I thought that when I became a writer, fame, fortune, and a glamorous life would follow—margarita lunches with editors, world tours with publicists, and intimate chats with Oprah (oops, missed that window.) The truth is, for most writers, the literary life is about as fictional as a character in a Dan Brown novel. I should know. I live it every day. Here’s a sample of my literary life, in case you were wondering why you haven’t seen me on “The Jerry Springer Show” yet (he still won’t return my calls.)

6:00 am – Still asleep. Are you kidding me?

7:00 am – Open one eye. Find three cats sleeping on my legs. Legs are numb. Dreamed I was paralyzed. Get the newspaper. Scan the obits to see if anyone my age has died.

7:30 am –Roll out of bed, trying not to disturb cats. Take shower, dress, put on makeup so I don’t frighten my cats or grandchildren.

8:00 am – Feed cats, take drugs, and open laptop. Check email. Ignore irate letter regarding my gall bladder surgery column. Reply to a dozen Facebook posts regarding a spelling error I made. Watch six videos from my cousin featuring funny animals.

9:00 am – Read publishing newsletter to find out how much other writers are making instead of me. Say “heck” a lot—out loud. Google my name and find an article about “Penny Warner coping with head lice.” Different Penny Warner.

9:30 am – Decide I should get to work, since I have a book due in two weeks and am only half way through the rewrites. Think about making a margarita.

Noon – Stomach growling, brain fried. Treat myself to a trip to Target to get some exercise walking the aisles and buy candy. Purchase colored chalk for the grandkids. Eat a pizza to replenish energy.

1:00 pm – Return home, exhausted from Target exercise and sleepy from eating Target pizza. Check what’s on Syfy, FX, Chiller, Lifetime, and AMC. Seen everything. Take a nap.

3:00 pm – Wake up to find grandkids standing over my bed yelling, “She’s awake! She’s awake!” Play with them for the next couple of hours instead of getting back to work. Driveway is soon covered with multicolored chalk. Kids draw super heroes. I draw murder weapons.

5:00 pm – Say goodbye to grandkids and have a “glass” of wine. Wonder if there’s still time in my life to become an alcoholic. Watch news. Nothing about me.

6:00 pm – Eat dinner of leftovers—chicken thigh, Chinese takeout, and egg salad. Take Zantac and other drugs and wash them down with another “glass” of wine. Husband asks how book is coming. Wonder if wine bottle has been used as a murder weapon.

8:00 pm – Watch “Cupcake Wars” to relax. Decide a Cupcake Mystery is a great idea for a book. Discover it’s already been done. Wondering where next idea will come from.

10:00 pm – Go to bed and read a Rubber Stamping Mystery. Fall asleep and dream about being stamped to death by my own grandkids while trying to write a book called “51 Shades of Gray Hair.”

You can read about Presley Parker in HOW TO DINE ON KILLER WINE, the fifth book in the “Party-Planning” mystery series. The first book in the series is How to Host a Killer Party.

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of HOW TO DINE ON KILLER WINE to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends July 14. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Meet the author
Penny Warner has published over 60 books for both adults and children. Her first mystery series featuring Connor Westphal, a deaf reporter in the California Gold Country, won a Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, and was nominated for an Agatha and an Anthony Award. The seven books in the series will be available online soon.

Her new mystery series features event planner, Presley Parker, and is set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her middle-grade mystery, CODE BUSTERS CLUB: SECRET OF THE SKELETON KEY, was nominated for an Agatha Best Juvenile Mystery Award. Her non-fiction book, THE OFFICIAL NANCY DREW HANDBOOK, was nominated for an Agatha Award.

She writes a column for the local newspaper on family life in the Valley, creates fund-raising murder mystery events for libraries across the country, and teaches child development at Diablo Valley College. She can be reached at www.pennywarner.com.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

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