Wednesday, January 27, 2016

In Conversation with Penni Mannas Diefendorf, Author, Core of Steel series

I love featuring interviews on this blog because it gives people the opportunity to learn from others who have had success in their life journeys. 

This interview is with Penni Mannas Diefendorf, author of the Core of Steel series and Founder & Director of, an online community and repository of ideas and strategies to live life at your highest potential.

How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or is there any other reason? 
I don’t know that there was ever a point where I “began” writing, I just fell into the way of it because I love to write. It is an outlet, a way of clarifying my thoughts to myself and a supremely satisfying form of catharsis. For that reason, I have actually never pursued a “writing” career because writing was too precious to me to *work* at it or with it. Having said that, in most of my jobs, I managed to introduce a writing component in the mix somewhere. So, no, I would say, I did not intend to become an author, it was a happy synchronicity.

Tell us about your books. How would you describe your work to someone?
The books and the series are about two things: truth and consciousness, the latter of which is simply the truth about you. How I describe my work is summed up by the tagline on my site, which is “Be your own guru.” We all are, in fact, the expert on our own lives and life direction, but we create immense challenges for ourselves by subordinating that expertise to others’ opinions, strictures and structures.

What brought you to write this series? Where’d you get the idea?
An unhappy confluence of personal and global situations brought it forcibly to my attention that truth and reality were highly disposable commodities in the world we live in. An idea and practice that continues to wreak havoc in the lives and destiny of many. Most of us seem to have developed a high tolerance for garden-variety lies and deception, such that we consider it “normal” or par for the course to be deceived. The series is intended to wake people up to the fact that it [untruth / illusion] is far from normal and is hijacking all of our lives on the macro and micro levels, making challenge and stress seem a natural part of life when they are not. Struggle is optional and entirely unnecessary.
The idea is actually my life philosophy. I live my life this way and am vaguely astonished that truth and unique convictions are not the norm. It is my mission in life now to get people to see that they already have the power within themselves to never have to struggle through life.

What was the hardest part of writing this series? What were the challenges in finishing your book?
None. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It brought together all the things I love to do most.
The books came out of the workshop I developed for all the above purposes called “Creating Capable Consciousness” so what I wanted to communicate was already organised in my head. Writing and completing each book was merely the exercise of getting it all out in black and white (I almost said on paper!)

What was your favourite part to write and why?
I don’t know that I had any favourite part. I daresay that is because I enjoy the whole process of writing. I love language and I love words. I find it nourishing to encapsulate ideas in written form, so in that sense, every part was a favourite part.:D

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Yes. That they are more powerful than they give themselves credit for. Powerful and unique and they should access that, strengthen it and celebrate it. The sooner, the better.

What are you reading right now? Are there any authors that you would name as influences?
I am re-reading one of my favourite Georgette Heyers – The Grand Sophy. I love H. H. Munro, G. B. Shaw, Oscar Wilde for their philosophies, takes on the world and writing styles. For authors with pertinent perspectives for this book series (Core of Steel series), I have referenced Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) and David R. Hawkins (Power vs. Force) in the books.

How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in writing? Do you have any advice for other writers?
I couldn’t say because I haven’t had a career in writing per se. But I would highly recommend writing for pleasure, writing about things that are personally meaningful – it makes the process and time taken, enjoyable and sustainable – which is fundamental for success in any career really.
If undertaking a sizable project like a book, screenplay etc, then I would strongly advise making an outline, defining and describing the core concepts and characters to yourself and frontloading research along the way, so that when you sit down to write, the words and scenes flow naturally and cohesively. I once read that JK Rowling had written all seven Harry Potter books in her head before she started. And I can readily believe that because the narrative flow is so seamless. It is a joy to write like that and even more of a joy for readers to read.

What's next for you? What are you working on now?
I have just finished the last book in the series “Resilience” which will be released at the end of Jan 2016. I don’t have plans for any more books, but one never knows :)

Any last thoughts for our readers?
Yes. Don’t ever be brought to believe that life is meant to be an unending struggle. Life is meant to be enjoyed and lived fully. If we can all find ways to do that, this world will be an entirely different place. That for me, is the point of the whole exercise!

A little bit more about Penni:

Penni currently resides in Hong Kong, which is a über splendid place to be, with her husband, who is a über splendid fellow.
She pioneers consciousness as a practical way of being: not live your life and eventually become conscious, but become conscious and truly live your life. She shares strategies and insights on youtube/truthredux

More info about the series can be found here.


  1. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.

  2. It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.