Tag Archive: penny

New SØS Story!


For fans of my novel The Silence of Six (and those who haven’t heard of it — yes, even you!), I’ve written a new novella starring one of the main characters, Penny Polonsky: “DoubleThink”.

The first part of the story is available for free exclusively on Wattpad now, and new chapters will appear there every Tuesday through Aug. 23, when my new book, Against All Silence (SØS #2) will be in Barnes & Noble stores everywhere. (A Wattpad account is required, but you should have one anyway because there are lots of great free stories on the site!)

I know Penny’s a favorite of many readers, and I don’t mind admitting that she’s mine too. (Sorry, Max!) Penny is not only a kick-ass female character™, who often outshines the novels’ protagonist, but she really has her act together. Or does she? That’s some of what “DoubleThink” is about.

Maybe Penny is so interesting because we don’t know much about her. It can be hard to predict what she’ll do next (even for me), but it’s probably going to be impressive. Even though she likes her secrets, she clearly wanted a little more attention for once. And she deserves it; Penny is an even bigger part of the plot and Max’s life in Against All Silence, so much so that I considered writing the book with alternating POVs. Alas, it’s too late for that, but at least this story lets you into her head a little.

Penny’s also important to me personally because I think media should highlight more women who are interested in and excellent at technology, engineering, and science. Unfortunately society still marginalizes their existence, ignores their accomplishments, shuts them out, shuts them up, or actively threatens their lives and livelihood and loved ones. Not cool, right? How does Penny deal with all that? That’s also some of what “DoubleThink” and Against All Silence explore.

Penny’s story was a lot of fun to write, and I sort of felt like I had to write it. Special shout-out to my friend, technical adviser, and fantastic writer Fran Wilde for helping me whip this story into shape. (All tech errors are my own, of course.) And thanks to fab editor Jordan Hamessley for helping with early drafts as well.

If you enjoy “DoubleThink,” you also might want to read the free prequel to the series, “SOS,” also on Wattpad and available as a free Nook eBook, and check out The Silence of Six and Against All Silence at Barnes & Noble this month! As always, comments, sharing on social media, and reviews are greatly appreciated.


and the winner is…

If you guessed Penny from Inspector Gadget, you are correct! It was a landslide vote in her favor on Wednesday’s poll, though I was happy to see Penny Robinson get one vote. Who the heck voted for the giant penny in the Batcave? Really?

I loved Inspector Gadget when I was a kid, and it was only later that I became a huge fan of Get Smart and realized that Gadget is essentially the same character as Maxwell Smart, played by Don Adams. Both of those shows also have a fair bit of influence on one of my all-time favorite cartoons, Darkwing Duck. What do I like so much about bumbling crimefighters? (Hmmm… I also love the Peter Sellers Pink Panther films.) Maybe it’s the idea that a positive attitude and a strong sense of justice can always win out, although competent “sidekicks” and extraordinary abilities sure help a lot.

Penny is clearly awesome all on her own, but what I loved most about her, I’m almost embarrassed to say, was… her computer book. Which was a computer, and an actual book. This was an incredible idea in the 1980s, and I desperately wanted one. I didn’t even get a regular computer until the mid-Nineties, and that was pretty amazing, but now I have a computer book too–a “netbook,” if you will–and I carry it around with me all the time and use it to solve international crimes, WHICH I DO ON A REGULAR BASIS. Don’t you?

Penny’s wristwatch was also cool. Still working on that one.

penny for my thoughts

As a belated celebratory present to myself for selling FAIR COIN, I finally ordered a new netbook last month. My previous netbook was actually the first of the netbooks, the Eee 701 PC, which I purchased back in January of 2008. That was some time ago! I wrote the first draft of QUANTUM COIN on that, and two other novels after that, before finally retiring it. I still keep it around for some light web surfing and some potential emergency, but the mouse buttons are buggy, the software is outdated (I somehow broke the Synaptic Package Manager, so I can’t download anything), and the 7″ screen frankly isn’t cutting it anymore–certainly not for novel revisions. And until recently, there was no Scrivener for Linux, which was the real clincher for me.