Gina Penn, unabridged.

Archive for November, 2011

The Dark Layer is HERE

I was told I needed to do it like this, so here I go:


I’m actually very excited about this book but I’m very reserved by nature so lots of times people think I’m not excited when really I am. If I won the lottery, I’d probably be like, “Oh, really? That’s cool-one less thing.”

Don’t take my reservation as unenthusiastic-I believe in this book and think it’s pretty darn good. And it too can be yours for the low, low price of $2.99. Whatta deal. You get all my ass-busting at clearance prices.

And, it’s way different than anything else floating around out there in IndieLand. It’s not about vampires, zombies, or the apocalypse. Those things are cool but my story is different. So, if you enjoy a cool horror read that’s more psychological (although the blood runs freely) and character-driven, sample it and see if you might enjoy passing an evening or two with Annemarie, Thomas, Jackson, and the rest of the cast.

I worked very hard on this book. I hired a proofreader and worked with a pro book cover designer. There is hard work and quality in this project. So, for those who have reservations about supporting the indie community, I hope to put those fears to rest. Indies are no different than regular authors; some are hack jobs and some aren’t. Of course, I’m not perfect but nothing is.

This book is clean.

I’m thinking of running a contest with this book. I’m thinking a gift card reward might be good since it seems to motivate folks. I’ll post the details later.

Anyway, check the book out and I hope you enjoy it. If not, well, I’m sorry. You can beat me up, I guess.

Watch the face; that's how I make my livings.

Links are under the “Books” tab from the top or in the post about Carmody. I’m also still running the ASPCA deal through the end of the week, so there are still a few days left to donate to a good cause.

Take care, y’all.



CoffinHop Winners

This is a delayed response…

The winners of the CoffinHop contest on are…(drumroll)

Erik Gustafson & Cheryl Bradshaw!

I hope you both are enjoying your Amazon Gift Cards.

Thank you both for participating in the hop.


For Carmody, My Best Friend

So, The Dark Layer is here.

I uploaded the book to Smashwords and it’s available only there. (EDIT: it’s available on B&N and Amazon now as well; see the Books dropdown above for direct links.) I’m working on getting it uploaded to the other places as well to appease everyone’s tastes.

Hopefully lots of people will check it out and enjoy it (including my old frenemy, “Dave Watson”).

Also, because I love money so much, I’m donating all the money from this week’s sales to the ASPCA. Every single cent. So, if you love animals, love reading, both, or neither, buy the book to support a good cause.

Sunday through this Saturday. Every sale. Every cent. Helping the critters.

Please help so they’ll stop airing those damned Sarah McLachlan commercials. I cry on cue every time.

To relieve you of some serious cash, here’s a picture of my beautiful niece with a stray kitten they rescued.

The Passion of the Story

I’ve been in editing mode for the past couple of months, trying to get The Dark Layer ready for release (many apologies to those wanting to read it-I can’t have it being inferior in any way, which is why it’s late). Finding bad commas, missing words, continuity errors, plot holes, etc… My eyes were crossing but I was getting work done, dammit!

And then, out of the blue, a brand new, bloody fantastic story idea hit me square in the head.

I wasn’t prepared for this story at all. I was content to be in editing mode. At the time, I didn’t even particularly want a new story. I’d been working with my older story for a while and had reached a sort of modus vivendi with it. But this new one made the old one look like a tree sloth taking a nap. It was so perfect! The plot flowed seamlessly. I began to sketch characters in my mind, I saw spectacular scenes in my head, lines of engrossing dialogue. Never, ever before had a story grabbed me so completely or so wholly. I began thinking about this new story all the time, its perfect image burned into my mind and everything started forming so well. The story made sense, everything about it felt parallel to me, as though I was born to tell it, even a possible sequel had been entertained. I jumped into the idea with temerity, my brain an anoesis, that I literally had to take long walks just to pull myself together. For me to be this excited about a story was so unlike my usual self. The feeling was so ferly to me. I couldn’t wait to write it.

But then the story abandoned me.

tout ce qui sera, sera

Literally overnight, the music stopped. My quarter was used and the ride was over. I begged for another go but the stingy old whoremaster that runs the merry-go-round told me to get the fuck off. She even had the intrepidity to pop the happy ballon that had been so carefully tied to my wrist. I walked away, dragging the string along beside me, listening as the story cajoled until I could no longer hear its song.

 I’m upset about this story. It deserved the chance to be told. Instead, it was ripped from the ground like a dandelion. But I’m happy it came to me because it taught me a painful lesson about passion. Passion is mandatory to be a writer. Without it, nothing would ever be finished. There was real passion for me when it came to this story but for some reason it burned out before the muse and I had a chance to really dig our teeth in. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this story will ever be told but that’s okay. Stories come and go. I still have the notes to remind me it was there and also to remind me that this story just didn’t have passion. And since I’m a writer and not a bloodless IRS agent, I can only tell stories with passion.
There are always going to be stories that get away from us. Some we’ll be excited for and some not. Apparently I had more passion for the story than it did for me but if the story doesn’t have passion, maybe it isn’t worth telling. I was a fool rushing in, just like that stupid old song says, but I don’t care. If I’m a fool, then I’m a fool. I love my craft, even when it lets me down. I would rather be a hopeless romantic than a lonely old miser. And romance is never hopeless; it is the essence of hope.
Keep writing everyone. And remember to have passion. No pain, no gain.

Dark Delay (again)

Sorry to the folks that have been asking where The Dark Layer is. Unfortunately, I’m having issues with the cover image so I’m trying to figure out what to do with that before I can continue. It should be up very soon. I’ll be sure to blog when it’s there. 

Waiting sucks!