Tell us a bit about your chosen genre. Do you feel your strength as a writer is within one specific genre or do you dabble in a number of different genres?
I chose science fiction as my genre for Peer Through Time, but it’s also a murder mystery. I’ll stick with science fiction for my next two novels, and after that, I may dabble in mystery, thriller, or horror, without the sci-fi aspects. Outside of fiction, I hope to someday write a memoir.
Is there one particular author or book that influenced you when you were younger, and if so, how did that influence shape who you are as a writer today?
Dean Koontz has influenced me since I was twelve years old, when I read Whispers. While I haven’t read everything he’s written—and I can’t imagine being that prolific—I’m impressed with the way he crosses and blends genres. His characters, of course, are what make his novels so memorable. He is definitely one of the Masters whose books I use to study the craft, right up there with Stephen King and Anne Rice.
Physical books or ebook? Everyone has a preference...what's yours?
I prefer ebooks for fiction, due to the convenience of digital. For non-fiction, however—especially books about writing/publishing/marketing, in which I like to dog-ear pages and make notes for later reference—I prefer physical books.
Have you ever attended any writing workshops or seminars or anything of that nature? Did you find them helpful or not so much?
I recently attended two courses during the San Francisco Writers Conference, and I found those very helpful and inspiring.
What can you tell us about your preferred writing environment? Music, no music? At home, locked in your office, or out in the world in a coffee shop?
I love the idea of writing in a café, but whenever I’ve tried, I wound up wishing I was back at home. I write without music—not because I don’t love music, but because I love it too much, which pulls my focus away from the writing.
Do you use beta readers, and if so, how does the feedback from those beta readers help to shape your work?
Yes, I do use beta readers. A sentence, paragraph, or concept that makes perfect sense to me may not come across that way to someone else, so that feedback is gold, especially if more than one reader points out the same thing.
Do you buy new or used books, or both?
Both. I have a favorite thrift store I like to peruse for used books. In the past, I rarely bought brand-new books simply because it wasn’t in my budget, though I often longed for them. The digital revolution has changed that, and I now buy plenty of new books as well.
Where did your love for reading and writing come from?
Most likely from my parents. I was taught to read and value books from a very young age. But also from television. I was writing “fan fiction” long before I was aware of that term. I would take superheroes, or characters from the Peanuts gang, and give them adventures of my own. I didn’t even remember that until my mom gave me a box full of stories I’d written as a child. Apparently, I was obsessed with Lucy swiping the football away from Charlie Brown, just as he was about to kick. I must have thought that was the funniest thing ever.
David T. Pennington grew up in a small northern California town called Paradise, but his home is in San Francisco. While his associate's degree in computer programming has helped pay the bills, his bachelor's degree in psychology has informed his writing. His love of fiction—mainly mysteries, science fiction, and thrillers—is balanced by his fascination with books on futurism, theoretical physics, and cosmology. Peer Through Time is his debut novel. Find out more at www.davidtpennington.com