Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m so happy to have Pegg Thomas as my guest! I love how she draws parallels to her lifestyle and her historical novels. And, friends, her latest release sounds so good! Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a spinner of yarns. Literally and figuratively. When I’m not spinning a yarn on the written page, I’m spinning sheep’s wool into yarn on one of my spinning wheels. A fitting occupation for someone who writes historical fiction and historical romance. I’ve been married to Michael for mumble years, and we live on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan. We’ve raised sheep, chickens, pigs, rabbits, and horses here, as well as tending a garden, berry patch, and small orchard, which has given me a lot more first-hand experience that our ancestors would have taken as everyday living. All of that helps me make my historical novels more authentic. And I enjoy it! You can learn more about me and what I do via my email newsletter by subscribing here: https://www.subscribepage.com/PeggThomas
Tell us about your current release. Maggie’s Strength is book two in the Forts of Refuge trilogy. The background is 1763 during Pontiac’s Rebellion. Only three British forts did not fall to the uprising, Fort Pitt, Fort Detroit, and Fort Niagara.
Maggie Kerr is a survivor. Taken captive at age eleven during the battle at Fort McCord, she’s learned to adapt and to trust no one. Promised in marriage to a Huron warrior she fears, Maggie risks everything in a run for her freedom.
Content to ignore the rising animosity between the British and the Ottawa villagers he calls his friends, Baptiste Geroux plants his fields, limping behind his oxen and waiting for his brother to return from the west. Until the day a woman in danger arrives on his farm.
When more tribes join Pontiac in an all-out war, Maggie and Baptiste take refuge at Fort Detroit. He’s distrusted for being French. She’s scorned for being raised by the Hurons. Together they forge a fragile bond—until Maggie’s past threatens their chance at happiness.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I always wanted to write, but I never honestly thought I’d do it. It wasn’t until the empty nest hit that I realized I had the time to follow that dream.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I never wanted to self-publish. I always wanted to be with a traditional publisher, and I have six novellas with Barbour Publishing’s historical romance collections. But my agent hasn’t been able to place my novels. (It doesn’t help that I tend to write stories set during Indian uprisings in the age of woke – so I can’t blame her!) But after working for 3.5 years as the managing editor for Smitten Historical Romance, I’d learned a ton, and I knew that I could do it well. I have three trilogies I hope to self-publish over the next three years. It sounds like a lot – and it is! – but more than half the books are already written.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? No. But while my traditionally published novellas are all overtly Christian stories, my self-published novels are not. They are more what I would call modern-day parables. I wrote them for the general market, but each book presents – with a Christian worldview – a dilemma that the heroine must overcome to find peace within herself. While few non-Christians will ever pick up a Christian fiction book, my goal is to bring these parables into the general market and plant seeds with readers of all faiths or no faith.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes. In fact, that is the mindset I went with to write the first book in this series, Sarah’s Choice. The theme of that book is unabashedly pro-life. If what I wrote will save the life of one child, then it’s more than worth it to me.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write? My ducks are all neatly in their rows before I start to write, but more importantly for my style of writing, I spend hours and hours (literally weeks) reading and researching the history of my setting before I start. I want the reader to feel steeped in the era and surroundings of my stories. That’s the type of book I enjoy reading – and writing.
What is your inspiration for writing? To share my love of history and story with readers who appreciate an authentic – not always politically correct – view from the past. Stories that highlight hope and grace and the courage to embrace both.
Here is where you can find Pegg online:
https://www.subscribepage.com/PeggThomas (newsletter signup)
Pegg is giving away a copy of Maggie’s Strength to a reader (signed paperback to the continental US, ebook otherwise)! See below how to enter to win: