Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Peggy Chambers and I’m happily retired at 66.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Enid, Oklahoma, about 90 miles north of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in the middle of the Great Plains of the US.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
My bio says this: Peggy Chambers calls Enid, Oklahoma home. She has been writing for several years and is an award winning,published author, always working on another. There aren’t enough hours in the day. Blooming Justice is her sixth book. She has two children, five grandchildren and lives with her husband and dog. She adores travel and the great outdoors, even if it is just taking the dog for a walk and once ate wart hog pizza for lunch when she followed her husband across deepest, darkest Africa. She even climbed the pyramids at Chichen Itza.
She attended Phillips University, the University of Central Oklahoma and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Enid Writers’ Club and Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. There is always another story weaving itself around in her brain trying to come out.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My sixth book is Blooming Justice and is the first in the Keystone Lake series. Keystone Lake is a large lake in eastern Oklahoma near Tulsa. I am working on the sequel.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote all through school and literature was always my favorite subject. Later in life, I started to write again when my parents became ill as an emotional outlet. It allowed me to get my emotions on paper and I could sort them out.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I got a magazine article published.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book, The Apocalypse Sucks, is a pulp fiction fantasy. It is a quirky look at the end of the world as we know it and was first inspired by a publisher by the name of Buzz Books USA who were looking for short stories. They are no longer in business and I finally got it published by Airship 27 Productions. I had a lot of fun writing the story and have another book coming out with this publisher hopefully this year.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The short story at the beginning of The Apocalypse Sucks was titled Bra Wars because it dealt with the problems in a dystopian world when your last bra wears out and there are no more stores to go to and buy one. My publisher came up with The Apocalypse Sucks because it would when you could no longer count on the conveniences you rely on every day.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Since I write several different genres, Ifind my writing style changes with the genre. Pulp Fiction was the genre of my first book. Since then, I’ve written Young Adult Fantasy in the Glome’s Valley series and suspense novels in the Sandhill Islandseries. Blooming Justice is the first in the Keystone Lake series and is also a suspense novel. I like to draw the reader into the scene with descriptions of the area where the story takes place.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
When I was young, I had a friend whose parents had a place at Keystone Lake and I often went with them to the lake. Later my husband and I bought a weekend property there. The book Blooming Justice is about a young woman who grows up working in her mother’s flower shop and goes to college to become an attorney. I have worked in a flower shop and spent many years as a legal assistant. Though the plot of the book is fiction, I know a lot about the settings.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I love to travel. I once travelled to the Heavener Runestone in southeast Oklahoma and was mesmerized by the magic of the forest there. The runestone is a 15-foot monolith with ancient carving that some people say is ancient Viking and dates before Christopher Columbus came to America. Supposedly it says Glome’s Valley to claim the valley for the person who carved the stone. I don’t know if it was true, but it made a great backdrop for a story. I didn’t travel for the other stories even though the Sandhill Island series is a fictional island off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve been to the Gulf many times and love the water.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Blooming Justice and the Sandhill Island series covers were designed by Kim Mendoza with The Wild Rose Press who published those books. The Apocalypse Sucks cover was designed by Andy Fish, the artist Airship 27 paired me with.Glome’s Valley cover was designed by my son, Chad Chambers, and Return to Glome’s Valley cover was designed by Diana Haslett.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Blooming Justice is about bringing a rapist to justice. The message there is that no one is above the law.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I love the classics and especially love Hemmingway. I have always loved the late Anita Shreve (The Pilot’s Wife) and her ability to have the reader feel the emotions of the characters in her book. I’ve recently began to read Kerry Fisher (The Silent Wife). Both Shreve and Fisher produce strong female characters and I love that.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I am a member of the Enid Writers Club and Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. I realized that is two, but my writing clubs and critique groups support me and help me see when the story works or doesn’t. I couldn’t write without them.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see writing as my second career.I love to write, and I love to be able to accomplish something just for me. It makes me feel I can achieve something and show the world what I am thinking.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would change the scene with Erin’s best friend, Bernadette. She is kidnapped and held in the tunnels that run under Tulsa. I would make that scene longer and more intense. It is a big part of bringing the culprit to justice and is very suspenseful.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned that the beginning and the ending of your story are the easiest. The middle, where all the suspense builds, is the hardest. I find that to be true with all my stories.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Zooey Deschanel or Daisy Ridley.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t quit or think you are incapable. Write anyway and the story will reveal itself to you. Become affiliated with a writing group, they are invaluable and beta readers will help you see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Read a variety of books so you will know what you really like. My books are about places I have been or places similar to where I have been. Look at the world around you and imagine yourself in that place and how you would feel while there.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Piano Man by Dan Baxter and The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kid. I like to read current best sellers and local authors too.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Probably the Dick and Jane series in grade school. I remember sitting in my dad’s chair and holding the newspaper up like he did while trying to pick out words I recognized from the books we read in school.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My dog makes me laugh and animal cruelty (or cruelty toward humans) makes me cry (and get mad).
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Stephen King. I love his writing style and I’m sure I could learn so much from him.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love to garden until it gets too hot. I love to travel to different places.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Big Bang Theory until it was recently cancelled.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love Mexican food and Mediterranean. I also love wine and sweets though I need to limit them. My favoritecolor is aqua (like water) and I love the music of Ed Sheeran. I sometimes listen to classical music when I write.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would travel.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my family eating cake and drinking wine.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She did the best she could.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I write a weekly blog at www.peggylchambers.com. Sometimes I talk about my books and other times I write about what I am currently doing.
The Apocalypse Sucks https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IGMRH4G/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i6
Return to Glome’s Valley https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1521912203/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3
Stones of Sandhill Island https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078JYFSHN/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i8
Witches’ Cliff (Novella written for The Wild Rose Press e-published only) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PNK8QMT/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1
Legends of New Pulp Fiction (anthology with one story written by me) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019VRVVU0/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2
The Warp and Weft of Things (anthology by the Enid Writers Club with stories written by me)