Today I am thrilled to have Penelope Bartotto, one of the authors of "Paranormal Anthology with a Twist" Also she is going to give us a snippet of her upcoming book as well.
1. Before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
Loaded question there, I never know what "a little" is, they tend to tell me I babble. My name is Penelope Anne Bartotto, I am an author, writer, editor, public relations agent, and the Sassy Mama Bear. I am happily married to my soul mate and we are the proud parents of three not so little bears. Our sons are both grown and living on their own and we have a sixteen year old daughter at home. I developed a great bond with my kids as we chose to homeschool them. Our boys are both Eagle Scouts, and our daughter is very active in our local teen literacy program. Sassy Mama Bear comes from my years as a Scouting parent, both with Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. I will also admit that I live in Wisconsin, am proud of it, and yes, I am a cheesehead!
2. Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Reading would be number one. I love to read books and have since I was young. I am big on finding Indie authors to read, and just love to get lost in a good book. I am also an artist, I enjoy wielding a pencil or paintbrush and crafting something beautiful. Crafts also engage my interest, especially fabric crafts. I also love to cook, indoors and out, and go camping with my family in the great outdoors.
3. What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?
Ideas are also drifting into my mind so I always keep a notebook and pen handy. When I know I am going to take the idea further, first it is always research. I need to know any facts and dates before I start pouring forth the story. Next I work on character development, and then plot out the basic pattern for the tale. Next, I dive in and let whatever needs to be written flow forth. Days, weeks, months, and sometimes years later the story is ready to hit the editor.
4. Where do you get your ideas from?
Typically from my constantly moving mind. There are times that I am inspired by an image I see, like I was for my upcoming YA novel, The Misplaced Goddess. Often my ideas come to me right as I am drifting asleep, so I started keeping a pen handy on my nightstand and a pad of paper and a flashlight so I would not wake my husband.
5. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?
In the late nineties I wrote a short story called "Dysfunctionally Yours" which took a humorous slant on something that was/nor is humorous. My father was an alcoholic and I realized there were no greeting cards to tell my father what I really wanted to say on Father's Day, so I came up with a whole new greeting card company for people in similar situations. It was one of the first stories I sold that got International attention.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
Welcome to the "danger zone" as my kids would say... funny and me go hand in hand. I guess I will go with the most oft repeated tale in our family about me being so scared by a spider I fell in a toilet and was stuck for an hour. Seriously one would think my parents did not realize how terrifying a daddy long legs in the bath tub at 2am truly was, laughing at me before helping me. Mind you I was 5.
7. Do any of the stories you’ve written based on real life experiences or basically just from imagination?
As mentioned above I have written stories based on real life experiences, I have written numerous times about home education, abuse, PTSD, and even falling in love.
8. Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?
My muse... honestly I would love to say that I have a specific muse, but life is my muse.
9. What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?
I would really like to explore historical fiction. I have always been a person who loved history and following the directions it could lead you. I would want to be true to the facts though and make sure I presented a good story.
10. Who are your favorite authors that are out now?
Mainstream - Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Cassandra Clare & P.C. Cast I would also love to give kudos to authors that rock, but not everybody knows about - Venessa Kimball, JH Glaze, Thomas Winship, S.L. Dearing, T.E. MacArthur & Brae Wyckoff
11. Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?
Female would be Anaka from the yet to be released "Misplaced Goddess"
Male would be Dom from "In the EYES of the Beholder"
12. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Fact checking and making sure to keep the flow of the story steady and appealing to the reader. Writing a story seems easy to some, and it is, but making it reader friendly is not. I want my story to reach an audience, and thus you work to craft something that people want to read.
13. What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?
Write and write and write. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there. You will never know if you have a story to be told if you never tell it. Also, remember your worst critic will be yourself, do not, I repeat do not hit delete, no matter how tempted you are. Allow someone to read your story, and be open to constructive guidance. Nobody is perfect and everything can be made better.
14. If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?
Climbing a padded wall somewhere! Joking, but there are days I wonder. I am sure that I would be one of those moms going through much more serious empty-nest syndrome as I watch my baby bears leave the den. I am sure motherhood would be my role always and forever.
15. What would be the perfect Romantic getaway?
A log cabin in the woods, nicely secluded with a fireplace. Me, my husband, and an entire week of being electronics free. I think that would be divine!
Well now that we got the question and answer out of the way…..why don’t you tell us about your latest story you have out now?
Here are all of my Links:
Name: Penelope Anne Bartotto
Facebook Reviews: https://www.facebook.com/PenelopeAnneBartottoAuthor?ref=hl
Facebook ARtU Tours: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Around-the-Universe-Tours/118701884986608
Facebook Author: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPenelopeABartotto
Book Blog: http://www.libraryattheendofuniverse.com/
Author Blog: http://spoilerssweetie.blogspot.com/
Tour Blog: http://aroundtheuniversetours.blogspot.com/
Book Blogs - http://bookblogs.ning.com/profile/PenelopeAnneBartotto
CF Writer: http://www.cleverfiction.com/penelope-anne-bartotto.html
My Book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BVSXAE8
For the Love of Fiction: http://fortheloveoffiction1.blogspot.com/search/label/Meet%20Our%20Authors
What began as an idea soon set into motion a chain of events that would lead to heart-stopping action, amazing suspense, and stories that will stick with you way after you are done.
Unique, unexpected, beyond imagining…shocking TWISTS that will have you frantically turning back the pages to see what clues you overlooked to have missed what was coming.
Paranormal stories that span across the genre and will wow you, shock you, and leave you gasping for more.
11 different authors, one main idea, and worlds that will TWIST your imagination…
"Voices of the Soul" by Rene Folsom
"Number 18" by Michael Loring
"Sweet Lenora" by Bart Hopkins
"Truth or Dare" by Jon Messenger
"Suburban Zombie" by Anthony Lance
"All I Want for Christmas" by Jason Brant
"In the Eyes of the Beholder" by Penelope Anne Bartotto
"Little Tchotchkes" by Nicki Scalise
"I am Serna" by Magen McMinimy
"Bloodlines" by S. L. Dearing
"Metronome" by Eaton Thomas Palmer
Excerpt from A Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST: "In the EYES of the Beholder" by Penelope Anne Bartotto
“Earth to Chuck, you in there dude?” Dom’s voice brought him out of his memories, he chuckled, a deep throaty sound that filled the air. “Cool as a cucumber kid.”
As expected a thermos filled to the brim with hot, rejuvenating coffee with just a hint of sweetness and two breakfast burritos hot off the griddle were waiting for him. The aroma of spicy sausage and hot sauce made him salivate at the thought of taking a bite out of those righteous rolls that were currently seeping grease through the white paper bag on the counter. Slapping a twenty on the counter, he winked and left before the usual argument over the tip being too much ensued.
Checking his phone, there was still no word from Rose. He got into his truck, ate his breakfast and thought things over. Concern outweighed her foolish rules. He had to call, that was all there was left to do. They had an arrangement that phone calls were to be limited, generally initiated by her. When she called he stopped and called right back, no matter where or when, that was the way things were to make her happy. She knew he was heading in for the weekend, maybe something had happened, he had to know, he loved her. Stuffing the trash from breakfast into his garbage bin, taking a shot of hot liquid courage he grabbed his phone and made the call. He wasn’t sure if she would pick it up, it rang and rang, and just as he thought it would never stop, she picked up.
“Dom?“ Rose’s voice came from his phone sounding weak and frightened.
A wave of concern washed over him. “Babe what’s wrong?”
Tears were what he heard first, which caused him to slam his fist into the steering wheel. “He hurt me, one minute I was safe, then hell! I need you, can you come now?“ She begged, her voice stabbing him through the heart.
“I’m heading out now, if traffic is good, I’ll get my delivery done before ten, and be there at noon, on the dot. Stay at home, lock the door!“ He said with urgency through gritted teeth. “Remember, I love you!”
“I love you too, need you.” she said with a whimper before hitting the button to end the call.
Rose found it ever so easy to lie, when it suited her needs.
Anger coursed through Dom’s body, an electric shock jolting his body into action. He punched the starter button, and Betty Lou roared to life, a lioness ready to pounce. He cranked the stereo to max volume, Eminem pounding through the speakers, shaking the cab with the power of the music. Shifting into gear, he slammed his foot into the gas pedal and the engine growled; a similar sound slipping from Dom’s lips as he beat his fist against the steering wheel, in pace with the song. The intensity of the anger surged through Dom and the engine revved to meet his ferocity with equal passion. They barreled down the highway like an animal on the hunt, their passion synchronizing as they flew forward into the blazing horizon.
Here is a taste of my upcooming novel, aiming for a release date in 2014.
The Misplaced Goddess
Christine slammed the box of new romance novels on the counter next to Greg’s hand.
“Careful there, sweet cheeks! These hands are very special.” He said with a chuckle. The laughter caught in his throat when he saw the look that marred the beauty of his beloved wife. “What’s the matter?”
“I’m worried about Anaka. Isn’t that a mother’s right?” She said gruffly.
The couple had adopted Anaka when she was six years old. They had fallen in love with the little girl, the moment they laid eyes on her. Her rich chestnut hair was a bundle of adorable curls. Her eyes a glistening golden green. Her tiny frame, adorable but strong. Her smile a magnet that called to their souls.
They never questioned or doubted that decision. She was their daughter, by heart and soul, if not by blood. They had raised her well, and could never find fault with her. She was the perfect child. Any parent would be proud to call her their own. They cherished every second they had with her, as she brought sunlight into their darkened hearts. The grief they had suffered, had cemented itself solidly they thought, until Anaka broke through it. Her smile sent a rippling explosion through them, and they found that they could be happy. Seeing their daughter unhappy, was not something Christine could handle.
“She didn’t smile this morning, did you notice that?” Christine asked Greg.
“Yes, I did. You do realize she is a teenager, right?”
“Really smart ass?” She said with a smirk. “She’s just never been a typical teen. Moody doesn’t suit her.”
“I think we can handle a few mood swings. Most parents deal with much worse.”
“I suppose you’re right. She will be sixteen tomorrow. A few changes are to be expected.” She slapped her husband on the ass and walked back to the stockroom. Someone had to keep the books for the bookstore.
Anaka arrived home from school, her thunder cloud hanging lower and lower. She desperately needed to shake this dreadful mood, she now realized what her friends meant when they complained about mood swings. She had never dealt with anything like this, and was not eager to start now. As she put her key into the lock, she noticed something nestled on the bushes under the mailbox. A package. She snagged it with her free hand, saw it was addressed to her and smiled for the first time that day. She rushed inside, kicked off her shoes, tossed her coat on the hook, and dropped her book bag and the package on the dining room table.
The package was addressed directly to her, and covered in postmarks from exotic locales. She saw Japan, Turkey, Germany, Italy, and Egypt mixed together in a jumble of ink. She shook it gently, wondering what could be inside. Her birthday was tomorrow, it had to be a present, but from whom? The anticipation was eating away at her, but she knew her parents would be disappointed if she did not wait for them to arrive. She checked the clock, and saw that she had an hour wait before mom and dad would be back from the book store they ran on Main Street. She had to occupy her mind, before she tore into that paper.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so she decided homework would be a good distraction. She skipped down the hall, like a little girl, and flopped onto her bed. She grabbed her laptop from the dresser, and was quickly signed on to the school’s website. She tackled algebra first as she was not a fan of math and decided it would most distract her from the package. Thirty excruciating problems later, and the algebra was done. A look at the alarm clock on her nightstand told her that she still had to wait. She swore the package was calling to her, a soft whisper caressing her mind. She shook her head and opened the economics homework page. Surely studying statistics would pass the time.
“Anaka, you home?” her father called, as they came into the dining room.
“Yes, be right there.” He heard from the direction of the bedrooms.
He noticed the package sitting on the table, and turned to Christine. “Did you order something?”
“Nope, not to be sent here, why?”
“There’s a pretty big package sitting on the table here. Addressed to Anaka. It’s done some serious traveling too.” He said as he inspected the various postmarks that covered the wrapping. “It’s heavy too.”
“A birthday present, maybe?” Christine said as she came out of the kitchen.
“I hope so!” Anaka said with delight. “Can I open it now, please?”
Greg and Christine couldn’t believe the excitement that filled their daughter, to tell her no would be pure torture, so naturally they both nodded yes.