Interview with Peggy Lea Baker

What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are the soul and substance of a writer's world. We can write for the pure enjoyment of putting words on paper... or electronically, as I do... which is a joy in and of itself, but to be able to build a loyal fan-base helps validate your work. Plus it is always wonderful when fans share their thoughts with me as a writer and published author... no matter what the comments. It just helps make me become a better writer. I value all types of reviews.
What are you working on next?
Right now I'm working diligently to finish the last three novels of the Janet Feldman series. I'm excited about this story and the characters, whose personalities and fictional lives are drawn from my friends and people I've known over the years. Although I may use first names, I always ask their permission first. I've been amused by some who have expressed a desire to have a character named after them to be a villain! With completion of the Feldman Series, they will be sold as both stand-alone's and a box set. I'm excited about this whole process... and... Janet series will lead into the next series, also in the works, featuring Hunter Blake. Stay tuned!
Who are your favorite authors?
I do have a few, but I have to admit one of my favorites is Nicholas Monsarrat,a British author known primarily for his sea stories, but there is one particular novel I have enjoyed time and time again... "Castle Garac", not at all a sea story. I think it is because of the twists and turns of events. It really kept my interest. For the most part I like to read the same genres that I write which include mystery, intrigue, and a little romance mixed in to add a little flavor of the human experience.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The desire to enjoy life, meet people, interact with them, share dreams and desires, and of course write! I enjoy putting the stories in my head into working projects that I can visit at any time.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Hanging out with my husband... going for walks with him, exploring thoughts about our future, enjoying our grown children and their children. Providing service through volunteer work or just simply saying hello to people and finding a way to engage them in conversation. People are very interesting to get to know. Everyone is living their own story and you just never know what you may discover.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first serious story I ever wrote eventually became my first published novel. I initially published through a vanity press, which was a learning experience and big eye-opener. I eventually discovered Smashwords, reworked that novel a little, gave it a new title and published "Desperate Rescue" through Smashwords. No regrets! I promote Smashwords to everyone I know who has the desire to write a book or who simply want to find great reads for their electronic tablets and reading devices.
What is your writing process?
I like to write in chunks of time. I do have a life outside of writing, so spending time with family and friends is also important to me. If I'm immersed in a writing project, like perhaps the NaNoWriMo challenges (November, March, and July) I'll spend more time writing to meet my goals. The thing is, however... if I'm on a roll, I loose track of time and often find myself writing into the wee hours of the morning! If you are serious about writing... get rid of distractions such as television, or spending a lot of idle time with friends. Time is a precious commodity you cannot recoup, so use it wisely.

Another thing I do, is set up for a novel by starting with a pre-determined number of chapters (which can always be adjusted) and when I get an idea for the story that I know should happen much later... I will skip ahead and get that part of the story down before I forget it. I really don't think there is a right or wrong way to write... it's just a matter of doing it!
How do you approach cover design?
I was an art major in college - commercial art. I'm still an artist and allow myself time to explore that side of my creativity as well. As such, I have been doing my own cover designs for now... part of is it cost, I'll admit. I make an effort to decide on some image that captures some aspect of the story. I've also discovered a wonderful tutorial online (YouTube) that has been a tremendous help to me. If you have artistic skills and want to work on your own cover designs, why not? If not, check out Mark's list for some suggestions of artists to contact for cover design assistance.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I personally use an Apple iPad mini. It's the perfect size, looks and feels like a book without the paper pages of course (mine's in a cover designed for an iPad), and it's easy to carry around. I bought initially it to see what my books looked like when published at Smashwords!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to have the opportunity to get my work 'out there'! I think the best literary agents are the readers! And if someone likes what you write, not only will they keep watching for your next work, but they will tell others to check out your work. I truly believe the advent of serious indie writing has opened up a whole new world of literary wonder and excitement!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is awesome! And that is due to Mark Coker's dream to help indie writers everywhere to achieve their dreams as writers and published authors. I had the privilege of meeting Mark at a workshop in northern California one Saturday. Before he got up to offer his keynote address there was an opportunity for all the attendees to stand, introduce themselves, and share briefly about their writing adventures. Mark was sitting directly in front of me. He was handed the microphone, simply said, "I'm Mark Coker and I am the founder of Smashwords," then passed the mic to the next person. When it got to me, I stood, introduced myself and added, "and I publish with Smashwords." Mark looked around and grinned. Then during the break, he spent quite a bit of time chatting with me, giving me some great ideas, and encouraged me to keep on writing! To have the founder of a successful company such as Smashwords take that kind of time to talk to me, was amazing. His afternoon workshops were phenomenal. So how has Smashwords contributed to my success... great feedback, great workshops, both in person and online, and knowing that Mark will find the time to answer my emails. Yup! He does that too.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The satisfaction of putting dreams and ideas into a story. As I grow more and more disappointed with television programs and many of the movies being produced... I sit and write the kinds of stories I'd like to read, and the best part is I can visualize them almost like watching a movie, except it's in my head! Does that mean I'm crazy! I don't think so!
Published 2016-06-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Unwitting Alliances - Hunter Blake Series
Series: Hunter Blake, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 136,180. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Hunter's life couldn't be better. The recipient of numerous awards for his starring roles in successful films, he looked forward to a much needed respite from the hectic and high-paced world of Hollywood. Settling into his secluded ranch in the mountains of northern Idaho, his world soon becomes anything but peaceful when he agrees to deliver a package for his long-time associate, producer and
Danger in the Woods - Nick and Mandy James Series
Series: Nick and Mandy James, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 13,310. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
A pleasant afternoon exploring the woods behind their great Aunt Clara’s mountain cabin home, becomes a cold and suspenseful adventure for 13-year-old Nick and his younger sister Mandy when a sudden thunderstorm hits the mountain. Unable to find their way safely back to the cabin, Nick and his sister must spend a cold night and rainy night outwitting two very suspicious men who are up to no good.
Desperate Rescue - Janet Feldman Series
Series: Janet Feldman, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 50,100. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
Janet and Sally excitedly attend a posh party in an exclusive neighborhood not expecting one would be abducted and both would end up separated and in a very remote area far from home. A determined Janet attempts a daring rescue warily putting her trust in a mysterious mountain man for help. A high mountain cavern, unsavory sheriff, and three unlikely heroes add up to a suspense-filled intrigue.