Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My debut novel, Puritan Witch; The Redemption of Rebecca Eames, was just released in September. I am currently researching a sequel and have plans for a third book.
Originally from North Dakota, I’ve lived in Maryland with my husband of 27 years since 1988. Writing used to be the only thing I did growing up, but for the past 25 years, it took the back-burner to other pursuits; jobs and other interests. Recently my love of writing was rekindled and it feels really great to be writing again! With the publication of Puritan Witch, I have accomplished a lifelong dream—I wrote an historical novel!
I love reading, cats, and strong coffee. I enjoy spinning wool and crocheting items out of my own hand-spun yarn.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Puritan Witch; The Redemption of Rebecca Eames, is the result of about 3 years of research. A few years ago, I got in contact with a third cousin who is into genealogy. She told me about this common ancestor we share, our 9th great grandmother, Rebecca Eames, who was one of the over 140 people accused and imprisoned during the 1692 Salem Witchcraft hysteria. Her story had never been told, so the moment I heard about her, my love of writing was rekindled. In 2012 I visited Rebecca’s grave in Boxford, Massachusetts while researching for the book.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
No. Ideas seem to come to me most when I’m about to drift off to sleep, but other than that, no unusual habits. I do find it helpful to listen to the Brainwaves app for creativity–it’s supposed to subliminally stimulate the creative parts of the brain, I guess, and sometimes it seems to help.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life,” is my favorite inspirational book. It’s Dr. Dyer’s version of the Tao Te Ching’s 81 verses, each accompanied by an essay.
Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (aka SARK) has written a series of colorful, life-changing books I just adore. There was a SARK forum online and I have made many great friends from that site.
My all-time favorite novel is Gone With the Wind. I also like Ken Follett and James Alexander Thom. I would love to be able to write as well as they.
What are you working on now?
Presently I am promoting Puritan Witch, and intermittently researching for the sequel. For the sequel, I am studying the Pequot tribe and Hartford, CT, in 1693-94.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
So far, my Facebook Author’s page. It also pays to not be shy! I ask complete strangers, “Do you like historical fiction?” if they do or they know someone who does, I give them my card!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I tend to get discouraged easily, so be sure you have a good support team to cheer you on. Also, if you are the kind that gets discouraged easily, consider self-publishing. I went with iUniverse and every penny was well spent. If you go the traditional route, you need an agent and face a lot of rejection.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Never give up. Never surrender (Buzz Lightyear)
What are you reading now?
Jo Ann Butler’s “The Reputed Wife.” It’s another book set in Colonial America and I am really enjoying it!
What’s next for you as a writer?
Get all my research for the sequel done then I can start on it. Then start researching for my THIRD novel, also based on ancestors my third cousin and I share.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Dr. Dyer’s “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life,” and “Gone With the Wind”
Author Websites and Profiles
Peni Jo Renner Amazon Profile