|Where did the inspiration for Heartland
I have been working within the Hollywood system for almost ten years now. Three of my novels are currently under contract. I have also been contracted to write a screenplay. Working in Hollywood as a Christian is both enormously exciting and very challenging. This personal dichotomy fueled my desire to write Heartland.
Is Heartland the beginning of a series?
Not a series with ongoing characters. But I have been asked to do more books based within the Hollywood system. This is something I would very much like to pursue.
Is any part of the book factual?
I hope the readers of every book I write will find a solid mixture of reality and fiction. With Heartland, I showed the completed manuscript to three Hollywood insiders, to make sure it meshed with their perspective on the film industry and the local scene: Ted Baehr, head of Movieguide Magazine; Paul Wheeler, former chief cinematographer with the BBC; and Jerry Jameson, a film producer whose last work was with the Billy Graham Foundation. All three said it was dead on.
You have a remarkable range of genres in which you write, from historical, to suspense and Intrigue…and now Fantasy. What is your favorite genre, and why?
Over the past two years, I have gradually been drawing my focus into what I hope is a smoother melding of the various directions. The gentler women’s oriented stories have begun to have greater elements of suspense, and vice versa. Readers’ responses seem to indicate they are pleased with this. Heartland does have an element of fantasy. But the intention is to reveal through this a core truth, a reality faced by Christians seeking to work in the entertainment industry.
How long did Heartland take you to complete?
I spent most of last summer doing the background research. I knew the basic thrust I wanted to give the story. But I could not identify the ‘hook’. The ‘hook’ is a Hollywood term, also referred to the ‘elevator pitch’. This name comes from the amount of time many people are given to pitch an idea to one of the money men—the amount of time they have in an elevator ride. A solid hook is one that poses an intriguing question, and does so in a way that ignites a desire to hear what happens next. I had the concept, that of how Hollywood tries to freeze out Christian values and ideals, but I couldn’t work out what hook to use. That finally came to me in August. From then the book was written in four months.