It seems authors often get asked the same questions from one interview to the next. Not always, but a lot. It was time, I decided, for a new approach. So, this interview is designed to break out of the mold. On each of these questions, there is simply no right answer. Let’s see just how creative these creative minds are! It’s all in fun, of course.  

Today we welcome talented author, Penny Childs, to our blog.

1. If you had to attend a week long conference on cabinet building with either Stephen King or Chuck Norris, which one would you choose and why? How would you tactfully handle the disappointment of the one you did not select?
          I have to choose??? That’s not fair! I love them both. Stephen King for his mind and Chuck Norris because he’s hot and kicks some major ass. Hmmm…. Well, I guess if I have to pick… I’ll take Stephen King. I mean I love Chuck’s ass kicking ways but he’d probably just wind up breaking all of the wood for the cabinets before we could even learn how to make them. And how embarrassing would that be? We’d probably get kicked out. And seriously, I don’t want to be known as the chick who got thrown out of a cabinet making conference. I mean its cabinet making. Give me a break.

          And I’d just tell Chuck like it is. I’d be like, “Hey, Chuck, baby, it’s not you… it’s the wood. Besides, this will free you up to do your super-cool promotions for Era detergent.” I especially love the one where he’s standing on a cliff gazing off into the sunset and gives the thumbs up. Hot. If you haven’t seen it, Google it. You’ll be mesmerized, as I was. Where the hell is the sarcasm font when you need it?!

2. Your book, Far From Over, scared me. Do you feel a sense of guilt about this? If so, how will you handle this crippling remorse? If no, are you pretty much just in denial about your guilt?
          I certainly hope my book scared you! That’s what I wanted it to do. Hmm… It didn’t scare you so badly you won’t buy any more of my books did it? (No way! I’m a fan of your writing! -K) Because then I would feel really, really bad about scaring you. Then I would tell you to have a nice cup of hot herbal tea and read a nice book about doggies and kitties until you feel all better. And listen to some nice, gentle music. Yeah… that’s it… just relax. It’s gonna be okay… Awe, damnit! Now you’ve gone and made me feel bad!

3. Has my former massage therapist contributed anything to your writing? If yes, what is it? If no, how are you able to tolerate her sloth?
          Well sure she has! She relaxes me, putting me into a dream-like state where I can let the plots run wild, baby! Wild I tell ya! Like the mustangs out on the great plains! Like the lions in
Africa! Like the mighty cheetah! Like Chuck Norris in an ass-kicking contest! Or Chuck at a cabinet making convention! All that wood… breaking and smashing… oh, sorry… I got a little carried away. Yeah. Your former massage therapist has been instrumental in my writing. She’s a real peach.

4. Do you deny that Alice Cooper was seen on your back patio more than once? Expound on your answer.
          That was Alice Cooper? Wow. He’s not looking so good. I was afraid to go to the door so I’ve just been hiding until he gives up and leaves. But it does make perfect sense now. I mean, Halloween is coming up, and we have lots of bats living in the old abandoned silo in our back yard. Maybe he stopped by to see if he could have some of them. I’ve heard they don’t make such good pets for the normal person, but let’s be honest here, there really isn’t anything normal about Alice Cooper (don’t tell him I said that, he scares me).

5. How many times has Gary Busey called you for advice and what was the main theme during these conversations?
          He calls me constantly! All he ever wants to talk about are his big goofy teeth. He worries no one takes him seriously as a bad guy with those things. And secretly, I don’t buy him as a bad guy with ‘em either. I mean, come on… he opens his mouth and I see those huge choppers and all that goes through my mind is the theme song to Mr. Ed. And when I’m singing the Mr. Ed theme I can’t think bad thoughts. I mean, who the hell can? I bet you’re humming it right now. You know you are. Are you having any bad thoughts? I didn’t think so.

          I have advised Gary my vet does tooth floating (files teeth down) on my horses. He said he’d check into it.

6. What’s the tenth sentence on page 25 of one of your books? If it’s really short, please include the next sentence as well. Also, please tell us which book it comes from.
          Crap. Now I gotta look something up. Thanks a lot. Hold on… and don’t bother trying to double check my work, smarty-pants. I’m looking at a Kindle, so results will vary depending on model and font size. Okay, here it is: ‘And then she’d hit him between the eyes with how she knew.’

          Whew, no “f” word. I was sweating that one a little. Not that any of my books would ever contain any profane language. No. Never. Well, okay. Maybe just a little. Now and then. For flair. You know how it is. Come on. You know. Don’t you? I mean, I gotta keep it real, right? Right? Oh, the hell with it. I just say what I’m thinking. I work in a factory for God’s sake. Give me a break.

7. Name all the items on my table. There are more than ten.
          Which table? You have more than one table! Oh, all right, I’ll just pick one and go with it. I’m gonna go with the end table next to your couch. Lemme see… there’s a Kindle, a note pad, a pen, a chewed up pencil without an eraser (eww… what happened to the eraser?), a lamp, a bottle of motor oil (hmm… not gonna ask), a cell phone, an mp3 player, a cup of hot, steaming herbal tea (see question #2), a nice little picture book about kitties and doggies (see question #2 again), an unused South of the Border novelty ash tray, a headshot of Gary Busey (holy shit, look at those chompers!), and a pack of wintergreen gum (which you should keep away from Gary. He will use the whole pack. Seriously.). (An amazingly accurate guess on this answer! -K)

8. If you developed a rash, with which of the following doctors would you make an appointment: Dr. Pepper, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Dre, Dr. No, or Dr. Evil? Explain your reasoning and how this decision is intricately related to your writing.
          I would have to choose Dr. Seuss. He would be able to make up a rhyme about my rash and its origins while he prescribed me something to get rid of it. That would be fun and it would make me feel better. Maybe he would even take me out for breakfast and I would get green eggs and ham. And then he would give me a crazy-huge lollypop because I was such a good girl! And the lollypop would have the medicine in it! Then my rash would be all better. And man, lemme tell you, I gotta get rid of it! I can’t concentrate to write, what with all the darn scratching!

9. You are running late for an important meeting or appointment. When you reach your vehicle, you discover a large rabbit inside remorselessly flashing your headlights and running your radio, deliberately draining your battery. How do you handle the situation? And what was so important about your meeting?
          That explains so much!! You have no idea how frustrating it has been trying to figure out why my damn battery keeps going dead. I mean, I’ve even been late to work because of it. We thought it was a mechanical/electrical issue. What a relief to know one bullet will solve the problem. We like rabbit stew, so problem solved and we get wholesome meal. I will make pot-pies with the stew leftovers. Yummy.

          Oh… the meeting…. You wanted to know about the meeting… Meeting? What meeting?

10. Have you ever bought a vowel? Which one was it? Did you buy it used or new?
          Occasionally I think we all have to buy a vowel. I mean, I can’t be the only one… can I? Please tell me I’m not the only one. Please. Well, fine. If you’ve never had to buy a vowel then neither have I. But if I ever did (and this is by no means an admission), I would never, ever, buy someone’s dirty old used vowel. God only knows where the thing has been.

11. Joe, Eb, and Junior (my unemployed cousin) arrived 20 minutes too late to get a free coffee mug at the grand opening of the new tire emporium. Why were they late?
          Joe couldn’t drag his sorry butt out of bed on time and Eb ran over a nail in the driveway. Junior then proceeded to yell at Eb in the driveway while Joe was doing his hair (he had terrible bed-head from oversleeping). And when it came time to change the tire it was a total clown show. Aside from dropping the car on Eb’s foot twice all they had was that little donut tire so they couldn’t do over 45mph on the highway. Then to top it off, your cousin just had to stop at the 7-Eleven to pick up a slurppie. I mean, for cripes sake, does he live on those things or what? He drinks ‘em so fast he gets brain freeze, which I think has done irreversible damage. I mean, just look at him. He’s cross-eyed now.

          On a side note: Speaking of convenience stores, does anyone really eat those petrified hotdogs on the Ferris Wheel of death? I mean, how old are those things, anyway? (They are a main staple of Junior’s diet. -K)

12. You are deep in the editing process on your next novel when a drooling ghoul drops soundlessly from the ceiling, hangs over your shoulder, and begins to give you unsolicited writing advice. How do you deal with this unwelcome interruption?
          I tell my husband to get the hell away from me and go find something constructive to do. Umm… he’s not gonna read this is he? LOL.

12. Do you realize this question is numbered inaccurately? What do you make of that?
          I think you were trying to trick me because you were still upset about my book scaring you. Either that or you were distracted by that head shot of Gary Busey sitting next to you on the end table. He’s smiling. At you. With those teeth. Don’t fret, just hum the theme song to Mr. Ed and everything will be okay.

12. My cat is sitting at my feet staring intently at me. She’s been fed, she has water, and she’s been petted. WHAT THE HECK DOES SHE WANT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD?
          Is she blinking? Because if she’s not blinking she is up to no good. I’d look out if I were you. Really. Don’t sleep in the same room with her. Or… she could just want that catnip I hid in your slipper.

Author Bio:
          This is the part where I’m supposed to be serious, right? Well, okay, I think I can manage. Here goes:

          I live out in the country with my husband, five horses, four dogs and our flock of chickens. When I’m not working at my “real job” I enjoy riding horses (go figure with 5 of them running around). I also love playing with my dogs, harassing my chickens until they give me eggs, reading, and of course, writing books. I’ve been writing since I was a kid and just a couple years ago decided to get brave and publish. And boy, am I glad I did! I love sharing what goes on in my head with the rest of you!

          Judging by sales, Far From Over is my most popular book. It is the only “ghost story” I’ve published to date, so it holds a special place in my heart. It is about a man so bent upon revenge that he will do anything to get it. He will even try to cross a line not meant to be crossed: the one between life and death. Does he succeed or is it all in Andi’s head?

          You can find Far From Over on my Amazon author page here:

          I also hang out on Goodreads. Look for me.

          As I say at the end of every one of my books: Live! Love! Read!