Interview (and Giveaway!) with Elizabeth Penney, author of Hems and Homicide

We’re so excited to introduce you to Elizabeth Penny, author of Hems and Homicide!

Elizabeth Penney is the author of the APRON SHOP SERIES and the forthcoming CAMBRIDGE BOOKSHOP SERIES for St. Martin’s Press. Elements that often appear in her novels include vintage summer cottages, past/present mysteries, and the arts.
She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where she pens novels and tries to grow things.

Follow Elizabeth online:





The road to publication is twisty at best. Tell us about some of your twists.

My path to publication was different than most. While writing books, trying to get an agent, switching agents, and evaluating small press offers (turned down two), I was invited to write for a book club subscription publisher called Annie’s Fiction. Annie’s publishes multi-author mystery and women’s fiction series, and I’ve written over two-dozen books for them. As one agent said, I was a veteran author and a debut. In 2019, I sold the Apron Shop Series to St. Martin’s, so now I am “trad” published. In 2020, I sold a second series to them, the Cambridge Bookshop Series.

What time of day do you love best?

Oddly, because I am not a morning person, I enjoy that first quiet cup of coffee first thing. I often do my writing in the morning, with word goals

Tell us about your next big project.

I am well into my next series debut—A Poetic Injustice, the first in the Cambridge Bookshop Series. My mother is from that area of England and I lived there as a child. Plus books and gorgeous old buildings and a university town.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What kinds of things did you read?

One of my earliest memories is my first visit to a Maine library at age seven. We had just moved to Maine from Virginia, and it was the dead of winter. We walked down to the library, located in an ancient Colonial house, and I checked out my first Nancy Drew, one of the first editions. My parents were great readers, with a personal library of thousands of books. I devoured tons of books, many of them children’s classics that old Maine libraries still kept circulating. Fairy tales and mysteries were favorite genres.

Tell us about one of your writing disappointments or failures.

Before I connected with Annie’s, I spent years trying to get published. Along the way, I also started doing business journalism and wrote a lot as part of my job as a business advisor. Even managed a small business newspaper. After the book of my heart, a 1929 YA, didn’t sell in 2018, I resigned myself to never being traditionally published and told myself to be content with the work I did have, which was significant and fun (the Annie’s books). I mean, how many times can you throw yourself off a cliff, which is what being on submission feels like. Then I had an idea…famous last words, right? The Apron Shop Series proposal sold in one week—and I had two offers. This business is bizarre. You often can’t predict what will sell, which makes it hard for me to settle on projects. I have too many ideas.

And now, it’s time for the **GIVEAWAY**



Iris Buckley is taking the leap–opening a vintage apron and linen shop in quaint Blueberry Cove, ME. But then she discovers a skeleton from the 1970s in her building…and her sleazy landlord is murdered. Can she solve these mysteries, clear her grandmother, and save her business?

Author: Yodassa Williams

Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70% Jedi, 30% Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award winning performing storyteller, alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and creator of the podcast ‘The Black Girl Magic Files’, Yodassa (Yoda) launched ‘Writers Emerging' in 2019, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color. In 2020, Yodassa's debut YA Fantasy, The Goddess Twins, will be published by Spark Press. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and currently resides in the Bay Area.

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