It’s always fun for me to get to meet some of the authors I’ve met on Facebook. I’ve watched Pegg Thomas’s journey of making her wool shawls all the way from the beginning stages of sheering the sheep. How cool is that? Now it’s my pleasure to introduce you to her as an author.
Pegg Thomas lives on a hobby farm in Northern Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. They raise sheep and chickens, plus keep a few barn cats and Murphy the spoiled rotten dog. Pegg is published in five Barbour historical romance collections, won the 2019 FHL Readers’ Choice Award, was a double-finalist for the 2019 ACFW Carol Award for novellas, and a finalist for the 2019 ACFW Editor of the Year. She was also a finalist in the 2021 FHL Readers’ Choice Award. Pegg spent 3 ½ years as the managing editor of Smitten Historical Romance. When not working or writing, Pegg can be found in her barn, her garden, her kitchen, or sitting at her spinning wheel creating yarn to turn into her signature wool shawls.
Connect with her through:
*Sign up for Pegg’s newsletter and be entered to win Abigail’s Peace shawl, handspun and handknit by Pegg.*
Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Pegg with rapid-fire.
CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?
CC: Print or E-book?
CC: Cat or Dog Person?
CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?
CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?
PT: all of the above
Now for a couple of fun personal questions:
CC: What is your favorite Bible verse?
PT: “My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:27-29
I raised sheep for 28 years, so Jesus as my shepherd is a power description to me.
CC: I can see how that would make you appreciate it all the more,
CC: What do you like to do when you aren’t reading or writing?
PT: My tagline is “Spinner of Yarns” for a reason. When I’m not writing and spinning a literary yarn, I’m working with actual yarn. I have tubs of sheep wool from my own sheep, four spinning wheels, and more knitting needles than I can count. My wheels include the one in my social media header, a Revolutionary War era great wheel. And it still works! I also have a 1830s flax wheel, a 1920s Hutterite wheel, and a 1990s modern production wheel. I use all of them for different projects. With the release of each of my books – or re-release of my novellas from Barbour collections – I give one shawl away to a subscriber to my newsletter. I did the first one sort of as a lark, but it was so much fun, I’ve kept doing it.
CC: THAT IS SO COOL!!! I admire your ability to do it. It’s so fascinating to watch your posts.
CC: What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?
PT: My biggest challenge in the past couple of years has been writing Colonial American historical fiction and historical romance in the age of woke. So many authors have been burned on social media for portraying history as it was – and not as our 21st Century sensibilities wish it would have been.
Portraying history is not the same as endorsing it or glorifying it. History was what it was. We can’t change it. We shouldn’t sugar-coat it. We absolutely need to learn from it. And while there are parts that are hard to revisit, much of it is fascinating, engaging, and peopled with characters to be admired.
My Forts of Refuge novels are set during Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763 and are set at the three forts that did not fall to Pontiac’s combined forces, Fort Pitt, Fort Detroit, and Fort Niagara. It was a brutal time in history, following the end of the French and Indian War. My goal in writing these novels was to put ordinary people in the midst of of extraordinary circumstances and show how they survive and ultimately overcome. I had three first-hand historical accounts to guide me and keep the history as accurate as possible.
I hope readers will walk along with Sarah, Maggie, and Abigail and see their world through their eyes, being sympathetic to these 18th Century women who were products of their time – not ours.
CC: The woke culture has definitely made writing historical anything with accuracy really difficult. It’s hard to portray an accurate history when society often wants it white-washed or rewritten altogether.
Let’s talk about your release, Abigail’s Peace.
Abigail Aldridge’s life in Boston was difficult. Her inability to converse with the fluid grace of her societal peers made her an outcast, a spinster sister living with her step-brother and his wife. When she concocts a way to join her uncle at the British outpost of Fort Niagara, she has no idea what dangers lurk at the edge of civilization.
Working at the fort, Koyengquahtah, a Seneca scout for the British army known as Koyen, watches the white women carried ashore from the boat. Soldiers are one thing, but women mean families. Families that plan to stay on Seneca land. It sparks in him a rebellion against the changes threatening to overwhelm his people and their way of life.
When Abigail befriends the sisters of Koyen, their paths cross and their initial distrust of each other grows into a grudging admiration. But violence erupts as two cultures clash, fueled by the Ottawa leader to the west, Pontiac.
CC: Which character was the most challenging to create?
PT: Koyen – Koyengquahtah which means Young King – was by far the most challenging. I spent a lot of time researching Seneca history and customs, including reaching out to the Seneca Nation in New York, so I could understand him better. The challenge of researching Native tribes is the lack of any contemporary written documentation. But I hope I was able to piece together a character that readers will be able to connect with.
CC: I am sure that readers will walk away with a better understanding, and God will fill in the rest.
How do you select the names of your characters?
PT: Koyengquahtah I found during my research, and Young King fit the character for many reasons. And it tickled my fancy. I had the British shorten his name to Koyen instead of Anglicizing his name because it let me play with the British biases. The soldiers will not call him Young King because they only recognize King George. 😉
For the British names, I looked up the 1790s census and picked last and first names that were found in that area of New York. I use census records for almost all my character names. Historical accuracy is very important to me, and I like using names that could have been there at that time.
CC: I am the same way. Historical names are so important, and research provides so much fodder for names.
PT: That people are more than the sum of their backgrounds, their appearance, or their limitations.
That is such a great lesson that we all need to learn and relearn. 🙂
Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. As my final question, I have my usual “Fun Question”.
PT: A horse – because history was achieved by the strength of the horse.
CC: I never thought of it that way, but absolutely!
Readers, you can purchase Pegg Thomas’s books at Amazon.
What do you think about historical stories? Should they portray things with as much accuracy as possible to the time, or should authors make adjustments for today’s cultural perspectives?