Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Meet Children's Author Penny Lockwood

Today we welcome Penny Lockwood author of the newly released children's picture book Boo's Bad Day. Penny is currently in the middle of her blog tour. She asked that I let my readers know that at the end of the tour, she will pick one commenter's to will win an autographed copy of Boo's Bad Day if they live in the U.S. Should the commenter live outside the U.S., they will receive a PDF copy of her book. Be sure to leave your contact information when you comment.

First, a bit about Penny:

Penny Lockwood has published more than 100 articles, 75 stories, a chapbook, and her stories have been included in two anthologies. She writes for both adults and children. Her fiction has appeared in numerous genre and children’s publications, and nonfiction work has appeared in a variety of writing, parenting, and young adult print magazines and on line publications. She edits for MuseItUp Publishing. Visit her web site at http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com. Her writing blog is located at http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com.

She has recently released Boo’s Bad Day with 4RV Publishing and has three other children’s books under contract with them: Ghost for Rent, Ghost for Lunch, and Many Colored Coats. She has three romances published by MuseItUp Publishing: Love Delivery, Lady in Waiting, and Mirror, Mirror.  Her short story collection, A Past and A Future, is available through Sam’s Dot Publishing and Smashwords.

Why did you pick to write books for children?

I actually like writing for all age levels and have books published for adults, young adults, middle grade and preschool. Boo’s Bad Day, which I am currently promoting, is a picture book. I chose to write this as a picture book since I was thinking of my grandchildren when I was looking for a new writing project.  My granddaughter is five and already an incredible reader, but when I started the process of writing and publishing Boo, she was much younger.  She really enjoys books and loved to listen to someone read to her and quickly went from pre-reading to reading. Fortunately, my grandson is now of the age where he enjoys being read to. I get a real kick out of hearing that he wants Mommy or Daddy to read him the “kitty” book.

What types of books do you like to read?

I tend to enjoy fantasy and science fiction, with an occasional romance or mystery. Although, I belong to a book group where I’ve been exposed to a lot of literature I might not necessarily choose for myself. This is a good thing as there are a lot of excellent books out there that aren’t fantasy or sci fi!

Tell us about Boo's Bad Day and how the story came to be.

Boo's Bad Day takes readers to a day in the life of kitten Boo, who sneaks out the house and discovers that freedom, by himself, can be scary. Readers experience the frightful things Boo encounters and the lesson learned. It was illustrated by Deborah C. Johnson.

Boo’s Bad Day started percolating many years ago when our teenage cat Boo was lost outside during an ice storm. I always thought it would make a great story. Poor little guy knew how to get up a tree, but he didn’t know how to get down. When I decided to write a picture book, I knew the time had come to do something with Boo’s story. Of course, the book is not just the story of him up a tree. I’ve added other adventures to make the story more interesting to little people. There were many drafts, with lots of edits, moms who were willing to read a picture book without pictures to their little people, and finally a submission, an acceptance, and more edits. I’m quite pleased with the final product.

Here's a peak at Boo's Bad Day:

Boo is a very bored kitten. When Timmy and his mom return home, Boo sneaks out of the house.  Boo is frightened by the noises of the big world outside of the safety of his warm home. When Timmy coaxes Boo back into the house, Boo realizes some places are safe and some are not.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

Yes, my other children’s books are Ghost for Rent and Ghost for Lunch, middle grade paranormal mysteries. Ghost for Rent was previously published by an eBook publisher who went out of business.  I’m excited that 4RV Publishing has picked it up as well as the sequel and will be packaging them together including illustrations by Aidana Willow-Raven. I have another picture book scheduled for future release with 4RV Publishing as well:  Many Colored Coats. My adult fiction published by MuseItUP Publishing includes Love Delivery (contemporary romance), Lady in Waiting (historical romance), and Mirror, Mirror (time travel romance). I also have a short story collection published by Sam’s Dot Publishing (available as an eBook through Smashwords): A Past and A Future, comprised of twenty short stories half of which are fantasy and the other half are science fiction.

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

We have a new granddaughter arriving in July. I’m putting writing on a temporary hold so I can be helpful to my daughter. I do, however, have a couple of stories I’ve been playing with. One is the next in the Ghost series. Another is a YA/adult fantasy.

What advice do you have for other authors?

I tend to say the same thing regardless of what genre or age group writers are targeting. That would be to have faith in yourself, study other books written in the same genre, take classes to improve your grammar and writing skills, and study publisher’s guidelines and catalogues.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I want to thank everyone for their support and encourage your blog readers to follow along during this blog tour.  Since I plan to give away a signed copy of Boo’s Bad Day, the more times a name gets in the hat, the more likely it will be picked. 

I also want to say what a wonderful job Deborah C. Johnson did on the illustrations for Boo. I couldn’t have found anyone better. She must have kitties in her home because she captured the essence of Boo and the features are perfect.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/penny.ehrenkranz
Twitter: @PennyEhrenkranz
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/pennyehrenkranz
Website: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.yolasite.com
Blog: http://pennylockwoodehrenkanz.blogspot.com

If you missed yesterday’s post, you can catch up at http://www.dreamseekeradventures.com/blog. Tomorrow, she’ll be visiting with http://mgddasef.blogspot.com


  1. Oh, my gosh. You're so prolific. I, too, write for a variety of ages, and my MG series was previously published by a now-defunct small press. It's also a ghostly mystery! Kudos to you!

  2. Another great interview Cheryl, and congrats to Penny on your picture book release. Thanks for linking it in to the Kid Lit Blog hop. Cheers Julie

  3. Hi Penny, I hope Boo is behaving himself and doesn't go wandering off anymore. Or is he likely to in a sequel? :)

  4. Hi Cheryl, thank you for hosting me today. Sorry, I'm late getting here, but I thought this post was going up on Wednesday! My mistake.

    Ann, I can empathize. I hope you find another publisher for your ghost story. I'm thinking about doing just ghost stories for the month of October on my blog!

    Julie, thanks for stopping to comment.

    Wendy, Boo is definitely behaving himself, but a few people have wondered about a sequel...who knows?

    1. No worries, Penny. I always try to publish a couple of hours early to make sure the interview is ready for the Blog Hop.

  5. Penny has been very patient with 4RV. We will have her ghost two out soon, promise.

  6. Penny, you are such a prolific writer. It's too bad my kiddos are a bit too old for Boo's Bad Day - it sounds like such a great book for little kids. Thank you for linking this great interview into the Kid Lit Blog Hop Cheryl. :)

  7. Vivian, thanks for letting me know! I'm hoping they'll be around for October and possibly getting the other 4RV authors with ghost books to do a blog tour together!

    Renee, thanks for your kind words. Think about others who might have little children and pass the information along. Word of mouth sales are the best!

  8. Congratulations to Susan York Meyers! She's the winner of an autographed copy of Boo's Bad Day.