Interview: Barbara Peacock

B. N. Peacock’s passion for writing and history began in high school, winning an honorable mention in a national READ magazine contest, a short story about the battle of Bunker Hill as seen from the perspective of a British war correspondent.

After completing her M.A. in International Relations from the University of Kentucky and her M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Clemson University, she worked at USDA’s Economic Research Service as a commodity analyst, writer, and occasional television presenter. In 1982, she married the love of her life, her husband Daniel and fellow traveler, and visited Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Tobago.

Enjoy this interview.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing.

I’m originally from western Pennsylvania, just outside Pittsburgh. I’ve been writing off and on since childhood. I wrote a short story which won an honorable mention in a national reading contest during middle school, historical fiction of course. I also wrote for government publications on a routine basis as an economist, did book reviews, letters to the editor, and the like.  I finally decided to follow my dream and write a book, a historical novel. And I did.

Tell us about your latest book. What do you hope readers take away from it?

A Tainted Dawn is the first in my series about the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. In it, I present the same history through three different and distinct viewpoints:

Edward Deveare, son of an English aristocrat and naval captain; Jemmy Sweetman, son of an English carpenter turned smuggler, and Louis Saulnier, son of a French court tailor.

Edward and Louis keep their nationalities. Jemmy will become an American. The point I want to make in my present book and the upcoming ones is this: no one person or nation is always right or wrong. An alternate way of looking at things generally exists.

Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?

I’m working on the next book in the Great War series, tentatively to be called “Army of Citizens.”

Any type of writing ritual you have?

Since I write about the past, I often like to “get in the mood,” like having a candle lit or playing appropriate music. I don’t use a quill pen and inkpot, though.

Care to share a link to a favorite blog post?

I have two favorites, Old Salt Blog and Historic Naval Fiction.

What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

Hmm, that’s a hard one. Possibly, Victor Hugo’s Ninety-Three. It reads more like a modern novel, and Hugo has two protagonists, so depending on whether you are a royalist or revolutionary, you get to choose your “hero.”

What is the one thing you’re most thankful for as a writer?

As a first time author, beyond doubt getting published. I can never thank the late Tom Grundner at Fireship Press and his widow Mary Lou enough for having faith in me.

What is the one thing that frustrates you about being a writer?

My lack of organization. Now where did I put those notes?

In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?

Someone who can make others think.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m a fishing fanatic, but haven’t even gotten my license this year. I love spending time with my family (and get them to go fishing with me, except my daughter, who hates it), spend time with my pets (but I never take them fishing because they’d filch what I caught), and garden (no, I don’t use fish as fertilizer). And did I mention I liked fishing?

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes. Being a family person, I’d like to give special recognition to my husband, Daniel, for his ongoing support. Also, to my two children, Dan and Stephanie, for not disowning me for my lack of techie expertise. Finally (and this is final), to Fiona, my Golden Retriever, and Mr. Orlando Cat, for putting up with all this nonsense.

Where can we learn more about you?

At my website,

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