Interview: Piper Huguley

Named in 2015 as a top ten historical romance novelist in Publisher’s Weekly, Piper Huguley writes historical romance set in the United States of America. She was a RWA Golden Heart finalist in 2013 and 2014 with books from her current series, and her novella The Washerwomen’s War features in (the sadly out of print) Daughters of a Nation: A Black Suffragette Historical Romance Anthology (an anthology I thoroughly recommend).

Your book, A Champion’s Heart: Born to Win Men is out now. What was the inspiration for the story?
I always loved boxing movies. They are such a metaphor for life. Rocky, the first one, is a romance movie to me. I also loved Cinderella Man. So I wanted to do something that showed that fighting spirit of Black people during the Great Depression in the U.S.A. Boxing was also a place where Black people in the U.S.A. first started to fight for their civil rights and I wanted to show that as well.

If you could live in a book, which book would it be?
I’m pretty satisfied with my own particular world. There are a lot of books that I read where, if I lived in them as an African American woman, I wouldn’t be free to express myself as I can now. I will say that I’ve always loved The Beauty and the Beast as a fairy tale.

What is the one era you would love to visit and why?
Once again, although I write history, there aren’t too many places where I could go in history and be who I am. I would like to visit my ancestors to see what they were like as people, but I can’t pinpoint it to one specific time.

Other than books, what is one item you can’t resist buying?
Penuche fudge.

What project are you currently working on?
I’m working on a contemporary women’s fiction novel about a professor. That’s all I will say. 🙂

About A Champion’s Heart:
1935. Champion Bates left poky old Winslow, Georgia when he was seventeen years old. He had promised to elope with his childhood sweetheart, but pressured by other influences, he took an earlier train leaving his Delie behind. The pain at leaving her behind has tormented him for the seven years he fought as a ham and egg boxer, trying to make himself worthy of her. He had no chance for the big time until now. He has a fight with a contender boxer–a white man. However, he has been told more fighting will possibly blind him.
Back in Winslow, Cordelia “Delie” Bledsoe is out of luck. A teacher in the local school, she has the care of several children who have been abandoned by their parents. She’s offered $200 to take the children out of Georgia. She wants to take them to her family in Pittsburgh to live on a family farm, but Champion Bates shows up, insistent on helping her. She does not want to trust her old love, but has little choice.
Champion wants to redeem himself with his former sweetheart and doesn’t expect much, but the hair and eyes of one of Delie’s young children tugs at his heart. In this story of sacrifice, Champ and Delie struggle to learn about love and both must grow A Champion’s Heart.

A Champion’s Heart is exclusive to Amazon. You can buy this book here:

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