Winter Tea Party winners: Angela's book,THE SCARLET COAT, will go to: Print copy- Andrea Stephens; e-book copy - Catherine Wight!

LUCY REYNOLDS has a table topper quilt on the way, and winners of the Valentine Ebook Collection are: Deanna Stevens, Caryl Kane, Anne Payne and Winnie Thomas. With thanks to all who joined in!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Author Interview with Pegg Thomas

Available in April of 2017, Pegg’s debut story, Embattled Hearts will be part of The Pony Express Romance Collection published by Barbour.

Alannah Fagan grew up learning how to take care of herself in the Kentucky wilderness. But when her mother’s death leaves her with a brutal stepfather, her only hope is escape. Together with Conn, her younger brother, she flees their westbound wagon train with no plan other than to survive. Stewart McCann is the middle son of a northern Virginia family with seven brothers. He moved west because he refused to take sides in the Civil War. But when a battered young woman and her brother take refuge at his Pony Express station, he finds himself in the middle of another type of battle. A battle for his heart.





Thank you for being with us today PEGG! I so enjoyed reading Embattled Hearts.

TR: What is your inspiration for Embattled Hearts?

PT: Thank you for hosting me!
I wish I had a really great answer for this, but I don’t. The story grew out of my research on the Pony Express. I knew I wanted to include the importance of the Pony Express in the Civil War effort. From there, it took turns I even I wasn’t expecting.

TR: Was there any traveling involved in your research, if so, where?

PT: In a backward sort of way. Horseshoe Station was located in an area of Wyoming I’d been through just a few years prior. I had some photos I’d taken, plus I found a hand-drawn picture of the station as it was in the 1860s.

TR: What was the most interesting or favorite thing you learned about the Pony Express?

PT: Most interesting in a weird sort of way was the original advertisement stating—right in print—that orphans were the preferred candidates for riders. Wow! Talk about transparency. You might not survive this, so if you’re an orphan, all the better.

TR: Do you have a favorite character?

PT: Absolutely, it's Cyclops. This horse is modeled—except for the one-eyed part—after my son’s first horse, Jason. He was an off-track thoroughbred, 16.2 hands, solid black, and one of the smartest horses I’ve ever known. I loved writing him into a story.

TR: Do you have a favorite scene?

PT: My favorite scene would be a spoiler. Here's one that tells a bit about the characters:

     If the blue-gray of her eye had been a lance, he'd be skewered to the wall behind the stove. That red hair of hers, wet and bedraggled as it was, warned of a temper loud and clear. He shook his head. What he knew about women would fit in a thimble and not crowd the finger. (Tweet This) Raised in a passel of boys on a remote tobacco plantation, he'd always thought of women as a foreign species. This one, however, looked more like a skinny grizzly bear with a bad grouch on.
     He stirred the mush until it bubbled and thickened, then set the frying pan on the table before scooping a pair of bowls and two spoons off the shelf. He also grabbed a pot of molasses. Maybe it would sweeten her up a bit.
     “Got any cream?” Conn's vivid green eyes held no animosity.
     Stewart grinned. The best way to a boy's heart was through his stomach. “Sorry.”
     Conn shrugged and filled his bowl. His sister remained behind the chair across the room, unmoved since she'd taken her post there. A blast of wind rattled the timbers that framed the cabin, followed by more ground-shaking thunder. She might relax if he left, but he wasn't about to go out in this storm.
     “Please, won't you sit and eat?” He pasted on what he hoped was a welcoming smile. Between her silent scowls and the threat of men coming after them, he'd be happy to see the pair ride off as soon as the weather cleared. But they had nothing to ride and apparently nothing to eat. Likely they didn't have a nickel between them either. He clenched his teeth to keep his smile in place.
     Her gaze flicked to the table and back to him, but she didn't move.
     What was he supposed to do? He couldn't make her eat. The way Conn slurped up the corn mush there wouldn't be any left if she didn't decide soon. She just stared at him. Then it dawned on him that he was staring at her. Oh. Maybe that was the problem.

TR: When did you first become interested in historical Colonial America? How has it impacted your writing? Do you usually blend factual historical events in with your fictional story

PT: I can’t remember ever not being interested in history. I remember visiting the Colonial Fort Michilimackinac as a kid and loving it. Since historical fiction is my favorite genre to read, it didn’t take any big leap to decide that’s what I wanted to write. And to me, historical fiction means there is real history in there. I’m always disappointed to pick up a book called historical fiction and find no historical content whatsoever.

TR: How important is it to you to have characters who live a godly life and a strong faith element woven within your storyline?

PT: My preferred story—mine or another author’s—is where the faith element is expressed in a very organic way throughout the story. I don’t like preachy writing. I don’t want to be beaten over the head with the Bible when I’m reading fiction. What I want to see is character growth and development, flawed characters who find their way to Christ, or hurting characters that find healing with Him.

TR: Just for fun question: Can you picture yourself and your horse, Trooper, speeding away from a Pony Express station across the wilderness toward the next Pony Express station? 

PT: My daredevil days are long behind me, and Trooper is now 25 years old. No, we don’t speed. We’re very happy just plodding along these days.

TR: What are you currently working on and when will it be released?

PT: I just finished In Sheep’s Clothing which is set in Colonial Connecticut Colony. My heroine is a spinner and weaver. The story takes place shortly after King William III signed the Wool Act. It will be published in the Bouquet of Brides Romance Collection in January of 2018.

TR: Anything else you would like to share?

PT: I do have some big news to share. I’ve accepted the Managing Editor position for Smitten, the Historical Romance imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. It’s still a bit overwhelming, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. And I’ll still keep plugging away at my own stories too. That ought to keep me busy enough.  ;)

Readers can connect with me at:

16 comments:

  1. PEGG, congratulations on your upcoming release, Embattled Hearts and thank you for answering my interview questions. I enjoyed reading Alannah and Stewart's story. Wow, orphans! I had not realized that before this interview. I just can't imagine that.
    Your new book, In Sheep's Clothing, sounds interesting. I will watch for it. Congratulations on your Managing Editor position! How exciting! You certainly are a busy woman.
    Blessings, Tina


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    1. Thank you, Tina! It was a fun interview. :)

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  2. What and enjoyable interview! So much exciting coming up to read. Congratulations on the job as well as your writing successes, Pegg.

    And Tina, thanks for wonderful interview questions and answers. That is a real skill set in itself.

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    1. Judith, hope you get a change to read Embattled Hearts. And In Sheep's Clothing when it is released next year.
      Thank you for your kind words. I enjoyed interviewing Pegg for this interview. In fact, this is my very first author interview, I usually post book reviews.
      Blessings, Tina

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    2. You should do more interviews. You've got a knack for it.

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  3. Pegg,congratulations! I so enjoyed this interview and look forward to working with you at Smitten (LPC) with my novel, In a Pirate's Debt, to be released in May. I love horses, too. My debut novel which was released yesterday, March 24, Summer of Deception, has a wonderful black Arabian horse "character," a hero in many ways, named Haidez. This name came from my sister's prize Arabian stallion she had. My main personal experience has been with the smooth-gaited Tennessee Walkers. And, believe it or not, my very first horse had one eye! But don't let me go on about horses. I've got to check those reviews coming in on Amazon for Summer of Deception. LOL And get ready for our chapter meeting this afternoon here in Anderson, SC. BTW, I did tweet your tweet embedded above. What a neat idea.
    Blessings and Onward,
    ELva Cobb Martin, Pres. ACFW-SC

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    1. Elva, thank you for your kind words and commenting. How exciting you and Pegg will be working together. Congratulations on your release.
      BTW, I love your name, Elva, my aunt's name is Elva Loretta, we call her Loretta.

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    2. Thank you, Elva! Sorry I'm late responding, it's been a busy weekend. Today was spring sheep shearing day. :)

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  4. That's exciting about your upcoming and future releases, Pegg. And congratulations on your new job at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. My story, A Heart Set Free was published under the smitten imprint.

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    1. Janet, thank you commenting.
      Blessings, Tina

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    2. I saw your book in the list, Janet. I haven't read it yet, but I will. Right now I'm playing catch-up plus learning the ropes.

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  5. I am so THRILLED for Pegg's debut in Christian fiction to now be out! And excited for her beginning as an editor! Thanks for the interview, Tina!

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    1. Thank you, Carrie! You've been so supportive and encouraging all along.

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    2. Thank you so much CARRIE!
      Blessings,Tina

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  6. Great interview, exciting news, Congratulations!

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