Interview with Penny Kim, author of 'Desert Wedding'


Penny Kim is a Washington, DC lurker and resident of Alexandria, Virginia. She is active in several area book groups that span several genres, from murder mysteries to chick lit and beyond. Currently working on her second book, her debut novel “Desert Wedding” is a compelling coming of age story for the Millennium generation.
To purchase Desert Wedding, click here.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Penny. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A:Hello! I live in Alexandria, Virginia and have been writing ever since I can remember. The first book I ever wrote was called Cutie the Dinosaur. I wrote it in grade school and all of my teachers thought there was a mistake when I submitted it for an award—they just couldn’t believe I had written it. I think that’s the most fun about writing, how it shocks people closest to you.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Desert Wedding is a riff on the classic chick-lit wedding story. It takes on the oftentimes bizarre rites-of-passage that comes with getting engaged and married, told through the lens of two best friends—Elsie and Res—living in Phoenix, Arizona. After planning my own wedding I had a very clear sense of why I needed to write this book. There is so much friction that goes on during this process and at the end I realized it was all part of the crazy, life-changing experience. The arguments aren’t really over the invitations or the flower arrangements but about your role as a part of a new, emerging family. I wanted to write about that journey. We like to hide the friction and focus on the window dressing, but it’s really that friction that makes a wedding such a rite of passage for a woman.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: This was a very cathartic, personal book for me and I think distancing myself from the characters was a challenge. These characters are certainly exaggerated fragments of personalities from my life. Certain characteristics of Res, for example, are based off of someone very familiar to me.  Elsie is my shrew, a compilation of women I’ve run into over the years who have a take-no-prisoner attitude. It was a challenge at times to make her likable, but I think her relationship with the sweet, accommodating Res is an important one. It teaches her to catch flies with honey and soften up some of her aggression.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it? Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: Yes, the press kit contains a press release, testimonials from reviewers, a book cover image, a sample chapter, an author bio, and an author interview.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A:I’m attending several events with local book groups in the area, with plans for a more extensive tour in the summer.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A:No agent yet!

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A:Story Girl Press really focused on social networking and creating buzz before the book came out.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yes, I’ve gotten quite addicted to the writing process and have a few ideas for where to take the characters in a sequel!

Q: Thank you for your interview, Penny. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Yes! You can buy a paperback copy of the book on Amazon, or you can download it to your Kindle at the following link:


There is nothing more exciting than when your best friend gets married. And for Elsie McKenna, it seems like she’s got the maid of honor thing figured out. But as the big day date gets closer and wedding planning takes over, Elsie’s friendship with the bride-to-be, Res, begins to go downhill. To make matters worse, Elsie’s boyfriend, the long-suffering Jonah, becomes increasingly distant. It’s not too soon before Elsie begins to wonder if there’s something in the air in Phoenix, or if it’s just a nasty case of wedding fever.


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