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What if you could take a beloved story and put a new spin on it, retelling the tale in a new and yet equally lovely way? Pepper Basham is visiting with us today, and it sounds like her new novel, A Twist of Faith, has done just that. I am hearing wonderful things about this book, and I’m so excited to have Pepper here to share about it with us! Before we begin, here’s a quick look at A Twist of Faith.
Dr. Adelina Roseland has worked ten years in research as an accent reduction specialist to attain her dream job. But a secret wager to transform Appalachian cattle farmer Reese Mitchell into corporate material challenges Adelina in ways she never expected, threatening her new position.
For one, Adelina didn’t plan for the faith and friction of Reese, or the unexpected influence of his chaotic family. Now, drawn into a culture she’d tried to forget, Adelina finds the warmth of family, the hope of faith, and the joy of love melting away the deep wounds of her past.
But when Reese discovers that he’s a pawn in her climb up the academic ladder, will he forgive Adelina’s deceit or will their miscommunication end in two broken lives?
Welcome back, Pepper! What inspired you to write A Twist of Faith?
It was a natural progression from my love of My Fair Lady (and Audrey Hepburn) to being a speech-language pathologist and living in Appalachia. One day, while watching My Fair Lady, I thought about how fun it would be if this story happened in modern times, in Appalachia (because of our thick accents) AND if the roles were reversed! Oh my goodness, from that point on, the story took off.
I bet! What a fun idea to retell the story this way! What do you hope your readers take away from it?
No one is too broken God cannot heal them – and also God’s dreams are even better for us than our own.
‘He Will Carry You’ just started playing in my head. Maybe a great theme song for the book…lol Did your own education and work experiences play into this story? Can you share a little about that?
As some of you know, I’m a speech-language pathologist by day. When I worked at East Tennessee State University in their Communication Disorders department, I had the wonderful opportunity to learn more about accent modification therapy. I’ve known about it for a while as part of my profession, but never had the opportunity to really practice the therapy. Oh what fun! Accents are not considered disorders, only differences, but some people (actors, people transplanting from one country to another, etc) need/want to either learn a new accent or decrease the ‘thickness’ of their own for one reason or other. Being aware of speech sounds and dialects, as well as the Appalachian culture, just helped make this story SO much more fun to write. And book 2 is about a speech-language pathologist too!! So fun!
Accents are intriguing, for sure! Your two previous books are historical fiction. Now that you’ve published a contemporary piece, do you prefer writing one or the other? Why?
Hmm…I like writing both for different reasons. I LOVE the research and surprising finds of historical novels. And the clothes! I LOVE the era in which I write – so that plays a big part in my love for historical novels.
Contemporaries are where I just have fun with humor! For some reason, I haven’t quite found my humor voice in my historicals yet – but I love bringing that part to life in my contemporary novels.
Oh goodness, another reason why I apparently NEED to read this one… 😉 Which authors have had the most impact on your writing?
Oh that’s a tough question. SO many. Laura Frantz’s writing style and depth of story inspired me to write with the same lyrical beauty. (I’m not there yet, but I hope to be some day). Julie Lessman’s passion inspired by LOVE for romance. Mary Connealy’s humor really encouraged me to open up with my comedic writing style. Ruth Logan Herne’s realistic approach gave me the nudge to write the hard stuff. Siri Mitchell’s eclectic style really helped me realize I could do both contemp and historical. And ALL of these ladies added their encouragement to this journey for me.
That’s almost as bad as asking for a favorite book, isn’t it? But these are all wonderful authors, and I’m sure their encouragement goes a long way on the tough days! If you had an opportunity to encourage an aspiring author, what would you say?
Keep writing…and don’t forget to enjoy the journey. What I really mean by that is fall in love with story long before you ever get published, because the love of story-creating is going to be what keeps you writing long after the publishing contract.
Writing for publication will only get you so far. Writing for the love of story is the fuel that keeps you going in the dry and difficult seasons. So fall in love with the God-given gift of story and trust Him to get you to the publishing line.
That’s great advice! Can you give any hints about what you’re working on now?
Well…I’m working on several things right now. Currently, I’m working on two contemporary romance novels and one historical novella. One contemp is high on comedy, the other one is a softer mix of comedy and drama. The historical novella is World War 2.
Wow — that sounds like a lot at once. With so many demands on your time, how do you balance everything you need to do?
Hmmm…sometimes I balance well and sometimes I don’t. It’s been helpful that my kids are a little older than they used to be, so they can entertain themselves here and there while I try to get ½ hour in of writing/marketing. I’ve learned to write during small increments of time, because that’s all I’ve had for the past…I don’t even know. 🙂 I’ve also realized over the last year that I desperately need prayer to help me refocus when I feel overwhelmed. I try to get all of the work done I can for speech pathology done at work – that helps.
The fine art of balancing seems like a day-by-day thing, always! Aside from writing and reading, do you have hobbies you enjoy?
I enjoy walking in these beautiful mountains I love. 🙂 I also love hanging out with my kids playing games AND I love music – listening to it, discovering it, writing it. 🙂
Writing music, too? That’s awesome! (You could probably tell from my instant song-in-my-head earlier that I, too, love music!) Would you share something that the Lord has been teaching you recently?
To trust him. Our family has had a lot of transitions and discouragements over the past year – writing included. I’m continuing to learn (as I suppose I always will) that God holds this moment and the ones in the future – and he’s using them all to work together for my good and His glory. I think sometimes it’s easy to ‘say’ we trust but living it each day, believing it in our actions (not just our words) is harder. Thankfully, He gives us the strength to do what we cannot do in our own weakness. 🙂
Oh yes! Those words take on a whole new meaning when tough times come. Romans tells us He will work ALL things together for good to those who love Him, so we can hold tight to that promise, but stepping out in faith is not always easy! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us, Pepper!
Do you have an accent? Are there any accents that you wish you had instead?
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus, and proud AlleyCat over at The Writer’s Alley. Her debut historical romance novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015, with the second novel arriving in February 2016. Her first contemporary romance debuts in April 2016.
You can connect with Pepper online:
Also by Pepper:
From the decks of the ill-fated Lusitania to the smoke-filled trenches of France, Ashleigh must choose between the forgiveness of her past, life in the present, and a Savior who can rescue her from them all. When her fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed – who could ever love a soiled woman? In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone. Sam Miller is always making up for his best friend’s mistakes. Determined to help Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and protection as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend’s former fiancé and his own childhood companion. As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship. When the truth of Ashleigh’s past explodes in the middle of war and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough – or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.
With her newfound faith, Catherine Dougall hopes to take the remnants of her threadbare life and make something beautiful, even if society shuns every choice she makes.
Dr. David Ross must save his war hospital from ruin, but when his notorious aunt makes an offer he can’t refuse, he must choose between his surprising affection for a reformed flirt or his dreams.
From the beautiful Derbyshire countryside to the trenches of World War One, Catherine and David must learn to trust in a God who never forgets his children and fashions beauty out of the most broken things.
‘A Twist of Faith’ Giveaway:
Pepper has graciously offered to give away one digital copy of A Twist of Faith. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.
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