Devon Ellington: What inspired this particular book?
Penny Estelle: The truth is, my grandson was playing with a tiny, plastic toy dragon and it gave me a great ending for a story. I just had to come up with the beginning and middle parts!
DE: What is your “typical” writing day? (If you’ve got any such thing?)
PE: I tell myself, EVERY DAY, I am going to write down a schedule and stick to it. What a joke, similar to my diets – LOL – but mostly I get up about 4 am everyday. I like to write then, before my hubby gets up and all I have to deal with is the dog and getting my coffee made. I try to write (on my projects) about 2 – 3 hours a day.
DE: How did you start writing, and what made you decide that this was your calling?
PE: HA – I am still trying to figure out if this is my calling. Long story short – I wrote a novel, historical romance, forty years ago and when I was done I sent out one query and got a polite, now way response. I put it in a box and there it has stayed. I decided, after working in an elementary school for 20 years, I would try writing for kids when I retired. That’s what I did, and Hike Up Devil’s Mountain was picked up right away. I’m sure you know the feeling when you get the letter that a publishing company actually wants to publish your story. I was thrilled when I got that letter from Solstice Publishing.
DE: Do you read in the genre in which you’re writing at the moment, or do you need to read in a genre completely different?
PE: I never read stories for the MG/tweens age group, until recently. I have now met many authors who write in that genre and they do a fabulous job. Mostly, I read adult stories, that is, when I can actually sit down and read!
DE: What are you working on right now?
PE: I actually pulled out the historical romance I wrote those many years ago and I have decided to revamp that story. It was such pathetic writing – LOL. I am giving myself another shot at it.
Devon, thank you so much for letting me stop by to visit with you and your readers. I would like to offer a PDF copy of Hike Up Devil’s Mountain to one of the commenters.
DE: So — leave a comment, and the winner will be chosen on Friday!
Hi everybody! My name is Penny Estelle. I was a school secretary for 21 years and retired in 2009. We moved to our retirement home in Kingman, AZ, and we live on 54 acres in a very rural area. Actually we live “off the grid”. We live on solar and wind. A real adjustment for a city girl. I must say – I love it. Nothing like walking out your front door and hear coyotes howling in the distance and seeing a sky bursting with stars. It is breathtaking!
I started writing for kids right before I retired. There is always material when kids are involved. I am pleased to say I have several middle grade/tween books out and my debut book for adults was just recently released. I also have a non-fiction story out about our life with solar.
Please take a minute and stop by www.pennystales.com. I love it when I get visitors!
I can also be found at:
Blurb and Excerpt:
What do you get when one ten-year old boy breaks into the basement of an old abandoned house, that is to be demolished the next day, and finds a mysterious glowing stick? Now add the school bully and his ten-year old brother who also find their way to that basement. The bully wants that stick! A fight ensues and that bully is now a toad.
What you get is a whirlwind adventure of two boys and a toad that have to hike up Devil’s Mountain to find the only person who can help them.
The dangers they meet along the way will keep you turning those pages to find out what happens next! There is a surprise ending you just don’t see coming!
Excerpt from Hike Up Devil’s Mountain
Jason was getting closer to Andy. His voice hissed through his teeth. “You must think we are some kind of stupid. We aren’t like the hicks who live in this town and if you think we would even begin to believe some story about an old witch who lived here, then you better think again!” Jason pushed Andy hard against the wooden cabinet.
Andy shut his eyes waiting for the first blow. Nothing happened. He squinted open his left eye and saw Jason’s head cocked to one side, trying to see behind Andy’s back. “What have you got there, Andy Pandy?”
Uh oh, the glowing stick. Andy wasn’t about to give that up. “Nothing,” he told him, trying to back away but there was no place to go.
“Oh I think there is something,” Jason sneered.
“It’s mine!” Andy shouted. “You will have to do your worst if you think you are taking this from me!”
“No problem,” Jason said, lunging forward. Andy tried to fake him out, pretending to run one way and then the other. That didn’t work. That never worked! Jason grabbed Andy’s arm that held the stick and tried to grab it. Something was going to break, and Andy wasn’t sure if it would be the stick or his arm. They both fell and were rolling on the floor. Andy knew he was losing this battle. No matter how hard he held on, he could feel his new-found treasure start to slip out of his grasp.
“Jason, stop it!” Danny shouted. “You’re acting like a big dumb toad!”
“Yeah…you’re … acting… like…a…toad!” Andy gasped between each word.
The stick exploded into a flash of light and then the fight was over. Andy jumped up, trying to fill his lungs with air. What happened? Danny came running over to where Andy stood. “Where’s Jason?” Andy couldn’t answer because he couldn’t catch his breath. Danny yelled, “Jason, where are you? Quit messing around!”
His chest still heaving, Andy stammered, “I don’t know. I . . . don’t know what just happened.”
They both looked to the floor. Under one of the boxes was what looked like a pair of pants. “Jason!” Danny hurried to lift the box. No Jason — just his pants. Lying close by were his nice Nike shoes, socks and a short distance away was his shirt. “What did you do?” he yelled at Andy.
“Nothing! I didn’t do anything! I . . . don’t know!” Andy had no answers.
Danny tried again. “Jason,” he screamed his name. “Where are you?”
Printed version – https://www.createspace.com/3694330