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Monday, April 18, 2011

Christian Fiction Author: Penny Zeller

Christian Authors That Get It!

Can I say I love what I do?

Well, I do!

I finished a wonderful interview with Christian author, Penny Zeller. She has a series of books that make me want to head to the beach and just spend the day reading. Under the shade of an umbrella of course, because I know I'd get lost in the story! I was an avid romance reader back in the day. Those days began and ended in a short few years.

I left my job as an educator upon the birth of my first child. Changing the world through the life of my students didn't quite go the way I'd hope--a story for another time. But in those years that I read, I consumed hundreds of books. As a teen they were action, adventure and mystery. Raise your hand if you have read the entire series of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Trixie Beldon (a lesser known series but I've met so many people who love those books in the early teen years and my own daughter is currently reading them.) Then I began my love of romance books. I had married my prince charming now I wanted to see how other women lived their lives with ideal mates. I subscribed to a book club, at least two that delivered 12 books a month to my doorstep. Not to mention those I'd purchase at a book store. Yes, remember those? Online book stores were not around a mere 30 years ago. I read throughout my pregnancy, and when my children were infants. By the birth of my second child and with a busy toddler under foot I ran out of creative ways to keep my children entertained while I read romance novels!

There is still a huge market for romance novels and Penny is providing a wonderful alternative to secular stream with those that focus on Christian truths.

Penny Zeller's story began typically with the love of writing beginning at a young age. Yet, taking the leap away from a day job to one that is sporatic to say the least, was a leap of faith. And faith is what has been Zeller's mainstay. She often referred to her faith in God in her work and her books. She began by self-publishing her first book for children with food allergies. It has since found a home with a publisher.

Part of the joy of interviewing Penny was to use her as a "poster child," if you will, on what to do right. (No, she didn't know that was the angle of the interview.) First, she sent everything in one email not a series of pieces. There is nothing that bogs me down more, than a guest sending me upwards of ten emails a day. It has happened. High maintenance guests are not invited back.

What did she send? First, her tag line contained everything I needed to know about her and more importantly, where to find her. After all part of the reason to be interviewed is for exposure, right?

Here is a sample of her tag line:

Penny A. Zeller
Christian Author
Impacting Lives for Christ Through the Written Word
For more information about my books and ministry

Follow me on Twitter


So, what else did she send?

 Covers of the books she wanted to promote

Her bio

Synopsis of each of her books!

This last feature lights up the face of any busy radio show host, and is much appreciated. More than you know. No really.

One thing she did not do was send in a list of questions for me to ask. She had no way of knowing I prefer *not* to receive a list.

After all, no one is perfect this side of heaven--and we discussed this in the interview in regard to the characters in her book. Her characters are memorable, real and not perfect. While many radio show hosts ask you to send them a list of questions--and this may be important if you are promoting a particular book that is launching, I very rarely stick with the questions. I've been doing this for two years and I'd be bored to tears at this point if I did. Penny's interview came about three weeks after her book debut. **You can obtain her books via all the normal online channels such as Christian Book Distributors or Amazon as well as you local book store, if they don't have it they can get it!

But, back to the lists...while I don't mind a list, I am pretty, well, list impaired. I don't color in the lines, and I like to think outside of the box. Does that mean I sometimes ramble on my show, sure, but at least I won't have a canned interview with the perfect guest in the perfect box! I prefer to ask my own questions which means it takes more work. I must do my homework. I must look at the guest's blog. I must find out about them, and about the book they've written, if they are an author.

Because Penny sent me her bio I know:
She has authored several books and numerous magazine articles in national & regional publications

She has a blog

She volunteers in her community and runs a Bible study

Her passion is to use the gift of the written word that God has given her to glorify Him and to benefit His Kingdom

Her new book is a continuation of the series of the Montana Skies, Kaydie

Her publisher crafted a very well written "blurb" for her book and here it is:


For the first time in years, Kaydie Worthington Kraemer can breathe easily. Although she is still haunted by memories of her abusive husband, Darius, she takes comfort in knowing the man is dead. Staying with her sister McKenzie and brother-in-law, Zach Sawyer, at their ranch, Kaydie is still wary of men, especially now that she has another life inside of her to protect. As she looks forward to her baby's birth, she builds a protective wall around herself that won't be easy to tear down. 

Ranch hand Jonah Dickenson views his boss, Zach, like a brother. He does not, however, envy Zach's new role as a husband. Deserted by his mother at a young age and forever despised and rejected by his own father, Jonah has few close relationships. But there's something about Kaydie that draws him to her and makes him question his decision to remain a bachelor.

When Cedric Van Aulst, an old friend of Kaydie's, comes to town, an unforeseen prospect of marriage arises. Cedric is someone Kaydie trusts. Will she settle for a safe union with him, or can she trust God to guard her heart and her life in the arms of Jonah?

Okay, I admit it I love the happily-every-after-girl-meets-guy-falls in love and has a family! I know we can't all live fairy tale lives which is why romance fiction has such a big market. Take note of Mrs. Penny Zeller. She did a great job with this interview, bet she did a great job with her books! I'll let you know, she's sending me a set. Want to head to the beach?

P.S.: Yes, there's more. Don't forget to check out her interview on my radio show for authors, "Information in a Nutshell" and if you are reading this way after the fact, subscribe to my podcast. I promise you won't be bored!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Felice, for your wonderful blog post! I am honored to have been your guest. I really enjoyed the interview - you have a way of making people feel right at home and your show is a great resource to writers and readers alike.

    May God bless your writing and your ministry as you continue to encourage and mentor other writers.

    In Christ,
    Penny Zeller