Who was the person who influenced you the most with your writing?
My favorite author, Zane Grey. He was an incredibly prolific western author who died decades before I was even born. Everything he wrote, though, was very passionate. All his stories were love stories in a way. Sometimes the love story was between two people, sometimes it was between a farmer and his land, a pioneer and the forest, even a man and the wild horse that continuously eluded him. And he got inside the heads of both his male and female characters and described feelings and thoughts and would replay scenes from each person’s point of view. His writing not only inspired my own, but also helped me understand what I was looking for from life and what kind of man I wanted to marry. My husband, by the way, would have made a fantastic Zane Grey hero!
What message would you like your readers to take from I Shall Not Want?
Judge not lest ye be judged. Avoid making assumptions about other people. It’s easy to do and we’ve all been guilty of this and all been victims of this. It’s never a good thing and it can cause a lot of harm and build barriers between people that don’t need to exist.
What is your greatest achievement?
There are so many achievements that I consider to be profound things in my life that it’s hard to choose! Professionally, it’s making the NYT Bestseller List. Personally, it’s finding and marrying my soulmate. Spiritually it’s understanding and accepting the work that God has set out for me.
What is your goal or mission as a writer?
To shake people out of their lives and let them escape for a while and feel the strong emotions that aren’t always present in everyday life. I want them to escape their problems and come laugh, cry, be delighted, entertained, and terrified by the problems facing my characters. And ultimately I want them to feel like if everything can work out in the end for those characters, it can work out in the end for them.
What do you do to get away from it all?
I go to Disney with my husband and have some serious park time. We are huge theme park fans. We’re also huge movie fans and so we get out to the theater as often as we can, sometimes even seeing two or three films the same day.