Thursday, 9 January 2014

Interview with Peni Jo Renner, author of "Puritan Witch"

Today I'd like welcome Peni Jo Renner, author of "Puritan Witch:The Redemption of Rebecca Eames" to the Thursday interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

Writing historical fiction has always been a lifelong dream of mine. I was discouraged for many years after receiving multiple rejection slips, and turned to other creative outlets like crocheting, quilting and cross-stitch for many years. Then I met a 3rd cousin of mine online who is also into genealogy and history. She told me we shared a common ancestor who was involved in the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692, and her story had never been told. My love of writing was rekindled and I began to research this ancestor, Rebecca Blake Eames. In August of 2012 I had the privilege of visiting her grave in Boxford, Massachusetts. I’m originally from North Dakota but now live in Maryland with my husband and our cats.


No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why? 
Yes because laws are made by man. Love trumps anything man-made.

No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living? 
You can be comatose and still be considered “alive,” although I wouldn’t call such a state “living.” Living is enjoying your existence, making the most of your life! APPRECIATING who and what is in your life!

No.3 What motivates you to write?
I have always loved history and always wanted to write an historical novel. I love to research and learn how things were done by past generations.

No.4 Why do humans want children?
Beats the hell out of me. MY children have 4 legs and purr!

No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "Puritan Witch" ?
I tend to get discouraged easily and impatient with myself. I want to be as accurate as possible and I get hung up on the little details. It’s a challenge for me to just LET UP a little and enjoy the process!

No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far? 
To always listen to your intuition and be true to YOURSELF, regardless of what others say or think.

No.7 How did you come up with the title "Puritan Witch" ?
As I was researching self-publishing options, one site suggested that the author tell as much as they can about the book in the title and the subtitle. I for sure wanted to get the word “Witch” in there, and hoped that my title choice would attract people who enjoy historical fiction and that time period; Colonial America & the Salem Witch Trials.

No.8 How do you handle personal criticism? 
When I was younger, it used to CRUSH me. Now I take criticism well and consider what the critic is saying with an objective mind. But still, there is a part of me that is afraid someone will call my baby ugly!

No.9 Why should people read your book?
Because I worked hard on it and I think if they like historical fiction they will enjoy reading my novel. I did a lot of research and I think it is well-written.

No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
There is no “nothing,” not even in Outer Space. I have studied String Theory and Quantum Physics (as far as I can understand them) and there’s always quarks and other micro particles in what we think is empty space. Just because we can’t see what’s there doesn’t mean it’s empty!

Thanks Peni for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book! 
Check out her new book "Puritan Witch" on

On a cold night in 1692, two young girls are caught up in the divining games of a slave woman—and then begin to act very strangely when the game goes wrong. Suddenly, Salem Village is turned upside down as everyone


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