Friday, July 26, 2013

Featured Author Interview - Penelope Ward

Featured Author
Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is the author of Gemini, a debut novel with a huge twist! We loved Gemini, so we're very excited to chat with Penelope about her book and any new projects she might be up to!

About the Author

Penelope Ward grew up in Boston with five older brothers. She currently resides in Rhode Island with her husband and two children, a boy and a girl. Penelope lives for books, coffee, and hanging out with her friends and family on the weekends.


MBB: We're excited to discuss your book, and anything else you would like to share! Please tell us how long you have been writing, and what inspires you.

PW: Writing was always one of my strong points from a very young age. Over the years, I would write poems for friends and writing is a big part of my day job in customer relations. However, I never delved into writing romantic fiction until I developed a strong love of reading as a form of escapism in my mid-thirties. I would read a book and say ‘I bet I could write a story like this.’ Then, one day I started writing exactly the type of book I love to read; one with a combination of romance, steam, angst and mystery. I would read Gemini chapter by chapter over the phone to my best friend who lives in England and would leave her dying for more after each skype session…so she was my test reviewer.

MBB: What approach did you take to begin writing your book?

PW: The idea for the storyline came to me in the middle of the night. Then, I started building an outline of the major points/events in the story. I knew from the beginning how the twist would play into the storyline and how the story would end. The writing and specific dialog actually tends to happen more spontaneously as I go along.

MBB: Please tell us a little about the plot and characters!

PW: Gemini is the story of a woman, Allison, who has lost her mother, is virtually alone and looking for a purpose in life. She is immediately captivated by a handsome stranger who makes her feel alive again in just the first meeting after he walks into the diner where she works. She believes their meetings thereafter are by chance, but in fact, Cedric, the male lead, had sought out to find her from the very first encounter and is hiding a major secret from Allison. But even aside from the twist in the story (when the secret is revealed), the romance between them and the growth of the characters holds its own as a story in itself. Readers will be in store for lots of twists and turns, but are rewarded for the ride with a satisfying ending.

MBB: We loved the twists and turns! Was there any special research or preparation required?

PW: I stuck with what I knew in this book, so not a lot of research at all. The story was based in Boston, where I am from. Cedric was a talent agent in an industry I used to work in. And the side characters with autism were included because I have an autistic 9-year-old daughter on whom the character Callie was based. I am doing more research for my second book than I did for Gemini.

MBB: What do you like most about the contemporary genre?

PW: As I alluded to above, a lot of the contemporary books combine elements like love, sex, angst and mystery into one storyline. I enjoy books that toy with my emotions, that make me wait for the sexual connection and that make me scream back at the characters. If I cannot put a book down, I know it’s a good book and that's the type of book I strive to write.

MBB: What advice would you give to other writers who are just starting out?

PW: I would say not to be discouraged by the fact that you have never written before. So many of the most popular books are from first time writers these days. If you are happy with your work, if you would read it, then chances are others will too. I was amazed at the amount of people around the world I was able to reach with this book after I hit the ‘upload’ button.

MBB: What are your plans for future projects?

PW: I am currently about a third of the way finished with my second novel. I plan to release it in the fall. It is a standalone companion novel to Gemini, since the main male character in the second book (Jake) emerged as a side character late in the Gemini storyline. The main characters from Gemini will make brief cameos as well, but this is an entirely different story. This novel finds Jake a bit older than we left him in Gemini with his own romantic suspense storyline.

MBB: That sounds exciting! If you were stranded on a deserted island with just one book what would it be and why?

PW: I think my favorite book is “Take This Regret”, by A.L. Jackson. It’s just a story that really resonated with me and I felt really connected to the characters. It was a great emotional read. There was one scene that takes place in a supermarket that really tugged at my heartstrings and people who read the book will know exactly what I mean.

MBB: Is there anything else you would like to add?

PW: I am grateful for the opportunity to have been interviewed on Moonrise Book Blog and hope that your followers send me feedback if they read Gemini. I look forward to hearing from them! Thanks again!

Thank you, Penelope, for stopping by Moonrise Book Blog, and for giving us a glimpse into your fascinating world! We enjoyed your book, and can’t wait for the next one to come out in the fall!

Check out our review for Gemini by clicking here!

Available on Amazon

Connect with Penelope Ward 

Interviewed by Stephanie

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