Pegg Thomas is a rare type of author that I interview for my blog. She’s rare in that we don’t just know each other on line – Pegg and I have met in person and even live in the same general geographical area! I love interviewing authors, but there’s just something special about being able to interview a friend. I’m thrilled to be introducing her as a published author as well! Enough about me though – here’s Pegg!
Thanks for inviting me on your blog today. I’m really happy to be here.
I’m happy to have you! Let’s get started. What genre do you write? How did you pick it?
Embattled Hearts, my story in The Pony Express Romance Collection, is historical romance. Historical is my preferred genre, but publishers buy romance, so I was able to combine the two for this story.
How long did it take you complete your first manuscript (published or not)?
My first manuscript was never completed. And it shouldn’t have been. It was awful. My second manuscript took me about two years to write, it was a full-length novel. I have a couple more full-length novels, both took me about two years to write, that are languishing in a forgotten folder somewhere. Embattled Hearts, which is a novella of 21,500 words, took me just about three months to write, probably because I was motivated by the very real possibility of selling it.
Have your follow-up novels been easier or harder to write? Why do you think that is?
I don’t think it’s gotten any easier, but I do believe I’ve gotten a lot better at it. It’s still work – hard work – to craft a story worthy of being read by the unsuspecting public.
What’s surprised you the most about the book-publishing process?
Everything. I was greener than grass when I decided to follow my long-time dream of writing a book. If I’d known then what I know now, I don’t think I’d have ever picked up the pen. I had so much to learn that if I’d understood my ignorance, I’d have been scared off.
What’s been the most challenging part of getting a book published?
Writing the stinkin’ book! Writing it well enough, timely enough, and flawlessly enough that someone actually wants to purchase it.
What’s your favorite part of the publishing experience?
Meeting all the great people. I’ve made friends all across the country. Some I’ve met in person, most I have not, but all of them have helped shape me and my writing into something that works.
For learning the writing craft, which do you prefer – books or conferences? Why?
Both. I don’t think one or the other can round out the vast amount of knowledge you need to succeed in this crazy craft of writing. Books are great, but they lack the ability to look you in the eye and tell you why your story stinks and what you can do to unstink it. Conferences are great, but they are also overwhelming. It’s hard to remember even half the stuff you heard there. You need both.
If you could recommend one writing conference, what would it be? Why?
Maranatha Christian Writers Conference in Muskegon, MI. I’ve been there four times. It’s a small conference with lots of face-time with people who know what they are doing in all areas of the business. I’ve been to the big ACFW Conference as well, but I’ve learned more about the craft at Maranatha. They bring in a lot of industry insiders, especially publishers and editor, who explain the entire process of publishing. Invaluable information that really opened my eyes to what was expected of an author by those who might one day purchase their work.
If you could recommend one writing book, what would it be? Why?
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King is my pick. This one really hit home to me about making my writing as tight and as good as possible. Nobody is going to purchase your writing if it’s not tight and good.
Thank you so much for appearing on my blog! Have a blessed day!
Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. A life-long history geek, she writes “History with a Touch of Humor.” Pegg’s debut story will be published by Barbour in April of 2017. When not working on her latest novel, Pegg can be found in her garden, in her kitchen, or on her trusty old horse, Trooper.
Amazon link to The Pony Express Romance Collection