- What does your writing process look like?
To watch me write a book, you’d probably think I’ve gone insane. I write out of order. Post-it notes everywhere. Sometimes I write at the computer, other times I have to write in a notebook. Maybe I need a change of scenery? I’ll go to the park and scribble my thoughts done. To the outsider’s eye, my process is a chaotic mess, but somehow, I make it work.
- Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
When I’m writing a mystery novel, my darkest scenes are written in the middle of the night by candlelight. I love writing during storms, especially rain and snow storms. It always sets the perfect tone. When the whether won’t cooperate, sometimes I listen to Rainy Mood. Also, I cannot write without music.
- What book do you wish you could have written?
I wish I had the guts to write a memoir of my actual life. Sometimes truth is much stranger than fiction.
- Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Stephen King, JK Rowling, Nicholas Sparks, Sharon Sala
- How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Names are very important to me. I pick names based on meanings, based on what sounds right, the family’s heritage and their personality.
- What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Aside from being a mother to beautiful, respectful boys? Hitting the top 100 list on Amazon.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Writing full time
- Have you always liked to write?
Yes. I’ve been writing since I was six years old.
- What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Don’t quit and don’t be afraid to make up your own rules.
- If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
This is an impossible question for me. I can’t bend my mind around the not writing thing.
- Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I think every author does, but it’s rare these days. Critical reviews can be incredibly helpful to growing as an author. I take each review with a grain of salt. I don’t let the good ones go to my head, and I don’t let the bad ones dampen my spirit. I keep it moving.
- What is your best marketing tip?
Start a newsletter. Grow a mailing list. Get social with your readers.
- What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
- Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
Nothing is off limits.
- Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Not really. I write the book as it comes to me.
- How many books have you written?
I have fully written 17 books, with 10 more partially written works. I am working on my 18th full novel. I have 10 projects published.
- What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I am working on re-releasing Black Horse through Booktrope! I am also working on a top secret manuscript behind the scenes.
JJ- Hey guys! This is JJ Penn from Elkhart Radio 104.9, and I’m back up at the Morrow Manor. This time I’m on the porch of the Morrow house hoping to get a word with the lady of the house, Bridgette Morrow-Kilpatrick. After last week’s travesty with Frank and Jack, my now destroyed shoe laces, and their lovely farm animals, I’m ready to get back on track! Hopefully the pig isn’t a house pet. Okay! Let’s see if Bridgette’s home to answer some of our big questions!
JJ grabs the handle of the bronze door knocker that has the face of a horse on it, and bangs thrice on the door. He waited a moment, waiting for someone to answer, and when no one answered the door, he knocked louder. Suddenly the old oak door swung open and Angus Morrow stood glaring at JJ Penn.
Angus- Whatever it is you’re selling, I already have two!
JJ, looking surprised at Angus’ disgruntled appearance, appealed to the retired physician.
JJ- Oh, Dr. Morrow! I’m not selling anything at all. I’m here to see…
Angus- Oh great, you want a donation, don’t you? I already gave to the FOP, the AOH, the DAR, and the March of Dimes…
JJ- No! Actually, I’m here to see Mrs. Kilpatrick…
Angus- Oh, so you don’t want any of my money, then… Great! Come on in!
JJ smiled as Angus welcomed him into the foyer as if he was his long lost best friend.
Angus- Bridgette is in the kitchen… Enter at your own risk…
Angus strolled back into the den, moccassins flopping against the floor. He found his recliner and flopped lazily into it, closing his eyes and forgetting all about JJ, who stood nervous outside the kitchen door.
Enter at your own risk?
JJ was unsure whether he wanted to open the door or not, after all the misadventure he had encountered last week. After a moment, he decided, How bad can it be?, as he swung open the kitchen door.
Steam rose from boiling pots on the stove, a strange smell permeated the air in the kitchen, and JJ watched as Bridgette attempted to cook a successful dinner for her family. Her red curls cascaded around her, as the heat in the kitchen made it frizz and grow to comedic levels.
JJ- Whatcha cooking there, Bridgette?
Bridgette- Who the hell are you?
JJ- I’m JJ Penn from Elkhart Radio-
Bridgette- Are you the fellow that the guys scared away last week?
JJ, looking embarassed, flushed a little as he stared at his feet.
JJ- That would be me…
Bridgette- Well, I’m in the middle of cooking dinner… I’m making spaghetti and meatballs tonight.
JJ- Oh, uh, it smells… interesting…
Bridgette- Well, you interrupted me… I’m in the middle of something.
JJ- I could wait til you’re done.
Bridgette- No, you’re here now, might as well get this over with. Now what do you want?
Bridgette lifted a lid off of a pot of spaghetti sauce. She stirred it quickly, eyeing the black burn spots on the sauce with dismay. Arms moving quickly as her mood became frantic, she opened the oven as smoke poured out into the kitchen.
JJ- Well, I have a couple of questions to ask you, but I must ask that we stay on topic… Your husband and brother sabotaged my entire broadcast last week. So… Bridgette, are you listening to me
The smoke had gotten into Bridgette’s face. She waved her arms around wildly, trying to cut through the smoke, but she was unsuccessful. Suddenly, the smoke detector that hung over the stove began to wail angrily.
Bridgette: Look what you made me do! Oh my God, another dinner ruined!
Bridgette ran from the kitchen to the dining room and brought back an ornate dining room chair, which she placed directly under the smoke detector. Taking in JJ, who was just standing on the wall looking at her, Bridgette gave him an evil look.
Bridgette: Well don’t just stand there! Stir that pot!
JJ jumped at Bridgette’s sudden outburst, but quickly grabbed a pot holder from the counter, and stirred the wooden spoon that lay in the pot of burning spaghetti sauce. Bridgette climbed onto the dining room chair, her tennis shoes leaving marks on the seat. She reached up to try to turn off the wailing alarm, but she wasn’t tall enough, so she got up on her tippy toes. JJ, who had stopped stirring the pot, and coughing from smoke inhalation.
Bridgette: JJ Penn, you stir that pot right now!
Finally the blaring of the smoke detector ceased and Bridgette climbed down from the chair. With a pot holder, she swiftly pulled out a pan of completely charred garlic bread from the oven, which she proceeded to throw in the trash, pan and all. The lid of the trash can slammed shut as Bridgette whipped back to the stove. She picked up the pot that once had boiling water, but now only had a big clump of spaghetti. She turned the pot upside down, allowing the pasta the drop like a lump of lead into the trash. Last, but not least, she took the small pot of sauce dumped it in the sink.
JJ: Now what are you going to do?
Bridgette looked at JJ as if she was about to commit murder. Eyes wild and wide, hair standing nearly on end, Bridgette approached JJ as anger seeped out of every pore.
Bridgette: Oh, JJ…. It’s not what I am going to do. It’s what YOU are going to do!
JJ backed up nervously, a look of fear on his face. Bridgette reached into the cutlery drawer, frantically scattering the contents of the drawer, as she made a loud clanking. JJ was white as a ghost, fearful of what she would pull out of the cutlery drawer.
Bridgette: Ah! There is it!
JJ: Don’t hurt me, please! I’m young, I have so much living to do!
Bridgette rolled her eyes at JJ as she showed him what she had pulled out of the drawer.
Bridgette: Order the pizza! You weren’t hugged enough as a child, were you?! Five pizzas. Go pick them up. Here’s some money…
Bridgette handed JJ the menu and the money as a relieved look washed over his face.
JJ: Your family is going to be the death of me.