Creating new worlds and stories and people that will not only entertain the reader ... but also me. Have you ever read a novel and thought, "It would be really cool if such-and-such happened?" Well, as a writer, I can make 'such-and-such' happen. I love it!
What are you working on next?
I'm currently working on a story about a 'pastor with a past' who uses his underworld connections to save the daughter of the woman he wronged many years ago. It's a project I've had rattling around in my brain for almost twenty years. It's felt really good to have it make its way to the page.
Who are your favorite authors?
Classics: George MacDonald, Jane Austin and Charles Dickens 20th Century: Georgette Heyer Contemporary: Tamara Leigh, Denise Hunter, Ronie Kendig, Jenny B. Jones, Rachel Hauck ... I'll think of some more later ...
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Knowing I have a story to tell and it can't go anywhere if it stays in my head.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Listening to Christian Contemporary music. Attending Christian rock concerts with my Gomer (Third Day Psycho Fan) friends. Spending time with my family.
What is your writing process?
I write global to specific--the Snowflake method (by Randy Ingermanson). I start with a general idea, fill in details, then more details then more details. I write out of order then meld the scenes together later. My best inspiration happens when I write in a spiral-bound notebook with a mechanical pencil. That's usually my skeletal version of the scene. I add "tissue" then "muscle" and later "skin." I never let people read my handwritten drafts. They are too bare and usually trite, flat and boring. That's why I use the most awful handwriting to record it to the page. No one can decipher the code. I color it as I type and add more layers with each read through.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't say I remember the first story I ever read, but I can remember the first story where the voice of the author impacted me. That was "To Kill a Mockingbird." There was something about how the POV character spoke as a grown woman seeing through her own little-girl eyes that touched me. It made the story so real.
How do you approach cover design?
I usually have colors that come first. I knew with "At the Edge of a Dark Forest" it would have a distinct blue-green feel to it. All I needed to do was find a winter forest scene that used those colors. There were lots, but only one had the sun peeking through it illuminating a cross at the top of a little evergreen. That's what drew me to that picture.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin--because I married Mr. Darcy. 2) Sir Gibbie, by George MacDonald--because I have a son who is autistic and mute like the very lovable Sir Gibbie (tho he was not autistic. 3) Alec Forbes, by George MacDonald--because I love the way Alec took care of Annie throughout her life only to discover later how much he loved her. 4) Sylvester, by Georgette Heyer--because I also married him (same one as the above mentioned husband), and the heroine was an author. 5) Just Between You and Me, by Jenny B. Jones--because I love the mixture of difficult, real-life issues with a healthy dose of humor and a dollop of romance.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a wide variety of books ranging from classics to speculative. My only requirement is that it needs to have some romance in it. I think it's the mid-life crisis :o).
Describe your desk
Messy! My computer desktop is messy too. And sometimes I can even write notes to myself in the dust :o).
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Baltimore-Washington area. Though I always believed in a God and wanted to know and honor Him all my life, I often felt others around me thought I was strange because of my desire to be devoted to Him. I did not know anyone who read or studied the Bible regularly so I wasn't really familiar with the God or the Jesus of that book. I just knew He was my Creator and Jesus was His son. When I finally met Bible-believing Christians, in my late twenties, my life was forever changed. I learned of a loving God who not only accepted me for who I was, but also could be the means with which I could be more. No longer was I alone in the world. I always have Him with me, and if I allow, working through me. Wow! So I write about people like me who never really knew the real God of the Bible, but now have an opportunity to meet Him. I also collect testimonies of others from similar backgrounds whose lives were changed through faith. So many different, and wonderful, stories out there. I hope to continue to share them with those who need the love and salvation only He can bring.
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