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The Whit

PROFile of the Week: Grad student and fiction writer

Brittany Tenpenny, former Rowan graduate student, launched a Kickstarter project to self-publish her first e-book, “Metallic Heaven.” Individuals have pledged $417 of the needed $560. -Photo courtesy of Brittany Tenpenny 

If you are passionate about something, do it every day. This is former Rowan graduate student Brittany Tenpenny’s motto. It may sound pretty simple, but the things people do daily may not always be the things they are most passionate about.

“I write every day — blog posts, emails, articles, journals — anything,” Tenpenny said. “If you love to do something, you’ve got to try and work at it every day. That’s how you get better.”

For those who have a love for something, whether it is painting, singing, playing sports, writing or whatever else one may want to do, it may be hard to balance interests with the hassles of life. For Tenpenny, holding herself to her “do something every day” rule has instilled in her the drive and determination that has guided her to preparing herself to self-publish her first e-book.

Tenpenny took her passion in writing to the World Wide Web, and is seeking help from the cyber community for the self-publishing of her first fiction book.

Running from March 28 through April 27, Tenpenny set up a Kickstarter campaign to help raise $560 to self-publish her first e-book, “Metallic Heaven.”

“Working part time doesn’t afford me the financial resources to get my work out there, and with all the hype around the strength of online communities like Kickstarter, I thought it would be great to get others involved,” Tenpenny said.

Kickstarter is an online community in which individuals campaign for donors willing to financially contribute to his or her ideas. The website has gained notoriety recently with the $5 million fan-based backing of the new “Veronica Mars” film.

Currently, individuals have pledged $417 of her needed $560 — over 50 percent complete in less than one week.

According to the Kickstarter page for “Metallic Heaven,” the book follows the main character, Gertrude, as she examines the truths behind the conceptions of Heaven, asking questions about the existence of the “pearly gates” and “choirs of angels,” culminating with the heaviest question: Does Heaven even exist? The book is advertised to cater to sci-fi fans, especially those interested in the 1959 series “The Twilight Zone.”

Tenpenny cited her past adventures in writing as giving her the skills needed to self-publish a book.

Richard Stockton College was one of the first stops on her journey in 2007, earning her a bachelor’s degree in communications. There she took several classes in writing, focusing on writing for the media, business writing and journalism.

Dr. Christina M. Morus, associate professor of Communication and Genocide studies at Stockton, had Tenpenny as a student in her Media and Society course in 2008, and her senior seminar on Media and the Civil Rights Movement in spring 2012.

“Brittany was an excellent student, among the strongest writers I have had here at Stockton,” Morus said in an email.

In addition to writing for The Argo, Stockton’s campus newspaper, Tenpenny gained writing experience through multiple internships. During that time, she spent three semesters as a Rowan graduate student, tutoring at the Writing Center and working as a staff writer for The Whit.

Bouncing from schools to internships to jobs and now on the cusp of the e-book market, Tenpenny said that she has opportunity to thank.

“You can’t give up,” Tenpenny said. “You have to take every opportunity you have, because you never know where it will lead, or what experience you’ll gain from it.”

Tenpenny hopes to sell the e-book through Amazon, trying to establish a following that will later help her to publish via Barnes & Noble e-readers. She plans on using the profits from the book to publish three more on the e-book market, with her biggest goal, print publication, soon to follow.

“She always kept her goals in mind and has worked hard to attain them,” Morus wrote. “I am so glad to hear that she is having success with her writing and that she has been successful at Rowan.”

In the meantime, Tenpenny will keep on writing, living her passion and getting better, one day at a time.

For comments/questions about this story, email features@thewhitonline.com or tweet @thewhitfeatures.

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