Penelope May’s first novel, “Appointment with Unreality,” was begun in the unknown, from a premise that had lurked in her mind for several decades. Allowing the story to evolve out of its premise and characters, Penelope explored belief, faith, what is real, neuroscience, spirituality, and intimate friendship.
In this process, she credits the Muses with the major task of invention, and is thankful for a group of readers who let her know if she was on the right track. The writing was an opportunity to develop her craft, from a fast-moving novella to the deeper levels of a novel.
As a child, Penelope spent a lot of time in her head, telling herself adventure stories. At the High School of Music and Art in New York City, she wrote a story that was published in the school year book, and helped write the senior play. At Columbia University she studied filmmaking, and later worked at the Harvard Center for Cognitive Studies as a filmmaker. Moving to New Hampshire, she made several independent films and kept life exciting by indulging in safe adventures, such as long runs and swimming in the cold Atlantic ocean.
In her early forties, Penelope undertook the great adventure of becoming a single adoptive parent. She switched from filmmaking to a more reliable career in software development, and eventually created a transracial family with two wonderful sons. When her kids were young and went to bed early, she spent her evenings writing a transgender science fiction story that was never intended for publication. Now that her sons are grown and no longer at home, she has the good fortune of uninterrupted time to write.
These days, Penelope chooses the adventures of writing, being in the unknown, and exploring a path of sacred healing.