Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Paula Peckham!
I love doing the research for my books (both historical and contemporary). For Accepted, my husband and I made a road trip to San Antonio and visited several museums along the way. I spoke with many people, which is always fun because you learn things you didn’t expect. I also read several books about the time period. The author of one of them spoke at the University of Texas in Arlington (UTA), my alma mater, and I was lucky enough to attend. I spoke with her, Alice Baumgartner, for several minutes afterward, and she ended up writing an endorsement for the novel, which was really cool.
Accepted is book three in my series. Once I started writing the first book, Protected, I knew I would follow it up with a book about each of the characters introduced. There are eight other children, ranging in ages from fifteen to four, besides Abby (the main character in book one). Each could conceivably get their own story, although I only have ideas floating around for three more at this point. So the San Antonio series will probably stop at book six.
I fell in love with the kids from book one, and couldn’t bear to say goodbye to them just yet, so as
As a fifth-generation Texan, the cowboy life and persona have always been a part of the landscape for me. The 1860s was an exciting time for Texas, and the cowboys played a huge role in helping to settle the frontier. It’s an easy setting to research and fun to write about.
I use a modified outline process to plot out the main turning points in my books. I learned the process from a video class produced by Michael Hague. It’s called The Hero’s Journey and is available on Udemy.com. Best $20 I ever spent. It helps me stay focused on the main points in the story and avoid that sagging middle all authors dread. I don’t plan each detail before I start writing—those come as the story progresses—but I know where I’m headed.
My job prior to writing was teaching Geometry to 10th-graders. Teaching math didn’t help me in preparing me to be an author, but the nineteen years in the classroom has provided plenty of material for ideas!
|Photo: Pixabay/Mabel Amber
My next project is a contemporary romance. I’m pushing the pause button on the San Antonio series to write a story about a musician. It’s tentatively titled Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. I love music, and it’s been a blast doing the research and writing the characters of my band. If it turns out the way I envision, it’ll be funny, sweet, and poignant. We’ll see if I can pull it off.
Soon after, Quenby meets Jonathan Campbell, a Texan farmer struggling to make ends meet, and eagerly offers her help. Despite Jonathan’s reservations about trusting his future livelihood to the pretty young know-it-all, he accepts. As their relationship develops, Quenby’s confidence and knowledge lures Jonathan in.
Quen draws the attention of a bounty hunter, whose charms cannot hide his evil intentions. Danger puts Quen’s wavering belief in God to the test. With the hunter on her heels, she embarks on an important mission that inadvertently involves Jonathan in a web of kidnapping and murder. His efforts to keep her safe expose his growing feelings.
Will Quenby have enough courage to face the perils of standing up for what she believes in? And at what cost?
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A fifth-generation Texan, Paula Peckham graduated from the University of Texas in Arlington and taught math at Burleson High School for 19 years. She and her husband, John, divide their time between their home in Burleson and their casita in Rio Bravo, Mexico. They built their home in the colonia where they’ve served with their church, Pathway, for the past ten years. Paula leads a team of volunteers from Pathway on two trips each year, one at spring break, and one at Thanksgiving.
Her debut novel, Protected, was an ACFW Genesis semi-finalist in 2020. Book two in the series, A Father’s Gift, placed third in the 2023 Selah Award contest. Book three, Accepted, came out in October 2023. Several articles have appeared in The Journal and The Guide magazines. She has contributions in the 2021 releases Christmas Love Through the Ages and Texas Heirloom Ornament.
For more about Paula and her books, follow her at http://www.paulapeckham.com.