Author Interview & Giveaway - Pepper Basham (and Special Announcement)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Welcome to Bookworm Mama, Pepper! I am so honored to have you here today!

Rachel, You. ARE. A. Blessing!! I’m so glad God brought you into my life through books!! Thank you for being such an encouragement to me!

Aww shucks Pepper! I can't wait to hug you at CFRR 2017 in August! Readers, make sure you stay tuned for a special announcement AND Giveaway at the end of the interview! 

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing
etc. come from?
Well, the ‘trite’ answer might be that it came from God – because, if you ask my mom, I’ve always written/told stories. I LOVE story, and I would say that the love for it was cultivated by my Appalachian culture. Oral storytelling is a big deal in the mountains, so I used to love to hear my grandparents, particularly my Granny Spencer, share family history stories back five and six generations. It was fascinating.

I LOVE this so much! I am a huge fan of tradition and passions being passed down.

What literary character is most like you?
Um…wow, that’s a tough question. I’m not sure. My initial answer would be Anne of Green Gables or Lucy from Chronicles of Narnia. I’d love to say I’m more like Lizzie Bennett or Eowyn from Lord of the Rings, but I’m not sure I have a fiery disposition. Quirky? Yes.

Oh you definitely have a fire in you! I adore Anne and Lucy!

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
This book is like going home. The story came to life quite of its own design, but once it started I added all the things I love best in books! It’s a blend of Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian culture, big (hilarious) family dynamics, matchmaking, Britain, a swoony English hero, a quirky, magnanimous heroine, a bunch of adorable kids, Scooby Doo and Indiana Jones references, lots of humor, a historical mystery, a devious villainess, stately manor houses, secret rooms, love letters, and matchmaking all rolled into one…oh, and did I mention brain-numbing romance? When I say it’s like coming home, it truly is 1/3 my heritage/family loves, 1/3 my love of Britain/swoony heroes and 1/3 imagination. The need for second chances and love is universal. The healing of forgiveness is less known, but just as needed. The love of family is something that is as ingrained in my mountain-girl heart as the arteries. I think those things are all subjects/themes of this story, because they’re a part of life.

It really is a perfect blend of all of this! And those KISSES??? *SWOON*

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
Well, as I usually say, Laura Frantz is one of my favorite authors, but I’m not sure my love for her writing could equate to being influential of Just the Way You Are. It’s a very different genre than hers. I’d say some authors who helped inspire my love for contemporary romance novels are Siri Mitchell, Janice Thompson, Denise Hunter, and Laura Jensen Walker. I’d add Mary Connealy for inspiration for humor writing 

Ooooooh, some good names right there!

What secret talents do you have?
HAHA? Secret talents? Um…I write songs and music to go with my books? I can also talk like one of the Chipmunks ;-)

Ok, I NEED to hear this Chipmunk voice! And your songs are simply gorgeous!

What are you reading right now?

I just finished Kristen Heiztmann’s novel, Told You So, and it was SUPERB!!!! I’m really looking forward to reading my crit partner, Amy Leigh Simpson’s, work-in-progress soon. She’s a fantastic writer. That may be on my list next…besides my research books.

I have heard really good things about Told You So! 

Do you have any unusual writing habits? 
I’m not sure. I write out of sequence. I write two genres at a time, usually. I like to make ‘mock’ covers to go along with my stories as I write them – just because they’re pretty and inspirational for me

I don't know how you can write in two genres. My brain hurts just reading different genres back to back haha!

What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors? 
Write! That’s the only way you’re going to have something to send to publishers and agents. But second to that is this: Rejection is going to come in one form or the other – so remember, deep down, the heart-reason why you write in the first place.

This is SO good!!! Thank you! 

Before we go, can you tell us what is up next for you? 
Um…that’s a great question. There are lots of ‘what ifs’ in that one. What I do know is that I have the second book in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series coming out in November 2017! Charming the Troublemaker – Rainey and Alex’s story. I’m working on several projects right now – both historical romance and contemporary romance…and thanks to the gentle prodding of Rachel McMillian, I’m going to start working a really fun ‘classics’ NA Britallachian series. Only God knows where I’m going next, but I’d appreciate the prayers

Eeeeep I am SO stinking excited for these books!!! 

Thank you so much for joining us today Pepper! I simply ADORE your books...and YOU! It is always a joy chatting with you! 

Special Announcement

Y'all...Can I just take a moment to COMPLETELY #FOAFA (#freakingoutandflailingabout) over here? If you haven't been able to tell from all of my posts and reviews about Pepper and her books, that Pepper is one of my VERY favorite authors...She is! 100%, totally and completely a FOREVER favorite. God is SO good! And He works in the most mysterious of ways. A few nights ago (AFTER this interview and post was completed), I was debating whether or not to apply for a virtual administrative position with a women's ministry. Volunteer basis, lots of social media stuff, paperwork, etc. I decided to go for it, because it would be great experience and widen my sphere of influence. I needed a couple of references, so I asked a couple of my friends in the bookish world. Among those I asked was Pepper. She replied with "Of course. And if you ever want to volunteer to be my virtual assistant I would be happy to have you." I replied with, "I would be your assistant in a heartbeat!" 

From that simple exchange developed a plan, a blessing, and an opportunity that I have been praying and dreaming about for almost 2 years. I, Rachel Dixon, of Bookworm Mama am now officially the Virtual Assistant to THE Pepper Basham. If you don't believe me (it is OK, I am having a hard time believing it myself), you can read it for yourself HERE. I am so thrilled to partner with not only an amazing author, but an amazing woman. One who has become so very dear to my heart over the last year since we met. Pepper encourages, uplifts, speaks the TRUTH...and I love her so much! 

I say all of that to tell you that sometimes, when we think there is an incredible opportunity in front of us, that nothing can top, we are blinded by an even better offer that God has placed before us. Keep your eyes and your heart open my friends. Open to His blessings and His love. Because what He has in store for you is greater than you could possibly imagine! 

Thank you Pepper for this opportunity to serve you! And my thanks to God for orchestrating the whole thing!

About Pepper Basham
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. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader's Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and most recently a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. You can get to know Pepper on her website, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer's Alley.

Pepper has graciously provided an eBook copy of Just the Way You Are for ONE lucky reader! Enter via the Rafflecopter form below!
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