Interview with Author Penny Estelle

My guest today is Penny Estelle.  Hello, Penny!  Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to have you.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

 At What Price? is my latest story and it was presented to the world in September of 2012. It is available on Solstice Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Is there anything that prompted your latest book? Something that inspired you? 

It’s a drama about a grandmother who gets a call from a woman who is caring for her six-year old granddaughter, Rio.  Apparently the mother, who is involved with drugs, has abandoned the little girl.  I wanted to try my hand at YA/adult writing that was more on a serious level.  My stories up till this time have all been for the middle grade kiddos.  We had some drug issues with my brother so I thought – Let’s go       with that!

So, when did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

I was never a reader or a writer as a child/teen.  I hated reading.  When I had my first baby, LONG AGO, only then did I discover the wonders of reading.  Who knew you could escape reality into the wonderful world of romance, fantasy, sex, etc., etc., etc.  Anyway, my first book was Wicked Loving Lies by Rosemary Rogers.  To this day, it is one of my favorites.  I figured, how easy this would be to make a million dollars!  I wrote (on a Brothers typewriter) a western, historical romance of 400 pages.  Sent out one or two query letters and got a polite, no thanks.  Put it in a box and it has lived in my closet until recently.  I am going to fix it up and send it in.  (BTW – It was some horrific writing – LOL) 

I worked in an elementary school for twenty-one years and after working with kids so long, I knew when I retired I would try writing for their age group.  I had LOTS of material! 

Do you have any favorite authors? 

Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts, Linda Lael Miller.  I have lots!

Do you write in a specific place?  Time of day?

On the couch or laying in the sun with a pad of paper and pencil.  I am an early riser, so most of the time I write when I get up – around 4 am.
Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers. Any advice?

Write because you love to write.  Don’t give up.  If you have a dream of having a book published – it will happen!

Here is the blurb for At What Price?.

Katherine Gardner is awakened at 6:30 in the morning with a call from a strange woman who claims to have her granddaughter, Rio. This woman is calling the police if Katherine doesn’t make arrangements for somebody to pick this little girl up.

Katherine is a fifty-six years old woman and all alone, since her husband died over three years ago. Her life takes a dramatic turn when six-year old Rio comes to stay with her. Rio is a scared little girl whose life is filled with uncertainty and fear. 

In her grandmother, Rio finds a safe haven and an unconditional love that she has never known in her six short years and Katherine has found a love to fill the void that has been absent for way too long.

Unfortunately Katherine’s daughter, who deserted Rio, has other ideas.

Here is an excerpt from At What Price?.

When she first came to live with me, Rio was a frightened little girl who cringed at every loud noise. She chewed on her fingernails and was terrified to sleep by herself. After two weeks had gone by without hearing from Lacey, I decided school was in order. 

We went to the school and, after explaining the situation, I was able to fill out the paperwork.  Rio seemed excited about the prospect, but when it was time to take her to class, she was as pale as a hen’s egg and had a death grip on my hand. The fear in her eyes was heartbreaking. I gave some flimsy excuse about school already being in session for the day so we would start fresh tomorrow. 

            The receptionist said, “It won’t be easier tomorrow. I can assure you, she will be perfectly fine if you allow us to take her to class now.”

            This bitch had no heart. “I’m aware and thank you for your concern. We will be back tomorrow.” 

I took Rio to the store to buy school supplies and a few new dresses, but she seemed to retreat back to the scared little girl I found in the plane. 

            At dinner, I talked about the new friends she would meet and all the stuff she would learn in first grade. I was babbling about riding the school bus when she interrupted me.

“Mimi?” she whispered, “where will I go next time if nobody picks me up from school?” She bit her lip, as if to keep it from quivering, and her eyes seemed to fill her entire face. 

             I pulled my chair next to hers and ran my hand down her mass of tangled curls, physically hurting for my granddaughter. “Rio, as long as you are with me, I will pick you up – always! That’s a promise. I love you and you will always be safe with me.”

The next day, except for normal “first day school jitters”, Rio walked right into class. 

Author Bio

Hi everybody!  My name is Penny Estelle.  I was a school secretary for 21 years and  retired in 2009.  We moved to our retirement home in Kingman, AZ, and we live on 54 acres in a very rural area.  Actually we live “off the grid”.  We live on solar and wind.  A real adjustment for a city girl.  I must say – I love it.  Nothing like walking out your front door and hear coyotes howling in the distance and seeing a sky bursting with stars.  It is breathtaking!


Penny's Links:

A Float Down the Canal

Billy Cooper's Awesome Nightmare

At What Price

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details


  1. I remember that Rosemary Rogers book too, Penny! I think that was one of my firsts as well, other than Devil's Embrace by Catherine Coulter. Sure woke me up to the genre. LOL.

    1. Yes indeedy, Steve and Ginny! woooo hoooo! Thanks for having me Marie. Your are a wonderful hostess!

  2. Love this book, Penny. You really hit on a harsh subject in a great way!

  3. Great interview. I wish you all the best revisiting that western historical romance, Penny.

  4. Loved this book. I was gripped until the end. And I know what you mean about books when you have little ones. I remember taking up reading novels about the Vanderbilts when I was breastfeeding. Took away long hours of boredom.


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