|How did you come up with the concept of writing about smoke jumpers?
Iíve always admired firefighters of all kinds. A couple of years ago there were SO many forest fires and I watched a show about smoke jumpers. I was hooked and knew I had to write about them when I saw that even a few women are brave enough to fight fires this way.
Did you witness any Smoke Jumpers in action? If so, where?
Only on TV. But I found an article by a female smoke jumper online and emailed her. She gave me quite a lot of information that I hadnít seen anywhere else.
Is any part of Fire Dancer factual?
Itís a known fact that a fascination with fire can attract arsonists to firefighting as well. I read a book about a firefighter arsonist and thought it would work well in my story.
Does the Smoke Jumper series have any of your characters from your previous Aloha Reef Series or Rock Harbor Series?
No, this one has all new characters. I hope you like them!
What inspired you to use an animal as one of your characters in each of your books?
It sort of just evolved. I love animals, and their unconditional love can mirror the way God loves us. Animals can add some comic relief to an intense story as well.
How long did Fire Dancer take you to complete?
About six months, but I had it thought out long before I sat down to write it. When I came up with the concept, I still had three Aloha Reef books to write.
How much research did Fire Dancer take?
I always do tons of research with my books. Fire Dancerís setting was special to me too. I love Arizona and I set it in Zane Grey coun-try. I devoured every Zane Grey book I could get my hands on when I was in my teens. When I look back now, theyíre a little cheesy but that man knew how to tell a story that grabbed your heart.
I read a lot of books on smoke jumping as well. My favorite was Jumping Fire by Murray A. Taylor.
Do you have a favorite character? Why?
Iíd love to be brave enough to jump out of a plane into a forest fire like Tess! And we all have past horrors weíre trying to get past. Tess finally made herself face hers and deal with it.
Are there any other new projects on the horizon?
Always! My new Women of Faith Fiction selection, Midnight Sea, will be in stores in January 2007. Itís set on a coffee plantation and Iím a coffee nut so it was fun doing that research. The heroine Lani faces a killer who blinds her and keeps coming after her.
Iím also working on a new book set in Rock Harbor with the search dogs. My readers have been demanding more books set there, and this one is about a serial killer who kills based on Proverbs 6:16-19.
What message would you like your readers to take away from this book?
We can get past anything weíve faced if we bring it out of the dark-ness and into the light of Godís grace. Nothing is too big for God to handle.