Gina Penn, unabridged.

The Etcetera

I’m A Big Fat Liar

I know, I know…The Storm isn’t out yet.

2012 was a super crappy year for me but 2013 has been worse. I won’t bore you all with the details but take my word for it; this year has been magnificently terrible.

I’m working on it. I hope it’ll be out soon but at this point I’m not making promises. My excuses are lame ones. I’m aware of this. I wish I could elaborate but I don’t dare make it public. I don’t want pity. I just want my life back.

I appreciate your patience. I hope I still have a few readers left when the book finally does make it out. If not, well, I guess I deserve it. Perhaps one day I’ll share my troubles, however, today is not that day.


Gone But Not Gone

Hello all,

Lack of content. My site haz it.

There are many reasons behind why The Storm isn’t finished and why the blog hasn’t been updated in so long but unfortunately those reasons are very personal and unloading them here would be highly unprofessional and quite honestly, would piss some people off. As much as I love to piss people off, I made promises that I intend to keep.

2012 has been a very, very difficult year for me, personally. I got divorced, had to move, and basically begin again. I dated someone that meant a great deal to me but the relationship ended. I’m not putting the blame anywhere, it is all my fault that nothing has been accomplished, however all these things have had an effect on me emotionally, psychologically, physically, etc… and my brain had to shut down somewhere. And so my muse went to sleep.

I hope 2013 brings more writing time. I want to bring The Storm to those faithful readers who have been requesting it. Right now, my mind, body, and soul is still healing from the roller coaster ride it has been riding for this whole year. Hopefully these experiences can breathe new life into my work. If there’s one thing I can attest to, it’s that I’ve certainly learned a lot about humanity this year. And most of it ain’t good.

Hang in there. And thank you to those who have not lost faith in me. I appreciate you and you know who you are.


A Brief Interlude…

I’m just popping on the blog to let everyone know that work continues on The Storm (it is a very old novel and due to its age, it’s needed a lot of work and attention) but that it’s going well. It should be ready for release in a few months. The cover has already been designed and I’ll release that shortly before the release of the book.

Sorry to everyone for the blogs being few and far between, however, I have been going through some pretty serious life changes and haven’t been able to dedicate the time I need to get a serious foothold on the work.

The next book, tenatively titled The Other Sky, is also moving along well. I’ve been keeping busy.

I hope everyone is enjoying this awesome weather we’ve been having. I certainly have.

Much love,

Gina xoxo




Friday the 13th

Giving Thanks

This is a delayed post (I clearly suck at blogging) but I wanted to get this out there on the site before too much more time has passed.

This post is for all the folks that have supported me and my work this year.

This has been a tough year both professionally and personally. My mom was in the hospital for the first half of the year and is now in a home for people with Alzheimer’s, so spending time with her has become a full-time job.

Amongst other things.

Anyway, this post is about the good people. The ones that aren’t full of lip service. Thank you to everyone that has bought or sampled one of my books, has told a friend about them, blogged about them, tweeted about them, or just complimented them. It all helps.

In this big world of disappointments, it’s easy to forget that not everyone sucks.

My sincerest thanks and I hope to keep writing for you in the future.


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.


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!


Advantages to Going Indie

I’ve been holding out on writing this post for quite a while.

Part of me said to write it would be a mistake; I’ve still not stuck my entire foot in the water of the indie pool, only my toe. Scared, I suppose would be the reason for that, because I don’t like branding myself “indie” or “traditional”. If an agent offered to rep me I wouldn’t say no-I think a lot of indies feel the same-and yet sometimes I feel that I would hesitate before saying yes. The writing world is changing, after all, and not for the betterment of agents. Unfortunately, the problem with agents and publishers, is that they tend to back what’s safe instead of what’s good. Money makes the world go round, don’t you know.

There are advantages to both sides of the coin (traditional & indie). When I stop and think of the advantages of being traditional, it sounds very appealing. No stigma, placement in bookstores, professionals backing and believing in your work and talents, etc…  And yet I can still remember the very moment I first learned about independent publishing. At a Writer’s Digest thing a few years ago, this had been. It was a magic feeling of…possibility?

I guess I’m writing this to remind myself that being an independent isn’t as bad or lowbrow as people think, particularly the writers that are vehement about going down the traditional trail.

1.) Rebel – Going indie appeals to my rebellious nature. I don’t immediately dismiss good advice or things that are “popular” just because, however, I do tend to think and consider a little longer than most. I move slower than normal, which annoys the crap out of a lot of people, and I always arrive in my own time. My mother, who was in labor with me for well over a day, will testify to that.

2.) Freedom – Not much needs to be explained here and no matter what side of the fence you’re on, you understand this. There is so much more freedom in being an indie and I’m not just talking about the choices you make for your bookcovers. Your career is yours to cultivate as you wish, like an exotic breed of rose in your own private garden. I don’t have to worry mightily about how something might look to the public. If someone says something I don’t like, I don’t necessarily have to bite my tongue (although sometimes I do, I will admit). I’m allowed to write what I want, say what I want, do what I want. There’s no publicist, agent, publisher, or anyone else there to slap my wrist over a public faux pas. I realize the flip side to this as well, of course I do, but the feeling of not only having wings but being allowed to use them is priceless.

3.) Community – There is a sense of community in the indie world that you just aren’t going to get in the Hollyweird world of traditional publishing. I imagine it’s the same for those who toil under the indie flag in the movie-making world and also the indie music world as well. We’re all in this together. I can recall not so long ago that a traditional author insulted an indie writer and the indie community put the smack down so hard that the traditional author had to issue an apology. Yeah. I kind of like that. Don’t fuck with us. Cause we fuck back.

4.) Trust – It always surprises me how authors are willing to hand over a manuscript that they’ve worked, sweated, cried, and shed blood for rather easily to an almost complete stranger with the “agent” or “publisher” title, and yet we revere our phone numbers and our weight the way KFC locks up the recipe for their tasty fried chicken. Even more perplexing when you consider how many times we’ve never received a formal rejection for a submission, which means our hard work is floating around in the universe of the Internet, for anyone to steal.

5.) No Contract – There is nothing legal binding me or the brilliance in my brain to any particular person or publishing entity for any amount of time. I know we have to click “agree” before uploading our work to Amazon but I think most people know what I mean. I can pretty much quit writing if I so choose-not that I want to-but I like the option of the ability to stop should I go Hemingway and slip a few cogs.

I’d love to hear some thoughts on this. Hope you read to the end. Thx.