May's Local Author, Penny Benjamin

Questions for Penny

Q: What is one thing you want people to know about your book?

A: I grew up reading many types of fiction books, however I always felt confined. If I read more than one book at a time it could be confusing yet sitting through a historical novel or contemporary novel could sometimes seem to drag on. It could be I was just the type of person whose attention was often wandering. I wondered if there was a way to break loose of those standard preconceived genres and combine different genres so that the reader wasn’t limited to one journey but instead multiple journeys within the story.

Linked is written to take the reader through many different settings. Set in a contemporary time, the main character Emma is enveloped in a world of the past, bringing a historical presence and new characters to the story. The paranormal aspect is brought in when the reader realizes that all these worlds are connected through dream states and past live connections.

I wanted to create a book that was entertainment for any type of reader and hopefully I have managed to entice the contemporary to the historical and visa versa.

Not all my books may be dedicated to multiple genres, but I do hope that readers will open each book without having a pre-set notion of where or when the story may take them.

Q: Why did you become a writer?

A: We live in a hectic world. Many of us live high stressful lives and high stress jobs. Childhood to adulthood, we could all use an escape. I was no different. From the time I was little I sought out and found different means of escape. At first, I would disappear on horseback, then when that escape became a chore, I escaped into song. When I was no longer able to sing, I turned to poetry and when what I wanted to say could not be held in the lines of a poem, it became a book.

I had always been an avid reader, escaping into many stories to free my mind. It was family that gave me the courage to get my stories out to an audience so that may escape for a while too.

Q: Do you have any advice for new and upcoming authors and illustrators?

A: Write. Draw. Do what you love, even if in the beginning it is only for yourself.

Some of the best drawings and stories may never even be shared. They may be secreted in the hearts of their creators.

If you can find solace in doing what you love, then there will be a time when you want to share what you love with the world, no matter how terrifying and difficult it may be. Never give up, and always remember you did it for love.