PEGGY HOGAN is the award-winning author of For a Song, in which a minstrel stumbles upon an entire race of people that needs saving. In Milo’s Burden, a young boy inspires others to make it right, no matter the cost. Flotsy, the protagonist in her latest novel, has dark, violent visions—visions that foresee the future. Some might call it a gift but Flotsy calls it a curse.
“Not surprisingly, I have been an avid reader all my life. At the tender age of 14, my father handed me a book with an otherworldly cover thinking that I might like it. This precipitated my leap from reading Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys to the unlimited imagination of science fiction and fantasy. It was like I had come home.
“A few years later, a story came to me and, all fired-up, I began to write it down. What seemed to flow like magic from the page was not nearly as easy as putting it on the page in the first place. Among other things, writing is a craft and a craft takes diligence and practice―lots and lots of practice. I scoured the local library for books on how to write. I attended workshops and talked to writers to learn how they did what they did. I disciplined myself to write every day (well, almost every day).
“When I thought my ‘baby’ was ready, I sent my precious manuscript to the publishing house that I knew was right for my work. My first rejection letter was a blow. Come to think of it, all my rejection letters were blows. I soon learned that the publishing industry is just that: an industry. It considers not only that you have submitted an outstanding story that is impeccably written but also that a similar book has not been published recently and that the editor who vets your work is in the right mood at the right time. What made it particularly difficult for me was that I did not have previous publications to my credit and I had not yet achieved an award in the contests I had entered. I learned persistence, and continued to hone my craft.
“In 2011, the 34th Atlantic Writing Competition recognized the quality of my storytelling by awarding For a Song second place in the adult fiction category.
“In 2012, a Year of the Dragon, I came upon Double Dragon Publishing. I was born in a Year of the Dragon. It seemed the gods had given me a nod and I submitted For a Song. It was accepted for publication and went to print in 2014. Sometimes, the planets align and the stars are just where they should be.
“Milo’s Burden began a long time ago and, like a fine wine, needed to age. I am thrilled that Double Dragon Publishing once again accepted my work. Milo was released in March 2016.
“While at a writers’ retreat in 2011, I wrote the first words of Flotsy. She had tapped me on the shoulder bright and early, and said she had a story to tell. Who was I to argue with a muse? Her story was shared with the world in January 2019, thanks to Double Dragon.
“Deron Douglas, the owner and publisher of Double Dragon, is not only a man of excellent literary taste but also the artist behind my beautiful, magical covers. He has amazed me every time and, at my first look at each of them, I cried a little.
“Writing can transport me to a state of Zen-like oneness. It’s like, suddenly and momentarily, everything is right with the world. I become a conduit for the story that the characters must tell. Nothing is better than that.”