Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Penny and Rio" by Jennifer Swanson

"Penny & Rio" by Jennifer Swanson
Featured Book and Author -
"Penny and Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting" by Jennifer Swanson

Publisher: Mirror Publishing
Release date: Feb 2008 (although the new chapter book format was just released in Jan 2009)

What inspired you to write the book?
I have always loved mysteries and dogs, so it just seemed natural that I would combine the two. Plus, I was gifted with two very unique dogs who gave me great inspiration with all of their antics.

What is your favorite chapter in the book and why?
My favorite chapter is chapter three.. In it, Penny is sitting in the flower planter she has dug out and listens in on the meeting of the four animals. Here, she discovers their evil plot. It's my favorite because my real dog, Penny, did dig out a planter and I always imagined what she did while sitting in it, now I know.

Do you have other books you have written? If yes, what are they?
None that are published. The second Penny and Rio book will come out this fall. It will be titiled "Penny and Rio: The Locked Doghouse Mystery". I am also currently working on a mid-grade novel about four girls who solve mysteries.
Is there a particular event that stands out to you that helped you become an author?
I have always written stories, but it was never something I concentrated on. Then a couple of years ago I went through a prolonged illness. It was very difficult. One of the things that helped me get through was writing. When I recovered, I realized that I needed to make writing a priority in my life because that is what I loved, so I dedicated more time to writing and since then have published this book.

Was there a person in your life who believed in you more than you believed in yourself? If so, who was that person?
My husband, Jon. He's always been there for me encouraging me and supporting me. When I have times of doubt, like every writer, he's the one to say "Yes, you will be published and yes, they will like your book!" I couldn't do this without him.

What advice would you give to writers wishing to have their works published? Don't give up! No matter how many rejections letters you receive, keep at it. You never know who is out there just looking for a book like yours.

Who is your favorite author? I have so many, it's difficult to choose. I suppose my favorite children's author is J.K. Rowling. I remember hitting a low point where all of my stories were being rejected and I thought about giving up. Then I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It just blew me away. The book transported me to a new place, like all good books should. I thought, I want to write like that! While I'm not sure I'll ever reach that goal, it helped me to pick up the pen and start again.

Do you have an author website? What is it? My website is
I have great pictures of the real Penny and Rio. Check it out!

What is your favorite quote?
"Do one thing that scares you every day." Eleanor Roosevelt It means to "Be Bold!" and take chances. I think that all writers should do this.

Jennifer, thanks for the photo and interview! Best of luck with all your 'dog mysteries' :)


Lori A. May said...

Great interview!

Jennifer, it sounds like you found a keeper with your hubby. It's nice he's encouraging like that. And look, he was right! Keep it up. ;)

Jennifer said...

Yes, Lori, I have been VERY lucky. Jon is an awesome husband. Thanks for the kudos!