Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interview with J. Grace Pennington

Welcome, everyone, to the first interview on my blog. Today I’ll be interviewing J. Grace Pennington, a science fiction author who recently self-published her first book Firmament: Radialloy.

While our stories, styles of writing, and lives may be different, there’s always something to learn from others’ experiences. That’s why I asked Grace here today to answer a few questions from her perspective as a self-published author.

Grace, can you give us a thumbnail sketch of your story?
The year is 2320. Andi Lloyd is content with her life as the assistant to her adoptive father, a starship doctor, but her secure world turns upside down when she begins uncovering secrets from her past. When her father mysteriously starts losing his mind, she finds that she can no longer count on him to guide or help her. With mutiny breaking out on the ship, and two factions desperate for a valuable secret she holds, she must race to save her father and herself before time runs out.
Fascinating! I look forward to reading it.

What are some tips you have for writers?
Probably the biggest tips I have involve perseverance and hard work.  Somebody smart who invented the light bulb once said that "genius is about one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration", and that goes for writing, too.  Write when you're not inspired, write when you don't know what should go next, write when it's the last thing you want to be doing.  Writer's block actually doesn't exist.  When you feel "writer's block" strike, assess it.  Is it due to laziness, or a true lack of things to write?  If it's the former, press on bravely.  If the latter, work hard on planning what needs to be written.  But don't let yourself be conquered by a foe that doesn't exist!  Persevere.
Thanks for that encouragement, Grace.

What resources have been most helpful to you in your writing journey?
One of the most helpful things was the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum, which I went through with my sisters.  It taught me so much about story and how to make a story really work.  During high school I also did an online writing program called Write at Home for a few semesters, which was helpful in general writing skills.  But honestly, most of my help came from just reading, reading, reading, anything I could.  I noticed what was good and what was bad, and made mental notes with everything I read, to help me learn to tell good stories.
Sounds like good advice.

What made you want to self-publish? Do you have any advice for those trying to self-publish?
I've planned on self-publishing since I was about ten or eleven.  What always appealed to me most was the control that self-publishing allows.  The author gets to control the cover, the release date, how the book is marketed, everything.  The only downsides are that the author has to do all the work themselves, and that some people can be reluctant to buy a self-published book.  But in my opinion, the control is worth it.

I self-published through Amazon's CreateSpace, which is a very cost-effective way to do it.  They are a print-on-demand company, so you don't have to pay anything up front, and they automatically list your product on Amazon, so you don't have to worry about shipping or any of that.  Their books are good quality, too.  I'm planning on using them again in the future.

Thank you for having me on your blog, Sienna!
You’re welcome, and thanks for sharing, Grace! It was my pleasure.

You can purchase Firmament: Radialloy on Amazon, or order a signed copy from her website.

J. Grace Pennington is a homeschool graduate and a prolific writer, authoring novels, articles, film and book reviews, and screenplays. When she’s not writing you can usually find her working and playing with her family of eleven. Her greatest desire is to give glory to God with her writing.


  1. Good interview. I have a signed copy of Radialloy.

    1. Thanks, Jonathan! And a signed copy sounds great :)


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