WRITING & PUBLISHING:
Yes and no, my past gives me fodder for characters, motivations, and scenarios, but I’m creating a fictive world, and so I can make anything up and my imagination can supersede my preconceived notions.
Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
My current new release was what I came up with one day while passing the Brown Mansion and thinking about fairy tale/literary retellings that no one has retold much, and I combined Scrooge and Aladdin….but a review I just read said I retold Beauty and the Beast! It’s a must read because I think it’s my best book so far.
About how long does it take you to write a book?
8 full months is ideal, but I can write one in less if I must.
If you could write from any place in the world, where would it be?
Wherever I could find perfect silence and no interruptions. Can you tell me where that is?
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That my own personal reactions to things/scenarios/people aren’t always typical reactions. When I was first writing, I’d often get critiques of “No woman would respond this way, fix it.” And that almost always was a reaction I based on myself! Sort of humbling, actually.
For your last book (A Heart Most Certain) I’m sure you had to research a great deal. Would you say, due to the nature of the main subject, it was more difficult than previous books to handle tastefully?
It was difficult. I fiddled with things a lot and sometimes I think what I had was perfectly fine, but I’d make it just a little tamer since I know some readers in my audience are more squeamish or find offense in things that would not bother me. But I also didn’t want to tame it down so much that the punch was gone or the reality was buffed into something nicer than it was.
If you had to go back or do it all over is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I’m quite happy with how this one went, actually!
Have you found that your characters resemble some of your friends and family, or even you?
There’s bits and pieces of me in almost every character. My husband shares traits with a lot of characters, and other than us, sometimes I’ll think about someone I know and use something about them, like Bernadette in this story has the testimony that my friend does, but my friend isn’t Bernadette. My characters always become completely their own even if they get jumpstarted with characteristics from real life people.
What are your current writing projects?
I’m plotting book 3 of this series right now.
What attribute do you enjoy most about any character from the literary realm?
Believability. I don’t necessarily love one type of character over another, but I sure don’t want to be rolling my eyes at one, so if I never roll my eyes at a character because I totally believe his or her reactions, thoughts, and motivations, I’m happy.
What is your favorite time to write?
Late at night, and I mean wee hours of the morning late. It’s the only quiet, uninterrupted time I have that won’t be interrupted….well most times, there’s still kids puking, coughing, wetting the bed, nightmares, or a husband with insomnia that wants to chat that happens, but MOST of the time I can write uninterrupted.
What is your favorite quote (from any book)?
In fiction, Captain Wentworth’s Letter in Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It’s too long to copy down and I wouldn’t want to ruin it for any reader that hasn’t read Persuasion, but it is perfection.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Luke 10:27 - Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself.
What comment would make your day, if you received it from one of your readers?
Two responses that I get will probably never get old. I love the ones where they blame me for being up late at night and the ones that tell me God taught them something through it/they learned something that they believe will make them a better person.
We know that being a homeschool mom can be incredibly difficult at times (albeit rewarding!), especially with three young ones. How do you manage to balance writing and family?
Um, poorly? Ha. I am a bit at my wit’s end most days. I’m hoping that when the littlest is of school age and not needing me every five minutes things will feel more balanced. Now, I’m sort of in survival mode. To cope, I have as few outside obligations as possible.
What book that you have read has most influenced your life?
Other than the Bible, I think Decision Making and the Will of God by Gary Friesen. Just a $1.99 on kindle! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002RLBKEA
Do you have a specific story about how you came to Christ that you would like to share?
My story is that I was the kid that knew all the Bible answers and believed it all. But belief is not enough, as the Bible says, even the demons believe there is One God--and they shudder. It’s the trust that makes the difference. And it’s not just uttering “the prayer.” An intellectual assent isn’t equal to the heart’s submission. When I realized that I had to throw myself at the mercy of God, trusting that He is the only way I have hope of salvation and actually doing so--that’s what saved me, not the fact that I knew how salvation worked and believed it for years. So if you grew up in church and know all the right answers, check your heart. “If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”