Interviewing penny cooke
Q1. Tell me about yourself?
A. My husband and I live in Florida and have three grown children and seven grandchildren.
I was brought up in church and even read my Bible growing up, but I became a committed Christian in my early twenties. At that time I got involved in women's ministry and have always served in that area of the church. I eventually became the women's ministry coordinator at my church. I am a mentor and life coach. I love to teach the Bible and my passion is for women to grow in their faith and prayer. This passion led me to write the book Pursuing Prayer - Being Effective in a Busy World (New Hope Publishers, 2019). Other than writing, I love decorating, sewing, and gardening. Oh, and walking on the beach!
Q.2.What are your favorite books to read?
A. I read a lot of nonfiction books. I love Bible study and research. But I love a good fiction story too. It's a great retreat to get lost in a story and a much-needed break from the seriousness of nonfiction.
Q3. When did you decide you were going to write a book?
A.I have always loved writing and have always written things that no one ever saw. My kids would likely tell you I was always editing their papers. The book I always thought about writing still has not been written, but my pastor had asked me to teach a class for the women as part of his Wednesday night lineup of classes, and I knew at that time I wanted to teach about prayer since I've seen God work mightily through prayer. The short version of the story is that out of that class came articles in an online magazine and eventually the book, Pursuing Prayer.
Q4. How did you come up with the name of your book?
A. I have to say God must have dropped that title in my mind. Pursuing Prayer is just what I always called it. I knew it could be changed by the publisher, but it's what stuck. The subtitle was originally Six Steps to Effective Prayer, and after playing with it a few times, we came up with Being Effective in a Busy World.
Q5. What are you working on for 2021
A. Pursuing Prayer is a Bible study, and I envisioned it to eventually be a devotional, so I'm working on that now. Prayer is so important, especially with all that's going on in our world today.
Q6. How long have you been writing?
A. As I said, I've always written things here and there. Prior to the class and the book, I took a writing class. I'd say about eight or nine years now.
Q7.What advice would you give other authors?
A. Whether you're a writer looking to get published or an author working on marketing, it's so easy to get discouraged, but don't. If God has given you a message, keep on with it. Many authors have had failures along the way. It's just part of the process. Expect it. Don't let it get you down. Keep going and be diligent. It will happen in God's perfect timing. Meanwhile, keep learning the craft and building your platform.
Q8. Where can people find you online?
(I'd love you to find my Pursuing Prayer group page on Facebook and ask to join.)
Q9. What is your favorite coffee drink?
A. Although coffee is my favorite flavor of ice cream, I don't like my coffee sweet. Just a plain old cup of Joe with a little cream is my favorite.
However, I will tell you what I like in the fall for a pumpkin-flavored coffee. Flavoring is too sweet, so I make my own: Add 1 Tbsp canned pumpkin, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, a couple drops vanilla, and a couple dashes of pumpkin pie spice to a cup of coffee. All-natural flavoring and not too sweet (although you could make it as sweet as you want and use whatever sweetener you like).
Q10. What is your favorite coffee shop?
A. I'm a Dunkin girl (sorry Starbucks lovers).
Q11. Do you plan on making a new book in the future?
AYes, I have lots of ideas beyond the Pursuing Prayer devotional.
Q12. How many books have you written?
A.I have been a contributor to Heart Renovation - A Construction Guide to Godly Character (Lighthouse Bible Studies 2018), and Let the Earth Rejoice devotional (Worthy Inspired 2017). I have also written articles for CBN.com and Thoughts-About-God.com and had two columns in Blessed Living Women's E-Magazine. I also enjoy blogging on my website.
Q13. Did you go to college to be a writer?
A. No. My "previous career" was as an interior decorator. But I always loved English in school, so that probably says something. Beyond the one writing class I took, I love the classes at writer's conferences and online.
Thank you so much,