Thursday, May 1, 2014

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Robert Penner, Fantasy Author

Robert Penner, Author
Robert Penner writes fantasy to give readers an escape from reality. It’s also his favorite genre to read. His just-released book, DARK MOON SHADOW, includes wizards, evil, and a sap farmer hero. It is his first full-length fantasy novel. Prior to this, he has written Young Adult (YA) fantasy and paranormal stories.

Penner describes himself as “low-key” and enjoys spending his non-writing time with his wife and daughter – and reading as many fantasy books as time allows.

Q: Why do you write fantasy and paranormal stories?

Robert Penner: I write fantasy because I love to read it. I feel life is full of stress and responsibilities that a nice escape of adventure in a fantasy is a great way to relieve some of that.

Q: How do you create credibility in your fantasy and paranormal worlds? Is believability relevant?

Robert Penner: Believability is totally relevant, but not probability. Fantasy is not real, but the reader must believe it is, in the context of the world he/she is reading.  Strong world building is key in accomplishing this.

Q:  Tell us about your latest book, the epic fantasy, DARK MOON SHADOW.

Robert Penner: DARK MOON SHADOW is the first in a series of three novels set in the Protectors of the Realm universe. It is my first full-length fantasy novel.

Q:  How do you engage readers to embrace your characters?

Robert Penner:  I like to make my characters relatable, or likable either good or bad. There has to be something that the reader can hang on to in a character. They can sympathize with the character in some way. They can say, "I know where he is coming from," or "I understand why I hate that villin."

Q:  Do you feature heroes and villains in your stories? What makes a good villain? Do you need a villain to have a hero?

Robert Penner: There are several heroes in Dark Moon, but one main character’s storyline. Sub-heroes are weaved throughout the story. There are villains. My story would not be a good one without a villain. Although you don't always need a villain to have a hero, but in this tale there has to be.

Q: You write both YA and adult stories. What do you do specifically to target youth readers?

Robert Penner: In my YA stories I tried to have a moral to each adventure that dealt with YA topics; something that a YA could learn from in the adventure and maybe apply to their own life. Magic always seems to be a good avenue to bring in the young adult.

Q:  Do you write your stories primarily to entertain, or do you also write to educate or deliver a message?

Robert Penner: In YA to educate as well as entertain, but in Dark Moon it's strictly to entertain. I don't feel like delivering a message here, nor should I. Most people want to be entertained not preached at. Even though it's hard to write a tale without having some take on the world and relationships that can come across as a teachable moment. I can't deny that, nor help it, but my goal is to entertain.

Q:  Do your characters push you around and make you write what they want? Or are you in control?

Robert Penner:  This is the beauty of writing. Even though I outline my adventure and try to stay on track while I write, I can never do that. Often, I find my characters coming to life and indeed making their own way at times. I sometimes need to grab hold of them and guide them back. I like to know my point A and B in each chapter, but in-between I never know how my characters are going to fill the gap.

Q: What’s next?

Robert Penner: Tears of Duranthidil is next. This will be a sequel to Dark Moon and tie up a lot of loose ends. In the meantime I will release a Free 3 chapter back-story for Dark Moon to help people generate interest. I will also post it on the website.

Q: Tell us about Robert Penner. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Robert Penner:  I spend most of my other-time working and spending time with my wife and daughter.  Writing time is what I actually have to fight for. I also spend my time before bed reading Fantasy. I know that doesn't shed too much light about myself, but I'm actually pretty low-key.

About Robert Penner

“I love to read and write Fantasy and have been writing seriously since 2005. Dark Moon Shadow is my first full-length novel in Fantasy. I have written and sold e-books in YA fantasy and Paranormal. Dark Moon Shadow is the first in a series of three novels that take place in the Protectors of the Realm universe. Tears of Duranthidil is the follow-up of Dark Moon. A third, stand alone, will hopefully follow.

“My venture as an Indie Author was sparked in 2004 by listening to a podcast called Dragon Page Cover to Cover. This podcast no longer exists (sadly), but I learned from the host of that show that I could bypass traditional publishing and make my own path. The hosts Michael R. Mennenga and Michael A. Stackpole were the first to really pounce and cover the emerging title-wave of e-books and the changing of traditional publishing. I credit this podcast for inspiring me to write, build a website, and produce quality e-books for everyone to read. Currently I work full-time and write on the side.”

Before...Wizards protected the land from danger with an awesome display of light and power. Before...they went into hiding.

Then Darkness...

A terrible Dark Moon Shadow shrouds Elberoth as Elkzier pillage the countryside in search of those unchanged by the Dark Moon Magic.  With much of the land under the Black Wizards control, he seeks to destroy the Wizards of old and absorb their power.

Timson, the son of a simple sap farmer, is among the few who have not succumbed to the Dark Moon Magic, and is devastated by the destruction of his village and family. In search of the Green Wizard, he learns of his true heritage while teaming up with Mantier, a gritty, seasoned soldier from Harkton. Timson and Mantier embark on a journey of life and death in an effort to save their homeland from the evil that holds it captive.

Twitter @pennerstories


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