By Ian Acheson
It’s my absolute pleasure to introduce Pepper Basham to the ICFW community. Pepper, a historical and contemporary romance author, and I met at last year’s ACFW in Nashville.
I recently read The Thorn Healer, the third in her Historical Romance “Penned in Time Series” and loved it. As she is about to release her latest creation, Just the Way You Are, I posed a few questions to Pepper, which she was kind enough in her busy schedule to respond to.
Without further ado please give a hearty international-flavoured welcome to Pepper.
ICFW: In a few words describe yourself.
PB: "I'm a Pepper" LOL, okay, sorry - if you have a name like mine, you learn how to wield it :-) Hmm, loved, Christian, Mom, writer, positive, helpful, silly, service provider, creative, busy-brained, insecure, disorganized, compassionate, and long-winded.
ICFW: This is a global community, and I know you've travelled. Where's your favourite overseas destination and why? And where'd you like to go next?
PB: I LOVE England!!! Particularly the rural parts of England and Scotland. Derbyshire is my favorite spot I've actually visited in England, but I'd love to visit the Lake District. As far as other places, well, Australia and New Zealand are at the top of my list as well as Ireland!
|Penned in Time Series|
ICFW: You've published a lot of novels in a short period of time. Please give us a little insight into how you do this plus hold down a job and manage a home, hubby and 5 kiddies.
PB: Haha...does saying I'm diagnosible count? Well, my brain stays in a constant state of creativity and I LOVE stories. Now that my kids are a little older, it's been easier to etch out time during waking hours, but I still do most of my writing in the late evening after they've settled down for the night. Also, I've been really thankful for a 4 day a week job which allows me to have one week to focus on marketing/interviews/writing. That's been a HUGE help. I've never really had that before. My kids are super duper, and some of my BEST cheerleaders, so having them to cheer me on in this crazy whirlwind helps keep me going in the middle of the crazy. But job responsibilities are increasing a bit this year, so I have a feeling I'll be slowing down to two books a year instead of three (unless God wants something big to happen with the books that would allow me to back-off on the day job ... and I'm okay with that) I do love my day job, though.
ICFW: You have a couple of new stories releasing shortly, well one landed last week (7 March) Tell us a little about them both.
PB: Yes! I recently released my first novella as part of a romantic comedy compilation of novellas. The story is entitled Second Impressions and is a Jane Austen inspired romance where a Jane Austen fanatic and a straight-laced hotel entrepreneur go the Bath, UK for two VERY different reasons, and end up falling in love. It's not smooth sailing at first, but when they get a little dose of Austen magic, the romance takes off.
And the second book??? Oh my goodness, Ian, this is my favorite contemporary romance I’ve ever written! Just the Way You Are have everything I love best in a novel - romance, humor, mystery, great kisses, funny kids, delightful banter, and a quirky family. I'm hoping I can keep up the fun from the first book in the rest of the series because I really had a great time writing it...AND love to reread it (as weird as they may sound).
Romantic Times had this to say about Just the Way You Are:
"Laugh-out-loud humor combines with stick-your-head-in-the-freezer kisses in this novel of romance, faith, and a little historical mystery. Too. Eisley Barrett is a positively delightful heroine, her Appalachian charm the perfect counterpart to Wes Harrison’s British swoonworthiness. Secondary characters rich with warm yet unique personalities beg readers to pull up a chair and chat, while the family history subplot adds more layers of intrigue and romance to the plot. Above all, the theme of being treasured “as is” rings true and full of grace." —4 ½ stars Top Pick from Romantic Times.
ICFW: What a marvellous review from RT! Britallachian romance (now that’s a mouthful). Tell us about this unique sub-genre. And how do go about weaving “grace and humour” through your stories?
PB: Isn't that a fun word! Britallachian romance is a novel that is basically a fun culture clash between Appalachia and Britain, with a quirky heroine and swoony hero! The books can take place all in one locale or the other (or both). I'd love the opportunity to spend more time in the UK to get a stronger handle of personalities because I'm an unabashed Anglophile and want to get my characters RIGHT - but this one has just been super fun and I'm hoping others will enjoy it too.
The 'grace' part of my tag is, of course, the Gospel -whether overtly or subtly woven through the story. I think we're all created for a purpose, and I love showing how characters find their purposes through the 'grand' story of redemption. The humour? Well, I hope it shines through in relationships and situations within the stories.
ICFW: What's up next for you after these 2 releases?
PB: My next novel releases in November 2017 and it's the second book in the Mitchell's Crossroads series. It's entitled Charming the Troublemaker and takes up where A Twist of Faith left off ... except we get to learn about country-girl, Rainey Mitchell, and notorious flirt, Alex Murdock, as they fight to save a clinic without falling in love. It's a fun story with some great kisses and some even better messages about inner beauty and being truly loved.
ICFW: Having read The Thorn Healer and it being set in your home state, North Carolina and near Blue Ridge Mountains, I’m intrigued by their beauty. What’s something you really love about living in NC?
PB: The mountains. I LOVE these mountains. They're an integral part of my life, my culture, and my history. It may sound weird, but they bring with them a sense of 'home'. I also love the fierce loyalty of people in the Appalachian culture and their love for family. We're a weird bunch, but we're faithful :-)
Thanks, Pepper for sharing with us and being such fun. All the very best with the novella collection (already an Amazon No 1 across 3 categories) and the release of Just the Way You Are.
Pepper has also offered one commenter a digital ARC of Just the Way You Are. Please leave an email address on your comment if you are interested in the giveaway. We will draw one winner on March 20th.
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.