When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Three months after my first book came out (NEANDERTHAL SEEKS HUMAN) I realized that I wanted to write books. I thought people were writers/authors in the same way that people grew up to be mermaids, found the Leprechaun gold at the end of the rainbow, and ride unicorns.

It felt like something so completely out of the realm of possibility; I still have trouble believing that anyone reads my books on purpose.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I like to make up words. For example:

  1. Friendscort
  2. Machismo-asshattery
  3. Manlicious
  4. Arousurbed (when you are both aroused and disturbed)
  5. Gooch (a pretty, but vacant, man)

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

I don’t know… I guess when I’m out in public and I see a person, sometimes I’ll start making up a story about them in my head. All of the ladies in the knitting group are based on real people (either physical characteristics or profession or character traits or some combination of the three).

But I also like to think about real romance when I tell a story. I want my characters to be flawed, but show the world that imperfections are loveable. You just need to find someone who treasures you for your oddities. I want the characters to learn a lesson, grow as a person, overcome an obstacle that’s not plot driven.

How long does it take you to write a book?


Friends without Benefits took 4 months; Love Hacked took 3 months.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Work! I’m a biomedical researcher and it’s fun.

I also like to knit/crochet, sew, do print making, and garden. I’m not very good at doing nothing. My nightmare is a beach vacation with no access to instruments of productivity.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

If you want to enjoy writing: Be original. Don’t pander. Try new things. Be weird! Above all, be respectful to your readers. Treat them like fellow-readers, not like fans or customers.

You may not make a lot of money or get picked up by a publisher/agent, but you’ll have a great time.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME! I hope it was as thrilling for you as it was for me.

<3 Penny

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *