Friday, April 15

Welcome Pepper O'Neal

As you know, this month, we’re interviewing authors. Today I’m interviewing author, Pepper O’Neal. Welcome to Word Wranglers, Pepper.

Tell us about you and your books.
I’m of Irish and Cherokee descent, and I’m an adrenalin junkie. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my three cats. I’ve a doctorate in education, and I worked for several years in Mexico and the Caribbean as a researcher and writer for an educational resource company based in Mexico City, making documentaries and developing educational programs to deal with illiteracy. During that time I was lucky enough to meet some former CIA officers as well as a couple of people from organized crime. These people heavily influenced me and my writing, and they are now characters in my books. My first published fiction was Love Potion No. 2-14, a romantic comedy novella released in February 2011 by eTreasures. My second book, a novel, Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny, comes out the end of the month from Black Opal Books.

If you couldn’t write anymore, what would you be doing?
If I couldn’t write, I’d be going crazy. My family tells me I’m addicted. I guess they’re right. I have to read and write at least some time every day, or I start jonesing. If I can’t sit at my computer and write, I write in my head. Then I start walking into walls. I’m also a freelance researcher as well as a book cover designer. As you can probably tell, I had a lot of trouble deciding what I wanted to do when I grew up, so I decided to just do everything.

I’ve become fascinated with people’s guilty pleasures. What’s yours?
Reading. I’m a voracious reader. I need books. I’ll read even if I have to hide to do it. I go through probably 5 novels a week, which means I have books everywhere. I’ve long ago run out of bookshelf space, so books go wherever I can find to put them. Thank God for ebooks! They don’t require bookshelves.

Besides writing, what do you do for fun?
I go for walks in the woods, garden, play with my cats, and collect house plants. I sometimes think I have more house plants than I do house. I also got a Wii recently and discovered I have some talent at Wii bowling. So I do a lot of that. I live in a very rural area without much commercial entertainment, so I find my hundreds of books come in handy.

You like writing romantic thrillers. Are you a thrill seeker yourself?
Absolutely. I’ve had some fantastic experiences in my life. I’ve been caught on a boat in a hurricane and had to climb the mast to repair the boom before the boat capsized. We were taking on water at an alarming rate. That was sooo much fun! I’ve broken practically every bone in my body at some time or other. And that’s not much fun when you’re in a country without modern hospitals within easy reach. My team and I once got caught in the middle of an anti-American protest in Mexico City when the Gulf War started, and we had to change our nationalities to Canadian in a big hurry so as not to get strung up by our toes. That was just a little too exciting for my tastes. I’ve stayed in some interesting places and taken a lot of showers with cockroaches from hell. But on the plus side, I’ve seen some beautiful scenery, visited some fantastic places, and met some wonderful people. I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything in the world.

Is there anything you absolutely can’t do without when you’re writing?
Something to write with. If not a computer, then pen and paper. I can write in my head when I have to, but I need to get it down on something more substantial, or I’ll lose it.

Is there anything you dislike about being a published author?
Not that I can think of. It’s the realization of a long time goal. And I’m thrilled that people seem to enjoy what I write.

Tell us about the book featured here today.
Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny is a paranormal romantic thriller. It’s has a half-vampire/half-Lycan English hero and a half-tiger/half-human American heroine. It’s set in contemporary England. I’m including the blurb below:

She didn’t know what she was—or that what she was could get her killed...
A struggling private detective in Los Angeles, Chase Alcott has no idea about her unique genetic makeup. So when she takes on a new client—an old man with ulterior motives—Chase is unaware of the danger she will soon face. Traveling to England to solve a mysterious murder at the request of her new client, Chase encounters terrifying creatures she thought only existed in her nightmares—creatures bent on her surrender or destruction—only to find out she’s one of them. Caught in a web of evil and deception after learning some terrifying truths about her long dead parents, Chase doesn’t know who to believe. Does she dare trust the enigmatic Roman, a man with dark secrets of his own, when she can no longer even trust herself?

He knew what she was—he just had no idea what to do about her…
English nobleman, Roman Fernwood, half werewolf shifter and half vampire, doesn’t want a mate, especially not a half human, half tiger shifter with no knowledge of what she is. After all, cats and dogs would hardly be a good match. But there’s something about Chase Roman can’t resist in spite of his determination not to fall in love. Is it her fascinating American spunk and courage, or her stunning cinnamon eyes? Or could it be the passion he senses just beneath her calm, unruffled demeanor? Whatever it is, Roman must keep her safe from those who want to kill her while finding a way to show her what she is without driving her into the arms of the other shifters who also want her for a mate.

How can we reach you?
The best way is through my website I have a form for emailing me there. I’m always happy to hear from readers and other authors.

Is there an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Yes. You can read the first chapter of Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny at: http://pepperoneal


  1. Your book sounds fascinating...but you even more so! What an interesting life.

  2. Wow! I'm with Em. Sounds as though you'll never run out of stuff to write about even if you only use your own experiences.

    What an interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You have such an interesting background, Pepper! And the book sounds very interesting...think I found another for my TBR pile. :)

  4. Wow Pepper I knew you were talented and driven but I had no idea how much! Do you ever take time to sleep?

  5. Good interview! Looking forward to checking out your book. And from one PNWer to another. Tired of the rain yet? Usually I love it, but I am so ready for a dry spell :)

  6. Hi, Pepper!
    Thanks for coming by! Wowsie, do you have an interesting life. I was breathless just reading about it. If your book is half as exciting, it'll be a real ride!

  7. This book does sound great. I can't wait to read it Pepper.