Pepper D Basham is a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and lover of chocolate. She 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 debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, arrives on May 7th 2015 in paperback, but can be purchased in digital form on amazon now. Her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, is slated to release later the same year. You can find her at www.pepperdbasham.com or follow her writing antics on her Facebook page or Twitter.
Savanna: Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Pepper! Congratulations on your upcoming debut release, The Thorn Bearer. I can’t wait to read it! 🙂 While writing this story, did you ever uncover a piece of history that really surprised you?
The second wonderful find led into the development of book #3 in this series (Penned in Time). I live in Asheville, NC and one day while visiting some surrounding areas I discovered the existence of a WW1 German Internment Camp nearby in Hot Springs. Well….well, that changes the direction of where my characters lived and how I could bring the history of Hot Springs into the overarching storyline of this series.
Savanna: When did you first start writing?
Pepper: Well (said with a long southern drawl), my granny first called me a writer when I was ten years old, but I’ve been writing little stories, poems, or songs for as long as I can remember. I still have a copy of the book I wrote (and poorly illustrated) when I was 10.
Savanna: Without giving too much away, can you share a favorite scene or quote from the book?
Pepper: Oh heavens! Let me think. I LOVE the actual scenes related to the sinking of the Lusitania. There’s so much intensity and emotion, but I enjoyed writing (and reading) a scene between Sam and Ashleigh that happens just after the sinking in the Irish seaside city of Queenstown – from the hospital to the bedroom. Very sweet and fun!
There is a certain scene later in the book involving Ashleigh’s sister, Catherine, which I adore…and almost makes me cry! A beautiful scene of redemption, in my opinion!
Savanna: Awww, I’m so intrigued! 🙂 Can you share with us a fond lesson and/or memory from one of the contests you’ve participated in?
Pepper: I have always enjoyed contest judges who leave great feedback (even if the feedback was hard to swallow) because I feel like they will at least have some information to help me grow as a writer. I guess the most memorable comment I’ve received from contests is “You have a great voice. It’s unique and likable”.
Savanna: That’s a wonderful compliment, Pepper. Especially for a writer! 😉 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?
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. 🙂
Savanna: I LOVE that area of the country. Mountains are the best!! Can you share with us a piece of writing advice that has made a difference in your career?
Pepper: 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.
Savanna: That’s great advice, thank you. I’m going to write those down. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Pepper: Well…. I DO have another book coming out this summer, but it’s very different than The Thorn Bearer! It’s called A Twist of Faith and it is a contemporary, loose retelling of My Fair Lady set in Appalachia 🙂
It really is such a fun book! The whole series is modernizations of classics- all set in the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains.
Savanna: What an exciting year ahead! I’m so happy for you, Pepper, and I’m thrilled to have you stop by my blog this week.
Pepper: Thanks so much for letting me be a part of your blog, Savanna, and helping me celebrate this long-awaited moment in my life! A published book?!? Wowzers! I’m so excited to share Sam and Ashleigh’s story with readers and hope they’ll discover the beauty of forgiveness and hope in their story too.
Pepper has graciously offered to give away an e-copy of The Thorn Bearer to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉
Thanks for entering! Contest ends May 5, 2015. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!