Monday, December 12, 2011

Hike Up Devil's Mountain with Penny Estelle

 Today's guest, Penny Estelle, is talking about her recent release from Solstice Publishing: Hike Up Devil's Mountain.  One lucky person who comments will be receiving an eBook copy of Ms. Estelle's book, so be sure to comment and leave your contact information!

AUTHOR:             Penny Estelle     
BOOK TITLE:       Hike Up Devil’s Mountain             
PUBLISHER:        Solstice Publishing           

Please tell us about yourself?
Hi Penny and thanks for having me today.  I live on a fifty-four acre ranch in NW Arizona.  We live “off the grid”, only on solar/wind.  It’s been an adjustment, but I love it so far.  We moved here when my hubby and I retired about two years ago.  I was a school secretary for 21 years and because of this I decided to try my hand at writing for MG/tween ages.  

When and why did you begin writing?
Well, Penny, with me it was the same old story – “I could have written a better ending than that!” or “How hard could it be to write a best seller and make thousands of dollars!”    Right – LOL!!    

I actually wrote a historical romance when I was in my early 20s (a LONG time ago).  It took about five years, and when I finished, I put it in a box, and it has lived in my closet ever since.    When I retired from the school, I had so much material from kids who were sent to see the principal, how could I not try to write stories using these kids!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I got an email from a publishing company saying they wanted to pick up my story.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I was babysitting my grandson.  He was playing with a dragon, and I came up with a great ENDING of a story.  All I had to do was come up with a beginning and a middle!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There sure is, Penny – don’t be a bully, especially when magic is involved!

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)
Not so much in my life.  Bullying wasn’t much of an issue when I grew up.  We would simply take care of whatever the problem was, and the next day, all was forgotten.  Plus, I’m not sure if, back then, it was out of respect for our parents or a healthy fear that we would get killed if our parents were told we were bullying other kids!  But working at an elementary school for so long, bullying was a huge issue, and it was taken care of in a serious way!

What are your current projects?
MuseItUp Publishing picked up a short story titled, Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare.  It’s about a 7th grader who has to do an oral report on a historical legend.  Well, it’s due on Monday, and he has tons of stuff to do over the weekend, and he has no idea who this William Tell guy is, so he figures he will do a 5 minute search on Sunday night and skate by on the assignment.  All that changes when he meets his 14th century subject face to face.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would have pitched it as a series, The Wickware Sagas.  (She is the teacher of this 7th grade history class )  It is only in her class where, somehow, kids of today meet legends of history.  I think with humor, adventure, some sarcasm, and with education added in, they stories would make a good series.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
Not at this point.  I have several stories in my head that I just have to get down on paper.   My problem is setting my butt down and doing it!

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
We do a lot of 4-wheeling, exploring in this area - TONS of dirt roads that lead to interesting places.  I have 7 grandchildren that I love to visit and we live close to Laughlin, NV.  I do like to gamble from time to time!!!

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Janet Evanovich!   Her writing is light and funny.  No matter what mood I’m in, reading her Stephanie Plum books make me laugh!

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Going over it again and again and again looking for typos, proofing, etc.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, write, edit, submit…..write, write, edit, submit.   Don’t give up!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
 As a child I never ever read.  Only what I needed to for school and I regret that.  When I was working I noticed the younger kids were in the library all the time, but not so much with the older kids.  In today’s world children of all ages need to read!  My hope is to write some stories that will get them reading and enjoy it!  There is way too much drama in the world and reading lets these children escape reality for awhile. 

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
Solstice Publishing is the company that picked up Hike Up Devil’s Mountain.  I heard about them in an ezine newsletter I receive.  I emailed my story to them and the rest is history.  They have been a great company to work with!

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.


Also, if you google  Hike Up Devil’s Mountain it will give all the links where it can be purchased.

Hike Up Devil's Mountain Blurb:
Ten year old Andy Thompson, disobeys him mother, and sneaks inside the basement of an old house that is to be demolished the very next day.  He discovers a long, skinny box with an old wooden stick inside.  For a split second, the stick starts to glow, then stops, as quickly as it started.

Andy is so intent on getting this stick to glow again, he doesn’t realize he has visitors.  The Crew brothers have found their way into the basement.  Jason is twelve and has established himself as the new school bully and his brother, ten year old Danny.

Jason wants that stick.  A fight ensues and all three lives are turned upside down.  The only person who can make things right lives on top of Devil’s Mountain.  The question is will they survive the dangers along the way? 


  1. Aha! Both Penny's at the same place! I'm stalking you both to guest on Flowers on the Fence!! Great interview! Solar power? How awesome. And most of my stuff lived in the closet for years, too!

  2. Sounds like a good read. Thanks for sharing, Penny & Penny. Merry Christmas.

  3. I know....not alot of Pennys around. Thanks for checking us out and of course, thanks mucho for having me on your blog Penny!

  4. My pleasure, Penny. And you're right, there aren't too many of us around. Gail, thanks for the invite. I'll be in touch.

  5. The book sounds great. Have a nice holiday. Marian

  6. Enjoyed the interview-especially the comment about not being a bully where magic is concerned. Would like to win and thanks for the chance.

  7. Hey everybody, I put all the names in a hat and drew anonymous's name...hehe. Patricia is the winner! Thanks to everybody who commented. And I would gladly send the rest of you who commented a copy if you would like to read it!

  8. Penny that is sweet of you to offer everyone a comment. I would love to read the book. It sounds like a fun read. Thank you for being such a gracious guest.