About Penelope Haines:
Penelope Haines became a writer when she realized she could gaze out of the window with a glass of wine in her hands and claim to be working. Her previous occupations of Nurse, Management Consultant, Parent, Farm Manager, CEO and Commercial Pilot failed to achieve this simple clarity.
Her training as a nurse taught her not to kill patients; her training as a flying instructor convinced her to be patient as students attempted to kill her. Penelope’s current status as ‘alive’ is a testament to the speed of her reactions.
Writing detective novels allows her to explore new and creative ways of murdering those who have offended her. So far the results of that exploration have remained purely fantastical.
Penelope’s interests are centered on reading, writing, theatre, music, horse-riding and skiing. She maintains she’s a single minded person, having one dog, one cat, one horse, and one husband.
She lives in Otaki, New Zealand.
Penelope hopes you will enjoy her novels.
Books by Penelope:
1) The Lost One: A Russian Legacy.
Hardcover / e-book
2) Princess of Sparta
Hardcover / e-book
3) Death on D’Urville
e-book. Paperback is pending.
4) Straight and Level
due June 2017
What inspires you to write?
Having been an avid reader all my life, I always assumed I would write a book ‘someday’. Of course ‘someday’ was a fluid concept that kept retreating into the distance as I juggled career and family.
Then, one fortuitous day I discovered the Nanowrimo movement and was on my way. The necessity of writing some 1800 words a day taught me the discipline to be a writer.
Once I’d written my first novel, I couldn’t wait to start my second. So far the excitement of putting words to page hasn’t faded, I get up at 5 in the morning to write undisturbed in the two hours before the rest of the world wakes up.
Tell us about your writing process.
I always start with two or three very clear scenes. I visualise them as you would a movie, in a physical setting with characters, dialogue, action. From that point my plotting involves filling in the gaps between the scenes. It”s not an exact system, and characters can, and do, say things or perform actions that takes the plot in a different direction.
The final sweep of the novel isn’t a polished whole until the end of the 2nd draft.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I certainly talk to my characters. I listen to conversations as well. I’ve found being in the stall of a toilet in a pub is a fascinating place to gather dialogue, idioms and language usage.
What advice would you give other writers?
Be confident. When I finished the draft of my first novel, The Lost One’, it was a massive sprawl of a book and I was terrified of it. I had no idea how to revise or where to start the editing process. In the end I sent it to a professional assessor who took it apart meticulously, showed me where the plot was flabby, and suggested what I could cut away to get a more cohesive story. It was a case of being cruel to be kind, and I learned an enormous amount from her.
I’m a firm believer in having other eyes look at the manuscript. How ever hard you try, no author is capable of being objective about their own work.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Kindle was always going to be my first choice of publisher because nowadays that’s how I read novels. Also I didn’t fancy my chances of finding a publisher in New Zealand. We’re a small country and our publishing industry is tiny.
I was also inspired by Hugh Howey who writes extensively about Amazon e-publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
As Stephen Fry said, ‘The invention of the elevator hasn’t made stairs obsolete.’ I believe there’s a place for both conventional and indie publishing for the forseeable future. However the market is changing very quickly as digital technology develops. Uber, Netflix, various streaming services are all changing the way we interact with media and readers have proved to be very adaptable. It’s a fascinating time to be a writer!
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romantic Mysteries, Historical, Young Adult
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.