Interview with Peter Leavell & GIVEAWAY

Peter Leavell


Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best award for First-Time Author. Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. For entertainment, he reads historical books, where he finds ideas for new novels. Whenever he has a chance, he takes his wife and two homeschooled children on crazy but fun research trips.


Welcome to The Engrafted Word Peter Leavell! It’s wonderful to have you here!

Savanna:  Do you have a favorite character from your debut novel, Gideon’s Call? If so, can you tell us why?

Peter:  My  favorite character from Gideon’s Call is Laura Towne. Coming from a wealthy family, she could have lived in Philadelphia and practiced medicine her entire life, a highly respectable job and cutting edge for a feminist of the day. Instead, in her early thirties, she gave up her comforts and traveled to South Carolina to teach freed slaves. She eventually started the Penn School to train the freed slaves from learning the alphabet to learning a trade, and remaining there the rest of her life. That kind of dedication I give upmost respect.

Savanna:  In all your research, have you ever uncovered a piece of history that really surprised you?

Peter:  A constant surprise is how intuitive and creative humans are. We have computers today to assist our lifestyles. But in the past, humans used ingenious methods for comfort. And, unfortunately, horrible methods, such as slavery. But their ingenuity is forever surprising me.

Savanna:  What was it like to visit Port Royal, SC, and how did it affect both you and your story?

Port Royal, SCPeter:  I took my family to Port Royal, and we researched together. What we found was the environment was unlike anything we’d ever seen. The landscape is nearly tropical. Coming from mountains, we’d never seen anything like it and fell in love with the area. I finally understood what the book’s characters, in their diaries, meant when they fell in love with the beauty as well.

Savanna:  It’s obvious to see you love history. What is your favorite time period to read and why?

Peter:  Any time period is interesting, I must admit. What I love is average people thrown into incredible circumstances, and see how they influenced history forever. It’s even more exciting to see if love can blossom under those pressures. So far, in my studies, love truly conquers all!

Savanna:  What is one of your most unforgettable moments from your writing career to date?

Peter:  Entering Operation First Novel, and as a finalist, standing at the foot of a stage, when Jerry B. Jenkins announced that the winner was Peter Leavell. Winning gave me a publishing contract and $20,000. But even better, I was able to spend that moment with my fellow finalists and lifelong friends. They will tell you I squealed like a little girl, but I didn’t—no one can prove I did.

Savanna:  I doubt anyone would blame you if you had! 😉 So, what project are you excited to be working on right now?

Peter:  I am writing a historical fiction that takes place during the time of Rome. Constantine came to power and changed Christian history forever. His uncanny ability with politics and war make a fantastic story.

That sounds awesome, Peter. I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for stopping by today!

You can learn more about Peter’s books, research, and family adventures at You can also connect with him on Facebook.

Gideon's Call

Peter has generously offered a free copy of Gideon’s Call, the movie Glory in Blu-Ray, and the soundtrack to Glory for one lucky winner!


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Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends January 14, 2014.
Winner will be notified by email.

39 comments on “Interview with Peter Leavell & GIVEAWAY
  1. I liked the site on Facebook and this came across my feed this morning. I’m glad it did!! I love the Civil War and am always looking forward to new fiction about the era. This one looks fantastic!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Heather! The Civil War is a fascinating section of history. I catch myself reading Civil War instead of my current projects!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Sounds like we are kindred spirits, Heather. 🙂 Civil War books are always the first to catch my eye! I hope you get to read Peter’s novel. I’m sure you would like it! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Lisa Hess says:

    Always fun to hear background about Gideon’s Call. I think I did everything I could – liked, subscribed, shared 🙂

  3. Gabrielle Emmons says:

    I’m very fascinated by the Civil War and I would very much like to read your book, Peter. I’m a history major in college and I look forward to taking the Civil War class. I’ve been to Gettysburg and enjoyed walking around the battlefield. My email address is mysterylover93[at]gmail[dot]com.

    • I came across this little nugget of history while taking a Civil War class in college. The rest of the class period, all I could think about was what would it be like to live during this time? Love it! Thanks for stopping by, Gabrielle! Good luck on your degree.

      • Gabrielle Emmons says:

        Thanks. No problem. That is really cool. I love discovering awesome history tidbits while researching.

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Gabrielle, thanks for stopping by! Gettysburg is an incredible place. I visited there for the first time last summer and will never forget it. Have fun with your class! That sounds amazing!

      • Gabrielle Emmons says:

        Thanks Savanna. Yes, Gettysburg is awesome! I really want to go back. I took pictures when I was there but then my computer crashed and I lost them all.

  4. Kathleen L. Maher says:

    I have heard such great things about Peter’s writing, and I would love to read his book. I love the movie Glory, and have seen it more than a few times myself. The soundtrack is amazing. It’s interesting to learn more about your writing and research process. What a leap from Civil War to Roman history. Write on!

  5. Sydney Avey says:

    I really enjoyed meeting Peter shortly before he won Operation First Novel. He is a generous author who shares his time and knowledge freely with newbies, which I was then (but now I’ve been through the wars, so to speak!)The new novel sounds intriguing.

  6. Terrie Todd says:

    I was one of those finalists standing with Peter and if he squealed, it may have been because I was hugging the stuffing out of him. Gideon’s Call deserved to win. So proud of you, Peter!

  7. Betty Wasmundt says:

    I am very interested in this book.

  8. chris granville says:

    Sounds like a great book.
    God bless you and yours
    Chris Granville

  9. chris granville says:

    subscribed,liked and shared

  10. Rhonda says:

    Wow! What a great interview. I’m definitely going to check out Peter’s website and Facebook site. Thank you for sharing. “What I love is average people thrown into incredible circumstances, and see how they influenced history forever” – Couldn’t agree more!

    Subscribed, Liked and Shared! 🙂

  11. Grace Chovan says:

    We knew Peter before he was “famous.” We’ll be anticipating the new book.

  12. Jeff Erxleben says:

    This will be a must read for me. I wish you both the best of luck on your journeys.

  13. Ola Norman says:

    Sounds like a book I’d like.

  14. Enjoyed this interview with Peter.I sure would love to be a winner. I have subscribed, liked, and shared on Facebook. Sounds like a great give-away. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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