Introducing Indie Author Pepper Phillips!

I’ve followed Pepper’s career for a number of years. I judged her book The Devil Has Dimples in a contest and LOVED it! I’m so glad she decided to publish it! She also ran the contest diva website (maybe still does, but I don’t aim for the list like I did!) that kept track of all contest winners all year! I still have the certificate she sent me!

Please comment for a chance to win this fun romance!

Where did you get your idea for the book?

I’m a Nursing Home Administrator, and one of our patients was in the local hospital, dying.  She was one of those ladies that I pictured as the perfect grandmother.  Fluffy, white-haired, brilliant blue eyes, a peach tone to her wrinkled skin, she was the grandmother pictured in all the books I read as a kid.  She was lying in the hospital bed with her eyes closed, her family around her, and I bent over and kissed her on the forehead and whispered in her ear, “Mom, come home, we miss you.”  I stood up, her eyes snapped open, startling the daylights out of me.  Three days later she was back in the nursing home.  I figured that she heard her family talking about her demise and thought she was dying.  The day she came back to the nursing home, her daughter was talking to my Director of Nurses and myself and made the comment, “We have to change out the pig in the freezer.”  My D.O.N. and I looked at each other, wondering what she was referring to, and we had to ask.  The explanation was that the family kept a roasting pig in their freezer so that when their mother died, it would be roasted for the funeral.  We were both speechless.  I went back into my office and thought for a moment, grabbed one of those 4×6 pads with advertising and wrote the beginning of The Devil Has Dimples.  The excerpt is those five pages fleshed out over the years.  It took me six months to write the last line, ‘The next day, the daughter no one knew existed showed up in Boggy Bayou.’ and that’s when the story really started

2. What’s next for you?  –  I’m in the final edits of converting a screenplay into a novella.  “Unconditionally” will be available in February.

3. When you’re procrastinating, what do you do?  – Email, reading, a little housework, emphasis on ‘little’.

4. How many books in your TBR pile? –  LOL, I’m so bad.  I love books.  I know there are over a thousand in my Kindle alone, not to mention all the paperbacks in my four bookcases.  If I stopped everything and read, I don’t believe I’ll finish them all before I croak.

5. What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?  – Dove Dark Chocolate in the red foil.  They melt in your mouth, and Dove puts a nice little message inside the wrapper, such as…’You don’t need an excuse.  You just need a moment.’  How ‘sweet’ is that?

6. Name 3 of your favorite things.  –  I have a camouflaged sweatshirt, that is so huge the sleeves fall six inches beyond my hands, that I love to wear.  My Kindle.  My Writer’s baseball cap that has my breast cancer pins around the rim.

7.Where can readers find you? –


23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lucy Francis
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 09:39:07

    I love hearing the inspiration behind books, what gets the story flowing in a writer’s head. Great story, thanks for sharing, Pepper! Your book sounds like a fun read, and I love the cover!


  2. Gayle Cochrane (@GayleCochrane)
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 10:20:27

    Oh, what a great story about the nursing home. Love Dove chocolate too. Fun interview.


  3. Alicia Street
    Feb 08, 2012 @ 10:45:01

    Great story, Pepper! Now I’ve got to read the book. Meanwhile, my TBR pile looks a lot like yours.


  4. Cynthia Woolf
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 07:39:21

    Great interview. I want one of those T shirts. It sounds so comfy.


  5. Diana Layne
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 08:00:55

    Such a cute story, Pepper. It must be tough to work in a nursing home. I know the ones my grandparents were in worked hard to keep them entertained and feeling valuable, and I know the nurses also genuinely cared for them and mourned when they died. Tough job. I bet writing is a good escape.


  6. Bev Pettersen
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 08:40:28

    Loved this story, Pepper. Great interview. I have your book on my kindle and will look for Dove chocolate to accompany. Can’t resist a message like that:)


  7. Linda Andrews
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 09:02:21

    Very cool! Now here’s a morbid question: Just how many pigs did they go through before their mom passed?


  8. vondasinclair
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 09:41:05

    That is a beautiful story of inspiration, Pepper. I also love hearing about what inspired a certain story. My TBR stack looks like yours. Yikes! Wouldn’t it be fun to just do nothing but read all those books, eat and sleep. LOL


  9. Livia Quinn (@LiviaQuinn)
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 10:36:05

    Okay, love the Dove, but Bliss is better! That job is truly a calling. Bless you.


  10. Sally Berneathy
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 10:43:49

    It’s always interesting…and often amazing…to hear what sparks a book. One of mine was inspired one day when I was sitting in my office, feet on my desk, eyes turned toward the window but brain focused on my next story idea. My (now ex) husband stomped in and said, “I’m hungry. You’re not doing anything. Fix my dinner.” I rose, went into the kitchen, picked up my iron skillet, looked at the jerk and thought how I really, really, really wanted to smack him over the head with that skillet. Rather than risk going to prison, I let my heroine do it.


  11. donnatunney
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 13:34:50

    Love the title!


  12. Pepper Phillips
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 15:54:52

    Had a meeting at the nursing home this morning that was longer than expected. Lucky for me, I’m retired, except when my son is called up for Active Duty for the Coast Guard. (The oil spill took six months of my ‘free’ time.) I truly do care for our ‘residents’ and when someone special goes, I do cry. But there are a lot of laughs in a nursing home as well.

    I love seeing how we get inspirations for our stories. Just a sentence will get my mind going, or watching people. I love to watch people.

    I noticed that none of you mentioned housework…LOL

    I’ll give the Bliss a try. All dark chocolate calls out to me. It’s my guilty treat.

    Sally, I can see why he’s your ‘ex’…

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I so appreciate it.


  13. Nancy S. Brandt
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 17:08:39

    It was great to read this and hear how you got your idea. It’s always interesting to know where authors get their ideas! Thanks for sharing this!


  14. Pepper Phillips
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 17:58:15

    Thanks, Nancy. I always thought that I gave that patient ‘permission’ to get well and come home. I was the only one asking her to…her family was planning the funeral!

    When she died three years later, and with many of my staff there, one of the sons came up to me and stated that he honestly didn’t believe that we cared. Foolish man. His mother was a dear and truly loved the people who took care of her. It would have been difficult not to love her back.


  15. Mary Marvella Barfield
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 21:41:35

    Love the story! Inspiration comes from the oddest places and I’m glad you found that one.


  16. Pepper Phillips
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 10:34:30

    Thanks Mary…


  17. olderwriter
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 10:39:08

    Ah, what a story, Pepper. I could hear your voice, your most unmistakeable voice, as I read the words. I have to read this book. You know how much I admire you. Great story about your inspiration and it sounds so “you”. Voice and all. ;o)


    • Pepper Phillips
      Feb 10, 2012 @ 11:32:48

      Since I’m an ‘olderwriter’ as well, it took me awhile to find ‘my voice’…
      I’m adapting a screenplay I wrote into a novel, and since the styles of writing are so different, I had to recapture it for the novel. It should be coming out soon.

      Thanks for the comment1


  18. Barbara White Daille
    Feb 10, 2012 @ 16:16:22

    Hi, MJ – thanks for introducing us to Pepper!

    Pepper – I always love hearing the story behind the story, and yours was great. Thanks for sharing, and good luck with your books and the novella.


  19. Barbara White Daille
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 13:06:41

    Pepper – some secrets are meant to stay that way. 😉


  20. Pepper Phillips
    Feb 11, 2012 @ 18:02:21

    That’s for sure!


  21. jdfaver
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 18:52:25

    I was a NFA and it was so hard to lose a resident. I would keep it together for my staff and then cry all the way home. Glad you found inspiration for this delightful book.


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