Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
We continue the Meet the Author series, and this time I talked with a romance novelist Pepper Basham.
I’ve recently read Basham’s contemporary epistolary romance novel Authentically Izzy (coming out in November 2022). That was a fun one, and I had no idea we are getting book #2! Already added it, plus a couple more of her novels, to my TBR.
I really hope to get to them soon. In the meantime, here’s what she had to say about her favorite characters, dealing with reviews and what matters the most to her in life…
Q&A with Pepper D. Basham
To me, Izzy felt like someone you already knew and just decided to put on paper. Where did her story come from?
Actually, she came out of Covid. So many people were having to withdraw into their homes and move to an online format for work/school, I started thinking about how relationships can grow over such an experience. For some reason, she just popped in my head one day as if I’d always known her.
It was SUCH a fun book to write. Interestingly, I realized while I was writing the book this way, that it was appropriate that we get to know Izzy through this format. She is such a quiet personality that she wasn’t as likely to let me get into her head for third person POV at first. But…to spy into her emails? Yeah, I could do that 😊
Which of your characters do you relate to the most?
Hmm, I think I may be a mix between Izzy, Penelope, and Luke. I mean, I enjoy sarcasm, reading, and being positive. It’s hard to choose just one, but I do love Izzy’s love for books.
Is it more or less challenging to write novels in the epistolary form?
This was my first epistolary novel and I found it SUCH fun to write. My challenge was pacing. It’s not an easy format for keeping pacing because people can get really bogged down with the emails/texts. I enjoyed them because it was like reading little snippets, which may make the book more interesting if folks read it that way.
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters?
Usually, the characters. I find that most of my books are character driven and then one definitely lends itself more to being character driven.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Well, I definitely celebrate the good ones and try to make graphics of them to share. The bad ones? I try to understand them and if I see a pattern among the bad reviews, I try to learn from them. I’ve already incorporated some considerations from bad reviews into book 2, Positively, Penelope.
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
Depends on what’s happening in my life. If I finish during the weekday, I usually can’t celebrate until the weekend because of my day job. I just finished a book last night and plan to go visit Biltmore (a grand estate near where I live), go for a walk, and treat myself to a fabulous dessert there.
Sometimes, I’ll also purchase a special item related to the book to keep nearby. I purchased a bouquet of paper flower sonnets when I finished Izzy.
If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?
Alive? Right now, I’d love to spend the day with Mimi Matthews. Her books are AMAZING! She’s an auto buy author for me!
What are the essential characteristics of a hero you can root for?
Smart (in his own way), compassionate, kind, and a sense of humor. I mean, I like all the other things like strong, protective, creative, a good listener, etc., but I suppose my top ones are those.
What is your favorite thing in the world?
My faith followed VERY closely by my family. I LOVE being a mom!!
What are you currently working on? What can we expect next?
I just finished writing Positively, Penelope, which comes out in August 2023! Next, I go into writing another historical romance (mystery) called The Bachelor Spy. So, upcoming from me is Izzy releasing in November, The Cairo Curse (historical romance/mystery) in Feb 2023, and then Penelope August 2023.
#MyFavoriteBookish Tag with Pepper Basham
Favorite trope: friends to more (but I do love a good marriage of convenience)
Favorite character: I can’t do favorites. I love too many. Of my own characters, I adore Grace Percy from The Mistletoe Countess. I also adore Mr. Knightley from Jane Austen’s Emma.
Favorite movie adaptation: Lord of the Rings (all 3)
Favorite book cover: Um…how do you choose a favorite? I love all kinds. One I recently purchased because of the simple beauty of the cover was The Lost Storyteller by Amanda Block. But I also purchased Book Lovers by Emily Henry (taking it with me to the beach next week) 😊
Favorite book ending: ONE of my favorites is Kissing Adrien by Siri Mitchell
Favorite time of the day to read/write: Evenings
Favorite place to read/write: Read – in a cozy chair by a fireplace, write? At my desk near a window
Favorite snacks while reading/writing: Chick-fil-A tea and chocolate covered almonds. I like popcorn too.
Favorite bookish drink: Bookish drink? A hot chocolate with the works.
Hardcovers or paperbacks? Paperbacks
Buying or borrowing books? Buying
Bookmarks or dog-ears? Um…both?
Audiobooks – yay or nay? Yes, but I still prefer paperback
TBR or mood reading? Mood.
I’m currently reading: Getting ready to start Book Lovers by Emily Henry and The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston. I just finished reading Kate Breslin’s upcoming novel for endorsement. Lovely story!