Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spotlight #6

Today author Penny Shriver is in the spotlight. Her recent book, Dead Perfect, is currently on a blog tour through the month of October. Don't forget you can follow Penny on her blog, P.G. Writing and check out her other books here

About the Book
Tell us a bit about your novel. 
Dead Perfect is a paranormal romance for young adults. The two main characters are focused, driven individuals who have not allowed love into their lives. After each suffers a terrible car accident, their plans change, but forces beyond their control may not allow them to stay together. There are many twists and turns in the story that take the reader to places they have never been before.

What gave you the idea for your book? How long did it take you to write?
I've lost many family members in the past eight years, beginning with my twenty year old niece. She had just married two months before her death, and then my cousin's twelve year old daughter was in a car accident and did not make it out of the hospital. Considering their youth and their inexperience with love is what brought this idea to mind. I have been planning the book for years. I decided to write it for National Novel Writing Month and completed it in that month. There were some twelve to sixteen hour days that my hands were cramping when I went to bed! Having a full time job only left nights and weekends for writing and I didn't see my family much that month, either. They were wonderful about it, though. They cooked dinner, did laundry, cleaned the house around me and gingerly entered the room where I worked without making much noise!

Which character was your favourite to create? Why?
My favorite character is Mel. She has grown up in a difficult environment, yet she overcomes it and is a tough young lady. Her childhood is very similar to mine, except where her mother is an alcoholic, my father was one and my parents were not divorced early on. Much of her emotions, moods, and reactions are my own from that time in my life.

 If you were asked to make a soundtrack for your novel, what songs would be on it?
Blue Moon by the Mardels
Teen Angel by Mark Dining
Let it Be by The Beatles
Yesterday by The Beatles
I'll be There by the Jackson Five
If by Bread
I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz
What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction
Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

If your book was turned into a movie, who would you choose to play the leading characters?
Emma Roberts and Zac Efron

What’s your writing process like? Was there a part that was difficult to write?
When I come up with an idea, I write down the general concept, add the title to my list on my computer, and let it rest there. I plan it all in my head. One of my other Young Adult novels had been in my mind planning stage since the year of 2000 with the big Y2K scare. I let them stew in the back of my mind, and one day I will sit down and write a chapter, then another, then another, and the characters take over the story and the writing!
The most difficult part for me to write in the Dead Perfect was when Mel realizes everything is not as it seems. And then again at the end, because I kept crying, I had to stop and leave for a bit and return. I had a goal to complete it in a month, though, so I couldn't run away for long.

About the author
What is a normal day for you? Take us through your usual routine.
I wake up at 5:30, shower and drink two cups of coffee while writing, checking email, blogging, or socializing through Facebook and Twitter. An hour later, I prepare myself for work, fix my lunch, and leave to teach college students for the day. After classes, it's a short trip to the store, ususally to pick up something I forgot on my usual weekend trip, and home to workout. I love to walk with my dogs; I have a Great Pyrenees and a large mutt who is my best friend and protector. On days that I can't walk because of the weather, I like to do aerobics. I have several aerobic workouts, my favorite being Hip Hop Abs.  Next it's cooking dinner, feeding the horses and cows, and then back to writing just before I go to bed. My days are full and busy.

When you’re not writing, what else do you like to do?
 I like to read, though I don't get much time for that these days, and I love to ride horses, watch a few favorite sitcoms or a movie once in a while, experiment with cooking, do volunteer work, travel and do research.

How do you balance real life (work, kids, getting prepared for the zombie apocalypse) with being an author?
It's very difficult to balance life. Fortunately, my daughter is grown and in college, so that frees me up a little. I try to set aside time for writing in the mornings and evenings. I'm not too concerned about writing around my work schedule, as being an instructor gives me a flexible schedule, but that zombie apocalypse? I've never tried to write on the run. Guess I'll take my phone on my next walk and see if I can accomplish anything while walking. Nobody's eating my face! Perhaps I better practice up. Certainly, I'll want to write down everything I see during those fearful days!

Tell us about the day you found out your book was going to be published. How did you react?
Wow! When I got that first call from the publisher of my first book, I could hardly contain my emotions while talking to her. I grabbed a pen and wrote down everything she said and I still can't read it to this day because my hand shook the entire time. After I hung up the phone, you would have thought that I had just won a major lottery the way I jumped up and down. Immediately after that, it was family group hug time! We were all excited. My lifelong dream had come true.

Is there a certain book that has made a lasting impression on you?
Dean Koontz's Watchers
If you were stranded on a desert island, what five things would you want to have with you?   
Oh, my dream come true! Except I would prefer the Rockies. A laptop with an endless battery and waterproof case, my favorite pair of sandals, my watercolor supplies, sunscreen, and my ninja so I could make fruit smoothies! I wouldn't plan to go anywhere until I had finished every book I have in my head!

Bonus Questions
Favourite movie/TV show/food/season?  
Steel Magnolias/ Big Bang Theory/Pizza/ Winter
Who would you give the award to for best first kiss (in a movie)?  
Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
Sweet or salty?
Both-- I love trail mix with nuts, M&Ms and raisins
Worst fear?

Thank you, Penny, for stopping by. I would have to agree with you about Pretty Woman!


  1. Thanks, Leeann, for the terrific spotlight! I know... Pretty Woman is one of my faves for girls day! Everyone should have at least one kiss like that!


  2. Thanks for the terrific spotlight, Leeann! It was really fun! I've been practicing that writing while walking thing! If I do come across any zombies, I hope they kiss like that! LOL

    Have a great weekend!


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