‘Linked’ by Penny Benjamin

Emma’s life has taken a turn for the worse. To deal with recent events, she becomes a regular at the bar near her home.

Dan crosses her path when his cargo ships are held up due to a technicality. The connection is undeniable as Emma works to resolve the problem. Dan just has to convince Emma that they’re meant to be together.

Jenn: How did your journey as a writer begin?

Penny: My mother had always encouraged us to use writing as a means of escape from the pressures while growing up. Kids can be cruel so writing and talking to my horse were my means of washing away the cruelties I encountered. I wrote songs, poems, and short stories mostly for myself, however on the odd occasion, the school may have had a contest in which I submitted an entry that subsequently won and was published in the local paper.

J: How did you decide to write ‘Linked?’

P: Linked, was the first novel I wrote. It was more about evolution than deciding to write. I wrote poems and short stories, and yes, I did write a poem that evolved into Linked. The poem is where it began and that happened because of the dreams.

I had some terrifying dreams that started reoccurring throughout my first pregnancy. I was driving down a road I had driven before, and there was a lake running alongside the road. Something would happen to the car and I would run off the road plunging into the water. As the car was being submerged, I would fight to get myself out of the seatbelt and then the baby in the backseat from his car seat. I never knew how I knew it was a boy only that it was. In the dream, I could never see the face of the baby only the overwhelming need to get him out of the car. I would wake up each time before I got to the surface. Did we make it?

The dream stopped after my son was born. I had never considered picking a girl’s name while I was pregnant, only boy’s names and to this day I am afraid if my head goes under the water.

Six years later when I was pregnant with my second son, the same terrifying dreams came.

I started researching dreams, did this reoccurring nightmare have any meaning? What was it trying to tell me?

With the amount of reading and research I did, a poem could no longer hold the story I wanted to write, and thus, Linked, became a novel.

J: Ships play an important role in the story. Was this an area of interest for you prior to writing the book?

P: You are the first person to ever notice or mention this! Thank you! Ships are big in the dream world. It is as simple as that. When I knew ships had to tie in somehow then I read about the different ships for the time periods and used the two that I felt would be a good fit. There are a lot of other dream symbols scattered throughout, my hope is that people will notice the ones that may apply to them and their lives.

Back when I wrote Linked, I had utilized a dream encyclopedia and other books from the local library, but now you can access it online at Dream Encyclopedia.net.

I cannot show all the symbolism examples I used throughout the book to link the story but from the few examples above, I am sure you and your audiences can get the idea and maybe even be intrigued to reread it over and over if only to look for more.

J: Do you relate more to Emma or Emily and why?

P: Actually, I relate more with Emma in my later years and Emily in my younger years. Emily was carefree and ignorant of the world around her she was loving and completely open to the wonders she had yet to experience, whereas Emma is guarded and knows loss. Like Emma, when I find something I cannot cope with at the moment, I put it in an invisible box and leave it until I am strong enough to open it and she did with her rape.

J: Do you have advice for anyone considering a novel of their own?

P: If you have a story inside, let it come out. Maybe you will share it with no one. Maybe you will give it to a precious few or maybe you will share it with the world. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who has the pleasure of reading what you wrote, it is that your story has been told.

J: Who would you say are your author “heroes?”

P: I have so many. Firstly Jane Austen, Mary Shelly for paving the way for women fiction authors, Jules Vern and Plato for expanding my imagination, Virginia Henley and Jane Feather for teaching me how to write with passion.

J: What are you reading now?

P: I just finished a book called I, the Woman, Planted the Tree: A Journey Through Dreams to the Feminine by Pearl Gregor, and have started a book called Just in Time by Jenn Romano, looking forward to being transported back in time.

J: And are there any indie authors that you’d like to recommend?

P: Pearl Gregor, her three-book series on her personal dream catalog is a great read. Natalie Rodriguez directed a film and wrote and book that may awaken your understanding of mental illness. In truth, there are a lot of Indie authors out there with great stories. It was my new year’s resolution for 2022 to try and learn about, read and review at least two Indie authors each month. I always leave a review on Goodreads, so if you ever want to follow up and see what I have read it will be there.

Okay, that’s all for now. Be sure to check out ‘Linked’ and to follow Penny on Goodreads!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Published by Jenn R

I write stuff and pretend to be good at crafting. Check out my first novel on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3nAxiZ4

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