Gail's Book Nook

Monday, March 5, 2012

Looking Out the Window: Peggy Blann Phifer Talks about Her Creative Process and Her New Book, To See the Sun

Peggy will give away a gift certificate for an e-book that can be read on Kindle or Nook.
To enter to win leave a comment and your email address.
First, tell us a little about yourself.
My online profile reads: I am a called-to-serve writer; born again Child of The King; wife, mother, grandmother; foster-mom to a family of spoiled—but beautiful—Lynx Point Siamese cats.
But that really doesn’t define me these days, and I need to update it. Somewhere in there I need to include “Published Author” Need to work on that.
Congratulations on all counts. Many authors also like to read. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?
I devoured every book I could get my hands on. As a sufferer of childhood asthma, I spent many lonely days bed-ridden or on restricted activity. My teachers soon learned of my voracious reading appetite, so, along with my homework (brought home to me by my sister) my teachers started sending me books from the school library. I was reading at eighth-grade level in fifth grade, and I was in heaven.
Let’s talk about your writing. Why do you write?
I’d like to say, like many others, “I can’t NOT write.” While that is true, I write because I love creating. I love the creative process while I’m sitting at the computer, just waiting for the next phrase, or word, or scene, to appear in my writer’s mind’s eye. Maybe I should add “creator of fiction” to my profile.
Tell us about your latest book.
It’s about a young woman in her late 20’s who finds herself pregnant after seven years of marriage. Then her husband suddenly dies and she faces a situation she could never have imagined. But raising a child without a father isn’t her only worry. Now it seems someone is stalking her. Fear mounts when an ex-boyfriend turns up with a four-month-delayed package from her dead husband indicating her life is in danger.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
My mind is always working, and I have a very vivid and active imagination. Ideas are everywhere. Too many, sometimes. (Grin)
How do you get to know your characters?
I wish I knew how to answer that. It’s really weird. In the case of what eventually became To See the Sun, I happened across a petite, blonde, model in a woman’s catalog that caught my eye. She sat in a casual pose, sitting on a tree-stump, forearms on her knees, a pensive expression on her face. As I thumbed through the pages, I saw her several more times. She captivated me, so I cut out all her poses and stapled them to a piece of cardboard, wondering why, and what I was thinking. When my writing took a serious turn, I looked at her again and I knew: THAT was my female lead. It’s like she perched on my shoulder and whispered as I wrote, revealing bits and pieces of herself along the way. The other characters just kind of introduced themselves when I needed them. It’s more intuitive, I think. Does that make sense?
Sure. What themes do you write about?
This one turned out to be ‘second chances’ though not consciously, and heavy on Forgiveness, too. I don’t write with any particular theme in mind. It just happens.
Does your faith affect your writing? How?
My faith is such an ingrained part of me, of who I am, it just comes through as I write. I don’t have to force it or think about it. It’s just there. When I edit I’m actually surprised when I see the evidence.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on Book 2 of the Desert Faith Series. The title is To Hear the Wind. It’s about one-third written in very rough draft.
Sometimes in life we’re caught unaware. Has that ever happened to you?
At the 2006 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference in Dallas, I had a one-on-one appointment with an editor. I had a nice one-sheet all prepared, I’d had an excellent (paid) critique of my manuscript shortly before my appointment, and I was all ready to pitch and I was sure I’d get a request for a full. But when I sat down in front of this nice lady editor, I froze. She waited. I mumbled. Desperate, I reached into my folder and thrust my one-sheet at her. She glanced at it, asked if she could keep it, we exchanged business cards and she told me to contact her when the manuscript was finished. I’m pretty sure she was just being nice and simply wanted to get me out of there. When I left, I could have walked upright beneath the door without ducking.
                                            About To See The Sun 

Pregnant and widowed hadn’t been part of her “happily ever after” dream. And now, someone was trying to kill her . . .
Erin Macintyre never expected to be a widow and a new mother in the same year, anymore than she expected mysterious notes, threatening phone calls, and a strange homeless man who seems to know all about her. The thought of raising a child without a father is daunting enough—worse when you have no idea who might want to harm you. Put an old flame into the mix, and her life begins a tailspin into a world she never knew existed.
When P.I. Clay Buchanan, stumbles upon Erin at her husband's gravesite, he’s totally unprepared for her advanced pregnancy. Her venomous reaction at seeing him, however, was predictable. But Clay can’t let her distrust, or his guilt, get in the way—not when he has evidence that proves Erin’s life is in danger.
With few options left, Erin begrudgingly accepts Clay’s help . . . and it just might be her undoing.
Buy Links:
• Amazon Kindle
• B&N Nook
Peggy Blann Phifer is an author and columnist, book reviewer and author interviewer, whose work has appeared on various Web sites and writer periodicals both in print and online. She is also an avid reader who loves to escape by diving between the covers of a good book. Peg enjoys handcrafts of all kinds and her home shows off some of her work, though most end up as gifts for friends and family. A retired executive assistant, Peg now makes her home in southern Nevada with husband of 25 years, Jim.
TO SEE THE SUN is her debut novel, released January 2012
Contact her at her website at:
Visit her blog “Whispers in Purple" at


Darcy Flynn said...

Your book sounds wonderful! Romance and mystery with lots of suspense! I can't wait to read it! Best of luck with your book.



Miss Mae said...

Great interview! Totally understand about freezing in front of the editor...oh, what moments, huh?

Wishing you best success with your book!

*I don't enter giveaways, so please don't enter my name*

Thank you!

Danielle Thorne said...

Lovely cover. This sounds like a book I would love to read. I appreciated your story about your editor pitch experience. It's exactly why I've never done one. Too shy! Baby steps!

Peggy said...

Hi, Darcy, Miss Mae and Danielle! Thank you for your kind words.

Yeah, that editor disaster will forever haunt me. LOL If she were to read this she'd probably remember me vividly. Or, maybe not. From what others tell me, it has happened to them too.

Danielle, that was my one and only editor appointment.

And thanks you, Gail, for hosting me here this week.

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Peggy,
I'm a little late getting in on the fun, but it's my pleasure to have you.

Laurean Brooks said...

Wow! This story sounds awesome!

Peggy, the part about cutting the girl's poses out of the catalog, fascinates me.

Isn't it strange how God speak to you through something intangible, so to speak?

While I was writing my first book, I badly needed to know the route from Chicago to a little town called South Pekin, Illinois. Since it was a historical I needed the route the travelers would take in 1938.

What did I discover in a box of books my hubby bought at an auction? A 1938 United States Atlas. So I was able to trace the entire route and figure how much time it might have taken to get there.

Congratulations on your new release.

Peggy said...

What a wonderful find! I'm jealous :)

As to finding Erin in a catalog, If you take a minute to notice, all the ads for clothing, doesn't matter who K-Mart, Walmart, Penney's, Sears, Macy's . . . take your pick . . . They have their favorite models. I found the best image for my hero, Clay Buchanan, on the Shepler's Western Wear website. (Google it, if you're interested.)

Peggy said...

Thank you, Gail, for having me on your blog. And many thanks to all who commented.
It's bee fun :)