Connie Fleming, hereafter noted as “CF”: For the first-ever WIK blog tour, I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing (and introducing) this year’s Southern Breeze WIK conference coordinator, Sharon Pegram. Sharon lives in Suwanee, GA. Don’t you love the Southern sound of that? I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting Sharon until the interview. I think you’re going to adore her. I know I do already.
CF: So, who are you, anyway?
SP: I write science fiction and play a lot of video games with my engineer husband and eight-year-old son. In other words, I’m a geek. In my pre-parenting, gainfully employed life I was a school librarian, so I do enjoy organizing things and helping people connect with a good book.
CF: Sounds like you are perfect for the job of coordinator. Having been a past conference coordinator and know the huge amount of work involved, so my next question is, “What made you decide to be the 2012 WIK coordinator.” Or in other words, “Have you lost your mind?”
SP: At Wik’10 Lisa Stauffer asked me to be her assistant for Wik’11 (while I was picking up my sandwich at lunch, so walk carefully through that line…), as training to coordinate Wik’12. I went back and forth over it for about a month, and then my husband said, “Just do it. You’ll be great.” He knows how to access the confidence I sometimes forget I have.
CF: What are you working on?
SP: Panacea, about a girl whose blood heals and the guy who gets tangled in her problems. Pelagos, a sequel with a new love, an old enemy, and a helicopter mom with special forces training. And Self-Evident Truths, in which a girl falls in love with her dad’s artificial intelligence project.
CF: Sharon is too modest to mention that her novel, Panacea, was a semi-finalist in the 2011Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. Congratulations on that, Sharon. Now, what is it like coordinating a Southern Breeze conference?
SP: Kind of like coaching a team where all the players know more than I do. Fortunately, they’re good teachers.
CF: I hear that! What have you learned about how WIK works?
SP: Jo, Claudia, and Heather do more than should be temporally possible. One of the more interesting documents in my notebook is the itemized schedule. To fit so much into one day, they have everything scheduled, down to which announcements are made at the welcome and which at lunch. And it’s color-coded by person, so everyone knows who’s doing what.
CF: Wow, you ladies are organized! What’s special about WIK this year?
SP: The first-ever Southern Breeze blog tour, of course. I’m also excited about having 15 speakers on the faculty. There should truly be something for everyone.
CF: Have you run into any glitches yet, and if so, how have you handled them?
SP: I think it’s early for glitches, but I’m sure they’ll make their appearance as preparations progress. My favorite glitch from last year was when I called the day before to confirm lunch for the intensive, and the restaurant had lost the order. Always call…
CF: Sharon, I know with you at the helm, the conference is sure to a great experience for Southern Breezers, as it always is. Many thanks to you and all the volunteers who make these events possible. We hope you will check back with us after the conference for “the rest of the story.”