Featured Author: Michael Pennington
1. Your name
2. Title of your work on BookRix:
My book is entitled “Zhena“.
3. What is your writing method?
I am currently assigned to a team at the Naval War College in Newport, RI. As part of my job, I travel a great deal all over the world (about a week to ten days a month). As a result, I have a lot of free time in airports, on planes, and in hotels. This is the time I use for writing most. My brain does not idle well and I had always had a few ideas floating around in my head so about a year ago, I decided to see if I could make them work.
4. How long have you been writing?
I started writing a little over a year ago.
5. How do you maintain your regular job while writing?
As I said, as an officer in the Navy, it was always difficult to find time to write. With my current job, I have more free time while on the road. It’s still difficult to juggle my job, my family, and being an author but I’m finding it fun and challenging.
6. Do you have special places where you go to write?
I really don’t need anywhere special to write. It seems the more free time I have, the more I’m able to let my mind wander and ask myself, “What if?” That is entirely how my first novel “Zhena” came to pass. “What if there were Soviet sleeper spies in the US who were forgotten about when the Cold War ended?” I use the same thought process within the book as well.
7. Do you have any quirks when writing?
As a submarine officer, I’m trained to multi-task. Thus I actually sometimes do better when I have a few things on my mind. I will be working on whatever my current work project is and yet in the back of my mind, I’m still trying to advance my story. When I have time, then I write down what I’ve thought about. I never know how my stories are going to end. I just take them to a logical conclusion after the “what if” question. My main goal is to make sure the reader never says “oh come on, that would never happen.”
8. What’s inspires you?
I get inspired by current events as well as other authors. I like to look at news releases and see how I could apply them to current plot lines.
9. Do you want to make a living from your wordsmith skills or are you doing this for fun?
I would love to be able to write full time, especially after I retire. I realize it’s unlikely, but right now I’m just looking for fun as well as a little money on the side.
10. What are your stories about?
My one novel (currently working on the sequel) is about a woman named Susan Anderson. She is married to a submarine officer who is on deployment. She has two children and was raised in an orphanage. One day she received a mysterious phone call which awakens in her numerous latent abilities including martial arts and weapons skills. It also activates a mysterious “voice” which is continuously giving her advice on how to complete the current “mission” though she has no idea what the “mission” is. Her goal is to solve this mystery and keep the truth about it from her family before her husband returns from sea.
11. Do you have a lesson in your stories?
There is no deep morale meaning here. I just want the reader to have fun and not be able to put the book down.
12. What advice do you have for other authors?
For other authors, write about what you know. I know many people say this but it’s true. Every major event and place in my book is somewhere I have either visited or am familiar with. It made the writing flow so much easier and the story truly plausible.
I am currently working on the sequel to Zhena and it will be entitled Dohch. I hope anyone who reads it enjoys it and I keep them guessing till the end.
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