Where do you find your ideas for your writing?
From life. For Chapel Springs Revival, the story perked for a few years. A young women at church told me when she married, she didn't know she should have prayed for the husband God had picked out for her, so she was going to get a divorce and go look for that other man.
I talked her out of it, but it stuck with me. If one woman thought that, there had to be others. So I decided to explore what would happen if a woman in her forties who had been married for a long time, just learned about it.
For years, I wrote in a corner of the master bedroom, with a lovely window to look out. However, the space was small. Just a few months ago, Hubs and I did the Big Office Move.
We moved him out of a front room and into the never-used-dining room, after we sold the furniture. I moved into his old office, with a beautiful new-to-me desk. I have a fantastic huge bookcase and an ergonomic writing chair. There's lots of natural light from the large window.
Tell about your road to your first writing contract.
On my word, that's one long journey. I started my first novel on Jan 1st in 2003. You can do the math, but in between were a lot of ups and downs. I started going to committee as early as 2005, but always got rejected for one reason or another. By 2007, the reasons weren't the writing but the other ones: it didn't quite fit this house, etc.
Then I began to get past editorial committee and to pub board. Again, strange things happened. One house had their slate full, so they held me over for the next quarter. Only the editor retired and her hard drive got wiped clean. I was cast off into cyber oblivion.
I saw a pattern and what I realized was God was saying, "Not yet. Not there."
I whined. He said, "Trust me."
He didn't give me any other option, so I chose to trust Him. I write and leave the rest to Him and my agent. So when she called with the offer, I knew it was the right place and the right time.
The right time and place was so important to me. You see, I believe people let down their guard when they think they're being entertained. Then when they least expect it, our words can reach out, touch heart, and change lives. And isn't that why we write?
Why is it important to you to be a dues-paying-member of writing organizations like ACFW? To what other writing organizations do you belong?
I owe so much to ACFW. Besides the life-long friends of like minds, and the wonderful networking contacts, I've learned so much from the conferences and online courses. I also belong to my local ACFW Chapter.
And the ACFW email loop! It saved my bacon when I wrote myself into a corner in Chapel Springs Revival. I suddenly had to find a geologist. Do you know how rare those are? Fortunately, an ACFW member's hubby is a geo-geek and was able to answer my questions, plus he put me in contact with a professional.
Who is your favorite character in your book? What makes him/her special to you?
I have to say my protagonist, Claire. She's so much fun. She's fiercely loyal to her friends and family, but she tends to speak her mind without filters. She also moves without thinking, which gets her into a lot of trouble. I've written several books, but she's still my favorite.
What else should the blog reading public know about you?
Wow, let's see...I have two English mastiffs that are like having two-year-old twins. Fortunately, I also have a chef-son. He has his own company that does corporate catering, and he tries out new things at home. Sorry, ladies, he's mine. My husband is an artist and did the artwork my publisher used for my book cover.
Where do you go to 'get away'? Do you write when you get away?
Get away? What's that? Unfortunately, we don't much. Our dogs make that difficult. We once bought a motorhome, so they could go with us, but that was a fiasco, and another story for another day.
If I did get away, it would be to the mountains, preferably at a lake. I probably wouldn't write on my books, but I would write articles and journal the experience for a story.