It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. - Seneca

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our SPOTLIGHT is on, Peggy Ehrhart.


I’m delighted to be “in the Spotlight.” Thanks so much to the Chicks, Andrea and Corinna!

I was destined to be a writer. I read constantly, so school was a congenial atmosphere for me. Also, when I was growing up, the role models for women were limited: teacher, nurse, secretary, or—in my world--nun. I couldn’t see myself doing any of those things so I resolved to stay in school as long as I could. While I was in grad school working on my Ph.D. in medieval literature, I discovered the joy of submerging myself in a writing project.

I saw the college teaching as a day job that allowed me to pursue my real love, which was writing. But I didn’t see myself as a fiction writer—yet . I really enjoyed the research and writing that went with my college professor role. One of my favorite projects had to do with the medieval understanding of Greek mythology.In my forties, like many people, I hit some bumps in the road. I evaluated what I had done so far and asked myself whether I’d be happy with a life that contained only that. The answer was no. I needed to do something more expressive, and that’s where the guitar came in. My son was taking guitar lessons and I had recently started listening to the classic rock station on the radio. I loved blues-rock in the sixties and it occurred to me that if I applied myself, I could actually PLAY those songs.

After a few years of lessons, I spent a week at a guitar workshop where I met two other grown-up guitar fanatics and formed my first band, which we called The Last Stand. We played enough gigs to give me a sense of what it’s like to keep a band together. One of our frequent venues was a grungy bar in lower Manhattan close enough to the Twin Towers that after 9/11 it was closed for several weeks. That band had its ups and downs: our first bass player quit when she and I had a disagreement, and I had to fire a drummer for showing up late for rehearsals.

We broke up 2002—not because we couldn’t mesh our artistic visions or anything romantic like that. It was that we simply could not find a time that everybody was free to practice. I mourned for quite awhile when that band died, but now I’ve got something less ambitious going on. I jam with two guys once a week in the bass player’s Brooklyn apartment. The bass player was in my old band too, so we call ourselves Still Standing.

I’ve got a sample of our sound up on my website, along with a picture from when we played at a barbecue in my back yard. The song and the picture are right on my home page—at .

You can contact me through my website—or leave a comment right here.

All the best—


Brenna Ash said...

I loved reading about your background. The band experience while it had it's ups and downs sounds like it would have been a fun experience. I've always wanted to be able to play a musical instrument. Maybe one day.

Katie O'Sullivan said...

The experience of playing in a band must have given you plenty of great characters to write about! Can't wait to read an excerpt!

Diane said...

I think we met at the Five Star get together. Good luck with your book!

Diane Amos

Skhye said...

I'm so jealous about your focus in grad school! Want to share what you discovered about medieval thought on Greek mythology? I wrote a fantasy-romance novella (available at set in the present for Calliope (it's a series with 9 authors who give the 9 muses a romance!) with an archaeologist's psyche as the hero. IT was tons of fun writing. My background is in geology and bioarchaeology. I found delving into the ancient Greek idea of death, dying, life, and afterlife extremely fascinating. So, I wove those concepts into the piece... Okay, I'm rambling. Hence my blog's name: Skhye's Ramblings. *snicker* And I didn't come to sale my story! Are you glad you opted against becoming a nun? :) Personally, I had no intentions of ever quitting college. There were just way too many classes I wanted to take!!!

It looks like you have the perfect background for writing a hero who is a musician. The story sounds fabulous.

orelukjp0 said...

I really liked the song. I was waiting for you to add vocals but the guitar playing was great.

I only play the piano with any proficiency but never had the nerve to take it any further.

Thanks for entering me in your contest.

Jacquie Rogers said...

Best of luck with your book! I'm intrigued :)

librarypat said...

Checked out your website. The pies look great. Will have to try some of them. The whole family loves pies.
Good idea combining music and mystery. Will be checking your book out. Wish I could play an instrument, but no such luck and no talent.

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