Friday, May 13, 2011

with Penny Zeller

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Penny!
People talk about life before children—what was your life before writing?

My husband and I were just discussing this not too long ago – how our children have been such a blessing in our lives and how we don’t recall our lives before we became parents. :)
Before I became a writer, I worked in a variety of occupations. I have worked in the past in a branch of social services as a caseworker; I have also worked as a legal assistant, bank teller, retail clerk, aerobics instructor, bookkeeper, and administrative assistant. My favorite jobs of all are being a wife to my husband Lon and a mom to our two children. Writing is my passion and I feel blessed and humbled that God has called me to write.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Prioritizing is for sure my most difficult writing obstacle. To be honest, Patty, I’m still working on figuring how to effectively do just that! *grins*
But really, I think prioritizing is one of the biggest challenges of being a writer, especially since I work from home and have a family. I have posted my writing hours on my office door, not so much for visitors, but for myself.  It reminds me that if I don’t set time aside for my writing, it will be spent doing a host of other “necessary” things.
I have to be deliberate about putting aside time for my writing. I work while my children are in school and then quit for the day when they come home. My husband and my children are my main ministry, so they are the most important. I also do a lot of volunteer work. In order to keep my priorities in perspective, which is critical, I spend a lot of time in prayer seeking God’s guidance in using my time wisely.

What book have you recently enjoyed reading?
Not long ago, I read Grow Old With Me by up and coming author, Melinda Evaul. What a wonderful and touching contemporary romance – I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
I really love my main character, Kaydie. She is so tender and timid, and so passionate about being a mother. She is soft-spoken, fearful, untrusting, and reserved. I loved creating her and allowing her to grow in confidence and trust and how her faith in the Lord, which was so new, took on a wonderful dimension.

If you were a dessert, what would you be?
Wow, Patty, this is a great question! I would have to say I would be a homemade cinnamon roll. :) Back in the days before I discovered I had wheat allergies, I loved (did I mention LOVED) my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls covered with a light frosting. She made them from scratch and we would have the cinnamon rolls during Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners each year for as long as I can remember. Even when I was a child, my siblings and I each received a clump of bread dough, a rolling pin, a dab of butter, and a cup of cinnamon and sugar to create our own cinnamon rolls.

If you were to find a purple polka-dotted monster in your kitchen one morning, how would you respond?
I scare easily, so I would probably scream in fright at first, LOL! I would offer a prayer heavenward and grab something to defend myself and my family in case it was a bad monster. :)
After discovering that the purple polka-dotted monster was really a sweet and loveable sort, I would offer it some milk and cookies and interview it about what it’s like to be a monster, where it came from, and if my girls could take it for show-and-tell at school. :)

Tell us about one of your favorite memories or moments in your life.
There have been so many fond memories. Surrendering my life to Jesus at age 16, marrying my husband, and becoming a mom twiceover have been my favorite. I also have fond memories of camping and hiking with my family, snuggling with my daughters each morning before we get up and get ready for school, playing board games on the weekends, and planting our flower gardens each Mother’s Day as a family.

What's one of your dreaded things to do?
Clean the toilets. :)

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Writing is my ministry and I hope my readers will get from Kaydie – and all of my novels - the power of God’s love, redemption, hope, and forgiveness. And that God can and does change hearts.

What is the Lord teaching you, or recently taught you?
To fully depend on Him – not just some of the time, but all of the time. And not just halfway, but to fully rely and depend on Him in all things.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book is the final installment of my Montana Skies Series and is set for release September 1, 2011. It is titled Hailee and a short blurb is as follows:

At twenty years of age, McKenzie and Kaydie’s nephew, Nathaniel Maxwell Adams Jr., (Nate), fulfills a prophecy he made eleven years prior by moving to Pine Haven. What he hadn't planned in his youth, though, was to become a pastor, especially since his parents adamantly oppose the idea.

For years, orphan Hailee Annigan was just a ragamuffin, roaming the Cincinnati streets trying to keep food in the mouths of her two younger brothers and herself. This often meant thieving, which landed her in the Sanctuary of Hope, a home for delinquent youngsters.

Years later, Hailee still has faith that she'll find her brothers again someday, but for now, she's ready to put the past behind her and become the new teacher in Pine Haven, Montana.

When Nate’s and Hailee’s paths converge in Pine Haven, their lives begin to overlap in ways they can't ignore. And they must discover if God intends for their destinies to converge, as well.

Purchase at CBD

Purchase Kaydie at CBD.

Penny is giving away a copy of Kaydie. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Amy said...

Please enter me. I enjoyed your first book. Thanks.


Pam K. said...

I've read several reviews of Kaydie. It sounds like a book I'd really enjoy and I would love to win it.


Anonymous said...

This book sounds really good!

Charity said...

Would love to the chance to win this book! Penny is a wonderful author but I have yet to read this book:) Thanks!


Penny Zeller said...

Good Morning, Amy~
I am so thrilled that you enjoyed reading McKenzie. Thank you SO much for sharing that!
Have a wonderful weekend. :)
Penny Zeller

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Pam~
Thank you for stopping by the Barn Door Loft. Wow, thank you for encouraging me with the mention of the great reviews you've heard of about Kaydie. I appreciate that!
Penny Zeller

Penny Zeller said...

Happy Saturday Morning, Sunny~
I love your enthusiasm about Kaydie. Thank you so much!
Have a blessed weekend. :)
Penny Zeller

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Charity~
It's wonderful to see you here - thank you for your sweet words! I appreciate your encouragement :)
Penny Zeller

ann said...

would love to beable to read Kaydie - sounds like a great book

Jo said...

Thanks for the interesting interview. Your books sound so interesting as well. Please enter me.


Penny Zeller said...

Good Morning, Ann~
I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment and a compliment about my book. I hope your week is off to a wonderful start!
Penny Zeller

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Jo~
Thank you for your sweet compliments about the interview and about Kaydie. I appreciate you!
Have a blessed day :)
Penny Zeller

Anonymous said...

Hi, I already have Kaydie, so don't enter me in the drawing. Just wanted to say that Penny's book is a wonderful read! Even if you don't read historical fiction, I think you will love Kaydie. It is a story that stays with you a while!

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Joy~
What a sweet surprise to read the comments and see what you have written! Thank you SO much! Your kind words mean a lot to me and I am honored that you enjoyed reading Kaydie.
Penny Zeller

Meredith said...

Great interview! I'd love to read this book!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Penny Zeller said...

Hello Meredith~
Thank you for your enthusiasm! Have a wonderful weekend :)
Penny Zeller

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