Author interview with Pepper Basham

Author Interview with Pepper Basham

Today we’re featuring Pepper Basham on the blog. This was such a fun interview and I just love her reason for writing! And you should check out what event in her past she’d change if she could.

Pepper Basham’s Book & Writing Process

Q: What is the title of your book and what is the publication date?

A: Positively, Penelope

Publication date: August 1, 2023

Q: What genre is Positively, Penelope?

A: Contemporary Romance (epistolary)

Q: What inspired you to write your book, and how did you come up with the idea for it?

A: Writing Authentically, Izzy began the possibility of Penelope, so I guess most of the initial inspiration came from there, but, also, I wanted to celebrate those girls out there who are generally joyful people. Lots of times happy girls are misinterpreted as being silly, shallow, or unintelligent, and I wanted to celebrate the plight of a happy, healthy, smart, and compassionate woman. Penelope is that 🙂

Q: What scene was the hardest one to write and why?

A: Hmm…I’m not sure. Maybe the ones where the romantic interests weren’t specifically involved. LOL, I LOVE writing romance! Working out the mystery so that it wasn’t completely obvious was a little tricky, too.

Q: What are some themes and tropes in your book?

A: Grumpy/Sunshine, a small age gap, AND the idea of reevaluating one’s dreams. Also, I think there’s a sweet theme of loving home and family.

Q: Who is the ideal reader for this book?

A: Anyone who enjoys humor and doesn’t mind epistolary style. If you’re looking for a happy, encouraging, fun book, this one may be the one for you!

Q: What’s the one thing you want readers to take away from reading your book?

A: One thing? Grief and hardships are real and difficult, but in Christ, they do not ultimately steal our joy. Perspective is everything. (Also, sometimes the ‘simplest’ dreams are the sweetest.)

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Q: Share a favorite quote or two from this book.

A: “I’ve chosen joy, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have to fight for it. And sometimes, that fight starts as soon as I wake up in the morning.”

Q: Plotter or pantser? Share a bit of your writing process.

A: Planster (a little of both). I have a general idea of where I’m going, but have a lot of flexibility and surprises for myself along the way 🙂 I also write out of sequence.

Q: What does a typical writing session for you look like?

A: I have tea to my right and start writing on my computer. Usually, I’ll write a little while and then do some daydreaming or picture-looking for inspiration. I don’t usually listen to music while I write, but sometimes I do.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of writing and publishing? How did you (do you plan to) overcome it?

A: Getting through chapters 2-8. If I can get through those, I’ve usually built enough forward momentum to get to the end, but those are the TOUGHEST for me! To get over it? Write anyway! You can’t edit a blank page, so I just write what I can and go back and fix it. (Pray or writing a different book helps too.)

Q: Why do you write?

A: Because when I write, I feel God’s pleasure😊. There is SUCH joy in story creating.

Writing Advice from Pepper Basham

Q: What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out?

A: Don’t let the rat race of publishing steal your joy. If you’re writing for God’s glory and your own joy, keep that focus and just find joy in the journey (even if the journey takes a long time). Also, write. Daydreaming is great, but you can’t publish a blank page.

Q: What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received? How has it impacted your life?

A: Write! Ruth Logan Herne told me that and it’s really that simple. Also, Cathy Marie Hake told me once to “write where the fire is” and sometimes that’s what gets me through a writing slump. I’ll jump to a chapter or a scene that really has my interest and write it before I chronologically get to it.

Q: What’s the worst piece of writing advice you ever received? Why do you think this was not good advice?

A: For me, someone told me to give up. There are times when we should truly evaluate this writing journey and KNOW for ourselves what our ultimate goals are, but telling someone to give up isn’t helpful, IMO. There are other ways to communicate the need to rethink writing as a goal.

Q: If you could go back and change one thing in your author career, what would it be and why?

A: There are things that I wish had been different when I look at them at face value, but then I see how God has used those hard things to make me a better Christian and writer, so…I’m not sure I’d change anything because I know I am who I am today because of the journey.

Q: If you could go back and change one thing in your author career, what would it be and why?

A: OneLook Thesaurus. I use it every day 😃.

Just for Fun

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why?

A: Portal powers—so I could travel easily, cheaply, and whenever I wanted 🙂

Q: If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be and why?

A: Oh gracious! I don’t have any idea!! LOL

Q: If you were not a writer, what would you want to be and why?

A: I’m already something else. I’m a speech-language pathologist by day. I love serving people through this profession.

Q: If you could switch lives with any person for a day, who would it be and why?

A: Princess Katherine – because I’d love to get a behind-the-scenes look at royal life.

Q: What are you reading?

A: Lots of things. Getting ready to start Mimi Matthews’ newest book, also Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green.

Let’s Connect with Pepper Basham

Q: What are you working on next?

A: Well, I just finished writing The Juliet Code and now I’m working on Loyally, Luke.

Positively Penelope cover - Pepper Basham

About Positively, Penelope

Penelope Edgewood is practically positive in every way, so when, fresh out of college, she is awarded a paid internship to help save a century-old theater on the island of Skymar, she jumps at the chance. After all, a crumbling theater needs the special touch of someone who reveres all things vintage and adores the stage. Unfortunately, not everything is as it seems at Darling House Theatre.

Finances are in shambles, the local theater group is disenchanted, and the two brothers, Matt and Alec Gray, can’t seem to see eye-to-eye about how to run their theatrical business. So, of course, it’s the perfect place for Penelope to shine her own personal brand of sunshine. With a little help from GK, the person emailing her encouragement along the way, she puts all her heart into helping the Grays save Darling House.

But between Matt’s ever-present skepticism, Alec’s tendency to treat Penelope a little too much like the “princess” she thinks she wants to be (until someone actually started treating her that way), a grandfather who is stuck in his grief, and a mysterious person stealing Penelope’s marketing ideas, she’s not sure her optimism is enough to make a happily-ever-after of her own story, let alone The Darling House’s.

Between an adorable little girl, a matchmaker, a sea monster or two, and a copious amount of musical references, can Penelope draw enough confidence from her faith, her family, and her adoration of all things Julie Andrews, to find the thief and save the theater . . . without getting her heart broken in the process?

Get your copy of Positively, Penelope

Author Pepper Basham

About Pepper Basham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance “peppered” with grace and humor. Writing both historical and contemporary novels, she loves to incorporate her native Appalachian culture and/or her unabashed adoration of the UK into her stories. Her 20th book came out in February 2023.

She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is a wife, mom to five great kids, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Her dual timeline novel, Hope Between the Pages, was a 2022 finalist for the prestigious Christy awards.

Pepper loves connecting with readers and other authors through social media outlets like Facebook & Instagram. You can learn more about Pepper and her books on her website at

Connect with Pepper Basham on her Website | Author Central | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog | YouTube l Instagram | Book Bub

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