Mermaids & Friends: Piper Huguley

PreacherI met Piper Huguley in Atlanta at the 2013 Romance Writers of America National Conference. I can’t remember our first meeting, but I do remember running into her several times and doing what you do at conferences — talking about books, the conference, the workshops, the speakers, the authors. Everything you can chat about in five-minute encounters that take place waiting for elevators or chilling at the bar or a restaurant.

Oh, and I also knew she was a 2013 Golden Heart® finalist (now also a two-time finalist with her 2014 Golden Heart® finalist nod), so some stalking on my part might have been involved:)…

But she was always gracious and chatty, and funny, and we’ve been buds ever since. I may not be a regular inspirational romance reader, but I enjoy a good book, first and foremost, and I love her books, but also her marketing savvy, and her commitment to her Sunday blog posts! If you haven’t checked them out, please do — you’ll be wiser for reading them:)!

So, I invited her here to the Waterworld Mermaid pond to answer some of my questions about her newest release, The Preacher’s Promise, and in general share some of her awesomeness!

1). Denny asked: Tell us about your setting – time and location – how does setting help you tell the story of your protagonist?

Piper said: The Milford College series starts in 1866 Georgia. This is the Reconstruction Era that follows the end of the Civil War. It’s a time of great change, unrest and uncertainty.   I think it’s a lot like the Wild West where great opportunity existed alongside of turbulence and change. So when these forces of an educated African American woman comes in contact with a former enslaved blacksmith, there is bound to be conflict. They wouldn’t have come in contact at any other time.

2) Denny asked:  Pick a line from your book that you’d say ’nails’ the personality of your heroine and/or hero?

Piper said: Virgil says: “Don’t address people I don’t know by their first names. Especially not young women. I got manners.”

He won’t have anyone, not even the newly arrived schoolteacher, treating him as if he doesn’t know the rules of society. The line shows his pride, but at the same time highlights his vulnerability.

3)  Denny asked: You are a two-time Golden Heart finalist entering the world of indie publishing with two books debuting in six weeks, what’s next?

Piper said: Hopefully, people will be engaged in my series and I can continue to release Milford College stories. I’m still shopping my single title 20th century series and people will be able to learn about the Bledsoe Sisters.

4)  Denny asked: Name two books on your must-read shelf.

Piper said: Gone With the Wind.- Despite all of the difficulty with the way African Americans are portrayed, Mitchell still tells a captivating story. For me, the book serves as motivation—to tell a different kind of captivating story.Piper Huguley GH photo

Mules and Men – Hurston captures pertinent stories/reflections in the speech patterns of her fellow Floridians from the 1920’s and 1930’s and gives them their human dignity.

5)  Denny asked: What’s hot in historical women’s fiction and/or romance (besides your new book:)!

Piper said: The whole genre of “wife of” books seems to have cooled for the moment. I see a hopeful shift in readers being more receptive to a wider variety of time periods in historical romance. The genre will have a hard time continuing to thrive if people are not exposed to a greater variety of stories.

Thank you, Piper!

Now readers, Piper will be around all day so please ask away!

Piper Huguley is author of the “Home to Milford College” series, and to keep in touch, you can visit her blog,, or follow her on @writerpiper on Twitter, or find her at Piper Huguley on Facebook.The Preacher’s Promise (in print and on iTunes)

PreacherAmazon: The Preacher’s Promise (Home to Milford College Book 1) – Kindle edition by Piper Huguley. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @




LawyerThe Lawyer’s Luck (in print and on iTunes)








31 thoughts on “Mermaids & Friends: Piper Huguley

  1. Great interview, Denny! Can’t wait to read the whole Milford College series from Piper. I’m super open to new time periods/settings — in fact that’s what I’m looking to read right now. So bring it on!!

    1. Hey Lenora, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I used to be a huge fan of historical fiction, well, I guess I still am, lol. But not until recently historical romance. I was a big reader of Leon Uris, James Michener, and E. L. Doctorow (Ragtime), but recently stories set in the 1920s (an era I write in) have me mesmerized:)…I don’t read that much regency, but have a few on my must-read authors on that list – Cathy Maxwell and Courtney Milan.

      1. Thank you Lenora! Glad to hear someone is open to new time periods and settings! And I love historical fiction as well…that’s coming beyond my series as a matter of fact….:)

  2. Wonderful interview! I’ve already read the beginning of The Preacher’s Promise from the Amazon contest, so I can’t want to find out what happens. I love a good historical set in and around the Civil War. John Jakes was one of my favs growing up. Not sure how they hold up though?

    1. Thank you Laura for commenting. I haven’t read a John Jakes novel in a while, so I’m not sure about him, but I do like watching the mini-series though….:)

  3. Good morning Piper and Denny! What an honor and delight to have you here in the pond with us, Piper. Your book is beautiful and I love your answer to Denny’s question about dialogue that nails your character. I was curious if you have any new faves on your romance reading list? Thanks!

    1. Virgil can be somewhat taciturn, Carlene, but he has a right to be….:). For more current stuff not pubbed in the 1930’s? Hmmm….I am a big fan of Kari Edgren. I loved her first book and I’m eagerly looking forward to her second. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thank you Denny and a big congratulations Piper. The Preacher’s Promise excerpt shows the book to be a gem, and I love the quote. Have to confess that I’ve never read Gone with the Wind. Best wishes on the series.

    1. I appreciate the support Sally! It may be more difficult for people in the 21st century to take Gone With the Wind in, but in terms of both popular fiction and Southern literary fiction, it was a seminal turning point. Thanks for stopping by my fellow Lucky!

  5. Okay. I have no idea how my comment was lost. I’m an actual mermaid.
    Ugh. Now I have to quickly try to remember my past brilliance in commenting. 🙂
    Great interview, Denny! And, Piper, I always love learning more about you and your fab books. I was captivated by your voice and characters when I read your excerpt on the Amazon Breakthrough contest. I think your books and characters fulfill a great need that readers don’t even realize exists. I love reading books with minority characters in the MAIN story and not as some secondary, supporting-role type of characters. No matter what our backgrounds are, we should all be reading books that give us a difference of perspective. How boring to always read books that are interchangeable.
    Your books are wonderful and different and pull at the hearts of people in different backgrounds, and that’s why your books will be so meaningful to readers.
    Okay. That’s probably not as good as my earlier brilliance. But, I have to get back on the road now. Heading towards Kansas City now to see Steph and Julie–our Dream Weaver sisters. 🙂
    Thanks for visiting our pond. And I’m sure we’ll see you again in here with the next book release. 🙂

    1. Thank you Kimberly! I certainly hope that you are right! Right now, I think people are more shocked about my stories than anything else. It’s been a great ride thus far! And don’t you hate it when you lose something electronically? It’s never the same the second time. Enjoy your trip! I’m loving the pond!

  6. Hi Piper! It’s an honor to have you here in the mermaid pond. I, too, read the beginning of the Preacher’s Promise in the Amazon contest and am looking forward to reading the rest of it. I love your covers!! Best of luck with your releases! And Denny – great interview!

    1. Thank you Pintip! I appreciate the luck and felt so flattered when Denny wanted to interview me for this great blog. It’s been great! I’m happy that you stopped by, since I know you are busy….thank you for the comment!

  7. Hey ya, Denny and Piper! Hope you guys have great weekends planned. (Friday’s just not like any other day, is it? Such an optimistic day…) Piper: What is ‘wife of’ books? Also, which one of your stories was in the Amazon contest? I downloaded PP but must have spaced on LL! Thought you only had one out.

    Great interview, Denny!

    1. Hi Sarah! There’s a chapter meeting involved for me this weekend and getting ready to appear in the Decatur Book Festival! An exciting time, for sure! The term “wife of” is shorthand for the number of historical fiction novels that are told from the point of view of the “wife of” some famous man. There’s been a boom in the past five years or so. Some of the better ones to read are: The Aviator’s Wife (about Charles Lindbergh’s wife), The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, Mrs. Poe (well, this one is about his mistress). There’s a couple of them on Zelda Fitzgerald, F. Scott’s wife. The best one for me though is Douglass’ Women–about Frederick Douglass’s wife and mistress. And it was published almost 12 years ago, before this recent wave started.
      I pubbed The Lawyer’s Luck as a novella to give people a taste of my writing before the full novel of The Preacher’s Promise came out. It wasn’t in the contest. Thank you for stopping by!

    2. Hey, so glad you stopped by Sarah. I’m up to no good on Sunday (which probably sounds backwards, in a way:), but Saturday is writing ‘castle’ day (borrowing a phrase from Mermaid Kerri Carpenter…), and about to go get the nails and feet done (lol), yes, I do manage to get the weekend off to a rocking start!).

  8. Denny- great interview, and you’re so right– her blog posts are so enlightening. (she’s so smart I’m a bit jealous) Piper, your stories are so beautifully-written and so different– you are destined for great things! And those covers!! Love you, my Lucky Dreamweaver sister.

  9. Great interview, gals. Piper, I am endlessly impressed. And as for those wife of books, The Paris Wife was my favorite. Best of luck – not that you need it – with your wonderful series.

  10. Thank you Julie! And you are right about The Paris Wife. That’s another good one too. I appreciate your kind words and that you stopped by to comment!

  11. Hi Piper! I agree with everyone else–the opening of Preacher’s Promise is so promising. *ducking* But seriously. And I love that you’ve chosen the Reconstruction era. The Wild West is a perfect analogy, just everything upside down and sideways. And oh-so-messy. I just love the attention you’ve been getting for them, and I’m looking forward to watching your career grow by leaps and bounds!

    I don’t think I know these “wife of” books. This is more historical fiction than romance, yes?

    Thanks for hosting Piper here, Denny!

  12. Hi Talia,

    Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your kind words about the promise of The Preacher’s Promise! I was just answering Sarah’s question, but you are right, “wife of” books are more historical fiction. Still there is a part of them in the romance element when she meets “that guy” who affirms her identity. It’s only until later in the book when he disappoints her somehow–so you don’t get the HEA. It makes those books potentially heartbreaking, but when the wife finds her way back to herself, there is a victory. Thank you for your comment!

  13. Piper, I love the interview. Love your titles and book covers. Can’t wait to read the whole series. And hope to see you tomorrow at GRW. Hugs!

  14. Great interview! Piper, I *never* read inspirational and am completely hooked on your series. Great writing, great characters, amazing plot. Plus, the covers are gorgeous.

    1. This means so much coming from you Asa! I try to explain to people what inspy is, and I’m so glad you gave it a try to show that it’s not overbearing! Thank you so much for letting me know this and for commenting!

  15. Denny, thanks for sharing Piper’s awesomeness with us today — great interview! I loved meeting you both at Nationals. Piper, I have the Lawyer’s Luck on my Kindle and I’m really excited about the release of your series, too. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you for commenting Vanessa! I hope you enjoy Realie and Lawrence’s story. I appreciate your kind words so much. Thank you for stopping by!

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