26 Jun 2014

Interview with Sparked by Love author Peggy Bird

Sparked by Love
A Holiday for Romance Series
By: Peggy Bird

Some fussy artist is making Shannon Morgan’s job with the city of Vancouver, Washington harder than it should be. She’s organizing the huge annual Independence Day celebration and he’s being impossible. But then, he’s like a couple other men she’s known—her mostly absent father and her disappearing ex-boyfriend, for example.
All Leo Wilson wants is an okay for his plans to install glass fireworks at Fort Vancouver on the Fourth of July. With thousands of people there to see his work, it could be his big career break. If the crabby bureaucrat will get him the permits he needs.
When Leo confronts the cause of his trouble in person he’s surprised to find a beautiful young woman. Shannon is equally surprised at meeting a sweet, sexy man. Dinner, a movie and a few torrid kisses take it from spark to flame.
But then the father she’s always wanted as part of her life reappears, accompanied by her ex-boyfriend. Shannon has to decide how far she’s willing to go to have her father around. And find out why he’s with her ex.
If she makes the right decisions, she and Leo will create fireworks that rival the pyrotechnics that light up the sky on July Fourth. Privately.
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Author Interview
Do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?
Dreams often solve my writing problems. More times than I can count I have gone to bed after struggling with a scene, a character’s motivation or a plot problem and awakened the next morning having found the answer in a dream. It’s the same with my designs and color combinations for the art glass I create. I count on my subconscious to inspire and save me! However, the best dreams are the ones about the guys I’m writing about. Like Leo, the hero of my latest book, “Sparked By Love.” He and his golden retriever Walter have been starring in a few dreams lately, as I get ready for them to be made public. Guess I’m worried about how they’ll fare in the world.

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?

Like a lot of writers, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing something—stories, bad poetry, essays, journals. I’ve had short memoir pieces included in anthologies and magazines for the past fifteen years or so. Crimson Romance published my first novel two years ago.

What is it about 'chick lit' that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?
What appeals to me about chick lit, women’s fiction and romance is the fact that women are front and center, their lives and concerns are the story. Yes, I read other types of books—I like mysteries and spy thrillers, non-fiction, history, literary fiction—I read everything from ebooks and hardbacks to cereal boxes, newspapers and blog posts. But what I enjoy reading most is a book with a woman playing the lead.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
In “Sparked By Love,” Shannon Morgan is assigned to work with an artist for the big July Fourth celebration in the city of Vancouver, Washington. He’s a pain in the neck but then most of the men she’s known have been—like her usually gone-with-the-wind father, her annoying boss and a boyfriend who left to “find himself.”
Glass blower Leo Wilson only wants a couple permits so he can install a spectacular display of glass fireworks for the Independence Day party and maybe get recognition for his work. But some rule-bound bureaucrat is making it impossible to get it done.
Leo and Shannon’s stereotypes of each other hold up for about ten seconds when they finally meet and the sparks that flare at their first touch ignite into flame. But then Shannon’s father and ex-boyfriend suddenly appear. She has to figure out what they’re up to and decide what’s she willing to do to have the father she’s always wanted in her life. If she makes the wrong choice she may lose Leo and a chance for happily ever after.

What inspired you to write it?
I love holidays—any and all of them—which is why I decided to write a series of holiday romances. Vancouver, Washington—my hometown—has a huge July Fourth celebration, perfect as a setting for a story. Add to that, my love for glass art and the basics of the story came together quickly.

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
That would be a dream come true! I keep hoping to see someone checking my book out of the local library but stalking library patrons in the stacks is tacky. Isn’t it?

Who designs your covers?
My publisher, Crimson Romance, and I’ve been quite happy with them, especially the cover for “Sparked By Love.” It captures the spirit of the book and the holiday perfectly.

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
I try not to identify real people as my hero and heroine until I’m finished writing the story so I’m not tempted to turn my characters into imitations of a movie I’ve seen. But since the book’s long finished and you’ve asked, how about Jennifer Lawrence for Shannon and Chris Hemsworth for Leo? I think they’d work just fine!

What's your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?

“Bridget Jones Diary.” I can watch that movie over and over.

What were the last two books you read?
I always have at least three books going at once—on my iPad right now, I have “This Town” by Mark Leibovich and “Bounce” by K.M. Jackson going and just finished “Four Funerals and a Wedding” by Jill Smolowe. In paper books, I have “The Illustrious Client” by Sandra deHelen started and just finished “Old Friend From Far Away” by Natalie Goldberg.

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
There are way too many of my women friends and colleagues whose writing deserves to be better known to pick just one.

Where do you write?

Most days, in my office. But also in coffee shops, on beach retreats and airplanes, in the car, on the train, with a fox, in a box.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And did you follow the dream?
I wanted to be a nurse, a ballet dancer, an actor and a writer. And I was fascinated by the law. I managed to do a lot of it. Ten years as a nurse. Now writing full time. Although I was never an actor, I spent years as a meeting facilitator, using the same skill set. And I didn’t go to law school, although I got great LSAT scores. However, I was staff for an Oregon state legislator for seven years during which time she used the research I did to convince her colleagues to pass a lot of good laws. If only I could have tolerated being on point, I might have been a halfway decent dancer.

In the movie of your life, who would play you?
photo credit: Vincent Luigi Molino via photopin cc
Meryl Streep, without question. She wouldn’t have to learn a new accent or anything.

Speed Round...
Top drink to make you tipsy? 
Tee many martoonis. Sorry, too many martinis
Shopaholic or shopadon't? Shopadon’t make me
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? Sky high in my dreams and on a Pinterest board. Clogs in my real world.
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? I live in Vancouver, Washington. E.L. James got the geography so wrong it’s laughable. Need I say more?
Cry baby or tough cookie? Concrete chocolate chip
Exotic beach or enchanted forest?  Every beach is exotic and enchanted to me

Born in Philly, I’ve spent most of my adult life in the Pacific Northwest where I have happily grown webs between my toes and moss behind my ears. I pursued a number of careers before deciding to leave it all for what I’ve loved through every stage of life—writing. I've been published in anthologies, magazines, newspapers and in the brochures, newsletters and reports of my consulting clients and employers. Unless you count speeches for politicians, I'd never written fiction until a cast of characters began inhabiting my daydreams and, clamoring to have their love stories told, insisted I become a romance writer. I live, write and do glass art in Vancouver, Washington across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon where my three daughters, four grandchildren and two granddogs live. Stop by and visit me at any of these places:

Peggy Bird lives in the Pacific Northwest where she sets most of her novels. To stay out of trouble—and the rain—she writes stories about smart women and sexy men and creates the occasional piece of glass art.
Find Peggy on her websiteFacebookTwitterPinterest and Amazon.

Rafflecopter Giveaway 
(Grand Prize: Print Set of Books 1-3 of Second Chance Series, a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card and Custom Pendent. Two Runner’s Up will receive a Digital Backlist Romance from Peggy Bird and a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card)

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1 comment:

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