Showing posts with label #Kathi Macias. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #Kathi Macias. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Welcome, Author Peggy Blann Phifer

Regular Writing with God's Hope blog followers know that I cherish the opportunity to introduce you to some of my favorite writers. Hope abounds in Christian books, both fiction and non-fiction. Today, I'm honored to interview a great "online" friend, Peggy Blann Phifer. I've read her fiction and heartily recommend it. She offers an entertaining read with a Christian worldview. 

Peg, tell us something about yourself.

I was born in Upstate New York and have lived in Connecticut, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Michigan, and Nevada. I'm now back in Wisconsin. It wasn't until I passed the half-century mark that I started taking my random scribblings seriously.
Did you ever feel like giving up on your writing? 
And how did you press through this?
Oh, yeah, I wanted to quit more than a few times. What writer hasn't? But I'd been bitten by the writing bug by then and pushed on through. Especially after I was sure God had given me a task to write the stories He gave me.
What gave you the idea for this book? How did you find your publisher?

I combined these two questions together because they're intertwined.
In late 2013, Kathi Macias approached me to write a short story for a compilation she was working on called "Twelve Days of Christmas." I jumped at the opportunity, signed a contract and ended up writing my story called "Best Laid Plans. The publisher was Helping Hands Press.
Since then I have signed four more contracts with HHP, the current one being a series of my own called "Sweetwater River."  This stemmed from a character I created in my second contract for 'Summer in Sweetland' and carried on through the next two series' ''Tis the Season in Sweetland' and 'Sonrise in Sweetland.' All of these focus around foster care and adoption.
At the end of that series, my publisher asked if I wanted to do a series of my own, and the rest is, as they say, history.
I am currently writing Volume 3 in this series.
How do you feel your latest release will encourage readers, or did you have something in mind like this when you wrote it?

I'm hoping my readers will not only enjoy this series, but realize the trauma that is the result of being in the foster care system. And the joys of being a foster care mom, and the delight of adopting these kids-even the older teens, providing them with a forever home they'd never had.
If you were a song, what would it be?
Oh boy. It would have to be 'Amazing Grace' or perhaps an old, old chorus we sang years ago, 'Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul.'
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read-on my Kindle-my eyes are no longer good enough to read print books anymore. I used to do a lot of craft work, and crochet, but arthritis has put a crimp in that.
Tell us about your book.
     I've already mentioned some of it above. The Sweetwater River Series is about Rozene Gentry, a widowed, middle-aged woman, who finds herself involved with four girls in the foster care system. Troubled teens, three of them about to graduate from high school, which essentially disqualifies them from foster care, and they have to leave the Youth Acres Group Home where they've been living, and Rozene takes them into her own home until they can get on their feet and learn how to cope in the real world on their own.
And of course we have some romance and tragedy along the way. Saying more at this point would be spoilers.
Volume 1: 'Ripples,' and Volume 2: 'Undercurrents,' have already been published. Their buy links are embedded in their titles. I'm currently working on Volume 3: 'Moorings' and hope to have it released soon.
Author Peggy Blann Phifer, a retired executive assistant after twenty-one years in the Electrical Wholesale Industry, lives in the ‘boonies’ of NW Wisconsin. A late bloomer as far as writing is concerned, Peg’s first published work was a prayer that appeared in 2000 in a Guideposts Book compilation called Prayers for Every Need. Her debut novel, To See the Sun, a contemporary romantic suspense, released in January 2012. A novella, Somehow, Christmas Will Come, contemporary women’s fiction, released in November 2014, re-released in late 2015. Her work has also appeared in numerous anthologies and she is currently writing a series of her own called Sweetwater River. Peg is represented by Jim Hart, of Hartline Literary Agency.
Social Media Links:
TWITTER: @pegphifer

What an honor to have you visit the Writing with God's Hope  blog, Peg. Thank you. I'm eager to dive into this Sweetwater River Series.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Diane Huff Pitts is my Guest

Today, I welcome Diane Huff Pitts. Her first release is a novelette that was published in connection with multi-published author, Kathi Macias. How wonderful to make new writing friends like Diane. I'm so excited for her. Diane, Writing with God's Hope blog has a few questions for a new writer. Here we go:

        1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Thanks for the privilege of an interview! In the past I defined who I was by     talking about what I did. Over the years, I’ve held a number of titles-- friend, wife,     mother, musician, educator, physical therapist, and writer. Hopefully, anything about    me is linked to God. For many years I derived my significance from what I could do rather than what my Creator and Savior says about me. That truth is the heartbeat            of my writing.
     2. Did you ever feel like giving up on your writing?  And how did you press through this?

                               Writing is hard work. The adage “Don’t quit your day job” is true. I worked two jobs as a physical therapist and university instructor while trying to write. Over the last decade, I never stopped writing, but I pushed writing for publication to the back burner. I struggled with family demands and self-doubt. Would anyone read what I wrote? Do I have something worth saying? God, are you in this?
  When you are called to write, you can’t escape it. I like to think I’m a receptive student of the craft. As long as God allows, I will write.

      3.What gave you the idea for this book?

         The Summer’s Dance” in the Summer in Sweetland series is an extension of being a health educator as well as helping me cope with changes in my family. Some of my family members moved to assisted living facilities (ALF). Many of my patients live in an assisted environment. The general public doesn’t fully appreciate the amazing things--funny, endearing, and courageous--that occur in that environment. I decided to weave a story to applaud these residents whose lives have meaning and give our communities strength. Mystery, comedy, and light romance. You’ll find it all in “The Summer’s Dance.”

                        4. How do you feel this book will encourage readers, or did you have something in mind like this when you wrote it?

   I definitely wanted to encourage my readers. That’s another intent of my writing. In the South we have a saying--Living in High Cotton. We can all live in high cotton if we feel our lives matter. For me, high cotton is feeling a sense of inner wealth, not financial wealth or luck. Our significance is not dependent on what we do. In our frailty and weakness, we are the strongest because the light of Christ can shine through fractured lives.

        5.How did you find your publisher?

   Kathi Macias assembled a team of writers for the Summer in Sweetland series and invited me to participate. Kathi and her coeditor Anne Baxter Campbell are interested in mentoring writers like me. Helping Hands Press is the publisher for this endeavor.

                        6. What are the pluses & minuses about doing a novelette? Would you do it again?

   The volumes in the Summer in Sweetland series are 8,000 words. I am learning to adjust my storytelling to varied word counts and not sacrifice the essence of the tale. Believable, multilayered characters is the challenge with shorter word counts.

                           I love what I do. When I wake up thinking about storylines, I know the time is worth it. Would I do another story like “The Summer’s Dance”? I’m working on it right now!
            WWGH:  This is Volume Two of the Summer in Sweetland series. I know there's a Volume Three. Glad to know you're working on another one.
Diane Huff Pitts grew up in Selma, Alabama–the crossroads of southern living and the Civil Rights Movement–then moved to Mobile, Alabama. Both locales shape her writing.
A lifelong learner, Diane reads constantly. She picked up a few degrees along the way: nursing and physical therapy from the University of South Alabama and a doctorate from Des Moines University. Although no longer teaching at South Alabama, she is a certified clinical instructor for doctoral students in an outpatient physical therapy setting.
Diane and her husband Darrell live in a close-knit community outside of Mobile. Their lives are enriched by three sons, a (new!) daughter-in-law, and two rescued dogs. She is active in the teaching and music ministry of a local church and sings with a multicultural women’s chorus from Mobile.
         Find Diane at these links:
And your story in this Volume is "The Summer's Dance."
            Virginia Danforth Livingston isn’t born into money but has access.  The world unravels around Virginia with one ring of her doorbell. Will the matriarch of Sweetbriar mansion and founder of Livingston Investigations lose Sweetbriar and with it her identity?
            Across town at The Breckinridge, Dr. Bernard Thompson meets his match when Virginia shows up in the assisted living facility.  Small town problems become big ones when things start disappearing. Mysteries abound. Does Geraldine Gibson, the quirky lady in purple, have the answer?
            Can the unlikely trio of Virginia, Bernie, and Geraldine find the culprit or is there bigger fish to fry?
            Volume 2 gives us a bird’s eye view of Sweetland and neighboring New Beckton. Characters you come to love are right over the backyard fence in Sweetland, and after the summer’s dance, life is never the same.
    For me and others who would like to purchase this great book, the link is:
    Thank you for stopping by today, Diane. I enjoyed getting acquainted.