Penny was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents instilled and fostered her love of reading, and their interest in the events that would become The Civil Rights Movement opened the door to her interest in journalism, an interest that led her to pursue a career as a newspaper, radio and television reporter primarily in Washington, DC.
Penny has been a teacher of both children and adults: She taught journalism and put out the newspaper at a charter middle school in Los Angeles; and she was an Adult Literacy Coordinator with the Adult Literacy Program of the Los Angeles Public Library.
Penny’s many books reflect her continued interest in the things that sparked her imagination as a child: History and Mystery. She writes the Mimi Patterson/Gianna Maglione Mysteries, five books and counting, published by Bywater Books. She has two novels of historical fiction, and more to come! And in a what’s-old-is-new-again move, her recently published collection of short stories (BLF Press) is a return to her roots. Penny lives in Los Angeles, California. Her favorite activities are—no kidding—reading and writing. She also loves travel, yoga and swimming.
Penny is the recipient of the Audre Lorde Estate Grant and a Residency at the Hedgebrook Women Writers Retreat. She was also a 2019 Inductee with the Washington Post Metro Seven into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame.
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