What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I love it when I finish a scene or a chapter that deeply affects me, and then read it back to find it’s exactly what I wanted to say. Second to that would be reading emails from fans who really connected with the book and to hear how it affected them.
What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in-between?)
Definitely somewhere in between. I try to write the story out in a synopsis, as if I were telling it to you in 10 minutes sitting around a living room. Then I go back, take the main elements of the story and write them out, filling in the gaps, and figuring out all the things that need to happen to connect the main plot points together.
Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
Most definitely. Some of the very best things in my novels seem like they didn’t come from me, but from the characters themselves, once they became real. I actually miss some of them after I’m done writing a book, as if they are friends now, and I wonder what they’ve been doing since we last spent time together.
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
My fourth novel, Remembering Christmas, is finished and due out in September. It's about a seemingly enchanted little bookstore, called The Book Nook, owned and run by Art and Leanne Bell. The day after Thanksgiving, Art collapses at the store and is found by a homeless man he's been helping. It's the busiest shopping time of the year, but Leanne must stay by Art's side, as he clings to life in the hospital. Her son, Rick, a successful CPA in Charlotte, reluctantly agrees to come home to help out with the store. Over the next few weeks, Rick meets a young woman there he can't stop thinking about. And he is re-introduced to the mother he's ignored for almost a decade and the stepfather he's rejected completely, as he listens to a host of charming and eccentric characters, whose lives have been forever changed at...The Book Nook.
What message would you like your readers to take from The Deepest Waters?
To never give up hope no matter how deep the waters, nor how dark the night. Nothing can separate us from the power of God’s love, nor keep Him from delivering those who turn to Him in their darkest hour.
What is your greatest achievement?
That the wife of my youth loves me more now than when we married 34 years ago. After that, that both my adult children love God and love to hang out with us.
What is your goal or mission as a writer?
Because I mainly write historical fiction, when I write, my goal is to pull my readers back in time with me. I hope they have the best time doing it, while we also explore some of the themes in life that matter most.
What do you do to get away from it all?
Two things come to mind. Spending time with my wife, Cindi, on the beach near where we live, walking or just sitting on chairs by the water’s edge, under the umbrella, reading good books. The second is spending time with Cindi at any of the Disney theme parks. We live one hour away and have often been able to get Florida resident specials on annual passes. I don’t know why, but I can’t help but relax there.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just my gratitude for Christanbook.com, for the way you help bring authors and readers together, and for the opportunity to share all these things with your readers.