I would like to welcome Penny Zeller, author of Hailee to my blog today.
Penny, thank you for coming. Please tell us about yourself. Hi Ginger! It’s great to be here. I am a wife, mom, and author of several books (both fiction and nonfiction) and numerous magazine articles in national and regional publications. I also write a humor blog titled “A Day in the Life of a Wife, Mom, and Author” where I include movie reviews from a Christian point of view. I am an active volunteer and serve as a women’s Bible study-small group leader, and I also lead a women’s prayer group. My goal is to assist and nurture women and children into a closer relationship with Christ. Hailee is the final book in my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series, which began with McKenzie and Kaydie.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with my family and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, gardening, and playing volleyball.
Speaking of writing, can you give us a blurb about your latest book, Hailee? Sure, Ginger. The blurb for Hailee is as follows:
For years, orphan Hailee Annigan was just a ragamuffin in the Cincinnati streets, stealing food to keep her two younger brothers fed. Her thievery landed her in a home for delinquent youngsters, where her life was changed, thanks to her teachers. Now, nineteen-year-old Hailee excitedly heads to Montana to be a teacher, yet she’s still plagued by her shameful past and the fear of never seeing her brothers again.
Based on his upbringing in high-society Boston, no one would have guessed that Nate Adams would attend seminary and become a church pastor in rugged Montana. Even now, Nate’s parents refuse to put aside their own plans for his future and accept his calling.
When their paths converge, an immediate attraction draws Hailee and Nate together, even as the pressures and demands of others pull them apart. Can the unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?
How did you know you were called to write? I have had a love for writing since I was in second grade and rewrote Bible stories in my own little second grade commentary. Throughout my school years, I would write stories and “publish” them in homemade cardboard books. In high school, I wrote stories where my friends were the main characters.
Fast forward several years to November of 2000 when I surrendered my writing to the Lord. I quit my fulltime job with a social services governmental agency so I could stay home with my infant daughter. That was the start of my career, beginning with writing magazine articles. Writing is my ministry and my passion and I pray I will glorify Him with each word I write.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? I love the creation of characters. My books are character-driven, so I love being able to create situations and dialogue. I enjoy developing how the characters will respond to various situations throughout the book based on their personalities.
What do you love about this story? I love Hailee’s story because it gives such a wonderful example of forgiveness and of second chances. It also reinforces the fact that God is with us always. I also love to infuse humor into my novels, so that, too, would be one of my favorite things about this story.
What was your favorite subject(s) in school? English was my favorite subject (surprise, surprise) after recess, of course! I liked pretty much all of the subjects in school, with the exception of anything related to math. Math and I have never gotten along!
Do you have a favorite Bible verse? I have so many favorite Bible verses, but if I had to narrow it down, I would say it’s a tie between Psalm 19:14 and Psalm 91.
What’s up next for your readers? I am currently working on a series that takes place after the Civil War. I’ve completed the first draft of the first book and am currently writing the second.
I look forward to reading it when it comes out. Where can fans find you on the internet?
Thank you, again, Ginger, for graciously hosting me on your blog. It’s been an honor to be here!
It’s been an honor having you. Thanks for coming.