Behind The Scenes · Cover Reveal · Interview

Behind the Scenes: An Interview with Author Pepper D. Basham

I’ll be finishing off this fun party that is being thrown in honor of Author Pepper D. Basham’s cover reveal for her upcoming release, “The Thorn Keeper” with something extra special…

*drumroll*

It’s an interview!!!

Wooohooo!!!!

Now you get an even further glimpse into her life as an author, how “The Thorn Keeper” came to be and received its name, and some other random fun stuff!!!

Let’s get ready to interview!!!!

Yaaaaay!!!

About Pepper:

pepperandfunkeyPepper D. Basham has been telling tales ever since she was a little girl and fell in love with storytelling while listening to her granny’s amazing stories. A native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate, Pepper enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction wherever she can. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she works with kids who have special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of Seymour Literary Agency. Her second novel in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Keeper, arrives on February 28th, 2015. Her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, is slated to release in the spring of 2016.

Let’s have a round of applause for my dear friend!

*Standing ovation erupts*

Awww, how sweet of you! 😉

So, Pepper, what started you on your writing journey?

Well, I come from a long line of Appalachian storytellers, so I grew up listening to my Granny give oral history back 5 or 6 generations. I think that was one of my early influences, but I do believe it is a God-given desire. I still have my first ‘long’ story I wrote when I was 10 years old.

And since I’ve kind of lived in a little ‘fairytale’, with a brain-full of stories since then, I finally started writing them down in novel format. It’s been a long journey, but I’ve met some of my favorite people along the way!

I have my first ‘long’ story I wrote (and poorly illustrated) when I was 10 years old, and I have to tell you, I just love writing stories. I love seeing how characters are challenged, how they grow and change, and being a part of that ‘creative’ energy!

When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?

I truly hope my stories help people understand God’s love and truths better. Of course, I hope to write an entertaining and interesting story, but at the heart of why I love story is to give ‘hope’…something we all desire at our cores, you know?

What about writing makes your heart sing?

Two things: The entire creative process of watching a story grow! That is always amazing to me. You know that phrase from Chariots of Fire where Eric Liddel says “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure” – well, that’s how I feel when I’m creating a story. When I write, I feel God’s pleasure

Second thing – I really enjoy watching the characters grow from beginning to end. I’m a happily-ever-after girl for sure, as seeing the struggles overcome, the insecurities calmed, and the fear braved in my characters reminds me of what God is doing in my life from start to finish.

Of all your characters, which was your favorite and why?

Impossible question to answer. However, ONE of my favorites is Eisley Barrett from my (prepublished) romantic comedy, Just the Way You Are. She’s so genuine and honest…and has SUCH a generous heart, I love her! And oh my, she’s funny without meaning to be.

I’m reading that book within the next week!!! I can’t wait!

The tagline on your website reads “Blue Ridge Romance peppered with grace and humor.” What is one of your favorite places in your neck of the woods?

On top of a mountain 🙂 – I specifically love Roan Mountain, TN, but Craggy Gardens off the Blue Ridge Parkway is beautiful too – and so is Mt. Pisgah. OH what views!!!

I LOVE going back home too. Mt. Airy, NC and Hillsville, VA are my old stomping grounds (Andy Griffith country). I have a large, wonderful, loud Appalachian family back home

Can you share with us a piece of writing advice that has made a difference in your career?

How about three? One from my prepubbed days, one from now, and one for both.

Ruth Logan Herne told me to “Write, write, write” – the only way to get closer to getting a book published is actually finishing the book.

Rachel Hauck told me (as I worried about meeting deadlines, keeping the pace, and the dreaded ‘what will people think’): just decide in your heart and mind you’re in this for the long haul and don’t worry about temporary things like awards, reviews and even sales numbers.

Just decide you’re in it one story at a time for the next 20 years. 🙂

Last, I think one of the best things we can remember as authors and as people is to “remain teachable”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have life all figured out, so keeping an attitude of teachability in writing, living, and growing is vital.

Being that we are celebrating the cover reveal today I’m going to ask, where did you come up with the title idea for “The Thorn Keeper“?

Um…NEW title, actually. The original title was “The Pride Stealer”…and, unknown info here, I NEVER intended to write Catherine’s story. In fact, in the first 3 versions of The Thorn Bearer (first title “A Rose in the Attic”) Catherine doesn’t change. She doesn’t get saved. Her story ends there! So when “The Thorn Bearer’s” title finally evolved, I wanted to create a similar title for “The Pride Stealer and new I needed something different. So I thought hard about what “The Thorn Bearer” title really signified (who bore the thorn…? Asheligh’s burden?) So, as I thought and prayed about it, I realized Catherine is trying to ‘keep’ her thorn…her burden. Isn’t that amazing!!I I was going through my fourth rewrites and I really felt compelled to ‘save’ her. Only THEN did I come up with a book 2. And I completely fell in love with her during the writing of this book!

I asked Pepper this only a few hours ago and fell in love with that story! Didn’t you?! I thought that was the coolest title naming that I have ever heard! And now you’re privy to some unknown info – you’re pretty special, reader!

Because no one can go through a conversation/ interview with me without being subjected to randomness, I added some totally random questions in the interview —

Name three random facts about yourself:

  1. I love to drink Dr. Pepper (it tastes good and makes me feel smart)
  2. I’m the first child or grandchild in my family to earn a master’s degree from college. As part of an Appalachian heritage, that’s a pretty big deal.
  3. I LOVE hats!!

Because I’m dying to know, when you have some time to read, who is/are your go to author(s)?

I am a HUGE Laura Frantz fan!! Not only is she a lovely person, but her writing is lyrical, poetic, descriptive, emotion, and elegant. She writes with such color and beauty, the reader is transported to those places and experiencing the journey with the characters. Amazing! For inspiration, lots of times, I’ll pick up Laura Frantz or Julie Lessman. Oh….and Siri Mitchell because she writes such intriguing and unique stories. For a laugh, I enjoy reading Janice Thompson and for sigh-worthy contemps I really like Becky Wade, Beth Vogt, or Rachel Hauck.

If you could ask God one question, what would it be?

What’s your favorite color? (Because, he’s already answered all of my other questions in his Storybook and I don’t think He’d tell me when he’s returning, so…there ya go)

I love that question! It’s definitely something I wouldn’t have thought of but would be an interesting thing to know.

When they ship Styrofoam, what do they pack it in?

Bubble wrap, of course.

What is your favorite accent?

Oh goodness, can I just say ‘British” so it encompasses English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh?

Tell us a little about your writing process.

It’s a whole lot of nook-and-cranny writing. My life is pretty busy without even adding writing into the mix. I work full-time as a pediatric speech-language pathologist and I’m a mom of five, so writing takes place in small increments of time or late in the evening. As far as method? Well, I usually have a good idea of the beginning and ending of a story early on. I have a tendency to write out of sequence and I’m notorious for bouncing back-and-forth between two stories at the same time. I LOVE creating strong, memorable characters.

I will never know how you authors manage to juggle so many things on top of your writing!

Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Keep writing and try to enjoy the journey. I’ve been writing ever since I was a little girl and I started pursuing publication 11 years ago. Now, it isn’t so long for some people and longer for others, but the main focus should be on writing. I think it’s good to spend time studying craft and learning from mentors, but the real hallmark of a writer…is writing.

How can we, as readers, support and encourage you both as personally and as an author?

Oh wow, what a great question. Well, I’d appreciate your prayers. It’s quite a daunting task to write a good novel (within a certain amount of time) and then market it successfully. I’d love hearing about how this story touched your heart, your funny bone, or your mind. So please share the news and the joy (if you enjoyed it, of course). And please keep buying and reading my books…as they come. I’m still hoping that many of my other stories will find publishing homes too.

Also, I’d appreciate prayers for my family. We’re still adjusting to a new move and big changes. I have some super kids! Being their mom is one of God’s greatest gifts to my life, and seeing them struggle through all the changes and sadness hurts a mama’s heart. So, personally, I ask for prayers for wisdom and guidance for my family.

There you guys go!!! A fun and interesting interview with my personal favorite, Author Pepper D. Basham! I hope you enjoyed it!!

Here are some ways you can connect with Pepper:

Pepper’s Website

Pepper’s Facebook Page

Pepper’s Goodreads

Head on over to the cover reveal >>> here <<< and comment for your chance to win a digital Advanced Reader’s Copy of “The Thorn Keeper“. 

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3 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: An Interview with Author Pepper D. Basham

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