Want to know more about the folks in the Great Lakes chapter of ACFW? Me too :) Welcome to our first "meet the member" interview. Hope you enjoy getting to know one of the awesome Michigan writers in our chapter! (Would you like to be featured here? Email me and I'll put you in the queue!)
And our first interviewee? Pegg Thomas
JOANNE: Tell us a bit about yourself.
PEGG: I married my best friend 30 years ago this coming June. We have one son who graduated from Lake Superior State (where my hubby and I met in 1980) in December and moved back home until he finds a full-time teaching position. So I’m “sort of” empty nesting but not really.
I have numerous hobbies that include spinning yarn, knitting, quilting, sewing, cross stitch, card making, scrapbooking, cooking, gardening, fishing, camping, horseback riding, photography and – oh yeah – reading. People ask me how I find time to do it all and I tell them I’m blessed. I don’t enjoy watching TV and that frees up hours of time to do other stuff.
JOANNE: I wish I didn't enjoy watching TV! What do you like to write?
PEGG: Words! With any luck, I can string them together in such a way that other people will enjoy reading them.
JOANNE: Hehe. How long have you been writing? At ACFW?
PEGG: I’ve always written. Even as a teenager, I was the official family letter writer. My grandmother encouraged me way back when to use my talent and my humor. I should have listened to her sooner.
The idea to write a novel has been with me for as long as I can remember, but it was filed under “pipe dream” in the back of my head. As I approached my mid-life crisis and my brains got a little hormone scrambled, “pipe dream” migrated to the front of my head. In 2009 I started to get serious about it. I joined ACFW in the fall of 2011 after writing and re-writing my first complete novel.
JOANNE: Are you published?
Lately I have sold three humor articles to the Wesleyan publication, VISTA. These are my first sales in something other than instructional or technical writing.
I am in the process of shopping for a home for my completed novel, “What’s a Sister For?” It’s a contemporary fiction story about three adult sisters and their mother who develops Alzheimer’s. It’s near and dear to my heart as my dad is the third member of our family to develop that dreaded disease. I recently received my very first rejection letter! I’m all excited about it because the editor has offered to help me find an agent.
JOANNE: I just love your attitude, Pegg! What are you working on right now?
PEGG: My current WIP is a historical set around the turn of the 19th century and the Quaker migration from the slave holding states to the Northwest Territory, present day Ohio. Historical is my favorite genre to read – although I read many – and I’m enjoying the research and writing of this one very much. My great-grandmother, who passed away when I was 27, was a Quaker and this story was fueled somewhat from my relationship with her.
JOANNE: What is the best writing advice you've ever received?
PEGG: The best writing advice I've gotten came from http://www.storyfix.com. It's a wonderful site with very opinionated - but for me spot-on - advice. Reading one of Larry Brooks' columns I realized that I'd started my story in the wrong place. Understanding story structure has helped me immensely. I no longer feel like I'm floundering around hoping to stumble on the right sequence of events.
JOANNE: To you, what is the best part of ACFW? The GLC chapter?
PEGG: Scribes! I recently got involved with that part of ACFW and I love it. I’m wickedly backward in that I enjoy the editing process. Polishing and tweaking are fun!
I don’t know how active I’ll be with the GLC Chapter because of distance. It seems like everything happens in the lower counties and that’s a long haul for me. I hope to get to know many of you better through these Q&As!
JOANNE: Scribes IS very helpful - and I hope we WILL do some activities in the upper counties soon. How can folks connect with you?
PEGG: My webpage is http://www.twinwillowsfarm.com. It’s been around for a long time and generates about 30k hits a month. Yeah! I know! Not a bad platform to jump off from, right?! Now if I can just get an agent to agree…
JOANNE: Anything else you want to add?
PEGG: Thanks for letting me go first, Joanne. This was fun! If anyone ever has questions about farming, sheep, horses, fiber arts, etc., please consider me a resource.
Thanks for GOING first, Pegg! It was great to learn more about you.
And now, just for fun: a question from Pegg to YOU! Answer in the comments :)
Do you prefer plain or peanut M&Ms?