Blogger Book Fair: Day 3
For those of you just finding your way to my blog for the BBF, welcome! Feel free to head over to my regular website to learn a bit about me and my writing and to enter a chance to win a digital copy of my first two novels in the Alex Crocker series, Unforeseen and Unveiled.
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Hang here first for a little Q & A.
This afternoon’s BBF post is in the
form of an interview. Author M. Pepper Langlin is has offered up some answers
about herself and her writing. As with all good stories, it makes sense to
start at the beginning.
So, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
I wanted to be Steven Spielberg. My plan was to make movies. But
then I got into writing, and for some reason it was a long time before I
realized screenwriting might be something I’d like to do. And then, even after
getting a film degree and working on some movie sets, I shied away from
screenwriting because it just seemed so hard to break in. But I’m having some
success there now, which is really exciting. I won a screenwriting competition,
and one of my scripts has just been produced by Contagion Films and is in
Was there an author, teacher, or other influence in your life who
inspired you to write?
My second grade teacher Miss Babicki
had us do writing prompts every Friday. I remember that distinctly. I was
already an avid reader, but I’m pretty sure Miss Babicki’s class is how and
when I started writing.
With a name as interesting as M. Pepper Langlin, I’m guessing you
use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?
I do. My real name is the same as a
semi-famous literary sleuth, so I manipulated my name a bit to make me easier
to Google. Otherwise, all the hits when you look me up are for this character
and her book series.
Smart. Let’s hear more about your writing. When or how do your
ideas usually come to you?
This is kind of strange, but I’ll often
get ideas while lying on my bed with my Patrick Puppy from FAO Schwartz. That’s
where I go to develop my ideas, too—I go lie down with my stuffed dog and just
daydream . . . Another way I get inspired is by driving around listening to
Do you ever suffer
from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
a walk, or go lie down with my stuffed dog, or try to work on a different
Tell us about your latest book.
I’m finishing up now is St. Peter at the Gate,
the sequel to St. Peter in Chains. St. Peter in Chains is a novella, but St. Peter at the Gate just keeps going .
. . People kept asking what happened with Peter and Charles, so I decided to
write another one. (And the screenplay version of St. Peter in Chains is the script that won an award; it was given a
professional table read at Sundance this past January.)
When you set out to write your book, did you have a specific
audience in mind or did the story just enfold that way?
I write so many
different things, and I’m told by my manager that I’m making it difficult for
him to market me because the stuff I write—like, there’s not much audience
overlap. I have some Sherlock Holmes stories that have been bestsellers, and I
have the Peter Stoller stories (about a gay British spy) and then The K-Pro is a contemporary fantasy
novel . . . I’m all over the place! But I just write whatever story comes to
me. I don’t worry too much about targeting an audience.
I’m sure they are few and far between, but how do you react to a
bad review of your book?
I try to remind myself that it’s
impossible to please everyone. Still, it hurts. I do get a bit depressed.
Because I kind of want to say, “Why not just leave it? Why go out of your way
to write a bad review?”
And rejection letters?
Hmm. I could save a lot on heating
bills if I’d thought of that. Is there anything else you find challenging about
discipline required. I’m easily distracted.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve
ever done in the name of research?
back in high school, I accosted my physics teacher and began asking him about
bombs. In retrospect, I now completely understand his apprehension at the time
. . .
Poor guy. Speaking of borderline
behavior, where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or
write horror and I don’t write explicit sex. Just not my thing. Maybe it’s the
years of thinking in terms of TV: “pan away” or “fade to black” or whatever.
Let the readers/viewers use their imaginations.
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to
do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
London. I actually am hoping to live
there some day (at least half the year).
Where are your fans most likely to find you hanging out?
In “Little London,” which is what we
call my home office.
Do you have any special routines or rituals?
I do a 3-card Tarot draw each morning.
Can’t say it really makes any difference in my day, but I’d feel weird if I didn’t do it.
Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?
I think any given character in my work
has some facet of myself in him or her.
Finally, do you have any suggestions for beginning writers?
Read the kinds of things you want to
write and write the kinds of things you like to read. Write every day, even
just a little. As with everything, practice makes you better at it. Or, if you
rather, exercising your writing muscles will strengthen them. And as I
mentioned before, don’t expect everyone to like what you write, and try not to
feel too down if you get rejected or badly reviewed. That’s easier said than
done, I realize. But it bears repeating and remembering.
Great advice! Thanks for stopping by. I
hope my readers will check out your site to learn even more about you and your
M Pepper Langlinais official site: http://pepperwords.com