Pepper Basham wrote her first story when she was nine years old then put writing aside to attend college, marry, and start a family. Five kids and a full time job as a speech-language pathologist later, she’s well on her way to living her dream as an author. Her first book, The Thorn Bearers, released earlier this month, with several more to follow.
Pepper, her music minister husband, and their five kids live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC.
What started you on your writing journey?
Well, I come from a long line of Appalachian storytellers, so I grew up listening to my Granny give oral history back five or six generations. I think that was one of my early influences, but I do believe it is a God-given desire. I still have my first ‘long’ story I wrote when I was ten years old.
And since I’ve kind of lived in a little ‘fairytale,’ with a brain-full of stories since then, I finally started writing them down in novel format. It’s been a long journey, but I’ve met some of my favorite people along the way : )
Just as all good novels include a plot twist, the Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
I feel like I’ve been on constant detour for a while, but I’d have to say that the best detours in my life have been each of my kids. Not only did they come at unexpected times, but they’ve taught me so much about God’s love and grace.
Let’s talk about The Thorn Bearer (Vinspire Publishing, April 2015). Please tell us about it.
I see it as a beautiful story about the ultimate forgiveness. Placed in 1915, the turbulent travels aboard the ill-fated Lusitania mirrors the havoc inside Ashleigh Dougall’s heart. Here’s a quick overview:
When Ashleigh Dougall’s fiancé leaves her eight months before their wedding, the unexpected blow ignites a battalion of insecurities stemming from her father’s intimate betrayal. Her worst fears are confirmed — who could ever love a soiled woman? In an attempt to escape the shame and disappointment of her past, Ashleigh boards the ill-fated Lusitania to cross the war-torn waters of Europe. Much to her dismay, she isn’t traveling alone.
Sam Miller is always making up for his younger brother’s mistakes. Determined to help his friend, Ashleigh, he offers his compassion and companionship as she ventures across a perilous sea. With the faint hope of renewing his lost love for Ashleigh’s sister, Sam never expects to find the woman of his dreams in his best friend.
As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.
When the truth of Ashleigh’s past explodes in the middle of the trenches of Europe and Sam rejects her, Ashleigh must decide if God is enough — or if the double weight of her betrayal and past will crush her life forever.
God often uses our writing to teach us something. What did you learn about yourself in the process of writing this book?
That I’m impatient : ) Or at least I am with myself. I think God is the Grand Editor of our lives and through the process of writing this book He’s not only taught me how to trust His dreams for me but also how to believe in these dreams with more confidence. I keep remembering that “He who began a good work in you (me) will be faithful to complete it,” so He has some bigger plan for this calling on my life than I can even imagine. It’s a great reminder of His Big love and his intricate work in the desires of our hearts. [ctt title=”I have been incredibly humbled by His great love and gift. ~ Pepper Basham” tweet=”I have been incredibly humbled by His great love and gift. ~ Pepper Basham, The Thorn Bearers http://ctt.ec/tEknq+ ” coverup=”tEknq”]
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Okay, I know this sounds predictable, but I love chocolate — in about any form. I’m particularly fond of Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Caramel : ) It’s usually therapeutic for me to bake something that involves chocolate of some sort to help me feel better : )
What Bible passage or story best describes your journey of faith?
Moses with the Israelites (great question, btw). I feel like I’ve worked and waited a long time to see ‘the Promised Land’ of publication. I recognize it’s still not going to go as smoothly as milk and honey, but it’s an amazing feeling to have stepped from wandering in the unpublished desert of the past eleven years. Now, I have to say that all the wandering and working has refined me in so many ways and the BEST part of the ‘wandering’ has been the people God’s sent my way to share the journey. I am overwhelmed by God’s journey-keepers in my life. The Writers Alley gals are at the top of that list.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
Oh man, can I only pick one? I really wonder if it depends on the needs of those around me. Right now, as a budding author, I feel like the little girl trying to walk in high heels. I WANT to be ‘the super heroine’, but I think I’m more of “the girl next door” on a regular basis. I’m a side-kick, which I think comes more from my profession as a speech-language pathologist. I like helping.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I’m definitely a dog lover too! We have a big, fun mixed breed named Samson. At eighty pounds of muscle he definitely grew into his name!
Thanks, Pepper! It’s great to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thank you so much for having me. I can’t wait to have you on my blog. Blessings to you in your life and your writing!
~ ~ ~
For more information about Pepper, visit her website.
To purchase The Thorn Bearer, log on to:
Kathy, thanks for introducing Pepper to me during this great interview!
Pepper, I’ve been seeing your name on quite a few social media venues, but this was the first chance I’ve read more about you. It’s encouraging to know that you work a day job, as well as enjoy your family and still manage to write. Congratulations on publication!
Blessings to you both.
Thanks, Elaine! I am inspired by Pepper too.
Always appreciate seeing you here.
WOW! What a beautiful website you have – and you present things so well here. It’s beautiful! And I love your pic of the bench and the guitar. My family are big bluegrass pickers and that just took me home.
Thanks for hosting me on your blog today. You have been so kind and your questions incredibly thoughtful!
Thanks, Pepper! Really glad to feature you and look forward to reading the book! (You can tell I’m excited, I started to buy it twice 🙂
I love bluegrass music! I come from a musical family too. Something else we have in common 🙂
Good morning! My life is very full to say the least, but (easily) the biggest blessing God has given me is my family. I love hanging out with my kids! They’re hilarious and creative and thoughtful! Writing is my challenge right now – especially as I’m learning how to promote one book while trying to write another one, and finish edits on one more. It’s pretty crazy -but I just keep praying God will help me work it all out. What sorts of books do you enjoy reading?
Kathy, Thank you so much for the interview with Pepper. I love the story of forgiveness, it is the one story we all need to have and give. I especially love this one because the author is my daughter. I am so proud of her an her love for her Savior. Thank you so much for letting her share and for your love for Christ. I would also like to say I love your dog picture, we have a German Shepherd also and we just love him. Many Blessings to you !
Hi, Ginger! Thank you so much for leaving a comment. Sorry it took so long to clear. I love that you’re supporting and encouraging Pepper. Every writer will tell you that family support is incredibly important to them.
Oh, yes… German Shepherds are awesome! I grew up with a bunch of them 🙂
[…] Pepper D. Basham ~ The Thorn Bearer […]
What did you think of that, Kathy!
My moms’ name is Ginger and I’m Pepper 🙂
We’re bringing an extra dose of spice to your day 🙂
LOL! Love that, Pepper 🙂