Let’s Chat! Author Penny Haavig

Welcome, Everyone!

Penny HaavigPenny Haavig is our guest author this week. I haven’t met Penny in person. But after visiting with her via this interview, I want to move next door! What a friend, wife, mother, and grandma she must be! 

Penny’s first novel—Laugh, Clown, Laugh—is coming out soon. So you’re the first to be introduced to her and her novel. Penny’s roots extend to Queens and Long Island, New York. And her historical novel, Laugh, Clown, Laugh, is set in Brooklyn against a backdrop of vaudeville. How intriguing is that? 

Now, gather ’round as Penny shares a bit about herself, her life journey, and how Laugh, Clown, Laugh was birthed. Also, she’s offering a special giveaway. So, check it out below.

**Congratulations to Anne Rightler, winner of Penny’s soon-to-be-released novel—Laugh, Clown, Laugh!** 

Penny Haavig’s Roots

First, I was born and raised in New York with roots in Queens and Miller Place, Long Island. However, I spent most of my life in upstate New York, an hour from the beautiful Adirondacks mountains.

Our house in Miller Place was situated on a cliff that overlooked the picturesque Long Island Sound. Even now, I can remember running down the cliff to the beach where my Dad taught me how to swim. To say the least, it was daunting to dodge the horseshoe crabs and jellyfish, but once I got the hang of it, I loved it.

A Love of Horses

Penny HaavigBecause my dad was an equestrian, his love for horses fell on me when I was three years old. A pony man visited Richmond Hill, where I spent the first five years of my life. My first pony ride was on a black and white pony. The Christmas after, Dad surprised me with a black and white handmade rocking horse. My love of horses stuck for decades. Who would have known, that after all these years, I would be the proud owner of a black and white Pinto/Arabian horse. My mother would say to my dad, “She’ll grow out of this, Henry.” I guess not. 

Penny’s Bitter and Sweet

I am a retired pre-school teacher and was blessed to own a day care center for over ten years.

Penny HaavigI met my first husband Guy in 1969, and we had two beautiful daughters, Tiffany and Tonia. Everything was going fine until sudden tragedy struck our family. My husband died of a heart attack at the age of 54. We were married thirty years. My life started to unravel, but God kept me together. (Click to Tweet!) My girls were still in their teens, so it was very hard for them.

Because Guy knew the Lord as his Savior, I know he is rejoicing with the saints for eternity and I will see him again when I get to Heaven. Praise God for the gift of eternal life in Jesus. 

God’s Intervention

However, God intervened a year later and brought Tom, a handsome Norwegian, into my life. Because he had the bigger business and family, I sold everything in New York and moved to Minnesota. While both girls were on their own, leaving them was bittersweet. Although the miles still separate us, I know God protects them. And now, we’re a blended family with seven children and 13 grandchildren.

Penny Haavig’s Life of Faith

Penny Haavig

I came to know Jesus as my Savior and Lord at age 13. Now we’re members of Alexandria Covenant Church, a great gospel preaching church where I have taught pre-school Sunday school and VBS.

Penny HaavigAt present, I’m a part-time clown with the alias, DancingDot. In addition, I started the SONSHINE Club, a children’s ministry at our church for kids, ages 5-12. We go out into local nursing homes and present the love of Jesus via games, readers theater and music.

Also, I was Children’s Theater Director at Central Square Cultural Center for the past five years.

Penny Haavig’s Writing Journey

Penny Haavig
Berto: LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH

My first novel, Laugh, Clown, Laugh, is five years in the making. My mother and grandmother suffered with mental issues, but the facade of vaudeville and theater covered up their bewildered hearts. (Click to Tweet!) Consequently, they both had nervous breakdowns, and their stories inspired me to write this book. 

Penny Haavig
Violet: LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH

In addition, I met many amazing authors along the way, including Susie May Warren who was the first one to encourage me at a writer’s workshop and retreat. And I pitched to agents at two conferences, but to no avail. Also, I had the book professionally edited twice and revised and revised. Is it ready now? By the grace of God, it is!!

While I wasn’t as persistent as fellow authors and there were many set-backs, every time I was ready to throw in the towel, God said, “What are you doing?” Because God would NOT let me give up, countless prayers, tears, several edits and revision, and perseverance have carried me through. As a result, I’m self-publishing this book, which will be in my hands soon. 

Penny Haavig
The Band: LAUGH, CLOWN, LAUGH

What’s Up With Penny Haavig Post-Laugh?

In conclusion, I’ve completed the rough draft of the sequel to Laugh, Oddballs Matter, which is based on my mother’s story after she came to know the Lord. Next, a third book in the series will be based on my life. While emotional and mental issues can rob a person of their identity (Click to Tweet!), I pray my books will help someone who is hurting on the inside. (Click to Tweet!)

How can you find Penny Haavig

Facebook

Email

Penny’s Giveaway

Because I’m looking for folks to join my Amazing Dream Team, the first five to sign up via email at pnhaavig@wisper-wireless.com will receive a complimentary paperback book when released.

~ ~ ~

Dear Lord ~ First, You created a perfect world and gave Your creation the freedom to choose good or evil. Because humankind chose to disobey, ushering in imperfection and a fallen world, we suffer in myriad ways, not the least of which is mental illness. However, Your plan to bring us back into a state of perfection through Jesus Christ is marvelous. As a result, your daughter, Penny Haavig, is using the imperfection of her family’s past to create stories to help readers who are hurting inside. Bless each word she writes for You. ~ For Jesus’ sake

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37 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Penny Haavig

  1. Kay Harth

    SO Happy for you Penny!! I enjoyed reading this interview and I can’t wait to read your book! 🙂 Congratulations!

     
     
  2. Shirley McCoy

    Penny, I’m so thrilled that the time is getting closer when I’ll be able to hold your book in my hands and enjoy reading the final story. I’m so happy you didn’t give up and persevered. Laugh, Clown, Laugh should be appealing to so many people! And I’m already looking forward to your sequels!

     
     
  3. Helen Widman

    Hi Penny. Love the photos and the amazing article. This will be a quick read, because I know I won’t put it down until I’ve read the whole book. Congratulations and may God bless everyone who reads your thoughts, feelings and the many happenings that led up to this writing ❤️

     
     
    1. Penny

      Thank you Helen. You’ve always encouraged me with “Ebony finds a friend.” Little did I know God would lead me down a road of writing two novels. Linda Davis did an excellent job laying out a great article. I’m blessed to know her! God bless, my friend.

       
       
  4. Marilyn R

    Penny, a wonderful testimony with God’s blessings and love even during the dark times. So thankful God never fails His children. I look forward to reading Laugh, Clown, Laugh. Everyone needs laughter in their life. Blessings.

     
     
    1. Penny

      Thank you Marilyn! I appreciate your kind, encouraging words so much. May you be showered with blessings.God bless!

       
       
    2. How great to see you this week, Marilyn. You always encourage us. God bless you.

       
       
  5. Diane Jamison-Richards

    Reading your bio was so interesting, Penny. I’m so glad you listened to God’s nudgings. May God bless you (and many others through you) on this journey.
    Diane

     
     
    1. Penny

      Thank you Diane, your words will keep me motivated! God bless!

       
       
    2. Hi, Diane. Welcome to the blog. I agree…I, too, am glad Penny listened to God’s nudgings. Can’t wait to read her novel. I hope you’ll come back.

       
       
  6. Lila Killoran

    Hello Penny…..I cannot wait to get my hands on your book. You are an amazing person and we are so grateful yo know you.

     
     
    1. Wonderful to have you in our circle this week, Lila. I can’t wait to read Penny’s book too! Your words are so encouraging. God bless.

       
       
    2. Penny

      Thank you Lila,hope to see you and Skip soon. I’m glad we’re friends. God bless!

       
       
  7. Anne Rightler

    What a wonderful journey God has led you on. Looking forward to reading your book!
    Thank you, Linda for sharing about it.

     
     
    1. Penny

      Thank you Anne. If you would like to be on my AMAZING DREAM TEAM, please email me at pnhaavig@wisper-wireless.com. You’ll receive a complimentary book in turn for a review. God bless!

       
       
    2. Welcome, Ann. So happy to have you in our circle. It’s a privilege and pleasure to share Penny.

       
       
  8. Paulette DeFoe

    Penny, how excited we are for you. We are traveling and read this on FB while driving. Very proud of you!!! Dave & Paulette

     
     
    1. Penny

      Thank you!! It’s been a five year journey, but God kept me moving forward! Enjoy your trip and God bless!

       
       
    2. Welcome, Paulette. It’s so great to see such support for Penny. It boosts my spirits too!

       
       
  9. Janina

    How exciting, Penny! I’m looking forward to reading your book. So proud of you for following your heart and passion for writing! You’ve got this! Love you!

     
     
    1. Hi, Janina. Thank you for joining in the applause for Penny. I hope you’ll visit our circle again. 😊

       
       
    2. Penny

      Aww, thank you Nina! Your support means so much to me! Yes, with God, I do have this! Love you back!

       
       
  10. Penny, such an amazing life journey for your family and what a gift it will be to many who need to read exactly what the Lord has encouraged you to write. For such a time and purpose… all in our Loving Father’s Hands. God bless. Love you, Dorothy

     
     
    1. Penny

      You’re a blessing to me Dorothy! Thank you for your inspiring words of wisdom. God bless, dear friend!

       
       
    2. Welcome, Dorothy! I love your words of encouragement to Penny at “such a time as this.”

       
       
  11. Linda Pollino

    Pen, this was a beautiful write up on you and your book. It’s been a long road for you, but I believe it’s about to happen ! Praise the Lord! It’s a great read and I do believe you are going to touch many people with your story….God’s Blessings ❤️ Linda and Joe

     
     
    1. Hi, Linda. Thanks so much for joining us and leaving such an encouraging message.

       
       
    2. Penny

      Thank you dear Linda! You were one of the first to read in rough draft. It has been a long journey but I’ve learned so much. Linda Davis gave me this amazing opportunity to share without an actual book. I’m thankful for her too.

       
       
  12. Becky Smith

    Sounds like a great book and I am looking forward to reading it. I enjoyed this interview and all the fun pictures!

     
     
    1. Hi, Becky. Great to see you with us this week. You’ve encouraged us!

       
       
    2. Penny

      Thank you Becky. God bless. If you want to be on the team, email me.

       
       
  13. Hello, Penny. It’s so great to learn about your background and your books! Thank Linda, for sharing Penny’s visit with your adoring readers! 🙂

     
     
    1. How wonderful to see your beautiful smiling face, Caryl! You’ve encouraged Penny and me both, dear friend. (Aren’t Penny’s life story and her novel idea intriguing?)

       
       
    2. Penny

      Thank you Caryl. This is an amazing stop on thus incredible journey.

       
       
  14. Sounds like a great premise for a book. Congratulations!

     
     
    1. I agree, David. Can’t wait to read Laugh, Clown, Laugh. You’re entered in the drawing 🙂 Thanks so much for joining the conversation.

       
       
    2. Penny

      Thank you David! I thank God for editors who glean and clean the important scenes. God bless!

       
       

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Let’s Chat! Author Karen Malena

Welcome, Readers!

This week we’re visiting with Karen Malena, author of inspirational, dystopian, and fantasy fiction. Not exactly sure what dystopian or fantasy entails? Keep reading, my friends … and be inspired.

P.S. Karen’s offering “a few” of her ebooks to the winner(s) of a drawing among those who comment below. Let’s keep the conversation going!

**Congratulations to drawing winner, Phyllis Scott!

Karen Malena Before Authoring


I
feel that my true writing journey actually began when I was a very young girl. My mother had a form of mental illness and was hospitalized many times. It was frightening for me, but it began my love of reading and making up stories to escape all of the seriousness surrounding me. (Click to Tweet!) 

Family Life

My close-knit family’s strong faith got us through this difficult time, and God restored my mother to us by a miracle. I like to believe that going through this experience as a young child, helped ready me for the journey of Alzheimer’s and dementia that we faced with Mom for the last several years.

Once again, I was able to channel the seriousness, write about it, and inspire others with my blog and writings. (Click to Tweet!) 

How Authorship Began for Karen Malena

Janet SimcicSo many times throughout my life, I would begin a fictional story, but put it aside. It took me until about eight years ago, when I met a man in our small group Bible study at church who had some published pieces, to finally join a writers group and pick up my desire to write once again.

Karen Malena’s Debut 

First, I wrote a book which is out of print now, Shadow of My Father’s Secret. I went with a very small publishing company. There was never a more exciting moment than actually seeing my name on the Amazon site for the first time.

More Novels for Karen

Then I released two books about golden year romance which came from that time: Love Woven in Time and Love Finds a Way.

Another of my books, Reflections From my Mother’s Kitchen, is a fictionalized memoir-type journey of some of the situations our Italian family had gone through. Conversations with a faith-filled mother guide Kate, my main character. (Click to Tweet!) 

A Dystopian Tale

I also went out of my comfort zone with a story inspired by the impersonal way I see our young people communicating today—only by texting and electronic devices—so my dystopian story, Sound of Silence, was born. It is a futuristic tale in an era where speaking is not permitted any longer, creepy and cautionary. (Click to Tweet!) 

A Bit of Fantasy

And lastly, due to the popularity of my son Matt3756 YouTube channel, I wrote Piggy, a fun, fantasy story about his cat. It’s a great book about friendship, food and fun.

Life at Present for Karen Malena

Ligonier, Pennsylvania

My husband and I enjoy traveling to the quaint town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, located in the Laurel Highlands. It was at one of our stays at a bed and breakfast that I began formulating a story while thinking of my parent’s love in their senior years, Mom’s growing dementia, and my love of that beautiful town.

Sharing Through Articles

I belong to a group, AlzAuthors, and am most comfortable blogging about my caregiving journey with Mom’s dementia and aging parents. I also have an article coming out in Guidepost magazine’s sister publication, “Mysterious Ways,” this spring entitled “The Earrings” about my mother’s near death experience. It is my hope to be a blessing to those who face the heartbreak of dementia, losing their parents, or anyone who may identify with one of the characters in my books.

Reaching Out to Others

Now I love to encourage others to begin their own writing journey, or speak at events at senior centers and libraries. (Click to Tweet!) 

How to Contact Karen

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Where to Find Karen Malena’s Books

Amazon

Love Woven in Time by Karen Malena
Harry and Rose meet in their golden years in quaint Ligonier, Pennsylvania. A warm friendship is forged and their lives become intertwined in ways even they won’t believe.

But will Rose’s secret from her teenage years tear their new found friendship apart? Will the sins of Harry’s past revisit him and shatter all hope for happiness?


Love Finds a Way
Harry and Rose McMillen from Love Woven in Time return in this story. Their love in their senior years is an inspiration to all who know them. But as Rose senses that her beloved is losing precious memories more rapidly, she begins to wonder how long they really have together before the ravages of time and age erase precious moments forever.

 

Reflections from My Mother’s Kitchen
In the quaint, old steel town of Ambridge, Pennsylvania, Kate has known adversity. While she and her mom share the stories that molded their lives, Kate begins a journey of self-awareness and hope.

But when tragedy knocks on a seemingly innocent morning, will the warmth of a mother’s love be enough to carry her through?

Sound of Silence
A dark, all-encompassing law blankets the country. Driven by one terrible secret, a powerful politician brutally suppresses speech for the sake of order and holds the country in the palm of his hand.

In Sound of Silence an ominous new society is introduced leaving us with the question: What if?

Piggy
What do a cat and mouse have in common? One little kitten is about to find out.

This is a true story, one of an unlikely friendship, great bravery, heroes and villains.”

~ ~ ~

Lord, You are our eternal Sustainer. We praise You alone for preserving life and faith and trust. Karen Malena has walked a path few have known. Only You could have brought her into her place of security, joy, and service through writing. We honor You as we honor Karen. Please bless each word she writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake ~

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15 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Karen Malena

  1. Wonderful interview Karen!.. I enjoyed reading your inspirational life story!!

     
     
    1. Thank you so much, Tammy for the comment! Much appreciated.

       
       
    2. Hi, Tammy. So good to see you here. You’re another inspirational author with an inspirational life story! I’m grateful to know you.

       
       
  2. Katie Perez

    Amazing that writing was to therapeutic for Karen! I write on my free time, (what free time? I have 3 kids 6 and under) but I want to ask; as a writer, is there a specific tone you go for writing wise? As in, one that will appeal to all types of walks of life? Or do you just write from the heart, and the audience will create itself? Thankful Karen for sharing your story. ♡

     
     
    1. Hi, Katie. So good to see you in our group today. Karen and I are both authors. Her books and mine are in different genres. I write historical fiction. Like Karen, I weave my family’s trials and the overcoming of hardships through faith and grit into my stories. My ancestors’ tales deserve to be preserved and shared, so that’s what I try to do. I love how Karen reaches out to others from her own experience with a family member’s mental illness, Alzheimer’s, and other brands of dementia. Please join our chat again. A new author each Wednesday. God bless.

       
       
    2. Hello Katie. Excellent question! Thank you for reaching out. I know what you mean about spare time. When I was part-time caregiver for my parents, working a full time job, and of course having a full time husband, I wondered how I found time to write. But I took small pockets of peace wherever I could find them and even if it was only ten minutes here or there, I would write what I loved. In my fiction, I usually am inspired to write a little of the truth of situations, but of course we need dramatic elements as well. I’ve been told to “keep ’em guessing, so once again, in fiction, we need to think of something to move the story forward so your reader will want to turn that page. But when I write blogs and such, I look within my heart. I, too, believe that gritty soul-searching writing is what people need. They have something that touches them in a more personal way. Thank you again for your wonderful comment!

       
       
  3. Great interview! Karen’s got a wide range of books to choose from.

     
     
    1. Hi, David. Thanks for pulling up a chair and joining our circle 🙂 Yes, Karen has quite a range, and I’m now one of her fans. Please come again. A new author each Wednesday.

       
       
    2. David, thank you so much for stopping by and for all the sharing and comments that you always do for me. It is very much appreciated, my friend. Wishing you success in your journey as well.

       
       
  4. Phyllis Scott

    I’m not sure what I am replying about. But, I do want to encourage Linda in her writing especially about mental illness and dementia. I appreciate how some are able to articulate experiences with either of these. My father suffered many years with manic depression and the dementia in his latter years and my mother suffered right along with him. God has blessed her by giving her over 12 years, after his passing to heal and build a rich life. I think the worst thing for families is they get isolated because people have a hard time loving and supporting because they don’t take time to try and understand.

     
     
    1. What a wonderful contribution you’ve made to our conversation, Phyllis. Thank you. But it’s Karen Malena who has had the life experience with family mental illness and Alzheimer’s. She’s the one who speaks and writes and ministers to seniors and others affected by mental illness and dementia. My grandmother’s mother was in and out of their home due to mental illness for several years until she was finally committed for good and lived out the remainder of her life—48 years—in the asylum, so my grandmother at 11 years of age became the woman of the house and substitute mother to her three siblings. Others in my family know what it’s like to be in Karen’s position as a child. I so admire Karen’s devotion to others through her knowledge and experience with this most devastating disease. I hope you’ll visit this blog again. Sign up on my home page, and it’ll arrive in your Inbox every Wednesday with another author to get to know. God bless.

       
       
    2. Hello Phyllis. I want to thank you for your comment and sharing your own story as well. The stigma of mental illness is one of the most difficult things a family will go through. I am always grateful when I share my story and someone reaches out and says they, too, know what it is like. My mother’s battle with depression as a young woman was devastating to our family, but we had a miracle. She returned from one of her hospital visits completely healed. I can only classify that as a true miracle because she was not only suicidal, but at times didn’t know who she was. She went on to own several small businesses in life and was my best friend. It was when Alzheimer’s robbed us yet again of her in her last few years, that all those feelings returned from my childhood. I’m so glad your mother was able to enjoy her life after all the difficulties. Thank you again for reaching out.

       
       
  5. Dianna Kennedy

    I became a lover of Karen’s writings when she first started. We became quick friends. I associated with certain things she wrote about.

    She is a very talented woman with a deep faith. God has blessed her with the talent to tell her stories which touch the lives of so many people.

    God bless her and may she continue with her path. I am so proud to say I am a fan and a friend.

     
     
    1. Thank you for joining in, Dianna. I don’t know Karen personally, but I’m definitely a fan after this interview. Please visit the blog again. A new author every Wednesday. God bless.

       
       
    2. Dear Dianna, I have been blessed in my life to get to know you through my writing. You are a dear friend and your words of encouragement always spur me on to continue. Thank you for seeing in my writing what I want to convey: that faith is the answer and goodness is not gone in the world. I appreciate your comment here and your friendship.

       
       

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