How much research did Always the Baker, Never the Bride take?
I probably spent more research time on Always the Baker, Never the Bride than any other book I’ve ever written. It started with watching days of those cake shows. Amazing Wedding Cakes and Cake Boss were my favorites, and after the book was written I continued watching them; I couldn’t help myself! There were also cake tastings and discussions with bakers, but the most inspiring research actually happened in my garage! Yep, you heard me right. A box in my garage housed three huge collections of my mom’s recipes. I spent hours sitting out there going through them, choosing the ones that I wanted to fit into the book, remembering my mom, the precious little foodie!
What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Always the Baker, Never the Bride?
I think Always the Baker, Never the Bride taught me what I never really wanted to admit: My best writing occurs when I let myself and my life unfold into the characters. Emma, my diabetic baker, had a lot of me in her. And the family circus of secondary characters that everyone seems to love so much came from one of my deepest feelings: After my mom passed away, I found myself a sort of adult orphan. No family connections can be a very lonely place. So I took those emotions and threw them into reverse, coming up with some awesome characters that took on a life all their own.
What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?
I’m a member of RWA and Faith Hope & Love, as well as ACFW both nationally and regionally. I spent about seven years co-hosting America Online’s weekly workshop for Christian writers called Heart & Soul. Since I started out as a film school grad with her eye on writing scripts for television and movies, I’m also active in a screenwriting group.
What do you do to keep your writing fresh and improve on it each time you write a book?
I read a lot, both new contemporary novels and the classics. I also see a lot of movies; because I’m a very visual kind of writer, films inspire my storytelling. I also have a pretty full life outside of my writing, which I believe is imperative to keeping my fictionary worlds realistic and fresh.
What were your favorite books as a child?
I loved Dr.Seuss … then and now! I adored the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books as a kid as well … and I still do love a good mystery.
Are there any other new projects on the horizon?
I’ve been contracted by Abingdon Press to write three more books in the series to follow Always the Baker, Never the Bride, which came out last fall. The first of them (Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride) will be out in September of this year.
In addition, I’m leading several teams of authors for a few upcoming devotionals for Summerside Press (the publishers of Love Finds You in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California). The devotionals are fun and light-hearted, each with a specific theme. Be Still…and Let Your Nail Polish Dry centered around spending time with God wherever you can, and Delight Yourself in the Lord…Even on Bad Hair Days leads readers toward a relationship with Jesus as their first line of defense in facing the challenges of their lives.