by Peggy Blann Phifer
Have you ever gotten into your car and an uninvited guest joined you. Like, maybe, a hornet? But you don’t realize he’s there until you’ve driven a mile (or a few blocks) and then it decides to buzz around your head or cruise the windshield, driving you crazy. The more you swat at it or wave it away, the more it bugsyou. All that bee wants is to get out. You roll down the window, hoping it’ll seize the opportunity and escape, but it doesn’t. Finally, for safety’s sake, you find a place to stop, open the door, get out, and the bugger exits and happily buzzes away.
That hornet is the beginning, the start of a story buzzing around in my head, refusing to leave. Sometimes it will go dormant and I won’t hear it for a while. Other times its incessant droning compels me to the computer, or a notepad, or a pad of sticky-notes, whatever is at hand, and get the words down, even if they don’t make sense.
You see, I’m what they call a pantser . . . a seat-of-the-pants writer. I don’t lay out a plot first and then write the story. For me, it usually happens the other way around. Something catches my attention, or tickles my imagination, and I’m off to chase it down. An intriguing face, a snippet of a news headline, even a name, is all it takes to start the buzzing.
I’ve written about this in another interview so I won’t repeat myself here too much. But what is now my debut book release, To See the Sun, began with a young woman’s pensive face I saw in a women’s clothing catalog. She appeared several more times in that issue and I had to cut her pictures out and keep them. Shewas the first ‘buzzing’ sound for me, the hornet in the car. And that hornet, a lovely, pensive, tousle-haired young woman became Erin Macintyre, heroine. From victim to victory.
A second hornet joined the first . . . a handsome cowboy model from Sheplers Western Wear. (Clothing catalogs are excellent sources for finding faces for your characters, by the way.) My male lead, even before I knew where I was going with the book, had always been a cowboy in my imagination, and the name Clay Buchanan stayed constant through all the rewrites.
To See the Sun has only two POV characters . . . Erin, and Clay. As I wrote, the other characters buzzed in. Some stayed, some flew right back out. The characters of Racine and Paul, by the way, were total surprises. But they introduced themselves at exactly the right time. Where they came from I have no idea. But I loved them immediately.
That’s the fun part of being a pantser. I never know what’s going to happen. And, since I have no real plot to stick to, I’m pretty much free to let the story, and the characters, take me where they want to go. The only thing that might be considered a plot, in my writing world, is that I have the ending fairly well set. I know where I want to go. I just have no idea how I’m going to get there. And it’s a great ride!
Thanks, Naty, for having me on your blog.
I’m offering a free giveaway of To See the Sun in the form of a Gift Card for download for either the Kindle or Nook version. Followers of my blog will receive an extra entry.
Back Cover Blurb:
Pregnant and widowed hadn’t been part of her “happily ever after” dream. And now, someone was trying to kill her . . .
Erin Macintyre never expected to be a widow and a new mother in the same year, anymore than she expected mysterious notes, threatening phone calls, and a strange homeless man who seems to know all about her. The thought of raising a child without a father is daunting enough—worse when you have no idea who might want to harm you. Put an old flame into the mix, and her life begins a tailspin into a world she never knew existed.
When P.I. Clay Buchanan, stumbles upon Erin at her husband’s gravesite, he’s totally unprepared for her advanced pregnancy. Her venomous reaction at seeing him, however, waspredictable. But Clay can’t let her distrust, or his guilt, get in the way—not when he has evidence that proves Erin’s life is in danger.
With few options left, Erin begrudgingly accepts Clay’s help . . . and it just might be her undoing.
Read the first chapter:
Peggy Blann Phifer is an author and columnist, book reviewer and author interviewer, whose work has appeared on various Web sites and writer periodicals both in print and online. She is also an avid reader who loves to escape by diving between the covers of a good book. Peg enjoys handcrafts of all kinds and her home shows off some of her work, though most end up as gifts for friends and family. A retired executive assistant, Peg now makes her home in southern Nevada with husband of 25 years, Jim.
TO SEE THE SUN is her debut novel, released January 2012
Contact her at her website at:
Visit her blog “Whispers in Purple” at