I lose touch with family and friends, especially during the “heavy duty” months of writing, when the story consumes my thoughts and emotions. Unfortunately this is unavoidable. If I do not “live” with the characters, I do not write well.
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy so much getting to know readers and editors, mostly via emails. They are a blessing to me. Some have been with me since 1998 when my first book was released.
I get to spend long hours playing with words and ideas.
What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?
Online groups like ACFW, Novel Journey, and Christian Fiction Online Magazine are a wealth of helpful information.
What were your favorite books as a child?
Trixie Belden mysteries; Nancy Drew mysteries; Louisa May Alcott’s books.
What do you do to keep your writing fresh and improve on it each time you write a book?
I listen to editors, read books about how to write fiction, and I read a variety of fiction. I mentor young writers; in talking about the process of writing fiction I am reminded over and over again of what has or hasn’t worked for me.
I listen to readers’ reactions; when they tell me what most speaks to their hearts, I cherish that insight. In short, I remain open. There is always room for improvement.
Are there any other new projects on the horizon?
Always! At this stage, they are “out there,” not yet in the realm of verbal description. For me, characters and story lines usually do not flesh themselves out until I need them.
I hope to someday write a nonfiction book, probably a collection of essays based on personal experiences about my faith journey.
What message would you like your readers to take from reading Desert Gift?
It is a given that we will go through desert times. Life is difficult, perhaps unbearable, perhaps meaningless at these times. When a marriage hits a season like this, the husband and wife are in deep pain. Things will never again be the same between them. And yet God is in their midst and He is faithful to work healing in their hearts.
What is your greatest achievement?
Figuring out Facebook. Ha, ha. Seriously, I turn 60 in March and I know I haven’t achieved a thing. Everything has been a gift from my Abba. All I do is open one after another.
What do you do to get away from it all?
I read fiction, go to a movie, take walks, ride the commuter train.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Favorite Bible verse: Zephaniah 3:17 “Yahweh your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult with joy over you, he will renew you by his love; he will dance with shouts of joy for you…” (This version is from The Jerusalem Bible.)