Thursday, September 15, 2011

Aspiring Author Thursday: Introducing Peggy Eddleman

I'm so excited to introduce Peggy today. She is so awesome and has such a wonderful, fun blog. Seriously. It's SO cute. You should go follow it. Like, right now. :) Click here to check it out.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Knowing I wanted to be a writer is completely different from thinking it would be fun to write. I love Joss Whedon. I think he is a GENIUS. After a couple of friends discovered the brilliance of the show Firefly, I enticed them with another Joss Whedon series– Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After they watched all 200+ episodes of Buffy and also Angel, I figured it would be fun to write them into a story set in that world and give it to them as a gift. 40,000 words later, I found out that fun didn’t even begin to cover it! I was still sitting in the “It’d be fun to write” mind set, though.

I read MG books to my kids every night, and have for a whole lot of years. But when I read them the story I wrote, it was beyond anything I had ever experienced before. I knew at that moment I wanted to spend the rest of my life writing books, and that I was willing to learn and grow and work hard and persevere and do what it took to be published.

Is it bad to admit that I've never seen an episode of Buffy? *hides* And I think it's awesome that you can write middle grade. I cannot do it. I really want to once day though.

Do you have a writing schedule, or do you just sit down whenever you get a spare moment?

During this summer, I set 7:00-10:00 am as my writing time, and treated it as sacred. Actually, I treated it the same as I treat sleep at 3:00 am. Can I wake up and do something at 3am if it’s really important? Of course! But usually sleep is the most important thing at that time. Writing was the most important thing from 7-10. Now that school has started and I’m back at work, writing time takes a lot more creativity to find.

I wish I had three straight hours to just write! That would be awesome. Someday...

Could you tell us a little about yourself? Random facts? Hidden talents?

Random facts... Because of torn ligaments, my limbs aren't fully attached. All four of them. Sorta like they are tied on with a rope and the rope is fraying to varying degrees, depending on the limb. If I lived in medieval times and the king ordered me quartered, it wouldn't take four of his best horses. He could probably use bunnies or something.

LOL! Bunnies. :)

Hidden talents... I can do an impressively long hand stand. Oh, wait. That was the cause of two of my limbs not currently being fully attached. I guess we better leave it at I USED to be able to do an impressively long hand stand.

I wish I could have timed you!  Do you know you're record time?

If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn't live without? (Besides your family and a laptop of course.)

Can I say Internet connection, or is that totally cheating? I mean, if I’ve got the laptop with me...

Uh ... maybe it can be an island that has wi-fi. ;)

What is one book you could read over and over and over?

That's hard! There are way too many books in the world to keep reading the same ones. :) I’ve read Harry Potter and the Eragon series myself, and have loved reading them again to my kids. I also loved reading the Deltora Quest series and the Gregor the Overlander series to my kids multiple times. As far as just myself? I’m going to go with Shannon Hale’s books of Bayern (Goose Girl & companions), because the language in them is SO BEAUTIFUL.

I LOVE Shannon Hale's books! Love. And Harry Potter. And Eragon.:) 

What book are you dying to read this year?

Divergent and Possession. Two books I still can’t even believe I haven’t read yet.

Ditto! I have both of them on my shelves and haven't gotten to them yet!

What genre do you write and why?

I write middle grade, mostly adventure tinged with science fiction to make it feel a bit like fantasy. My latest is post-apocalyptic.

Why? Three reasons, really.
1. Because 3rd - 7th graders rock the world.
2. Because I blush writing kissing scenes, and MG rarely has them.
3. Because not every kid is willing to pick up a fantasy book, yet there’s so much room to play with fantasy! But really, the technology we have now seemed like magic 100 years ago. I found that if you give something a little bit of science fiction, it opens up a LOT of room to play.

Fantasy rocks. Seriously. And you're totally missing out on writing kissing scenes. ;) That's one reason I can't write middle grade. I have to have my romance!! :D

Do you have any writing rituals? Music, silence, eating, etc.

Silence usually, eating occasionally, headphones with Pandora when the room around me is way too chatty. When I am editing, I work on my desktop because I love the big screen and the bigger keyboard. When I’m drafting, I use my mini laptop and go somewhere. The park, a place that has a similar feel to the book, a cafĂ©, or even my kitchen table. I write best when I’m not at my desk.

I wish I could go somewhere else to write sometimes. Alas, I'm usually home in front of my desk top. Or I have my mini laptop on my lap while the hubby is watching a movie next to me.

Where do you come up with your ideas? Dreams, while driving, etc?

I have a reinforced steel wall in my brain, behind which all ideas, plot, scenes, and answers lie. I beat and beat and beat on that wall until I punch a hole. I pull out everything I can reach, then start punching a new hole. It’s probably not the easiest way.

As far as the first thing that sparks an idea for a book? For my first book, it came from a location in my childhood. The book I’m querying came from flying in an airplane over clouds. The one I’m drafting came from the last four seconds of a dream in the wee hours of the night before a child burst into my room saying they were sick. Apparently, sometimes four seconds is all you need. :)

Oh, I love those nights when a child comes in my room after they've thrown up in their bed. Best. Nights. Ever.

Any advice for other aspiring authors?

Oh, you mean besides sit and stare at this blog because it’s the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen?

Convince yourself that you are good at this! That you have what it takes to persevere. That you have the ability to beat odds that most people can’t beat. You’ll need to fall back on that A LOT.

Ha ha! You are so cute! :) And great advice. You really do have to have a good attitude about everything or  rejection will eat you alive.

Random Writing Question: If you could put your current main character in a fantasy world from a different book, what would you choose and why?

That’s a hard question! My MC, Hope, is bold, capable, physical, daring, impulsive and smart. I’m going to have to go with Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. If you haven’t read it and like fantasy even a smidgeon, read it! It’s mind blowing. The magic system is based on metals, and they use it in ways that if it were ever made into a movie, it’d be the most visually stunning ever. I’d love to put Hope in there and see what new kinds of things she could do with their magic, and what kinds of trouble she’d get herself in. It’d be epic.

Another person recommending Mistborn. Now I HAVE to read it! It sounds fantastic. :) Thank you so much for being here today, Peggy! You are SO much fun!
*If any of you want to be interviewed for my Aspiring Author Thursdays, shoot me an e-mail and let me know. :) I'd love to have you.*


Michelle Merrill said...

Great interview!

Mistborn IS epic...Shannon Hale books are the bomb...and you two haven't read Divergent? I suggest that you get on that quickly. (Yes, it deserves an adverb!)

Thanks for the post, I'll head over to Peggy's blog now!

Angie Cothran said...

Great interview :) I love Peggy's answers. I could be stuck on a desert island with her, because I would pick the same books.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I love Peggy, and I love her answers. No limbs attached? Ouch!
Thanks ladies, great interview.

E.R. King said...

Great interview, Chantele and Peggy! Good for you for being regimented about your writing, Peggy. And the island with Wi-Fi is genius!

Abby said...

I love Peggy and her blog! She is so much fun. OUCH for those torn ligaments, props on the handstand! AND - I don't even know how you get up at 3 am. I could never do it. Never! I require to much sleep. She is amazing!

J. A. Bennett said...

Peggy you are such a doll! I am totally with Chantele about the kissing though. You are seriously missing out. Great Interview!

Carrie Butler said...

Great interview, ladies! It's always fun getting to know more about my blogging friends. (Even more fun when it involves Joss Whedon and medieval bunnies!) ;)

Taffy said...

Peggy is awesome and I too loved her answers.
I like this idea of aspiring writer. I think I'll add it to my blog. THANKS for the idea and the interview!

Kristine said...

Ah... Mistborn. It's at the VERY top of my favorites list. I lend out my signed copies as often as I can to spread it.

Peggy just convinced me to watch Buffy too. Gotta make it through the first 2 seasons (picture it like a slow, bad graphics, but important character building beginning to a book that ends up being rad - then you'll like it more). The other 5 seasons are good.

Jessie Humphries said...

Yay Peggy! I am her #1 fan! In a non-creepy way:) she is sooo on her way!

Cortney said...

Great interview! I love Buffy! And I used to get up at 3:30 am every day because I worked early morning custodial in college...not sure I could ever do it again!

elizabethreinhardt said...

Peggy, I am a HUGE Firefly/Buffy fan, too! Oh, and I've never read Harry Potter (I know, I know!) but I have this great reason...I'm waiting until my daughter is Harry's age in the first book, and then we're going to read them ALL TOGETHER! I can't wait until you're published and we can read yours together, too!

kirstenlopresti said...

Inspiring interview. Hope to read your book one day!

Jolene Perry said...


The writing in Buffy is STELLAR!!
You big slacker.
You need to dedicate some serious time to watching that teenage vampire slasher, lol.

Also - FAB interview.

Peggy's so awesome :D

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

That was awesome ladies! I'm thinking I need to pick up Mistborn now as well.

Leigh Ann said...

OMG you haven't read DIVERGENT or POSSESSION????

Peggy! I will come over and watch your kids for a day so you can read them. Serious. I am like an evangelist for those books. But not scary. I don't think.

Great interview, and beautiful blog!

Katy said...

I love the questions you ask in your interviews... totally unique and so revealing. Thanks for introducing us to Peggy. She seems delightful!

Jeigh said...

I nearly spit milk all over my screen over being quartered by bunnies. HA!

I'll have to check out Mistborn.

Oh, and I totally blush when I write kissy scenes. But I do it anyway.

linda said...

Yay, Peggy! :D Thanks for the awesome interview! I feel like I should check out Mistborn and Buffy now...

Jennifer Groepl said...

You've been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award! See my blog for details! :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Thanks so much, Chantele for having me over! This was fun! And you should definitely read Mistborn. Read it, then go write some more kissy scenes. ;)

Michelle-- If we agree on Mistborn and Shannon Hale books, then I'm going to totally trust you on Divergent. The mailman just delivered it, along with Possession. I'm ready to dive in!

Angie-- Awesome! Can we have a personal chef on our desert island?

Jenny-- Awww! That gets me right here. And they're attached... just not very well.

E.R.-- Thanks! Island wi-fi is the bomb! We should all go live there. Or at least have a writing retreat.

Abby-- You are so sweet! And I don't get up at three. I just meant that I treat writing time the same way I treat sleep at three-- like it's THE most important thing. But thanks for thinking I'm that dedicated! I don't get up to write until six, because my hubby and I are TERRIBLE about going to bed at a decent time.

J.A.-- You know, sometimes I DO feel like I'm totally missing out! One of these days, I'm going to try it just for fun. :)

Carrie-- It's because Joss Whedon and medieval bunnies are just so darn loveable.

Taffy-- Aww, thanks! It is a fabulous idea, and so much fun! Chantele totally rocks it.

Kristine-- You continue go preach the Mistborn religion, girl! And I'll preach Buffy.

Jessie-- I always wanted a #1 fan! Wanna stalk me? Because I can always use your stream of encouragement. Somehow I just don't think there are enough supportive stalkers in the world.

Cortney-- I love that you love Buffy! I don't love for you that you had to wake up at 3:30 for work. Ugh. I bet you're glad that's over!

Elizabeth-- Firefly and Buffy will always hold a special place in my heart. :) I wanted to read HP to my kids when they were Harry's age, too! Sadly, though, I couldn't convince them to let me until my oldest was thirteen. We are reading them much faster than one a year, though, so it makes it all okay. And you are SO sweet! Thoughts of you reading my book to your kids gets me.

Kirsten-- Thanks! I really hope you can, too. :)

Jolene-- You are not wrong. And have you watched them on DVD? Each episode that Joss commentates is a writing lesson. Joss was my first teacher. :)

Shelly-- Definitely read Mistborn! It rocks.

Leigh Ann-- I love you. Hop on a plane and come on over! I'll even make you cookies. And the mailman brought both to me recently, so I'll get right on it! And I agree-- Chantele's blog is seriously the best!

Katy-- They were definitely fun questions to answer! Chantele rocks.

Jeigh-- So what are you saying? I should get over my blushing and just get writing kissy scenes? Okay, you're probably right. Read Mistborn, and I promise I'll give it a shot. :)

Linda-- Oh, my gosh! YES! Check out both! You won't be sorry.

Thanks again, Chantele!

Patti said...

It's always great to meet another Joss Whedon fan. Firefly was awesome. I'm heading over to your blog right now.