An Interview with the Author
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1. What is your new book about? Evidence of Grace is the third book in the Jennaís Creek Novels Series. I donít want to give too much away for readers just starting books one and two. Suffice it to say, new evidence surfaces concerning the murder of Sally Blake. The guilty party may be hiding more secrets about that night or may not have acted alone in the murder. Christy Blackwood has vowed never to speak to her mother again after finding out the secrets of her past. But now Christy is home and hiding some secrets of her own.
2. What were some of the challenges in writing the book? Evidence of Grace is probably the hardest book to write so far in my career. I had so many story lines going on at one time, I had to make sure I gave each one ample billing. I also wanted to make sure the reader cared strongly about each story line. It was a challenging book to write, but also a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it. Of course, I always say that after a book is finished. While Iím writing it, itís a pain and I wonder why I ever started it in the first place.
3. Have you ever started a book you havenít been able to finish? Not since I started writing full time. You put too much of yourself into a project to walk away from it when it gets tough. No one would do that in any other line of work. If you did, you would lose all your clients.
4.How many more books do you see in the Jennaís Creek Series? At least five. I think thatís a nice round number. But it all depends on how well the folks of Jennaís Creek, Ohio deal with me intruding on their lives every so often.
4. What are the challenges in writing a series and a stand-alone book? The challenge in writing a series is keeping each new installment fresh and interesting. I have to be careful too, about giving too much back story. I donít want to lose readers who havenít read the previous books, but I canít bore readers whoíve been with me since the beginning. A stand-alone book is fun because I can write the story and then walk away. Thatís also the downfall. I donít know how many people told me they are anxious to read the sequel to A Tender Reed.
5. Are you planning a sequel to that book? At this point I feel as though that story is finished. But Iím flattered that readers were reluctant to let the story go. Iím happy the characters had such a hold on them.
6. Are there any more seriesí in your writing future? I am currently working on a short romance that will be paired in a book with a romance by award winning novelist Molly Noble Bull.
7. Whatís the most exciting thing thatís happened to you since you became a published author? Oh, no, I donít think I could narrow it down to one event. I have had the opportunity to meet other Christian writers, either in person at the International Christian Retailers Show in Denver, Colorado last summer, or in my online writersí groups. But the greatest thing has been meeting with readers. Iíve done a lot of traveling to get the word out about the books, and everyone has been great. Itís wonderful to hear that the books are having a positive impact in peopleís lives. Thatís the most gratifying thing for a writer.
8. I know writing is a very isolating experience. How do you deal with being your own boss? That is a very difficult task. I probably waste a lot more time than I would if I had a boss breathing down my neck. Iím dedicated about getting at 6:15 every morning. I start my day with prayer and an exercise routine. If I donít, it seems like the whole day gets frittered away with very little to show for it.
9. How much understanding and encouragement do you get from the people in your life? More than I ever imagined. My husband is wonderful. He works nights, so he gets up about nine oíclock in the evening to get ready for work. If he wakes up to a tearful wife, he knows itís been a bad writing day. If he wakes up to frozen pizza for dinner or no dinner at all, he knows itís been a good writing day.
10. What would you do if you werenít writing? Thatís a question I donít really have an answer for since I truly feel called to write and blessed that Iím able to pursue it full time. I am naturally good with small children, so I suppose I would enjoy teaching at an early grade level. Or maybe I could become a nuclear physicist. I wonder if you need any special training for that.
11. Do you have any words of encouragement for people who dream of writing for publication? Everywhere I go, someone asks me the formula for getting published. Itís like losing weight. Iím sorry to say there isnít a twelve step program to success. We all know what to do; itís just having the discipline to stick with it. Dedicate yourself to sitting in the chair and writing your story. Then polish and make it absolutely perfect. That includes typos and coffee stains. No editor wants to see a messy manuscript on her desk. Last but not least, donít give up. I am living proof that an unagented, first-time novelist can find a traditional publisher. It isnít easy or fast. But it is possible. Just keep writing.