Thursday, June 20, 2013

Interview with Peggy Webb, author of the Forever Friends Series


CAN'T STOP LOVING YOUABOUT CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU

Brick and Helen Sullivan had been a team, onstage and off. When she walked out of their marriage without an explanation, he swore he’d never play another role with her, in the bedroom or otherwise. But Fate brings them together to reprise their roles in The Taming of the Shrew, and the sparks begin to fly. Laugh – and cry – as the famous and lively lovers try to untangle a web of misunderstanding and find their way back to the place where they belong. (Forever Friends, Book 1).           Only His Touch

ABOUT ONLY HIS TOUCH

Kathleen Shaw has lost everything – the only man she’ll ever love, the husband who had rescued and adored her, her career, and now her eyesight and hearing. She has even lost the Forever Friends because she’s too proud to call for their help. That she survived the boat explosion is a miracle. When Hunter La Farge returns to Jefferson Parish searching for her, is it too much to ask for another miracle? (Forever Friends, Book 2.)           Bringing Up Baxter

ABOUT BRINGING UP BAXTER

Attorney B. J. Corban’s fiancĂ©e is on their honeymoon – with another woman! When her zany sister packs her off to the mountains to get over being jilted at the altar, B. J. takes enough camping equipment to fight off mosquitoes, bears and famine. But she hadn’t counted on a heart-stealer on a Harley, appropriately called Crash. Nor had she counted on a little stray dog she calls Baxter. Crash lays claim to the dog – and her heart. She fights to keep both, but can Crash teach B. J. that to lose her heart is also to keep it?

The Interview

Why was writing Can’t Stop Loving You (Forever Friends, 1 of 4) so important to you?
I confess to a great love of Shakespeare, particularly his hilarious The Taming of the Shrew. I was mid-career when I wrote Can’t Stop Loving You, and by that time, I had the freedom to be experimental. What fun! I pulled out all the stops on this book, playing around with one of my favorite themes, second chance at love, and also being gleefully inventive with Shakespeare!
What was the writing/creative process like?
The creative process differs with each writer. In my case, every book starts with the characters. Sometimes they pop into my head unexpectedly. Other times I’ll attend an event, hear a song or see a friend that will set my creative wheels turning. Characters come to me with their names, attitudes and their baggage attached. I once heard an author say she could call her character Jane or Susan or Beth, and it was all the same to her. My muse was jumping up and down, stamping her foot and shouting, NO! My characters are my friends. I wouldn’t dare change who they are. Once the characters are firmly entrenched in my mind, I write a bare-bones synopsis, sometimes a mere paragraph or two, and then sit down at my computer to let them lead me through the story. I’m a seat-of-the pants writer with a great fondness for surprise. Just when I think I know where a story is headed, my characters will do something unexpected that knocks my socks off!
How did you come up with the title?
Do you remember Ray Charles singing that great song, “I Can’t Stop Loving You?” I’m a sucker for music of all kinds, particularly blues. As you know, titles can’t be copyrighted, and Can’t Stop Loving You was ready made for Helen and Brick Sullivan, the team of actors who warred and wooed onstage and off.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was born a writer and knew from the time I was ten that I would someday see my books in print. I’d sit in the hayloft on the farm where I grew up, writing poetry and stories that I now know were Gothic. I continued to write throughout my childhood. By the time I was in high school, I had the thrill of seeing my poetry published in a National Anthology of High School Poetry. Several years, a marriage and two children later, I wrote a monthly humor column that appeared in two international trade magazines. More than 200 humor columns later, I turned my pen to romance and saw my first book published 1985. That little book, Taming Maggie, took the number one spot on romance bestseller lists and garnered a Best-selling New Author award from Waldenbooks.
What books do you believe influenced you in your life?
I have been greatly influenced by the short stories of fellow Mississippian and Pulitzer Prize winning author, Eudora Welty. Her short story, “Why I Live at the PO,” is one of the funniest I’ve ever read. I was born with a funny bone, and would like to think that someday a reader will say of me, “Peggy Webb’s romantic comedies and comedic mysteries made me laugh so hard I cried.” I am also in love with the lyrical prose of Pat Conroy, Alice Hoffman and Elizabeth Berg. Their books speak to the music in my soul. If I can achieve that sort of beauty in The Sweetest Hallelujah, my literary fiction novel written under the pen name Elaine Hussey, I will turn cartwheels under a full moon. But not while the neighbors are watching! They already think somebody needs to get the net to me.
How much influence did you have in the cover of your book? Did you initially have a different idea of how it would look?
Kim Van Meter is the cover designer for my Forever Friends series. All I have to do is give her a general idea of what I want, and she creates these amazing covers! I have final approval, but rarely do I make any changes. I think she reads my mind!
Can you describe a typical day for you?
The days I cherish most are those when my dogs and I hang out in the kitchen while I make breakfast, then head to my front porch or one of my glorious gardens to eat while we watch the birds. Afterward, they stay in the garden to play while I sit at my desk to write, a cup of coffee nearby and a CD of Native American flutes playing. The doggie babies come back inside for my lunch break and their treats, and then I’m back at the computer, tapping away while my characters lead me through the story. I like to spend at least five hours a day writing. But sometimes, I get caught up in the business end with promotion/travel/booksigning/speaking. Then I stay at the computer as long as it takes to meet a deadline, sometimes eight, ten, twelve hours a day. I’m happy to say that in a career that spans nearly 30 years, I’ve never missed a deadline.
What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
Play my baby grand piano, sing in my church choir, putter in my gardens, sit on the front porch with a good book, visit with family and friends. I’m not much of a shopper, though I do like fancy shoes and pink lipstick as much as any girly girl you’ll meet.
What do your family and friends think of your writing?
My family and friends are my biggest fans! My family is enormously proud, and friends say reading one of my books is the same as sitting down to visit me. Still, I’m so happy that to friends I’m still the same Peggy, to my children I’m simply Mom, and to my grandkids I’m just Gigi.
What do you think is more important – a good plot, or good characters? Why did you choose the one you did?
My books are character-driven. I try to make my characters so real that readers will cheer for them, root for them and cry for them. If I can achieve that, I consider the book a success. But I don’t discount a good plot, particularly in mystery, thriller and romantic suspense. Much of the lure in those genres depends on a plot that leaves the reader breathless. Dangerous Desires (coming July 2 for .99) is a prime example. In this boxed set of six full length books and two novellas, there is never a let-up in action. CJ Lyon and Debra Webb weave plots that scare your pants off. V.R. Marks will have you on the edge of your seat. Vicki Hinze, Kathy Carmichael, Regan Black and I grab hold of the heart and don’t let go as we propel the characters through a fast-paced romantic suspense plot. Still, when I think of books, the characters always come to mind first – Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs), Scarlett O’Hara (Gone With the Wind), Jess Harris (Obsession), Helen and Brick (Can’t Stop Loving You), and Billie and Miss Queen from my alter ego Elaine Hussey (The Sweetest Hallelujah). Thank you so much for letting me stop by to chat!

Angels on ZebrasABOUT ANGELS ON ZEBRAS

When her sister B.J. asks Maxie to be godmother to her son, the zany interior designer is happy to comply – until she learns she will be sharing god-parenthood with Mr. Perfect. Lawyer Joseph Beuregard is successful, drop-dead handsome and lethally sexy. There are only two problems: he’s the cause of Maxie’s Most Embarassing Moment and he’s B.J.’s brother-in-law. Maxie ruins every man she touches. She’s not about to follow her heart and in the process destroy her sister’s family. Besides, she and Joe can’t even see eye to eye on the christening party. How could they ever have a relationship? But Joe has other ideas. Can two people so totally opposite give their godson the best party in the world and find true love?



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ABOUT PEGGY WEBB

Peggy WebbPeggy Webb, author of 70 novels and 2 screenplays, lives in a cottage in Mississippi surrounded by gardens she designed and planted.  A musician and actress as well as writer, she sings in her church choir and has sung in musicals at Tupelo Community Theater as well as played dramatic roles in Steel Magnolias and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. She started her career in 1985 with a romantic comedy that took the number one spot on romance bestseller lists. Romantic Times presented her with the prestigious Pioneer Award in recognition for her contribution to romantic comedy.  Peggy is currently bringing the best of her romantic comedies back to fans as eBooks. In 2008 she  turned her talents to mystery with the hilarious Southern Cousins series starring Elvis, the sleuthing basset hound who thinks he’s the King reincarnated. This multi-talented author also pens literary fiction as Anna Michaels and Elaine Hussey. Pat Conroy calls her literary work “astonishing” and former Disney exec Kathie Fong Yoneda calls it “brilliant.” The author composed the blues lyrics that appear throughout her literary novel, The Sweetest Hallelujah, Elaine Hussey, due in bookstores July 30, 2013. To learn more about this bestselling, award-winning author, visit her websites at www.peggywebb.com and www.elainehussey.com.       

The Forever Friends Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Monday, June 3 - Book featured and First chapter reveal at Faerotic Prose
Wednesday, June 5 - Book featured at Miki's Hope
Monday, June 10 - Book featured at Bookingly Yours
Monday, June 10 - Book reviewed at Rainy Day Reviews
Thursday, June 13 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Monday, June 17 - Book featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Monday, June 17 - Book reviewed at Books+Beach=Escape
Tuesday, June 18 - Interviewed at Herding Cats & Burning Soup
Wednesday, June 19 - Book featured at I'm Shelf-Ish
Friday, June 21 - Interviewed at Examiner
Monday, June 24 - Book featured at Confessions of a Reader
Tuesday, June 25 - Book reviewed at Janna Shay
Thursday, June 27 - Book featured at CelticLady's Reviews
Thursday, June 27 - Guest blogging and First chapter reveal at Queen of the Night Reviews
Friday, June 28 - Bringing Up Baxter reviewed and Guest blogging at Melina the Reader
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