MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR PEGGY FEUERBACHER
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Peggy Feuerbacher, but I write under Margaret Bennett, for obvious reasons. No one can spell my last name. I have written a contemporary romantic suspense and an adolescence novel, however, my genre is Regency Romances. My latest Regency novel comes out October 15th.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I really enjoy reading suspense novels. Along with that, I have always been interested in the Regency period, the Napoleonic war, smuggling and spies. I also like strong female characters, especially those who go against the norms of society, of course with plenty of humor.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’m a huge fan of Georgette Heyer. I started reading Barbara Cartland, but became bored with the pattern of the stories and their weak heroines, and decided to try my hand at it. I enjoy plotting story lines, developing characters, and incorporating the history of the time period in the stories.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
As always, I try to keep the dialogue free of modern idioms. So I am always checking the etymology of words. I have a small library of books which just deal with the Regency period, and of course, I am always searching the internet for historical facts to use in a story.
Can you tell me about your Series?
My Regency Romances most often have strong heroines who also possess some quirk. On occasion, I have made gentlemen my main protagonists, which is fun because you really have to think like the male species. A Lady’s Dilemma is one example, whereby the protagonist must remake himself in order to bamboozle society into forgetting that he is a war hero.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
It’s always the current story I’m working on.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
One of my favorite characters of Georgette Heyer was the Nonesuch. I do try to pattern my male protagonists after him.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Oh yes, I always set goals—daily, monthly, yearly. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at make them. But what I do is try to work on my writing at least two hours a day. Ideally, I will get really in grossed in a character or story line and work four or five hours straight. I write mostly in “my spot” on the living room couch, surrounded with papers, outlines, books pertaining to the period, and notes. I also keep lots of composition books about and write down any idea that pops into my head, including dialogue and story lines. These turn out to be great inspirations for new novels.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I am in the final draft of The Spinster and the Spy which is due out October 15. It’s about a twenty-four year old spinster who encounters an agent working for the Crown spying on two French spies. There’s lots of humor, especially with the heroine’s antics as she tries to uncover a British traitor, while the hero is constantly pulling her out of scrapes, and of course, along the way, he loses his heart to her.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Character names do not usually play a role in my stories. However, on occasion, I will play with the names when I am trying to create a stereotype secondary character, for example the individual who acts the buffoon.
Where do your ideas come from?
Anywhere, everywhere. Sometimes I’ll see or hear something that happens to one of my family or friends, and an idea for a scene will pop into my mind. That’s when my stacks of notebooks come in handy. I’ll write it down to go back later to use in one of my stories.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I wrote one contemporary romantic suspense and have ideas for more stories like that. I also worked with a woman’s recovery house. After hearing their stories, I have fiddled with writing a novel that expresses their heartache and pain. Time will tell if I write it.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Just doing it. I don’t get writer’s block, but it does take a lot of self-discipline to sit down and write, rewrite, and proofread. I tend to be low on the self-discipline.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
I can write anywhere, and there is such a sense of accomplishment when you finally finish a novel and see it on Amazon or Goodreads.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Same place, sitting on my couch, writing, although I will probably have to get a bigger coffee table to hold all my notebooks.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, I am a retired Language Arts Teacher and have enjoyed teaching high school students the craft.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write all your ideas down right away, for you’ll soon find your ideas are fleeting. I once tended a RWA meeting where the guest author made the comment that you cannot make anything from a blank page. Write something, whether it’s good or bad. It’s a start, and can get you going. Another thing, join a writers’ group. It will help you to learn your craft, and members are great to run ideas by or pair up with to proofread each other’s work. I joined a local chapter of Romance Writers of America when I first got serious about writing a novel and can honestly say that I learned so many things about plotting, characterization, and the genre.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Teaching. I truly have a passion for teaching.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I love to read my reviews, and I take them to heart. Sometimes I don’t agree with them, but I also accept that readers will interpret things differently. There are also different levels of expectations for Regency romances, ranging from those who are purists like the Jane Austen fans, those who like the lighter side of Georgette Heyer, and those who are just looking for a good romance. I do remember one reviewer criticized my heroine for not be a more forceful character. So now I am more aware of the independent strengths of my female protagonists.
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
It is a process, and I get enjoyment out of each part of it. If I had to choose, I would say that the second draft is my favorite. This is where I can refine my characters and add new dimensions to the plot.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I am writing about a merchant’s daughter at a house party who wakes up and finds a naked lord in her bed. She is forced into an engagement with the rouge but continuously argues with her father that they have nothing in common. She’s a Whig, he’s a Tory. She’s a member of the working class, he’s a peer of the realm. Add to that, there’s a plot afoot by her father’s business partner to gain her share of the business. Haven’t quite worked out all the details yet, but I see lots of possibilities for humor.
Where did your love of books come from?
I’m of an older generation. We didn’t have the internet or cell phones. So, if you didn’t watch TV, you read—or both.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Not really. I read a variety of genres. But I do love a good mystery.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. It depends on where I am in the writing process. There are times when writing a first draft that I get frustrated because the plot doesn’t move along the way I want and I have to create scenes to justify something. I am energized when creating a new story line and characters, and when I’m working on the final proofs for I can see the finish line.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
A good book!
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write what I like in the hopes that readers will also like it.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I just rejoined RWA this past spring, so I’ve been pretty much going it alone for quite some time. However, I’ve made some new friends and am looking forward to partnering up with some other writers.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Live, Write, Pray
Where can your fans find you and follow??
You can find me on
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️