Sunday, February 13, 2011

Welcome, Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz as she winds down her blog tour...

It's my pleasure to interview Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz about A Past and A Future, a collection of sixteen short stories.  This is book is available in print at  http://www.genremall.com/anthologiesr.htm#pastfuture.

Penny will be awarding a free story to one lucky commenter, so be sure and leave your name and email to enter the drawing.

1)      Tell me a little about your book.
My collection of stories,  A Past and a Future, is published by Sam’s Dot Publishing.  I’ve always enjoyed fantasy and soft science fiction.  Eight of the sixteen stories included in the selection are fantasy, and the other eight are soft science fiction. 
A PAST AND A FUTURE – stories in the collection:
FLIGHT OF THE ROC – Girl collides with a roc as she struggles to find her magic powers
BLURRED VENGEANCE – Vain and aggressive, Temur ignores the warnings as he seeks vengeance for his father’s death
WHO WILL HEAL THE HEALER – How can a young sorceress save her mentor when the powers of darkness threaten?
ASHLEY OF ASHLAND – Will the plain, younger brother win the heart of the fair princess or be executed as a traitor?
THE WATCHER – Her vision causes her to become a betrayer of all she holds dear.  Can she be saved?
ENCHANTRESS – Merlin knows the one he loves will be his downfall, but can he win in the end?
DRAKONI – Torn from her modern day world and thrust into a world of dragons, evil magicians, and handsome elves, will Farah succeed or die trying?
HESHE- Forced to hide as a young man, will the young noble woman tell her benefactor who she is, or will her pursuers capture her and take her back into slavery.
THE BABY MAKERS – In a world where cloning is possible, will Reese be able to save his illegal newborn child from a government determined to make her a non-citizen?
3-D PICTURES – The government thinks he is crazy and sends him to a shrink.  What will Avery do when the elves appear in the 3-D picture in the waiting room?  Go or allow himself to be “cured?”
SCREEN SAVER – The program arrives as a demo.  Will it be Clancy’s ticket to survival or a rip-off which brings him to destruction?
ISOLATION- The world as we know it is gone.  The rich are isolated from the dying poor.  Will Caryn and Rader make the right decision when they search for freedom?
LOVE IN A DIFFERENT HUE – What would you do if a blue-skinned robot wanted to protect and love you?  Chiri isn’t sure until he takes her in his arms.
DOWN SO LOW, THE GROUND LOOKS LIKE UP – Sylvan drinks herself into oblivion to compensate for her psi talents.  Can Deveneaux save her from her demons, or will he lock her up for propositioning an officer of the law?
REBELS WITH A CAUSE – Shayleena is tired of living her life through holovision.  She wants a real life with real people.  Will she find it as a volunteer for juvenile offenders, or will she be mugged and left to die?
CLOCKWORKS – John lives in Structured.  His ancestors came from a country where time means nothing. What will he do when he tries to trace his roots and finds his structured life is now in chaos?

2)      What gave you the idea for this particular story?
I’ve always enjoyed writing short stories. While some writers find them more difficult, I find them easier than writing a novel. I like the challenge of fitting a complete story within a limited number of words.  I’ve written a number of these over the years and decided it would be fun to put them together into a collection.

3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I split my time between writing my own stories and editing for two small publishers.  I sometimes find I spend more time working on other people’s writing than my own, but that’s okay.  When a story idea strikes me, that’s the time I write.  I tend to write in bursts, which is why I enjoy writing short stories more than novels.

4)      When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
When I was just a child (Don’t most writers say this?), I entertained myself by writing stories, illustrating them, and binding them between shirt cardboard, tied with a ribbon.  In high school, I convinced my English teacher to let me write a novel instead of doing my English homework.  It was fun, but the novel was never completed. I continued to enjoy writing and pretty much always knew someday I’d be published.

5)      What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I read to escape, and I hope my readers will do the same thing.  I am not into deep thought-provoking stories.  I write to entertain myself, and I would like my readers to be entertained as well.

6)      Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I write in a lot of different areas.  My middle grade novels are both paranormal mysteries.  My adult fiction tends to be fantasy or science fiction, although I also dabble in romance.  I like to write about relationships, and all my stories have some kind of relationship going whether it’s overt or covert.

7)      What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
The toughest thing for me is marketing.  I’m an introvert in a lot of ways and going out and “tooting my own horn,” is difficult for me.  Internet marketing is a lot easier as it’s all done through the written word as opposed to a book signing where I have to meet and greet prospective readers.  Unfortunately, marketing has to be done, or books aren’t sold.  I’ve gotten better at approaching people to host me on their blogs, like you’ve done for me, and knocking on book store doors and asking to be a guest.

8) What about your book makes it special?
I think this is special because it is a collection of short stories.  It is not a themed collection, but a little of something for everyone.  There are eight fantasy stories and eight soft science fiction stories, yet each one is about a relationship and connecting with people in some way or another.

9) What is your marketing plan?
I have approached a number of bloggers, like yourself, who feature other authors on their blogs.  I am appearing for the next couple of weeks talking about myself and my book.  I have been writing tweets on Twitter and posting on Facebook.  I will also be making announcements on various forums to which I belong.  Finally, I plan to approach my three local bookstores to see if they will either host me for a book signing, or at least carry my book.

10) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
I have my web page and a blog where I feature other writers, occasional reviews, and writing tips. I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Jacketflap, Amazon, and a few other sites.


11) What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?

Most of the work is written as Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz, with the exception of my middle grade novels and picture books, which are written as Penny Lockwood.

A Past and A Future (short story collection) is now available

Ghost for Rent – writing as Penny Lockwood (middle grade novel) is now available (also on Amazon)

Dragon Sight (YA illustrated chapbook) is now available

Love Delivery, (contemporary romance) coming August, 2011
Lady in Waiting, (historical romance) coming November, 2011

All the following are written as Penny Lockwood:
Funny Dog, (picture book) coming May, 2012
Ghost for Lunch, (MG novel) coming September, 2013
Many Colored Coats, (picture book) coming October, 2014
Boo's Bad Day, (picture book) coming June, 2015

12) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
Read, read, read.  Always read both current and classic authors in the genre you wish to write.  You don’t want to copy their work, but you do want to read with an open mind to see what they have done to make their stories work.  I also encourage everyone not to give up after a rejection.  What one editor may not like, another will love.  You won’t get published by leaving the story sitting on your hard drive or in your file.

Thanks for having me as a guest today.  

My pleasure, Penny.  You're welcome to "Dish It Out" any time.  :)  And, don't forget to follow Penny on her last three stops:

http://writerschatroom.com/ Feb 13, 7 PM EST, The Writer’s Chat room
http://kellyaharmon.com/  Feb 14 Kelly Harmon
http://www.suhalfwerk.blogspot.com  Feb 15 - Su Halfwerk


13 comments:

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Ginger! Hi, Penny! Enjoyed the interview.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Hi Ginger, thank you for hosting me today and asking great questions. Susanne, thank you for following the tour.

Lin said...

Loved your interview...no suprise there since I love your author's voice. Looking forward to your next stop. I'm a little slow following the nano-crumbs...I think I need a cyber Hansel and Grettle (How DO you spell that girls name? Nothing I type for it looks right...maybe my dyslexia is acting up.) to ferret them out...or since I just wrote that, maybe I need a ferret. My son had a ferret once, but my son has a black thumb when it comes to pets. I think the poor thing shimmied into one of the drains the minue he saw my son's thumb because that sucker disappeared and has never been heard from again...so maybe the ferret isn't such a good idea..how about a cyber BLOODHOUND...that should be able to follow the nano-crumbs, right?

Jim Hartley said...

Penny, nice interview. Several times the idea of doing a collection of short stories has occurred to me, and I have a couple of questions about this one.

First, are these all new, unpublished stories, or do you include reprints that you have had appear in e-zines, magazines, or whatever? Perhaps in obscure or out-of-print places?

And second, here you have a mix of genres, where I would have thought an all-SF book or an all-Fantasy book would be easier to market. Can you comment on that?

Karen McGrath said...

Sounds very nice, Penny! Best wishes and much success!

Karen :)

Wendy said...

An enlightening interview, Ginger. Thank you.
Penny, it's so good to see you are among those bringing the short story books back. I've missed them. O'Henry, Somerset Maugham, Guy de Maupassant. The short story is such a concise art. I couldn't help thinking that any one of your blurbs could also be developed into a novel.Congratulations.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Thank you all for stopping by and following my tour.

@ Jim - some of these are previously published in small press genre magazines, which meant they had a very limited exposure. A couple of them have never before been published.

The publisher is one I've worked with before and a number of the stories appeared in some of their magazines.

I went with a dual collection because it seems like a lot of people who enjoy fantasy also like science fiction. I plan to market it the same way I would any other book. Lots of exposure.

@ Wendy, several people have commented that some of the stories could be expanded into novels. I'm more a short story kind of gal. My only foray into novel writing has been for middle grades and those are rather short as far as novels go.

Thank you Ginger for hosting me today.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Ginger,
You've been awarded the Life is Good award. Please see instructions at http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com

Thanks again for your support, Penny

Cheryl said...

Great interview, ladies.

Penny, I would never know you struggle with marketing. I'm constantly seeing you around the blogosphere. Keep up the great work.

Cheryl

lionmother said...

Penny,great interview as I have come to expect from you!! I hope your blog tour has brought you many more readers and I wish you great sales. Putting your book in local bookstores is an excellent way to go. Maybe they'll let you do some booksignings there at their stores. Also try the public library. You could set up a table with their permission. It's been great following you around on your tour and seeing how everyone has interviewed a little differently.:)

Ginger, this was a great interview. I liked your listing of the stories with a blurb next to each one. I forgot to do that in my interview.

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, Penny--very interesting. I like the idea of your own book with only short stories. I'd love to do that, if I could write enough short stories. I find they're almost most difficult to write than long ones--thus the reason mine are way long.
I think I'm on with you this week?
Hi, Ginger!
Celia

J Q Rose said...

Hi Ginger and Penny, Thinking of you, Penny, as you make your way through your blog tour. Wishing you great success with your anthology.

Ginger Simpson said...

I'm pleased to announce that Susanne Drazic is the winner of Penny's free story. I'll contact her and ask her to forward it to you.

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