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Friday, April 25, 2014

Author Interview--Laurie Penner

Anne: Our interview today is with Laurie Penner, an Indie author with two very good novels to her credit so far: No Escape in Sight and Secrets of Gwenla. Both of which you really should read. If you want to see my review of either one, click on the name of the book. Laurie has been writing for over 45 years, but she has spent 35 of those years perfecting her symbolic work: Secrets of Gwenla.

Laurie: Right. Symbolism is much harder than regular fiction. You have to keep all the hidden meaning straight within the context of a fantasy world while still producing a good story.

Anne: A task obviously you are totally up for, Laurie. What spawned the idea for Secrets of Gwenla?

Laurie: I've been to just about every type of Christian church there is over the past sixty years, and I often noticed parallels between the leadership of churches and the religious leaders when Jesus walked the earth--especially the way they rely on tradition. After reading books by C.S. Lewis and other books that used symbolism, I felt that this type of book would be my life-long writing goal. Sure enough, it took me  thirty-five years to complete it!

Anne: The names of characters and places are unusual. How did you come up with them?

Laurie: At first, the characters had regular names, but later I felt unusual names would add to the feel of "another-world" of ancient times. So I simply varied common names and looked them up on Google to make sure they didn't mean anything I didn't want to represent.

Anne: If you were one of the characters, which would you be?

Julyiah. I was definitely a fearful young lady who had to overcome her fears. Extremely shy, a tomboy, I was into books and finding the truth. That was me.

Anne: What is your favorite scene in the book (without giving away "spoilers")?

Laurie: When Julyiah turns around to face the wide open places. She is facing her fear.

Anne: What do you find most difficult about the writing/publishing process?

Laurie: Marketing doesn't come naturally to me, but I think that's a common problem with writers. I learned some important marketing tools in the sales of my first book, No Escape in Sight, but since it's a different genre than Secrets of Gwenla, I almost feel like I'm starting back at square one with Secrets of Gwenla.

Anne: Would you like to tell us about the next book?

Laurie: I started working on the sequel, Secrets in the Breeze, twenty years ago, so I've already made good headway on it and hope to get it done this year. But first, I will soon release a Bible study to go with Secrets of Gwenla, called: Hearts of Understanding. It is an in-depth Bible study on how we relate to God in our inner person, known symbolically in the Bible as the "heart." This will be the first of many Bible studies to go with the books. They are not intended to "tell" people the symbolism I used but merely assist in discovering it for themselves.

Anne: Wow. You are a real go-getter, Laurie. Thank you so much for being here. I pray God's success on your writings for Him!
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