Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Penelope Bartatto ~ The Woman Behind the Curtain

Once upon a time there was a little girl who discovered the love of reading. Having to fend for myself for almost everything, I learned to read by the age of three, and I haven't stopped yet.

I spent my schooling years being a conundrum to teachers who had no clue what to do with me. When they decided in 2nd grade that a tutor was what I needed, I learned I was reading at a college level and my life became interesting, to say the least. Thankfully by middle school we had moved from small town Wisconsin to slightly bigger town and I was entered into CAP classes that kept me intrigued. I entered college with great hopes to become... a lawyer. Imagine that, me a lawyer. I did have a back-up plan though, I was going to double major in Literature as well. I took more classes in  writing and literature than I did in pre-law before I ran out of funds and left the university life. I dreamed of returning, but life had other plans in store for me.

Fast forward almost ten years, I was the mother of three children under the age of 5. One thing I did to keep my sanity was visit the library regularly and read books. We got our computer in 1996, I remember nursing my youngest as I explored chat rooms on America Online. I soon found myself volunteering on a site within AOL called Moms Online and discussed books. Come 1999 I opened the very first edition of my Book Review Blog The Library at the END of the Universe (http://www.libraryattheendofuniverse.com/) and there I simply started to share my reviews of any book I read. Within a year I had developed a huge following and started connecting with publishers, authors, and public relations agents and found I could review books per request. Warning it is very easy to allow yourself to get overwhelmed with the temptation of a free book. This was before the eBook revolution.

I took a short break and reopened my blog, thankfully under the same name, and then another break in 2010 due to health reasons. In 2011 I returned to the scene and was surprised to see how things had changed.

Book tours had suddenly exploded across the scene, I had done a few in the old days, but thought I could join in. I joined crew after crew, and soon found myself overwhelmed and quickly buried under books. Some good, some bad. In January 2013 I opened my own tour company though Around the Universe Tours (http://aroundtheuniversetours.blogspot.com/). I thought I could offer a different twist on the typical tours that were producing what became boring cookie cutter posts. So far we've had a fair amount of success with the tours, and I enjoy meeting new authors from all genre of literature. This company also opened the door for me to become a Public Relations Agent for a few authors, which is a rewarding job.

Thus it is clear I love to read, but I also love to write. I spent a number of years working as a freelance writer, which is rewarding but also limits your creativity. I started doing NaNoWriMo in 2006 (National Novel Writing Month) and found I enjoyed being creative and writing something fun and fictional. From there, I have joined the ranks of published authors via anthology, and am aiming to release my first full length novel in 2014. You can find me writing at Spoilers, Sweetie (http://spoilerssweetie.blogspot.com/) My current novel is a YA Fantasy novel, and I am also working on a horror short story for another anthology.

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