|How did you decide on the story line?
I didn't have the whole book in my head when I started. I'm more a fly by the seat of my pants author. I don't plot. I had the first scene in my head and I just started writing it and it flew out in four months. I didn't know who Denim would be. It all just came to me as I wrote the story. It was a really exciting, fun adventure to write it because I wasn't sure exactly what was around every turn. I had a general idea of where I wanted to go but I didn't have any of the twists figured out until they plopped in front of me and the characters took over the story.
Do you prefer to write contemporary or suspense fiction?
I write what I call emotionally-charged fiction.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Time. I am part of a church plant in France and with three children it takes a lot of time. Thankfully, I'm a fairly fast writer so when a story comes to me I will be writing 10,000 words a week just to get it out.
I find the editing process wonderful, exhilarating and stressful—all three of those things. But I'm so thankful for my editor for both of the books in the series. She has been just so terrific. I've learned and grown so much as a novelist because of her.
How much research did Watching the Tree Limbs take?
Thankfully, when my husband and I moved from the Northwest, we moved to East Texas which is where this book is set. I made up a name for the town but it really helped that I lived in East Texas for two years. A lot of the details came from my recollection. I did returnto East Texas to do some interviewing and note taking for the book. The book feels real, like an actual place, because I was moved to that culture as an outsider. I had to become a student of what the culture was about as opposed to if I had grown up there. I may not have been able to make the same observations. I was able to see things differently.
Who was your favorite character?
I think it's Denim He intrigues me. He's afraid, and yet he's not afraid. In a backward way, he’s my Atticus Finch.
Do you have any other books on the horizon?
The book’s sequel, Wishing on Dandelions, will be released September 15th with NavPress. I’m writing a book about how to parent in a postmodern context with Harvest House that will be released in 2007.
Who is the person who most influenced you with your writing?
I think it's definitely Leif Enger who wrote Peace Like a River. I want to write books that are lyrical and beautifully written but make the reader want to turn the page.
What were your favorite books as a child?
I loved the Little House series. I have discovered children's fiction as an adult and have appreciated it perhaps more than if I’d read it as a child. I love books like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Anne of Green Gables series, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
What message would you like your readers to take from this book?
The message I want people to take away when they shut the book is that God can redeem even the most impossible situations.
What is your goal or mission as a Christian writer?
My goal is that I would authentically represent God and His people in such a way that is invitational.