Michelle is such a wonderful contemporary writer. Her first book
Candid absolutely captured me and Sing to Me was beautiful. She
has characters that you can relate to and are fun to read.
Meet Michelle Pennington
Michelle Pennington has a BA in Liberal Arts from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. To attain this degree, she studied Literature, Rhetoric, History, and Art. She married her sweetheart, Ethan, while still in college and developed a new penchant for skipping class to spend more time with him. Despite this distraction, she still managed to graduate Magna Cum-Laude.Her love for the written word began at a young age. At four years old, she followed her mother around all day asking how to spell things. Her teen years were spent hiding in trees, on rooftops, and anywhere she could escape her chores for a while to read. Despite this aggravating behavior, her parents always encouraged her love of literature and her dream to write. Michelle is a hopeless romantic and an insatiable people watcher.Currently she is a stay-at-home mom where she cares for her three children, who are at once adorable and exasperating. In the midst of the domestic whirlwind that is her life, she enjoys crafting, cooking, art, and reading.
Life is simple for high school senior, Sienna Whitfield. With a few good friends, a camera, and a dream, she has everything she needs to be happy. But when Jordan Rubio, the most popular girl at Haskins High, makes her mad, she decides to use the power of photography to right a few social wrongs. As if that doesn’t cause enough drama in her life, she realizes she’s falling for the new guy, Lee Franklin. Strong and protective, he’s just what she needs to survive the craziness she’s stirred up at school. If only she didn’t have to keep her feelings for Lee a secret from her mom…
Senior Prom is just a few weeks away, and Rylie’s long time crush asked her to go with him. Wow! Could things get more perfect? Oh, except her mom is making her earn the money for her dress, mostly by cleaning all the dead bugs out of their house, and a guy in choir is making her life miserable. Then her mom lands her a steady babysitting job and things start to look up. She’ll have her dress in no time and a two year old is better than bugs any day. Unfortunately, she’s in for a big surprise when she shows up for her first night on duty. One moonlit lullaby and Rylie realizes she’s in trouble. What do you do when you have everything you wanted… and you don’t want it anymore?
Is there any special place that you go to write?
I end up writing at my kitchen table a lot. Sometimes I manage to write in my
recliner or in bed, but usually only when my two year old is asleep. Otherwise, sitting down to write is like an invitation for him to climb all over me. The kitchen table is associated with eating vegetables though, so he pretty much leaves me alone there. Someday I’ll have an office/craft room/sewing room/room with a lock on the door.
What would you say is your favorite experience being an Indie writer?
Any advice for those who wish to write?
I’ve only been an indie author since October of 2011, so I’m still pretty new at
this. It’s been great to have that first trickle of fans, to know I’m making my dream
come true, and to actually finish something. The best experience I’ve had,though,
is that after I published my first novel, several women I knew came up to me
saying they’ve always wanted to be a writer and that when they saw me take
the bull by the horns and self-publish, it inspired them to get going. It’s easy to
dream – to want to write. It’s incredibly difficult to actually do it. We now have a
local writer’s circle that meets regularly. We edit, critique, motivate, and support
each other. It’s such an awesome feeling to know that I helped inspire them. So
my advice is, do it. Start now. I read somewhere that dreams don’t die, they get
buried. Don’t let that happen to yours.
You have to leave your house and can only take 5 items. What are they?
It’s always so hard to narrow this down, so I’m going to cheat and pick a reason
I’m leaving: Going to a Writer’s Circle Meeting (since I’m thinking about it.)
Chapstick, Notebook, Pen, Gum or Sugar Free Candy, and my cell phone. The
first four are absolutely necessary for the meeting. The fifth is so my husband
can remind me that I need to come home at some point.
How did you choose the names for your characters? Did any of them change as you wrote?One of my friends teased me for naming my main character in Candid after my mini-van. I informed her that I actually named her Sienna because her mom is an artist and Sienna is an oil color – originally made from the soil in Siena, Italy. It’s a warm, earthy color and I thought it would highlight her personality. Weird coincidence though. Another weird coincidence is that I was using a random name generator to think of names for male characters. (Guys names are so hard!) The name Lee came up and I knew it was perfect for the love interest in the story. My husband was teasing me about that one, but I wasn’t sure why more name while I’m at it. I went to the high school I graduated from to do a presentation on self-publishing and writing. I wasn’t surprised when the girls were way more interested in my work than the boys, but in one class there were two football players who were pretty interested – I think because I read an excerpt that included a football game. Someone asked me this same question: How do you choose the names for your characters? I mentioned that guys are really hard for me to name and those two football players both started begging me to name characters after them. One was Colby and one was Adam, which I liked, so I agreed. When I sat down to write Sing To Me, I played around with the idea of combining the two names for the love interest, but I decided not to because I thought they’d both want their own character. So, I went back to using that random name generator again. I’m not kidding you, the second name that came up was Colby Adams. I just stared at it. It was a sign.
What is one thing about you that you think may surprise your readers?
That I wanted to be a dolphin trainer when I grew up? Oh wait, so did everyone
else. That there were 35 kids in my senior class? That right now I’m feeling like
the most uninteresting person in the world? Ok, it’s not a good sign that all my
responses end in a question mark. Moving on.
Truth or dare?
After watching a couple of my friends have to run naked down the street one
night, I became a Truth girl. None of my secrets are worth the risk.
Most embarrassing thing you have ever done.... That you can share with
I was a student janitor in high school. (I lived in a small town with VERY fewjobs.) Anyway, I was lucky enough to get stuck cleaning the basketball locker
rooms. I saw things in there that should have scarred me for life. Luckily, I have
a sense of humor and got over it. The locker rooms were at the end of my route,
so basketball practice was long over with and the guys cleared out by the time
I got there. I knocked of course, and shouted a warning, waited, held my breath
(because of the smell) and went in. Well, one day, I was distracted or something
and forgot my whole precautionary routine. I walked right in on a guy who was
only wearing a pair of blue boxers. Oh my gosh, I hope he never reads this! I
had a kind of, almost crush on him. Did I scream? Nope. Did he? Nope. Did I
run out? Nope. Did he? Nope. We just looked at each other for a long, awkward
moment, then went about our business, pretending nothing happened. That’s
right, I STAYED in there and started cleaning while he got dressed as fast as he
could. He wouldn’t look at me for months. I still can’t believe I was that stupid.
What's next?I mostly sell ebooks, so forget that. Focused is the sequel to Candid. This one
Focused is next. It’s literally on the doorstep. Get the presses ready! Oh wait,
alternates point of view between Sienna and Lee so it’s been really fun to write.
For those of you who have read Candid, Focused ties off a few loose ends,
but it also explodes into a crazy ride will surprise you only slightly more than it
surprised me. If you haven’t read Candid yet, well, you’re behind – so get going! <--- I agree!!!
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