I wrote two novels between 1996 and 2000. One, a science fiction, I thought had potential, but unfortunately no one else did. The other novel was more main stream, but looking back, I’m happy no one ever read it.
The first Penelope book started out in 2000 and I had the input of a small group of also aspiring writers. We had a no holds barred critique group. Having someone tell you your main character has the personality of a wet napkin can hurt. But I reworked her until I had a bold, brassy thirteen-year-old who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right. Why I named her Penelope, I don’t know. It just seemed to fit. After sending out query letters to about twenty literary agents, I started getting some nibbles. I did some rewrites and sent out more query letters until I found an agency to represent me.
I immediately took off writing the second book sometime around 2005, hoping that having a series would be a big selling point. The second book took about a year to write, and the agent loved it. The only down side was I now had two books that were almost identical to sell. We got some inquiries from time to time, but never a contract offer. At this point I decided to write my next novel.
I took a different path and wrote a murder mystery using North Carolina as the setting. My premise was what if a rich northern playboy found himself in a small rural southern town in the midst of a murder. Two years later in 2009, the agent took on this book too.
So where did this all go? By mutual agreement, I withdrew the Penelope books and self-published them in last year. I’ve had so much fun doing it I added a third novel and a short story to the Penelope Mystery series. As for the southern mystery, the literary agent has just recently placed it with a publisher. And, currently, I am writing a paranormal mystery which I hope to have ready by the end of this year.
Have I written the great American novel? I like to think so. Am I as famous as Rowling or Meyer? Not yet, but I’m working at it.
To complicate matters, the school has a new cook, and Penelope’s friend Raddy thinks Chef Judy is trying to poison them. The new girl at school steals away everyone’s friends. As always Principal Merriweather keeps finding new ways to expel her. Between trying to get her friends back, starving and keeping away from the killer, she has her hands full in this next Penelope Mystery.
Ron D. Voigts lives in Raleigh, NC and sometimes somewhere else. When back in Raleigh, he enjoys time with his family, watches old movies and shoots lots of pool. He has his own private writer's retreat in La Vale, MD where he spends lots of time working on his next novel while enjoying the mountains and eating ice cream.