1. What genres do you write and why?
I love reading suspense and thrillers (the difference is practically non-existant so I’m constantly confused) because I love the tingling sense of dread. Of time ticking closer to a Very Bad Event. I love not having a choice but to turn the page to see what happens next. I like writing them that way as well. Hopefully I succeed more than fail.
2. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
While I consistently have dreams that I can fly (which is really kick-ass since I’m not comfortable with heights) I think I’d like to be able to become invisible. I could get out of bad scrapes, surprise the bad guys and save people, and more importantly, I could exercise my snoop muscles that allow me to learn more about the Human Condition… and write about it later.
3. Do you ever get stuck when you’re writing a book? What do you do to get “unstuck”?
Of course I get stuck. Usually my stories begin in an amazing place. The Honeymoon level. Words flow and everything gels and OMG, this is going to be the easiest book I’ve ever written! NOT. In fact, so far in my limited experience, each book has been more difficult than the last.
When I get stuck the first thing I try is to BICHOK (doesn’t that sound like a curse word?). Butt In Chair, Hands On Keys. Just Write. The first few words or sentences or paragraphs or pages might be drivel, but at some point I trust my writing brain to kick in and save the day. (Hey, is there a superpower for writers?)
If that doesn’t work, I need to take a good hard look at my characters. Are they behaving like they’re real people or like I’m forcing them to do things they would never do? Have I skipped over an important plot point because it was going to be too hard? Thankfully it doesn’t get to this point very often.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
That part in my first draft where I wonder why I ever thought I could do this in the first place. What was I thinking? I’m a loser and a failure and I should be happy with the books I have out there because I certainly don’t have it in me to write another one. I should find something else to do. Or maybe do nothing.
It always happens. I’ve learned to trust the process.
5. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
It depends on how many “we” are. The larger the group, the more likely I am to rely on outside help to prepare the meal. Think Honeybaked Ham. Or Costco. I’ve even called in a caterer when I was especially nervous that it be done right.
Otherwise, you should know I get AllRecipes emails everyday and frequently try new ones on both my family and our dinner guests. I figure we can always order pizza.
6. What is your typical day like?
I wish every day could be “typical” even though it hardly ever is. However, in the interest of playing this game, here’s my answer:
I get up without an alarm clock at about 6:15. I quietly leave my sleeping (and retired) husband and dress in my workout clothes somewhere else. I take care of emails (okay, maybe a little Facebook) then kiss my still-sleeping husband good-bye and head to my Jazzercise class. I’m home, showered and dressed, and ready to move on about 10:15. Depending on my To Do List I’ll run errands, take care of the business/marketing part of writing, and then move on to writing. I often write my best words from about 2:00 to well… whenever I need to start dinner. I’m usually at my computer in some fashion until well into the evening. And this is pretty much every day. Not just five days a week.
Now that I’ve written it out it sounds kind of like a drudge, but I have to say… I LOVE Mondays!
7. What is most difficult for you to write? Character, conflict or emotions? Why?
The thing I’ve learned about me is that I want to be Peg the Person and tell everyone everything right up front. Peg the Person wants readers to understand the character, conflict and emotions so they don’t have to worry. Peg the Writer always has to step in and put the brakes on. Readers like to worry.
On the other hand, I love hitting deep POV. And I’ve learned I can hit it gut-wrenching or subtle. And that sometimes (okay, a lot) I can write Over The Top and need to step in and do some severe editing.
8. A penguin walks into your office, right now, wearing a sombrero. What does he say to you and why is he here?
He takes one look at me and shakes his head, causing the sombrero to wobble. “No one told you I was coming, did they?”
9. If you could wave a magic wand, what ill in the world would you solve and why?
Fear. I think fear is at the core of every bad thing that’s happened in our world. Fear morphs easily into hate. Decisions that are fear-based are usually horrible and destined for a negative outcome.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
I spent over two years working on a manuscript that wasn’t working. I was rewriting it for the fourth time and not happy. I finally boxed it up and put it away for another day. It was to be (and hopefully one day will be) the third book in my Aspen Falls Thriller series.
I’m just beginning the first draft of my next book. The working title is Trafficked. My research has been eye-opening and I hope to put a spotlight on the raw evil of those who take part in the business of human trafficking, as well as provide hope that victims don’t have to remain victims. Trafficked will be the follow-up book to THE SACRIFICE, and should be available late 2016.
Be sure to come back to read more about Peg and her novel, RED TIDE, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Happy Reading!
Links to Peg’s website, blog, books, etc.
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Peg is giving away a copy (paperback or Kindle ebook or audiobook, winner’s choice) of RED TIDE, an Aspen Falls Thriller by Peg Brantley. Comment on her **Author Peek** Interview or Karen’s Killer Book Bench blogs for a chance to win. Thank you, Peg, for sharing your story with us.
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!