Sunday Conversations with Pepper Basham

Hi Pepper! I am excited to have you on my blog today. I’d like to start off with some questions so your reader’s can get to know you a little bit better.

Thanks so much for allowing me to visit, Becca! I love sharing time with readers and chatting about stories 🙂

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?

Well, I’m a wife of a music minister, mom of five, speech-language pathologist (with a specialty in Autism) and an author. We live in the beautiful Asheville, NC area, but I’m a born-and-bred Appalachian girl.

What hobbies and activities do you like to do?

Besides writing, I love music (both playing it and singing to it). I enjoy drives and walks along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and I really have found a love for making book graphics lately. My kids are my favorite people in the world to hang out with – but I’ve been blessed with SOOOOO many amazing friends through this writing journey, so I enjoy chatting with them. And…of course, I like to read.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I suppose I’m a morning person?? I stay up late at night to write but also have to get up early to go to my day job, so I’m not really sure. Of course ‘late’ for me is 11 or 11:30, so that may not count. I have to be up in the mornings by 6:15am 🙂

Growing up, what did you see yourself doing as a career?

Funnily enough, I first wanted to be a pediatrician so I could be called Dr. Pepper 🙂 When I was 10 my Granny Spencer called me a ‘writer’, so there’s always been a love for story – as far back as I can remember. I knew I wanted to do something with kids in a ‘service’ sort of way, so as I mulled through some options, my mom recommended speech-language pathology. It’s been a really good fit.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/wri ting/etc. come from?

Oh my goodness, that’s easy. I think it came from two specific places. God and my culture, particularly seen through my Granny Spencer. In Appalachia, storytelling is part of life. I grew up listening to my granny tell amazing family history stories (which will work their way into books, I’m sure), but this inspired the God-given creativity of my mind into working on my own tales. If you ask my mom, she’d tell you I’ve been writing stories (or making them up) ever since I was really little.

Thank you for these great answers! I have some questions about your writing and books.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I suppose it all depends on what type of book I’m writing. My historicals require a lot more research than my contemporaries, though I still have to do research on those too. And if a second book in a series is a continuation of the same time period, I might have less research to do because of the info I learned while researching the first. I have found that I need ‘daydreaming’ time built into my writing process, so as I finish some research, I’ll sit, think about it, and daydream how it’s going to work in this particular story.

Is anything in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Oh, I’m sure there are some real-life moments and people sprinkled throughout the imaginary ones. In one of my current WIPs, I’m putting a scene from a real-life experience that happened to me and involves a very curious mouse.

What weather inspires you the most, in terms of bringing out your literary best?

I don’t really know. I love all sorts of weather. I guess the setting is what really matters to me for creativity than weather, although I have to say I love a sunny day about 65 degrees with a nice breeze in October or April. Those are some of my favorites. And I love snow.

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I’ve evolved into a planner. I don’t really do a lot of plotting, but I have a general idea of where I’m going and a few ‘key’ scenes I want to incorporate, but otherwise I kind of move forward along with the story.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with again?

 I want to keep writing in the Edwardian/WW1 era for sure. I’d love to write Michael’s story from the Penned in Time series. I love writing about the theme of redemption, forgiveness, and coming home. For now, that seems to be a place I like to stay.

If you had the choice to rewrite any of your books, which one would it be and why?

Oh wow! What a question. Hmm…I don’t know that I’d want to completely rewrite any of them, but I’d LOVE another go at editing The Thorn Bearer!

Which book would you want adapted for the silver screen?

Just the Way You Are!!

Your latest book Charming The Troublemaker came out last November.  I enjoyed reading it! This is book #2 in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series.

Can you tell us a bit about your novel?

It’s a fun story about finding ‘home’ through acceptance for who you are. I love taking underdogs and turning them into heroes, so writing the hilarious and tenderhearted troublemaker, Alex Murdock, was a BLAST!!

What inspired you to write this story?

Alex needed rescuing. Plain and simple.

What is one thing  that you learned while researching for this book that was surprising to you?

Rainey gives her heart as furiously as she gives advice 🙂 I don’t think I’d really contemplated how wounded she was because Alex had been the main catalyst for this story, but as I delved into her personality even more, the wounds surfaced with painful clarity. I’m so glad they found each other.

What do you want readers to take away from your books?

God wants us to know that we belong. First to HIM and then within a community of believers. Of course, there’s a special sense of belonging when we find that special someone, but I love the fact that ‘belonging’ takes so many different shapes in this story. Also, the theme of God loving us as we are – but even better than that – making us BETTER with him than without him, even though he still loves us right where were are.

What will you be writing next?

There are a lot of stories in process in the Basham house 🙂 I have a WW2 era novella coming out in June. Hopefully a contemp novella coming out in July (If you’ve read Second Impressions, it’s kind of like a sequel), AND a full length contemporary romance coming out in October (2nd Pleasant Gap novel). On top of that, my Barbour release, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge arrives in January 2019. Whew…anyone else tired from all of that?

Do you hide any Easter Eggs  in your books that only a few people will find? Would you be willing to share a clue with your readers?

Yes Yes!! Almost all of my books are connected in some way. If you read my novella, there are a few very subtle hints. One of my upcoming historical romances has a few ‘surprise’ characters pop into it from another series. I LOVE placing Easter Eggs in my stories.

Thank you so much Pepper for answering these questions! I loved hearing your answers! I can’t wait to read your next book! 

Thanks for the opportunity to share with you and your readers today, Becca!! And THANK YOU for being a faithful reader!!


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