Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature-Pepper Basham-Happily-ever-after Stories

Today we welcome author:
Pepper Basham

One commenter will win a copy of Pepper's new release: 
The Thorn Bearer

Mary here. I am beyond excited to host my good friend Pepper Basham this weekend. We are both Alley Cats and write for the Writer's Alley. Pepper has such a vat of story ideas. It bubbles over every time she calls. As she talks the idea deepens, and everyone is drawn into the story, laughing, and upping the ante. It's so much fun. Of course her Appalachian accent adds to the good time. Pepper has three books being published this year. Her debut year!!! Of course I had to invite her to join us and share her amazing God story.  You're gonna love it. Here is what she said:

God's Dream in Our Hearts Equals a 

Thanks so much for letting me visit your blog today, Mare!! My goal is to provide some insight and encouragement for those journey-weary writers out there!

I hope that one thing any aspiring writer can take from my writing story is that God’s timing and our perseverance for His dream in our hearts equals a happily-ever-after.

But remember, I didn’t say God’s timing was fast!

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, creating wild stories to regale the other kids in grade school or make my parents laugh. Those silly adventures turned into words on the page when I was about eight…and never stopped. But writing has never taken a front seat in my eclectic and busy life….until recently.

Growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia I had the wonderful opportunity to be surrounded by a funny, creative, loving, and big Appalachian family. My extended family lives within a few miles of each other and there were times when my family life really did resemble bits and pieces of Mayberry. Faith, family, friendship, and fun were four hallmarks of the culture – including a solid dose of hard work, a smattering of good ol’ storytelling, and a sprinkling of ‘dream big’.

Dreaming big for a poor Appalachian girl was definitely a big deal! And no three people dreamed bigger for me than my Mom, Dad, and Granny Spencer. If the size of dreams could be counted in coins, I’d be a millionaire off of their dreaming. When I was ten years old, my Granny bought me a second-hand typewriter and stated words that fueled my dreams. “I bought this because…well…a writer needs one.”

A writer.

That’s what she called me!

And with God’s calling on my heart, my Granny’s words in my head, and my parents’ encouragement in my purpose, I’ve been writing stories of all sorts ever since. It’s been a very long and difficult journey, but on May 7th, 2015, I held my DEBUT novel IN. MY. HANDS!!!

What did it take to get to that point?

I sent in my first writing contest entry and attended my first writing conference in 2004. At that point, I didn’t even know what a synopsis or proposal was. I just liked writing a good story. In 2004, I was a pastor’s wife, full-time speech-language pathologist, and mother to a 6, 4, and 2 year old with a little brother on the way.

I left that conference discouraged and overwhelmed at all the information I needed to learn, so I spent the next 3 years studying craft and learning ‘how’ to write a good story. I had PLENTY of stories in my head, but I had to learn how to hone my skills to be able to communicate those stories well.  I also attended The Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Workshop.

In 2007, I attended my next conference. In 2007, I was a pastor’s wife (at a new church), full-time university instructor, and mother of a 9, 7, 5, 2, and 1 year old. At this conference I felt a little more prepared, because I’d actually created a ‘projects’ sheet and entered the paid critique, and though the comments on the critique hit my confidence pretty hard, it also gave me encouragement. So in 2008, I took The Writer’s Guild’s Journeyman course and then entered two contests, one was for the conference I’d attended in 2007.

To my complete shock, I won! Both! (I also learned that a writer needed business cards ;-)

It wasn’t until the next year that I learned about ACFW and joined the encouraging group of writers from around the world, but the BEST year of my writing life (up until this year) was in 2010!!

2010 marked SO MANY WONDERFUL things for me. In 2010 I was still working as a university instructor, my husband was still pastoring a church, and our 5 children were around the ages of 12, 10, 8, 5, 4, but into my life came a brand new chorus of friends.

The AlleyCats!!

In May 2010, five aspiring writers started The Writers Alley. Within six months, we added 5 more! The beginning of this group writing blog not only offered a wonderful resource for aspiring and published authors, it generated a fantastic friendship among the ten of us. Through the AlleyCats, I not only gained critique partners, but fabulous friends – some of my very best friends!!

Also in May 2010, I found out that I had double-finaled in the Genesis Contest, with two VERY different books!

You would think after finagling in such a big contest, I’d have a contract the next month, right?

No. I added more slips to my growing rejection pile…and kept on writing.

There were many opportunities for discouragement and questioning my calling. Many times when I had to take a break from writing to manage life.

But also many times when God sent Providential messages of hope my way through the words of encouragement in my family, friends and other writers.

In May 2014, the amazing Julie Gwinn signed me on as one of her clients. In June, our family made a big move to Asheville, NC. It was a difficult transition, especially for me and my oldest 3 kids. I left a job I loved with people I loved even more. They left a school and friends they’d known for 8 years. I was ready to give up the writing gig for a while because I couldn’t manage more disappointment along with all the change I was helping my family get through.

In the middle of the flux of change, I received my very first contract from a small publishing house called Lighthouse of the Carolinas. I signed that contract, with my awesome Alleycats around me, at the ACFW conference in September. By the end of November, I had two more contracts, the BIGGEST was from a small, mainstream publishing house for a THREE BOOK SERIES!

So…here I am in 2015. A wife of a music minister, full-time SLP, and mom of a 17, 15, 13, 9 and 8 year old…and a published author!

God’s dreams are constant, even if ours fluctuate from time, disappointment, rejection, and trial. No matter how my life has changed, He’s remained the same – and so has his calling on my life, so I pray that he continues to give me stories for his glory to share with others.


Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. 
She’s a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mom of five, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate. She enjoys sprinkling her native Appalachian culture into her fiction whenever she can. 

She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she works with kids with special needs, searches for unique hats, and plots new ways to annoy her wonderful friends at her writing blog, The Writer’s Alley. She is represented by Julie Gwinn and her debut novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in April 2015. 

Here is how you can connect with Pepper:


The Thorn Bearer
From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh must choose between the forgiveness of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can rescue her from them all.

When her fiancĂ© leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed – who could ever love a soiled woman?

In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.

Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and protection as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend’s former fiancĂ© and his own childhood companion.

As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.

When the truth of Ashleigh’s past explodes in the middle of war and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough – or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.

Enter the contest to win a copy of 
Pepper's new release:
The Thornbearer:
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The winner will be announced on my Facebook page

Thank you, Pepper, for joining us this weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!


Anonymous said...

First comment - exciting. I am already a follower of your blog. I would love to win as I do not know. Pepper's work and would love to. jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Joanne Sher said...

LOVE Pepper - and she knows it! Love her story and her enthusiasm even more. And EVERY AlleyCat. And, of course, would LOVE to win her book!

Pepper Basham said...

You are awesome, Joanne!!! Good luck with the contest and thanks for the encouragement!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I know, Jane! Totally! I am so excited to be able to host Pepper, she is such a great friend. And The Thorn Bearer to be her debut! It is awesome!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Love seeing you this morning. I hope your children book writing is going well.
We were just talking about how all the Alley Cats need to get published to form an AC library just this week!!
Pepper has so many great stories. I'm especially happy that this one gets to be her debut, because I know she wanted it to be. :)
Good chatting with you, Joanne.

Unknown said...

Hey Mary! Thank you for introducing Pepper. I am looking forward to getting to know her. I love the cover of THE THORNBEARER.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Good morning, Caryl!
I love the cover of her book, too. The colors, everything about it is so inviting to a fabulous story inside.
This is an author you will want to read, definitely.

Pepper Basham said...

Caryl, I'm super excited about the cover! I can't even imagine what they'll do with the others to make it as good! Wow!

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

What an exciting publishing story. I've heard excellent things about "The Thornbearer." Congrats and best of luck with your writing, ladies! :)


Pepper Basham said...

Thanks so much, Anna!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Anna!
Welcome to Let's Talk. I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm pretty excited about Pepper's new release, The Thorn Bearer, too. The story is a-mazing.

Patty said...

Thanks for letting Pepper share a bit of her story! I am not a writer, but enjoy hearing about your journeys to publication.

I live just down the mountain from Pepper in Greenville, SC.


Pepper Basham said...

hey neighbor! There are some amazing writers who live in your neck of the woods!! :-)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey, Patty!
Good to see you. What Pepper said...AND you are a faithful reader and friend. I'm so glad you stopped by today!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh I love your story. Perseverance and Gods timing. You're amazing!!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey Ames! Great to see you.
Perseverance and God's timing are so key in all parts of our lives. Reading stories likes Pepper's kinda helps us all to remember. Thanks for pointing that out.
And I agree, Pepper is amazing! God knew she had what it takes to handle all she does.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Pepper, thanks so much for sharing your story. And I love your book cover! I miss you and all the Alley Cats, but it's wonderful to see how God is working in your lives.

Pepper Basham said...

Ames, thanks so much for stopping by! I love you! I cannot WAIT to celebrate this moment with you and Mary when it happens for you gals! WHAT FUN!!!

Pepper Basham said...

Thanks, Cindy!! It's been a long journey and I'm sure it's still going to be filled with lots of waiting :-) We miss you too!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Miss you, too, Cindy. I see God working in your life as well. Keep us up to date on your writing, K?

Cara Putman said...

What an awesome story! Love how God's fingerprints are all over it, Pepper! Enjoy the ride!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Cara! So nice to see you here at this gathering for Pepper's debut novel. God truly has blessed her life. Thanks for sharing your encouragement for her.