Today, I have the pleasure of welcoming new author Penelope Reece to PRaB. We're going to find out more about the author and her novels, Phantasma and Sing for Me.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised a Hoosier. That refers to Indiana if some of you are wondering. I grew up in a small town in Southern Indiana where I spent the first twenty-five years of my life before moving to South Korea to teach English. And boy oh boy, South Korea is a whole other world compared to the small town of Hanover. You haven’t lived until you’ve moved to another country where everyone speaks to you in a language you were too lazy to master.
It was there that I met and married my husband of three years. My husband wasn’t as lazy as I was and had learned English in school. However, his mother had not. There isn’t anything worse than a mother-in-law who yells at you in a language you can’t understand. But, I love her anyway.
Back in 2012 we moved back to Indiana and bought a house two hours away from my hometown. There isn’t that much more to tell. What free time I have, I spend reading, or writing. My lifestyle keeps me pretty reclusive.
What made you want to be an author?
One day my mother let me play on her old typewriter and as soon as my fingers smacked those buttons I was off and running. I wrote fantasy novels about fairies and humans. I believe my first story, mind you I was probably eleven or twelve at the time, was called Into the Land of the Shamrocks. It was never finished and I still have it… somewhere.
If you want to know when I decided, “This is it! Writing is for me,” that didn’t happen until my senior year of high school when I signed up for creative writing. It was that class that swayed me from a dream of living with the gorillas like Jane Goodall, to sharing my daydreams with other people.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
The best part of being a writer would be that one fleeting moment when the idea first strikes. There is no greater feeling than getting that first flash of a scene/character and realizing this is it! That’s my story!
Afterward comes the fun part of sitting for hours at a time daydreaming, playing it all out in my head. Of course in those first few days, I let the story go wherever my mind takes it, usually to places and situations that never make it to paper. I want to draw the reader in, not send her screaming for the exit.
The part I hate, is always trying to fill in those darn plot holes! I always end up with tons, and it’s always a pain in the butt trying to fix them. If you don’t believe me, just ask my husband. He’s the one who always has to pull me out of them.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?
I keep telling myself to stop being a panster. I hate writing like that. It’s such a stressful process, especially when I’m almost finished writing and realize there are so many gaping holes in my story that I need to go back and fill in order for my “on the spot” story to make sense. I hate it. My husband hates it. And we both end up in an annoying argument over it because I always make him be the one to fix everything.
What I’m trying to say is I am a panster who would rather be a plotter.
What influences your writing? And why?
Everything. Movies, other books, whatever author I am reading at the time. There are quite a lot of books, actually. I could probably list every single book I’ve ever read because I can’t with confidence say that I haven’t taken something of value from each. I love books, that’s all there is to it. I love literature. My favorite book is The Scarlet Pimpernel. I love Jane Austen, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, Terry Brooks, Alice Hoffman. I even love those sappy romance novels. Once I established my love for reading, I wanted to read everything. Of course all we had in the house were historical romances (you know the ones with Fabio on the cover). I think that’s why I love romance novels the most, because I grew up reading them.
When I was little, I hated reading. I even fell behind in second grade because I just thought it was boring, I guess. Then in fourth grade, I won at bingo. On the prize table lay an old book by the name of Shadow Castle. I don’t know why I chose it. It wasn’t like I’d win a Pizza Hut pizza for reading it (That was the only reason I read anything – to win that personal pan pizza). But it was a lot better than winning a pencil. So, I chose it and read it, and from that moment on I loved books. I loved the story and daydreamed about it for weeks, months, well… I still dream about it. It was the story that made me love stories.
I’ve since read that book so many times that I’ve had to tape the pages because they were falling out. In a way you could say this was the book that started it all. This was the biggest inspiration in my life. It opened a whole world up to me, a world of fantasy. And one day, I hope to read it to my children. Perhaps it will become their doorway into the land of books as it was for me.
Name one thing readers don’t know about you.
Penelope Reece is my penname. What’s my real name? The world may never know J
Are love scenes easy/difficult for you to write?
I grew up reading my mother’s romance novels, so you’d think I’d have no trouble writing them. But I do! Boy do I ever. My first problem is that I’m afraid I’ll ruin the scene and second when things start to get steamy, my face starts to burn and I sit there writing with this embarrassed smile on my face. Sometimes, I just burst out into girlish giggles. Sometimes I can be so immature.
Do you have another career besides writing? What is it?
Well I do a lot of tutoring via webcam. When I returned to the States, a few of my students wanted me to continue to teach them. And when I am not doing that, I’m spending the rest of my time reading and writing while neglecting my housewifely duties.
What hobbies do you enjoy when not writing?
Besides reading, I enjoy catching up on my favorite TV shows such as Game of Thrones, and Parks and Recreation. Having lived in Korea, I love watching Korean dramas and movies as well. I also dabble in crochet. And of course, while I am writing, I listen to music. As I wrote Phantasma, I listened to a lot of Paloma Faith and Stevie Nicks.
If you could be any supernatural creature, what would it be and why?
I’d be a witch, because as my brother grouchily insists, I already am. Seriously though, I love the romance of it. The idea of being the daughter of Mother Nature. Of being green. I used to pretend (when I was a child, I so don’t do that now) I could speak to the trees and to animals. It would just be really neat to have power, to make potions, and to be the earth’s protector. And who wouldn’t want to have a familiar? I even have a black cat, but he lives with my mom…
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?
Review your grammar and no matter what always finish what you start!
Do you have any future project that we can look for?
I’m working on a lot, actually. There are many WIPs sitting on the back burner boiling over in their attempt to catch my attention. However, at this moment, I am working on the revising/editing of my first WIP called Hallowed End. It’s a story about witches with a Celtic twist. The other story has yet to get a name, but it loosely (at the moment) deals with the Akashic Records.
Tell us more about Phantasma.
Well Phantasma, as the name suggests, is about spirits/phantoms (not in the ghostly sense but more like your spirit has gone a wandering). Think astral projection. Think Charmed. Think Insidious. Now keep thinking.
Do you have an excerpt for us?
Something was sitting on my chest! The weight of its body pressed me down into the mattress, forcing the air out of my lungs. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. My heart thumped wildly, banging against my constricted rib cage. Terror ran its icy fingers up my spine. My body tingled, but remained frozen in place. My head spun as it fought for control.
Opening my eyes to the darkness, I saw her. One leg lying bent in front of her, while she held the knee of the other against her chest. She leaned forward and, with her butt grinding into my sternum, rested her foot above my shoulder. Red eyes glowered at me, a fire burning within their depths.
“Give it back,” she rasped. I tried to speak and couldn’t. “It’s my body!”
I blinked; her face was now a breath away from mine. Her cherry blonde bangs tickled my eyes. Our eyes. She was me. But I wasn’t her.
“It doesn’t belong to you. It never did. Now give it back!” Her hands gripped my throat, squeezing.
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?
You can learn more about me and my works by visiting my blog at: http://penelopereece.blogspot.com
Or check me out on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893940.Penelope_Reece
I’m also on twitter! @PenelopeReece
Buy links for your book(s)
Sing for Me
Before you leave, let’s do a fast five:
Angels or Demons?
Angel… no demons! No, wait! Ahhh. How about both? Wait I got it! Demons are really just fallen angels. Take Lucifer, for example. So, my answer is angels.
Vampires or werewolves?
Coffee or Chocolate?
Early Morning or Late Night?
E-book or Paperback?
Thank you for joining us today. I wish you much success on your writing career.
Thank you for hosting me!
Author: Penelope ReeceGenre: YA Paranormal RomancePublication: Feb 18, 2013Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Phantasma-ebook/dp/B00BHRLU7M/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-xt&ie=UTF8&qid=1361297162&sr=1-2&keywords=Phantasma
Alphie Brewster attends school, has friends, and a loving family. She’s even taken an interest in the hot new neighbor. It’s the normal life of your average eighteen-year-old. There’s only one problem. Alphie isn’t normal. She’s anything but. You see, Alphie’s got this problem. She’s always tired, is plagued with vivid nightmares, and can’t remember her past.After Alphie stumbles upon a necklace that once belonged to her grandfather, and unintentionally opens a portal that sends a ghostly figure hurtling out at her from her bedroom mirror, she finds herself faced with another problem. A six foot four inch tall eccentric spook, named Noer, who fills her with fire while draining her energy as if she were a Duracell Battery.With Noer constantly making her go all weak in the knees, Alphie wants nothing more than to be rid of both him and the necklace. Especially, since the sexy neighbor, Cary, has taken a fancy to her. And that’s not all. With both spook and Cary fighting for her attentions, Alphie starts to remember things. Things that she wished would stay buried. Then Alphie visits Noer’s home in Limbo, and things start to get even weirder.If that all isn’t complicated enough, a vicious stranger comes looking for the necklace. And this stranger will do anything to get it. Within this chaos, will Alphie be able to come to terms with her past in order to save her family? Or will she become just another lost soul without a body?
Createspace:https://www.createspace.com/4128925Title: Sing for Me
Author: Penelope Reece
CHLOE HASKELL, a university student and runaway diva, is determined to never sing again. After escaping a life in the spot light, she wants only to have a normal life. But when an old flame comes to town, Chloe must decide if she’s willing to forget the past in order to fall in love with the man who broke her heart.RHYS RYTHER, a Broadway composer, has been hired as a substitute professor at the university. There, he’s surprised to learn that his ex girlfriend, the girl he left without an explanation, is a student at the same university. What's even more surprising is that he still has feelings her.When Chloe unintentionally gets cast in the school’s production of The Phantom of the Opera,unexplained events start to happen. She sees shadows everywhere. A ghost haunts her dreams. And someone is watching her. But is it all in her mind or has a dead man come back to claim her?
As Chloe and Rhys get closer, he learns that she’s been keeping a secret. It’s a secret so dark that could very well tear them apart. And when the impossible happens, can Rhys overcome Chloe’s dark past in order to save her from an even darker future?
Penelope Reece, Penn for short (b. 1984), is an author living in Central Indiana with her husband of two years and her tiny pomeranian Kodi.
She graduated from Indiana University in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in English. She then went on to spend nearly three years in South Korea where she taught English in a private academy. It was here that she met and married her husband in June of 2010.
They recently moved back to the States in March of 2012.
Penelope's been writing ever since her nerdy highschool days where her joys were limited to marching band and day dreaming.
Her other joys include reading, crocheting, snuggling her little Kodi-man, and watching comedic TV shows such as Parks and the IT Crowd. She also enjoys watching Korean dramas, listening to her husband sing. As well as being hyper and annoying her husband as much as she can.
Author website: http://penelopereece.blogspot.com
Author FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Penelope-Reece/431090230294019
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/PenelopeReece
Sing For Me Trailer