Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Step Back in Time with Pepper Basham

Greetings, readers. I am so excited to introduce our guest today. I finished reading her latest book, The Thorn Keeper, a couple weeks ago and fell in love with there feisty, strong heroine. And without further adieu, I'd like to welcome Pepper Basham to the Diamond Mine.

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at a group writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015, and has already garnered its first award with Readers’ Favorites International Awards. Pepper’s second and third books in the series arrive in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuts in April.

Suzie: Welcome to The Diamond Mine, Pepper. I’m thrilled to introduce your Historical fiction books to our readers today. The Thorn Keeper is book two in your Penned in Time series. What are your favorite scenes to write? What are the most difficult ones?

Pepper: Thank you SO much for inviting me to join you here. I'm so excited to talk about these stories I love.

As far as scenes go? I suppose my favorites to write are the intense emotional scenes. Those flow so much faster and easier for me, usually. High romantic scenes or dangerous scenes - those are my favorites. Sometimes the very poignant emotional/spiritual ones as well.

I suppose the most difficult ones for me to write are the 'filler' scenes. The ones I must write to move the story alone and get to the next 'emotional' scene :-)

Suzie: As a reader, I become engaged and involved with the characters in the books I read and love. Do you find that to be truer when writing? Is it hard to let go when you’ve finished writing a book?

Pepper: I have never had as much difficulty letting go of any book than The Thorn Keeper. For me, I think the characters seemed to alive and powerful that they lingered with me more than usual. I've only had one other book kind of seize me like this and it's my favorite contemporary. I hope and pray that as I continue to grow as a write, God will help consistently develop meaningful, deep, and 'lingering' characters.

Suzie: Your word for 2016 is JOY. What are a few ways you’ve found your joy so far this year?

Pepper: I always find joy in my faith and my family. My kids are such a delight to me and help encourage me on this journey so much. I find so much joy in writing - and just recently found the 'click' I needed for my Work In Progress, book 3 in the Penned in Time series. It's been such a difficult book to 'get going' in the writing process, and I blame Catherine and David from book 2 for that. They left me emotionally exhausted :-)

Suzie: Your husband’s job is in church leadership. I grew up a PK (preacher’s kid) and know that careers in the pastorate often mean a probability that you’re going to move once in a while. In fact, you mention on your website that you moved from Tennessee to Asheville, NC. How do you prepare your family for those kinds of life-changing moves?

Pepper: Lots of prayer! Also my husband and I are very intentional in trying to prepare our kids and listen to them. This move was easily the toughest one of the eight we've made because the friendships were so deep. I'm very deliberate in finding ways for them to keep up those friendships as best we can.

Suzie: You have five children and work as a speech-language pathologist for children with autism. What lessons have the little ones in your life taught you?

Pepper: God is bigger
People are more important than things - building relationships is what lasts.
Perspective makes a don't jump to conclusions
Kindness is universal, regardless of the way one processes the world or the disability.

Suzie: Asheville, NC is famous for the Biltmore Estate and the Smoky Mountains. What’s your favorite thing about living in Asheville, NC?

Pepper: You already named my two favorites: The mountains and the Biltmore Estate :-) I am a HUGE fan of the Biltmore. In fact, I just had the opportunity to have high tea in the Biltmore Inn a few weeks ago. There's such an ambience of the past there - and it feeds into my passion for the time period. Also, George and Edith Vanderbilt (the original owners of the Biltmore) were fascinating characters in their own right. Generous, kind, with a  heart for the Appalachian community in which they lived. My heritage is Appalachia and I love to learn about how the Vanderbilts made a difference in this part of the world.

Then there are the mountains....their beauty speaks for itself.
This is a photo I (Suzie) took of the Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains a couple years ago.

Suzie: Name 3 must-haves (or favorite things) to have on hand when you’re writing.

Pepper: Well, sometimes it depends on the book I'm writing :-)
I love using The Synonym Finder as a 'jumpstart' tool for great descriptive words.
Most of the time I have a cup of English Breakfast tea nearby.
And photos! I usually fill my computer screen or desk with photos from the era or of the characters.

Suzie: When all is said and done, what do you want readers to come away with when they turn the final page in your books?

Pepper: Oh what a great question! Hope. I want readers to end the book and understand that there's hope, no matter the circumstances, the wounds, the heartache and grief. And that hope comes from God. If the readers enjoy some beautiful romance, a little adventure, and some added humor along the way, that's fantastic, but in the end, I want them to know hope is near.

Suzie: In addition to your beautiful Historical fiction books, you also have a contemporary fiction book (A Twist of Faith) coming out this spring. Want to give readers a little peek into that one while you’re here?

Pepper: Oh yes! I'd love to share a little about it. It's a modern day retelling of My Fair Lady...with a twist :-) Adelina Roseland is a speech-language pathology professor with a chip on her shoulder and something to prove, so she makes a wager to change Appalachian cattle farmer Reese Mitchell into corporate world material in only 3 months.

Thank you for spending some time with us today, Pepper.

To keep up with Pepper Basham's releases, visit her at her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Now, for our readers, here's a taste of what you'll get when you pick up a copy of The Thorn Keeper.

With her newfound faith, Catherine Dougall hopes to take the remnants of her threadbare life and make something beautiful, even if society shuns every choice she makes.

Dr. David Ross must save his war hospital from ruin, but when his notorious aunt makes an offer he can’t refuse, he must choose between his surprising affection for a reformed flirt or his dreams.

From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who never forgets his children and fashions beauty out of the most broken things.

Pepper is generously giving one lucky reader a digital copy of The Thorn Keeper. To enter, just leave a comment below along with your email. Winner will be chosen on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.


Just Commonly said...

Great interview! I loved The Thorn Keeper! No need to enter me in the giveaway. Thanks!

Pepper Basham said...

Thanks so much for the interview!! Waving to Annie :)

Suzie Waltner said...

We are happy to have you visit us, Pepper.

Just Commonly-I loved The Thorn Keeper too. One of the best books I've read so far this year!!

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to hear this your name and think that this interview makes me want to read this series!

Trixi said...

I have "The Thorn Bearer" and am looking forward to this one!

I really enjoyed the interview Pepper, thanks for taking time to do one :-) Blessings!

teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

Rachelle said...

Excellent interview, Pepper! I love your books :) I'm kinda sad and kinda glad that by the time I finish reading The Thorn Bearer, I'll have The Thorn Keeper right there to begin. ;)

{Note: please don't enter me in the giveaway as I already own The Thorn Bearer. Thank you!}

Renee Blare said...

Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Pepper! :)

Lisa Jahn said...

Very excited to access this site and learn about this wonderful author. A writing colleague posted the link on her FaceBook! I would love a copy of the book and would absolutely write a review on it! Thank you for a great read! Lisa Jahn

Pepper Basham said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this book and I LOVE your review!! Thank you for spreading the word and allowing me a voice on your blog :-)
I do so love Catherine's personality!!

Dianna said...

The book cover is just beautiful! I love Asheville. We live nearby -- in the Roan Mt. area.

Peggy Trotter said...

Love having you on the Diamond Mine, Pepper! I love the title of your book.

Trixi said...

I just won a copy of this book on a different blog, so please take my name out of the drawing...thanks! Blessings on the draw everyone :-)