By Rayiah Ross
On Wednesday October 3rd, Benicia High School was blessed with the opportunity to have author, PeggySue Wells, speak to Mr. Greenwood’s Creative writing class. During this time she spoke to students about what it takes to write a story and how she because the amazing author that she is. “I began as a modern dance major,” She admitted. “When I blew out my knees, the other option that made my eyes light up was writing, which is probably a better fit.”
This career altering decision led Wells down a series of events that would eventually make her the published author of 28 books. “I’m pretty much always working on four projects at a time – it’s how my brain works.” One of Wells most popular books is The Slave Across the Street, a memoir written by both Theresa Flores, a survivor of and campaigner against sex trafficking, and PeggySue Wells. The powerful story shows Flores’ battle with American sex trafficking and her journey of overcoming her past and building her future. “Co-writing is a partnership and the author’s name appears on the book. I’ve co-authored a lot of books including The Slave Across the Street. Often one writer in the co-writing partnership pretty much writes the whole book as I did with Slavery in the Land of the Free.” Wells writing is not to be confused with ghost writing, which many celebrities use and the real writers name is not on the book.
Wells also has a deep connection with the town of Benicia. She was originally the head reporter (read ‘only reporter’) for the Benicia Herald under Bob Silva. “I loved that job and all the people I met and the opportunity to write their stories.” It wasn’t until 1995 that she returned to Indiana and she had to visit Benicia yearly to see her lifelong friends. During one trip, she asked if an author talk would fit with that teachers were instructing and Mr. Greenwood invited her to meet his Creative Writing students.
Simply put by Wells, “Writing is a way of connecting with others. It is a gift I give of myself to the world.” Her passion for writing, or in this case, telling others about writing, revolves around her own stories and truths. By speaking to young students at this school, she is only hoping that each of us can find our own. “With each of my novels, I want readers to close the book having learned something they didn’t know prior to reading my story. Everyone longs to connect and belong.”
When asking Wells what she would want to say to all of the students here at Benicia High School, she replied with, “Be the best you that you can. Learn always, play full blast and full out, and honor and respect others. Focus less on judging others. For high schoolers, the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” is better presented as “what do you want to do next?” Do great stuff that outlives you by 500 years.”
Her first Christmas novella, “Homeless for the Holidays”, is being released October 8-13, as a gift to her readers, for 99 cents on Amazon. “My favorite character in “Homeless for the Holidays” is the Baker’s son, Adam. As the mother of seven, I mined Adam’s sense of humor and quick wit from quips made by my own young adults. The generous review provided by The Christmas King, Richard Paul Evans, made my heart happy and I am still doing the Snoopy happy dance.” Her newest book, Chasing Sunrise, will be available on November 16.
Homeless for the Holidays Amazon link and excerpt: https://amzn.to/2O1jPZD
It’s Christmas and the Baker family’s finances, friends, and future are as gone as last year’s holiday. Jack Baker had it all—family, career, and a generous bonus to spend on the annual Baker Christmas extravaganza. Now the Bakers are homeless. In Homeless for the Holidays, one family loses it all and finds they have everything.
“Gladdening and humorous assurance that the best things in life have nothing to do with things. Add this heartwarming story to your favorite holiday traditions.” —Richard Paul Evans, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 43 books including The Christmas Box
Chasing Sunrise excerpt:
Special forces military, Michael Northington wears the uniform to protect lives. But when his assignment prevented a friend from receiving life-giving care, he sought solace on St. Croix. Coaxed back into the field, Michael uncovers the criminal political forces behind his friend’s death. But when international killers blow into his island paradise at the same time Hurricane Hugo unleashes its fury, Michael must employ all his skills to protect those he cares about.