Author Interview {Peggy Eddleman}

I met this lovely lady while sitting at last year’s Whitney Awards. She showed me a picture of her book cover on her phone and it took my breath away! Since then we’ve become friends, we’ve sprinted together (writing, not running, though she could probably sprint physically too!), and we both share an appreciation for a well baked cookie. Now Peggy has a second book coming out in September and is teaching at the LDStorymakers Conference in a couple weeks. Peggy was nice enough to let me ask her a million questions about books and writing and everything in between. Take a look!

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 CH:     Sky Jumpers is on my to read list – where did this idea come from?

 PE: The idea for the setting (which is usually what I start with when I write a book) came from looking out the window of an airplane at the clouds, and imagining how unbelievably fun it would be to jump off the plane and into those clouds, and have them slow my fall.

Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman

Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddleman

CH:  I love the premise of someone who stands out from the crowd because they don’t have that common trait. Why do you think she makes a good hero?

PE: I think she’s a relatable character because we all have those times when we feel like we aren’t good at something that is important to be good at. It’s a common thing to compare your weaknesses to other people’s strengths, and sometimes it’s hard to see what you are really worth. I think she makes a good hero because she isn’t afraid to make decisions and act on those decisions. She doesn’t let fear– including fear of failure– stand in her way.

CH:  When we were together last you had a whole list of great books. Please give me the top 5 books I HAVE to read.

PE:  Thank you for not limiting me to one or two! Five is hard enough to narrow down. Some of the books I read last year that still get me whenever I think of them are these:

Young Adult:

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BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by April Tucholke

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TAKEN by Erin Bowman

Middle Grade:

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RUMP: THE TRUE STORY OF RUMPLESTILTSKIN by Liesl Shurtliff

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THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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THE VERY NEARLY HONORABLE LEAGUE OF PIRATES: MAGIC MARKS THE SPOT by Caroline Carlson

CH:  I’ve heard you say you enjoy painting. Would you be willing to share a picture of something you’ve painted?

PE: Sure! My favorite thing to paint is full room murals, and right now there are two in my house (although there have been many others throughout the years).

My daughter’s room has a castle that fills the biggest wall and half of the two side walls, with rolling hills and sky covering the other walls and the ceiling. These are pictures of a couple of dragons that grace the walls.

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My boys have both loved volunteering at the space center near our home, where the missions are based off Star Trek. So I did a space theme in their room, complete with a Federation ship and a Romulan ship mid-battle.

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CH:  You’re going to be everywhere this year. Which event are you anticipating the most?

PE:  Oh, gosh. That’s a very hard question. I’m very excited to go to Texas Library Association’s Annual Conference, especially since I’ll be doing school visits while I’m there. (I love doing school visits!) I’m coming to your stomping grounds three times (!)– for Jessie Humphries’ book launch (I hear it’s going to be Killer :)), for the American Library Association’s Annual Conference, and for the Vegas Valley Book Festival. I’m excited for all of them. I’m doing events in Utah that I’ve never been to before, and I’m revisiting some of my favorites. I’m excited for all of it, to be honest.

CH:  The Whitneys! What fun to be a Finalist with your debut book! How do you decide what to wear?

PE:  A fellow writer, Shelly Brown, dared me to accessorize with this fine piece of jewelry. So I guess it’s a matter of finding something that’ll go with it….

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(I kid, of course. I’m pretty sure that necklace costs thousands of dollars and is possibly one-of-a-kind. Plus, you know, disturbing.)


CH: Now on to business. How did you sell Sky Jumpers to an Agent and was there a working title different from this one?
PE: The original title was THROUGH THE BOMB’S BREATH, and there’s still a special spot for that title right here. My agent (Sara Crowe) requested my full manuscript after a live pitch session, but I didn’t send it to her until I was ready to start querying four months later. When another agent I queried first requested my full, I sent it to both of them. They both offered representation, and I chose Sara because she’s awesome.

CH: You seem to be pretty disciplined. How do you work writing into a busy family life?

PE: I am still so far away from finding the magic balance! The only thing I have gotten down is treating my writing time as precious. I don’t let things like a messy house or bare pantry get in the way of it. I figure that there are a lot of things that can be done while still giving my family attention, and writing isn’t one of them. And if I spend my writing time doing other things, it means I have to spend my family time writing.

CH: Cookies are a main theme in your blog. Can you share your favorite cookie recipe?

PE: Sure! My favorite is pumpkin chocolate cookies, because they’re more light and fluffy. My kids figure that they’re pretty much a vegetable, so that makes them okay for everything from snacks to breakfast. I’m inclined to agree. 😉

Peggy’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/3 c. Butter
1 ½ c. Sugar
1 Egg
1 c. Pumpkin
1 tsp. Vanilla
½ t. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 ½ c. Flour
1 c. Chocolate Chips

Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and mix. Mix in pumpkin. Mix in flour. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

CH: You recently wrote 7 Tips for Pitching to an Agent for Writer’s Digest. I loved it! What was your first Pitch Session like?

PE: Thanks! I did everything wrong. Including remembering to breathe. 😉 I was so nervous by the time I walked into the room, I forgot most of what I was going to say, didn’t go prepared with any questions, my hands shook the whole time, and I’m pretty sure my voice didn’t come out anywhere close to normal-sounding. It was fabulous.


CH:  You’re on a roll with your second installment of Sky Jumpers: THE FORBIDDEN FLATS. The cover is AWESOME! Any teasers you’d like to share with us?

THE-FORBIDDEN-FLATSPE: Hmmm. Just that there’s a gigantic earthquake that triggers the Bomb’s Breath lowering (and fyi– that’s a really bad thing), a trip across the Forbidden Flats, a few unique and fascinating cities, danger, excitement, adventure, and Sky Surfing on the Bomb’s Breath (which is even cooler than sky jumping). It was a very difficult book to write and a very difficult book to get just right, and I’m insanely excited for it to come out.

CH: What are you writing right now?

PE: Proposals for a new MG series, which has been so much fun to daydream about.

CH: What are you reading?

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I’m about 2/3 finished with OPHELIA AND THE MARVELOUS BOY by Karen Foxlee, a fellow Random House author.

CH: When you write, do you listen to anything? Is there a playlist to go with your books?

PE: I only listen to music if I’m somewhere that I have to drown out talking. Otherwise I write in silence. I don’t have a playlist– just a Pandora station that gets me in a creative mood.

CH: Here at Addicted we want to know – What are you addicted to? What are the things you can’t live without?

PE: My husband and our kids. Because they are an awesome and highly-addictive substance.

Thanks so much for visiting ADDICTED today, Peggy! I have to say I shivered even posting that picture of your “proposed neckwear”. Eeek! Thanks for sharing your books and how you write. My first pitch session must have been much like yours, though I think I’m blocking out the worst parts of it. Ha ha! I am SUPER excited to have you down to Vegas for the Vegas Valley Book Festival in the fall and Jessie’s Launch on May 2nd. As for FORBIDDEN FLATS, that’s out in September. Feel free to go preorder your copy today!

And since we’re talking about great books and we’re moments away from enjoying SPRING BREAK here in Vegas, let me recommend a copy of A HEART SO BROKEN! The perfect combination of romance, regret and redemption to keep you up tonight!

1 Comment

  1. Jeigh Meredith
    Apr 11, 2014

    Awesome interview with an awesome lady! Sky Jumpers did not disappoint and I can’t wait to read the second one. And thanks for all the other book recommendations, too!

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