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Peggy Nicholson Books & Biography


Peggy Nicholson was born and raised in Texas. She learned a lot about gambling and dreaming from her father, a Texas wildcatter (which means a maverick oilman who chases the big score, drilling away from known oil fields. Lots scarier, somehow more satisfying.) "Our jobs are a lot alike, aren't they?" he commented recently.

She learned that life could - should - be filled with fun and adventure from her mother, a fey and madcap Georgia peach. Who else but Mom could invite twenty friends on a nighttime picnic at the site of a reported flying saucer sighting - and see one? Who else could give her daughter a goat for her 11th birthday, which turned out - oops! - to be pregnant? Who else would first go paragliding at the age of 60? (Peggy tends to say "moootherrr," a lot, and mean it.)

Peggy grew up on a one acre ranch outside Houston. "Nobody in my family can resist an animal," she says, "and at one point the household had 35 in residence, including the screech owl that lived in my parent's bedroom, a three-legged hamster, an alligator, seven turtles, nine afghan hounds, three cats, a white rat named Mary Todd Lincoln, the bull calf we hitched to a wagon, the armadillo that had free run of the house, a canary, two goats, and best of all - a hard-as-nails ol' Texas pony, with a running 'W' brand on her hip, who taught me everything I know about riding (starting with duck when your pony bolts under the nearest low hanging branch). Then later, a leggy half-thoroughbred, suitable for racing trains. (I guess this is as good a place as any to thank my guardian angel and say sorry about all those hours of overtime.)"

Small wonder then that Peggy's books have featured an assortment of whimsical animals such as Burton, apparently half crocodile, half bassett hound, ("modeled shamelessly on my brother's beloved Jamie," she admits). There's been a racehorse named Payback, a double-pawed cat that solves mysteries, an assortment of lovesick voles, (some monogamous, some polygamous).

"And then there's man, the most fascinating, magnificent, and maddening beast of all, star of every book I write."

Educated at Brown University in Rhode Island, Peggy studied art and English, then went on to teach art for 10 years in a public high school. "Guess I had some influence, because the first time I gave a book signing, three of my old students showed up. They'd all become art teachers."

Another influence on Peggy's writing was boats. Outside the classroom, she restored a 50-year-old wooden sailboat, then traded that one in for a larger, older boat, big enough to live on, which she did for 10 years. The plan was to sail around the world, but somehow it didn't happen.

"Furthest I've sailed so far is New England to the Caribbean, where I jumped ship in St. Croix, joined an EarthWatch expedition, and wrote a Superromance called Child's Play about live-trapping mongooses, retrieving a kidnapped nephew, and stalking a sexy biology professor with a weakness for tropical bats. ("One of my favourite books," Peggy admits, "since I have lived most of the research.")

Settling in Rhode Island after that, Peggy continues to live her research whenever possible and write daily.