Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Michael Pennington is here!

1).  Tell us your latest news?  I’m nearly done with the sequel to Zhena, my first novel.  It will be titled Dohch.

2).  When and why did you begin writing?  I’ve always had ideas for stories but as a Naval Submarine Officer, I never had time to put them on paper.  With my current job, I travel a great deal so I spend a lot of time in airports and hotels.  I decided to put the free time to good use.

3).  What books have most influenced your life most?  I have always been a fan of two genre’s, fantasy and espionage.  In espionage, some of my favorites have been the Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne series.

4).  What are your current projects?  I have been working on Dohch for about four months and hope to have it completed by Christmas.

5).  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?  One of my main goals whenever I write is to always make the story somewhat believable.  I never want the reader to stop and say, “Oh come on that would never happen.”   For a spy novel, this can be difficult but I think I’ve achieved it both in Zhena and Dohch.

6). Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? For espionage, I prefer Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum.  I particularly enjoy the way Clancy will always give a background on each character as they’re introduced.  That way you truly get a feel for who they are and what their motivations are.

7).  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?  I have always had an active imagination.  I’m also someone who doesn’t like to idle.  When I found myself sitting in hotel rooms without much to do, I decided to try it and see if I enjoyed it.  I was surprised with how much pleasure it gave me.  While I can’t say I found writing easy, it was definitely not as hard as I thought it could be.

8).  How long does it take you to write a book?  That mainly depends on my travel and work schedule.  The more I travel and the more free time I have when I’m home, the faster I get things done.  Zhena took about six months.

9).  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?   It varies wildly.  When I’m on the road, I generally spend a few hours each evening working after dinner.  When I’m home, I try to work for an hour or so after I put my son to bed.
10).  Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?  Not really.  As a technical person, I want to make sure my work is accurate and believable.  My characters have been accused of being a little too logical and straightforward which is true of my own personality.
11).  What do you want to know about the future?  As the father of a three year old, I’d like to know what the future holds for the environment, the economy, and politics.  Basically, I want to make sure he grows up in a world where he can achieve his own definition of success.
12).  Are you a morning person or a night person?  I’m definitely a night person.  Being in the military, I’ve had to get up early for years but I’ve never enjoyed it. 
13).  Do you like thunderstorms? I would have to say no.  I’ve spent more than one cold night driving a submarine on the surface through a cold driving rain.
14).  What is the best way for readers to contact you?  Email, myspace, twitter, etc? The best way to contact me is through my facebook page. 
15).  Anything you would like to add? If you want to enjoy an exciting spy thriller set in modern times with aspects of the cold war or if you simply like strong female lead characters, pick up a copy of Zhena.  I’ve been told by many people who never read a spy novel before that they were very surprised by how much they enjoyed it.  My main character is continuously trying to balance the incredible events or her spy life with the everyday events of her family.  I’ve received numerous excellent reviews and hope to make the entire series a trilogy.

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