Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Diane Huff Pitts Interviews Peggy Blann Phifer!

Peggy Blann Phifer retired from an executive assistant position after twenty-one years in the Electrical Wholesale industry. But she didn’t put her feet up.

This is how she describes her initiation into writing.

“ I never aspired to be a writer, until one day, shortly after my 50th birthday, I grew irritated with the book I’d just finished. It was pretty lame, and I talked about it with a friend. She said, ‘Why don’t you write your own book?’

And I’ve never looked back. I’m sure God knew this all along. He just patiently waited for me to catch up.”

A prayer she wrote appeared in a two-volume Guideposts Book compilation, Prayers for Every Need, in 2000. She self-published her debut novel, To See the Sun, which released in January 2012.

Peg, tell us about your new series Sweetwater River with Helping Hands Press. Did any event spur this series?

Sweetwater River is a spin-off from the Sweetland series of 2014-15—Summer in Sweetland, 'Tis the Season in Sweetland, and Sonrise in Sweetland.

My story in Summer in Sweetland is “All Things Work Together.”
In 'Tis the Season in Sweetland, the title is “Silver Bells and Candlelight,
and for Sonrise in Sweetland, the title is “Perfect for the Job.”

So I took my characters from those three collections into a series of stories of their own.

Something exciting has happened in your career. Tell us about that.

Yes! When I submitted my final story for Sonrise in Sweetland, the publisher of the series invited me to write a series of my own. I'd been tossing around in my head a way to continue the story of Rozene Gentry Carson and the four girls from foster care she and her new husband Pastor Mike had adopted at the same time they got married in “Silver Bells and Candlelight.” So that invitation was an exciting and welcome gift from God. Plain and simple.

What other projects are you working on?

Most of my work at this time is on this new series, Sweetwater River.

Volume One: “Ripples,” and Volume Two: “Undercurrents,” have been published and are available as eBooks on Amazon. I'm currently working on Volume
Three: “Moorings.”

All titles have something to do with rivers, of course.

How have recent life experiences found their way into your writing?

Three years ago this coming October, I lost my husband. As a new widow, with the opportunity to join the Sweetland writers, I created Rozene, a widow of fifteen months. It was a natural outcome from my own grief and loss.

Would you recommend writers groups? If so, why?

I am a 15-year member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) but that's the only major group to which I belong. Through ACFW, I am a member of Novel Track Writing, an accountability loop in which I set a word-count goal each month and have to report my count each day. I can't tell you how that has changed my writing progress.

As to other groups, yes, I would recommend them, but choose carefully. Critique groups can be quite beneficial, as long as the group is small, and all of them are compatible with each other. Again, choose carefully. A bad fit can be detrimental and discouraging.

What do you do in your spare time . . . hobbies?

A Few of my Favorite Things
▪ Reading – mostly on my Kindle these days
▪ Collecting stuffed bears – but they have to ‘speak’ to me
▪ My dog, Rocky
▪ Listening to instrumental music on Pandora
▪ Logic puzzles and word games
▪ Playing piano – though it is in bad need of tuning
▪ Used to love to crochet, but Old Man Arthur Itis made that difficult, though I still try.

What thought drives your writing?

The truth is we’re never alone. A community of support is around us—help and encouragement from fellow writers. Editors and publishers want our success. God does, too. Whether you’re an author or doing something else, keep your eyes on Him.

Peg's Social Media Links:
TWITTER: @pegphifer


  1. Love hearing more about your writing process Peggy -!

  2. Thank you so much, Sue. You deserve part of the credit, you know, for 'giving' me Misty, Veronica, Shira and Melanie, and for helping me with the foster care and adoption issues. I couldn't have made it this far without your wonderful and willing help.

  3. And Diane, I'd be remiss if I didn't send you huge thanks for the interview opportunity. I am blessed.