Pepped Up & All Pepped Up
by Ali Dean
Pepper Jones is ready for an epic cross country season. She wants to qualify for Nationals, and she’s
willing to do anything it takes to make it happen. She can handle long miles and hill sprints, but boys?
That’s an entirely different challenge.
Pepper’s never considered revealing her deeper feelings for her longtime friend, Jace Wilder. After all,
he’s got the personal magnetism and good looks to hook just about any girl in town — and he has.
Their friendship stands apart from high school social circles, and they’re both just fine with that (or at least they pretend to be).
That is, until running star Ryan Harding moves to town.
When it comes to running, Pepper’s goals are clear.
But when it comes to Jace and Ryan, it’s nowhere near as simple.
Pepper Jones knew that being Jace Wilder’s girlfriend wouldn’t be simple.
But she didn’t predict just how many complications would arise from his past. Jealous girls?
That she expected. Family secrets? Not so much.
At least Pepper can always hit the trails to clear her head… except when it comes to racing.
The high expectations from her phenomenal cross country season haunt her, and she can’t seem to get
psyched up for track season.
Pepper’s junior year at Brockton Public is full of challenges on and off the track, but she’s not afraid to face them.
Why did you decide to become a writer?
I always liked creative writing in school, but I didn’t do much of it until a couple of years ago. I am a lawyer, so I’ve always written a lot. Legal writing doesn’t permit much creativity. I started reading a lot more fiction when I was studying for the bar exam – it was a nice escape from studying. Then I started reading every day on the bus on the way to work, and I got pretty addicted. Once I discovered indie/self-published authors, I realized that writing a book myself might be a real possibility. I didn’t necessarily have to find a publisher or quite my legal job. So I started writing stories, and I loved it!
Who/what are your writing inspirations?
I think most of my ideas comes from my own life experiences, in some form, but sometimes when I read what I’ve written, I really don’t know where it came from!
What are your favorite genres to read?
The same ones I write, usually. So, new/young adult contemporary romance. I also like historical romance, or really any good romance. I’m not really into the erotica stuff though, I just like a good love story.
Favorite writing food / snack?
Coffee and donuts.
What do you hope readers take away most from your writing?
No matter what craziness hits you with boys, friends, sports, etc., stay true to herself, loyal to your friends, and do lose sight of your goals.
Who’s the favorite character of yours that you’ve written and why?
Bunny/Buns. She’s just so unique and well, awesome.
What is your writing style? Outliner/Planner or Seat of the Pantser?
Mostly a seat of the pantser. Occasionally I do a very vague and minimal bullet point outline but I rarely stick to it. I tend to have some general ideas in my head and then when I start writing the ideas take on a life of their own. That’s why I love it!
If someone wanted to become a writer, what tips would you give to them?
Just write! Don’t overthink it. You can always edit and change things later.
Have you ever purchased something from a late-night infomercial? If so, what?
I can’t say I have. Does that make me a boring person?
If you could collaborate with any other author(living, dead, or undead) who would that be and why?
That’s a really hard question! And probably because I don’t know how collaborating would work… writing seems so solitary to me. Sorry I can’t come up with an answer to this one.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you do?
Well, I’m a lawyer when I’m not writing. So I’d keep doing that! I like being a lawyer ?
Coke, Pepsi, or?
Is there a character that has the most “You” in them? Or the opposite of you?
There’s a lot of me in Pepper.
If we lived in a Fahrenheit 451 culture, which book would you want to memorize?
The Bible. It’s really 66 books in one! Plus, it’s juicier than a lot of people realize.