Let's find out what Peggy has been up to and what makes her tick.
Welcome Peggy, thanks for answering my oh so off beat questions.
· Tell me, what do you like to write, and why?
I just like to write. Period. End of story. I’ve always liked to write. And I’ve written all sorts of things—memoir pieces, children’s stories, a couple plays, speeches for politicians—you name it, I’ve probably written it. Now, I’m having a good time writing spicy romances. Just for the fun of it.
· When offered your first publishing contract did you
B) Jump out of your seat and run around flailing your arms chanting OMG OMG OMG
C) Pee your pants
D) B & C
E) None of the Above You’re lying if your answer isn’t number 2 If not A-D , what was your reaction?
A and B are closest. I was at a basketball game on Valentine’s Day watching a granddaughter play. When I checked my phone for the time so we wouldn’t get a parking ticket, I found an email from Jennifer Lawler with a contract. I yelped, bounced around the bleachers showing the message to all the family there and looked around for the champagne I was sure was waiting for me someplace.
· After how many published titles do you think it’s appropriate to write your own autobiography?
Who knew I had to wait. I have a draft in my computer that’s about ten years old. I think it’s so I’ll have material for what I write. Or maybe it’s so I won’t forget the good stuff when I get really old.
· How important to you are the names of your characters?
I spend a lot of time with names. Some have emotional explanations—a mother named Dolores to denote a sad woman and a sad life, an odd name for the bad guy so I don’t offend a friend or relative, a beautiful name for a beautiful woman. A character named for each of my grandkids.
· How do you go about nabbing that perfect title for your books?
Not sure I have the perfect titles. It’s one of the hardest things for me. I’ve tried Google, Amazon and the library as inspiration; I’ve asked my editor for ideas. I’ve consulted my grandkids whose titles were unbelievably awful (what are they teaching in schools these days?)
· What are the occupational hazards of being a writer?
House that’s a mess. Laundry that never gets folded. Empty refrigerator. Hair that needs a good stylist. That enough? If not there’s more!
· Do you have a quote or slogan you try to live by?
Don’t get it right, get it written. It’s pinned on the bulletin board over my computer.
· Have you ever taken the writing to the bathroom with you?
No, but then I don’t have little kids stalking me all day and my husband usually honors the closed door of my office. Usually.
· Pantser or Plotter? I’ll have you know how proud I am that I just used these terms. Since I’ve just recently learned what they meant. Go me. Always keepin’ up with the author slang.
I’m proud that you used them, too, Harley. I’m somewhere in between. I know where the story begins, how it unfolds and where it ends before I start writing. But I don’t outline. Tried it once and had to rewrite the book because my characters bitched about what I made them do.
· What do you like to write in? (i.e PJ’s and stompeez, a prom dress or perhaps a bathtub?)
When I write first thing in the morning, it’s always in a nightgown. Some days—like today—I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing, I don’t get dressed until I break for lunch. Other days, it’s whatever I’ve thrown on or what I’m wearing when I come home from someplace and have a great idea for a scene. On occasion, I have been known to write wrapped in a bath sheet because the perfect ending to a scene arrives when I’m in the shower.
· How do you react to a bad review?
I ignore it. Not everyone will like what I write. It’s just the way it is. But then, I was a public affairs consultant for 10 years and, between having proposals regularly rejected and running public meetings where our clients and I were called the worst names you can imagine, sometimes by people who were armed, I have a pretty thick skin. It goes with the territory.
· Do you feel like a complete dumbo (like I do) when people ask for your autograph? I tend to get stuck on stupid and fumblerooski all my words when someone asks me for mine.
It’s such a silly thing, isn’t it, to have someone ask you to sign something? I always giggle, if not out loud, at least inside.
· Have you ever been a character in one of your books?
Many times. How about you?
*Whistles* Nope not me Peggy. There isn’t a lick of Jordie in me. LOL
· Would you ever play yourself in a movie or TV production of one of your books?
Okay, so even though I was voted Best Actress in my high school graduating class, I’d rather have some knockout young thing play me.
Vanity, vanity, thy name is Peggy Bird.
· What do you think is your biggest accomplishment in writing? Your biggest failure?
Getting published. Not getting published earlier.
· Do you do research for your novel? Me... I could totally walk into the Bio Buzz pick up a bong and be like..It’s for research dude! Lol
Love researching. I scout locations, buy products my characters use, eat the food they like, hit Google regularly, even buy books on a subject I think I’ll be writing about a lot. Of course, that means I’m lost in research wonderland for hours when I should be writing but…
· Speaking of bongs. Have you ever written anything while high on the weed, drunk on the wine or chill from the pill? I have...I’m on bottle number two.
Haven’t smoke dope in decades. Don’t do pills. Wine and Scotch (not together, I hasten to add) can unlock a first draft. But after that, for editing, I’m better with water.
· Do you laugh at yourself ever?
Constantly. Otherwise I’d have to cry.
· How much of your childhood reflects upon your musings?
Childhood, not so much. Teen years, definitely. Nothing works better when trying to write a scene where the heroine is confused or unsure of herself than tapping into teenage angst.
· How do you like these questions so far? Anything striking your fancy? Ok, moving along…
Right. Move along, nothing here to see, folks.
· How do you feel about being interviewed?
It’s better than a root canal, not as good as writing a steamy love scene.
· How do you feel about global warming?
Huh? Well, it’s real. It’s going to change the planet and we better get off our asses and do what we can to keep it from getting worse.
· How do you feel about Antonio Sabato Jr.?
Cute but he’s no David Gandy.
· Are you jealous of other writers?
· What makes you laugh? Cry?
These days I laugh mostly at my grandkids who are a hoot. And I love the old Monty Python stuff. I cry at emotional occasions like my granddaughter’s recent awards ceremony and my grandson’s solo in his school play.
· Vacation or staycation?
Do I have to pick one or the other? I love them both. This year we went to Hawaii and I’ll hang out at local concerts and art shows this summer.
· Fancy Schmancy wedding or a Vegas wedding?
Did the whole fancy schmancy thing once and it didn’t turn out so well. Second time has lasted a lot longer and wasn’t so fancy. So I’ll go with that.
· Favorite season? Mine’s football :P
Favorite sports season is baseball. Favorite season season is fall—it’s when my birthday is.
· Who were some of your inspirations for writing? For your characters?
All sorts of things and people inspire my writing—artists I’ve known, family members, strangers in Starbucks, ex-friends and lovers. Whatever. It’s all material, isn’t it? I don’t translate them directly from the street to the page. I mix and blend, a little of him, some of her. And there’s my character, unrecognizable (I hope) to those from whom I’ve stolen the characteristics.
· Did you enjoy this interview?
Yup, It would have been more fun in person with a bottle of wine. But since we couldn’t—thanks, Harley! Had a great time.
It certainly would have! Thank you so much for the interview and here's to many sales!
Thanks for stopping in everyone! Keep on reading to find out more about Peggy and the 4th installment of the Spicy Second Chances Series, TRUSTING AGAIN. Please don't forget to leave a comment for the lovely Peggy.
Born in Philly, I’ve spent most of my adult life in the Pacific Northwest where I have happily grown webs between my toes and moss behind my ears. I pursued a number of careers—nurse, legislative staffer, lobbyist, public affairs consultant, non-profit association executive, workshop teacher, oh, and mother and wife—before deciding to leave it all for what I’ve loved through every stage of life—writing. I've been published in anthologies, magazines, newspapers and in the brochures, newsletters and reports of my consulting clients and employers. Unless you count speeches for politicians, I'd never written fiction until a cast of characters began inhabiting my daydreams. A glass artist and a gallery owner were there. So were a sculptor and a jewelry designer. When some dead bodies showed up, a couple of cops and a deputy DA arrived. Soon they began to fall in love with each other and work for their happy ending. Bingo. I was a romance writer.