your cover artist Delilah K. Stephans. Did Delilah hit it right off, or did the two of you have to make adjustments to your final cover?     Delilah hit right off.  There was a question as to whether my whole name would fit on the cover, but she got it on there. The only other problem was the title had a misspelling which was a breeze for her to fix.  Delilah is amazing and I'm thrilled she was my illustrator for the cover.
6.  Tell us a little bit about your story. Where does it take place?Tell us about your hero and heroine.  Love Delivery is the story of two people who’ve been hurt in love before and hesitate to take a chance, yet are drawn to each other.  It takes place in an unnamed town and the surrounding countryside with the main action taking place in the donut shop where Ann works, her city apartment, and Tom’s country home.  Here’s a short blurb: Cats and a villainous ex-wife?  What more could the delivery man bring to the new love in his life?
Ann works as a waitress in a donut shop.  She’s happy with her single life and her cat, Mittens, but she finds herself interested in the handsome man, Tom, who makes deliveries to the shop.  Tom is also attracted to Ann, but unfortunately, Tom comes with some baggage including five cats, Maria, his vicious ex-wife, and Maria’s adorable daughter he calls Kitten. 
When Maria, a newly hired waitress in the donut shop, learns Ann and Tom are beginning a relationship, she does everything she can to tear them apart.  Ann starts to have doubts about her budding romance, but Tom is determined to make it work, despite Maria’s interference.  Will Ann and Tom’s love prevail, or will the evil ex-wife win in the end?  Love Delivery delivers a sweet romance which will bring tears to your eyes but a smile to your lips.

I know this is the first book you have releasing from Muse Publishing. Is this your first published book ever? If not, tell us a little about your other books and where we can find them. My first published book is a middlegrade novel, Ghost for Rent.  It was published by Hardshell Word Factory, but I recently requested a reversion of rights.  I’ve contracted the sequel, Ghost for Lunch, with 4RV Publishing and they would like to have both books in their house. My second published book is A Past and A Future, which is a collection of eight short fantasy stories and eight short soft science fiction stories.  It’s available in print from Sam’s Dot Publishing ( and from Smashwords as an ebook (  Most of my other work is short stories in various small press and online magazines and non-fiction focusing on writing tips, parenting tips, and teen self-help.

7.  Do you have a favorite author? If so what is it about this author’s writing that makes him/her your favorite? What was the last book by this author you read? I actually have four current favorite authors: George R.R. Martin, Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, and Devon Monk.  Of these, the last books I’ve read are all the most recent in their various series books.  I like the strong writing style, the action, and the characterization all of these authors use.  I’m also very much a fantasy reader and each of these authors delivers.
8.  What comes the easiest for you, writing or editing, and why do you think that is? The writing definitely comes easiest (even though I’m an editor myself), and that’s because it’s always hardest to see your own mistakes.  It’s also hard to cut your precious baby up into little pieces and throw away the extra words.
9.  What did you do before venturing into the publishing world? Most of my working life has been spent as an executive secretary/office manager.  My last position before retiring was the Office Manager/Chief Legal Secretary for the Columbia County District Attorney, here in Oregon.
10.                     How does your family respond to you being a writer? Do they get it? Have any of them read your work? Bought your work? Of my immediate family, all of them are proud of what I’ve accomplished. I do believe they all get it. Both of our children are working on advanced degrees and have published work in conjunction with their studies.  My husband, as a science teacher for many years, published a manual of chemical experiments with a colleague. So, in many ways, we are all involved with writing.

 My daughter was the one who was my inspiration for writing my first novel, Ghost for Rent. As a youngster, she didn’t think I was a “real” writer because I didn’t have a book, only magazine publications.  All of the family members have read some, but not all of my work, and none have purchased work but accepted gifts of my books.
11.                     Do you have a website, or a blog address you can give my blog visitors where they can find and follow you?  Yes.  My website is, and my blog is at
12. Any upcoming appearances or news you want to share with your readers? I have two other books coming from MuseItUp:  Lady-in-Waiting (November, 2011), and Mirror, Mirror (December, 2012).  I have four children’s books contracted with 4RV Publishing: Boo’s Bad Day, Funny Dog, and Many Colored Coats (all picture books), and Ghost for Lunch, a MG novel.

13.                     When you and I discussed your coming over here to my blog today, you mentioned a blog tour. For those who haven’t a clue what that is could you explain it? A blog tour is much like doing a book signing, except the author doesn’t go anywhere and can visit with readers while wearing jammies and bunny slippers.  I contacted a number of bloggers, like yourself, and asked if they would be willing to host me as a guest.  Many of them sent me questions to answer about my work, others have requested that I do a guest post about my work or something related to my book which I am touring.  Then, each day during the blog tour, I am “visiting” a different blog.  I will stop by to read and respond to comments posted by readers.  I think of blog tours as a great way to get to know other authors and to reach people I don’t reach on my own blog. In return, I offer authors an opportunity to appear on my blog to promote their work.
14.                     Do you have a list of places set up yet for your tour for us to mark on our calendars? Yes.  Thanks for asking.  Here are the tour dates and stops, some of them have already occurred, but folks can go back and read the earlier posts if they’d like:

July 29 --              Lin Holmes,  Stationary Trailer Day!
August 12 –         Ginger Simpson, 
                                        Marva Dasef,
August 13 --        Elaine Cantrell,
August 14 --        Janie Franz, 
August 15 --        Joanne Tropello               ,
August 16 --        Long and Short Reviews,
August 17 --        Nicola Sheridan,
                                        Celia Yearly, 
August 18 --        Su Halfwerk,
August 19 --        Lin Holmes,  
August 20 --        Janice Seagraves, 
August 21 --        Joylene Butler,
August 22 --        Roseanne Dowell, 
August 23 --        Tina Donahue,
August 24 --        Grace Elliott,
August 29 --        P.L. Parker,  
15.                     Okay, I have to ask you one technical editor’s question. What is the one mistake authors make you really wish they wouldn’t? My biggest pet peeve would be switching point of view in the middle of a scene.  Almost everyone does it, but it really throws the reader out of the story.  The other thing is writing in a passive voice.  The active voice is so powerful, as authors we really need to perfect it in our writing.
16.                     I’ve asked you just about everything except the most important question of all, when will Love Delivery be released? Does it have a Muse BookstoreBuy Page yet? If so, do you have its address? Release date was August 12th. The buy page is:

Thank you Penny for visiting me on my Lins Own Author's Platform today. It’s been a privilege spending time and learning about you and your exciting book. I am looking forward to

Love Delivery releasing, and as one of the lucky authors you’ve helped through the editing process, I want you to know what a pleasure it has been having you as my very first ever interviewee on my brand new Blog. I hope you’ll come back and let me interview you again.

Lin, it’s been a pleasure both working with you and being a guest on your blog today. You are amazing and an inspiration not only to me, but to many authors who have the privilege of being published by MuseItUp Publishing.  Thank you for all you do.


Penny's Tales said...

Congrats Lin....great interview. Really interesting and informative and the questions you asked were spot on!

Penny, thanks for sharing from both writer and editor point of view. It was terrific AND your book really sounds good!

From another Penny

Karen Cote said...

Great interview! You've obviously perfected the process as far from appearing your first, the interview was informative and well written. I learned more about Penny in this interview than any other time and I am grateful for the opportunity of insight. Thank you Lin and Penny. Fabulous and congratulations. You should celebrate the success.

Roseanne Dowell said...

Great interview. Not your normal questions. Good job, Lin. I don't know why you were so worried about doing this,

Jenna Storm said...

Great interview! Your books sound very interesting and how exciting that you have future publication dates. I would be so excited. I agree with your statement how hard it is for authors to see the mistakes in their own work...critique partners or shelfing the ms for a little bit are helpful. Of course, the best solution is having a great editor!

Best of Luck.

Joylene Butler said...

Great interview, Lin and Penny. I'm blown away by your credentials, Penny. Wow, you have worked very hard. Congratulations on your success, you've earned it.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Lin, thank you so much for your support and for the privilege of being your "first."

Penny (always a pleasure to meet another), glad you enjoyed the interview and found something useful.

Karen, I agree Lin had no reason to worry. This was a fun interview. Thank you for your kind words.

Roseanne, I agree. Lin did a fabulous job, as she does with everything she decides to do.

Jenna, thank you for your kind words. I have to agree having great editors is the final piece to crafting the perfect story. Love Delivery certainly benefited from my two editors, Tiranth and Greta.

Joylene, Thank you, and I am continually amazed by the talented people at Muse.

Thank you all for commenting. Lin will pick a winner for A Midsummer's Knight and all of you will be entered into the final drawing.

Lin said...

I will? Must I? Gotta get out my Bingo tumbler again, don't I? I'm curious though...when am I supposed to do this?

lionmother said...

Lin this was a great interview with Penny!! Penny was one of the first authors I interviewed on my blog too.:)

I have known Penny a long time through various online groups and it's so much fun that she was my line editor. Working with Penny is such fun!!

Penny, I am in the middle of reading Ghost Story by Jim Butcher and he is probably one of my favorite writers ever. My other is Denis Lehane. Funny that I don't write like either of these guys, but their writing is so spectacular.

Thank you Lin for this wonderful and thorough interview of Penny.

Diana DeCameron said...

Wonderful interview, Lin ... and Penny, I enjoyed learning about how you separate the writer from the editor. Great stuff, guys!

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Lin, you can pick the winner after a couple of days, so that leaves time for everyone who wants to visit to leave a comment.

Barbara, it's been my pleasure knowing and working with you as well. I've got Butcher's Ghost on my Kindle, but I've been working my way through a book group book. It's next on my list. I'll have to check out Denis Lehane as I've never read any of his.

Diane, thanks for commenting and I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

M. L. Archer said...

Excellent interview! Good information and insight!

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

ML, thanks for your kind words.

Cheryl said...

Nice interview!

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Cheryl,
Glad you enjoyed the interview. It's nice to see folks still stopping by.

Jodi said...

Terrific interview! Certainly couldn't tell you're a newby at interviewing, Lin. Wonderfully engaging questions. I loved that you explored Penny's author and editor sides, both of which are quite interesting and inspiring. Good work!

Joelle Walker

Lin said...

Thank you Jody. It still was scary stepping out of that which I know I do with relative ease. But a year of ducking this method of promoting my Muse family is long enough.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Joelle, thanks for stopping by. Lin tackles everything with grace and manages to pull it all together.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Penny Estelle, come on down! You're the lucky winner of A Midsummer's Knight. I will email the story to you. Your name as well as everyone else who commented will be entered into the final drawing for a copy of Love Delivery.