Thursday, March 15, 2012

Meet the Member: Pegg Thomas

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.

We have a small hobby farm and raise registered Border Leicester sheep. We also keep chickens, a trio of horses and a trio of dogs, one barn cat and a pair of ducks. Our place is in Alpena County in the middle of an Amish community. We tell people we’re the first farm with a truck. It’s not strictly true, but it sounds good.

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?

PEGG: I have been published many times in publications in three different countries. Very obscure publications. Most of my articles were about raising angora rabbits or sheep for handspinning fibers, or about fiber arts in some aspect. I was also published in many cross stitch magazines from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s.

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?

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for being my guinea pig, Pegg! LOVED getting to know you better. And I'm definitely a plain M&Ms girl. :)

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    1. Thank you, Joanne, for undertaking this endeavor. I'm happy to be the guinea pig as I sit here with a celery stick between my paws. And I'm a plain M&M person too!

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    2. Let me leave a vote for Peanut M&Ms. Some times you just need the blend of textures and flavors---oh, wish I had some now.

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  2. Are we seriously limited to only peanut or plain? Oh dear, I don't do well in small rooms...

    Do I have to put back the bowl of pretzel M&M's I just got almost free with my coupons?

    Well, If I have to then I supposed um... oh my this is so hard... deep breath... I can do this... OK... PEANUT!

    Shew. Oh these are yummy, you want some?

    Pegg- just a thought- how about if you meet Amanda and I in or around West Branch and we can car pool to whatever event comes next?

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    1. I like the pretzel M&Ms too! And the peanut butter M&Ms. And the dark chocolate. And...and...and...everything but the coconut. I don't like coconut. But plain are my favorites. :)

      I'll keep the car pool idea in mind. It will depend on the time of year too. I don't leave the farm during lambing season for sure! My guys will do chores, but they "don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies!" ;)

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  3. I'm not a huge fan of M&Ms, but I'm going to eat them, I prefer that they are the dark chocolate ones fresh from the M&M store in Las Vegas (they really ARE fresh there and it makes SUCH a difference!)

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  4. Oh, Dawn - I FORGOT about the other options! My absolutely FAVORITE m&m is the mint ones. YYYUUUUUUMMMMMM!

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    1. And raspberry! I've only seen them in the pouch-type bag but OMGosh are they good! See how much fun it is to talk about chocolate. :)

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  5. I can't do M&M's or any other kind of chocolate, a food I once enjoyed without difficulty. The ravages of old age...
    Thanks, Pegg, for sharing a slice of your life with us. I loved getting to know you a little better. Hope all goes well with those lambs!

    Donna Winters

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  6. Oh Dear Donna-

    I shall have to burden myself to eat all the M&M's for you. Such a pity, I would probably not like to live any longer were I not able to eat choclate any longer...

    I'll have to send strawberry shortcake, and raspberry cheesecake prayers your way.

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