I have always had a love and fascination with horror and suspense.
1) The Bible - Full of inspiration, encouragement and guidance, it is the Book to end all books. It lives. It breathes. It transforms. The Bible enlightens and provides hope. As a Christian, I firmly stand on the principles and truths of the Bible, applying them to my life and incorporating them into my work.
2) House by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti - I literally could not put this one down. I loved the symbolism and pure genius of this book. I remember staring at it once I finished it, just completely blown away by the way the way these two men crafted such an elaborate tale of suspense and mystery. It completely changed the way I looked at Christian authors and their work.
3) Bone Man's Daughters by Ted Dekker - This was another book I purchased to read while lounging in the pool. Unfortunately, it never made it. I began reading this the night I purchased it and stayed up late reading it. I finished it long before it ever made it poolside. Beautifully written and completely mind blowing out Dekker incorporates scripture into his work. You never see it coming until the end. Once I finished it, I sat back and completely took in the work in its entirety. I was able to, then, to understand and see the biblical concept. Ted Dekker is just pure genius! By far, he is my favorite author.
4) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee - It's just a classic. I love its suspenseful overtones and the love between Atticus and his children. I love the innocence of Scout and the way she views the world. Despite the views of the town, Atticus fights for what he believes is right. He provides a moral compass for his children and for readers alike.
5) Twilight by Stephanie Meyers - I'm sure most of you groaned. I have to admit, I did, too when my cousin first asked me to read this book. I was 27 and I certainly didn't want to read a book that was written for a 13-year-old girl! But surprisingly, I loved her writing style. The characters are easily likeable. It's not long before I found myself drawn into the story. The chemistry amongst the characters drives the story and keeps you coming back.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in central Arkansas. I tend to use this as my general setting for my work. I will use actual names of towns as markers within my books, however, the main setting is always completely fictional.
When did you first start writing?
My next door neighbor and I use to pass the time writing short stories, exchanging them and then drawing pictures to go along with the story. I always wrote short stories on my own but never really got anywhere with them before I lost interest. It wasn't until 6th grade when my English teacher had us write a short story for Halloween after reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I was praised for my work and encouraged to elaborate on the short story and seek publication. I spent the following years writing short stories. When I was in 8th grade, I wrote my first novel. Horror and suspense was my genre of choice. It wasn't until I entered 10th grade that I realized that I could incorporate Christian themes into my work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love how God speaks to me through the stories I write. I believe my talent and ideas come from Him.
What are you working on next?
I'm constantly working on a series that centers around a pastor, his wife, the church and the community. It's an ongoing project.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ted Dekker is my favorite author of all time.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My three dogs do a good job of getting me up in the morning!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I grew up playing softball and am an avid swimmer. I am an animal advocate with pets of my own. I teach Sunday School and write for my church's weekly publication. Aside from that, I love gardening and cooking; design and art.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My first completed work was "A Night to Forget." It was about a serial killer prowling the town on Halloween night. I remember writing the piece the night before Halloween. It was a homework assignment for English. I was stuck at this event and I was bored out of my mind. So I decided to do homework! I was the only one that did this assignment. The story was read aloud Monday in class. The teacher ridiculed everyone else for not doing the assignment and told them to do it that night and turn it in on Tuesday. I had so many classmates calling me for plot ideas. I remember that I was so tired of the calls that I started giving them plots to Stephen King movies!
What is your writing process?
I write about what I know or have lived through. I will typically take an idea or an event that has occurred and begin drafting a rough outline. I'll start writing and basically build the skeleton of an outline into a complete structure of ideas and/or notes for that particular chapter. In the end, though, it may look nothing like the outline!
Describe your desk
Honestly, it consists of a lap desk and a laptop! I gave up an actual desk a long time ago. I will say this: I have to have my writing space completely clear of clutter or I absolutely cannot write or concentrate. Also, Rhapsody is a must!
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