How long did Remember to Forget take you to complete?
It usually takes me anywhere from 4-9 months to finish a novel. It’s difficult to say exactly because so often I get just a few chapters into a new book, and I receive the substantive edit or copyedits from the last book. So I’ll have to put the new novel aside for a few weeks while I work to polish the other one. But in a way, that works well, since I can come back to the newest story with a fresh perspective, and usually having learned something from the editing process. There is a lot of “dovetailing” of tasks in a writing career.
What is the symbolism for the title Remember to Forget?
There is a line in the book that says “But if Maggie were going to survive here, she had to remember to forget everything about her old life.“ Maggie is escaping an abusive boyfriend for a chance at a fresh start, but in order to do so, she must—as Philippians 3:13 says, “forget the past and look forward to what lies ahead.” It’s good advice for all of us who’ve claimed new life in Christ!
Do you have a favorite character? Why?
Probably Jake/John Brighton, the hero of A Vow to Cherish, my first novel I imagine he’s my favorite because he was inspired by my own sweet husband and my wonderful father—two of the godliest, most amazing men you’ll ever meet. Real life heroes in my eyes.
How much research did Remember to Forget take?
The early parts of the book took much more research, because, although my husband and I lived in New York for two years early in our marriage, it’s been quite a while since we spent any time there, so I had a lot of details to research about that locale. While Maggie is on the run, there are many questions I didn’t know the answer to—can a person buy a bus ticket without photo ID post 9/11? How far would news reports of a “typical” New York carjacking reach? How long would it take to get from Maggie’s apartment in the city to a certain bus station in New Jersey? Etc. Once the story moved into Clayburn, Kansas, I was on familiar territory and the research took a backseat. (Clayburn is a fictional town, but it’s a composite of several small towns I’ve lived in and loved.)
How many titles will be in this series?
There are three planned right now. Leaving November will come out next year and continues the story of Jackson Linder, the owner of Clayburn’s little art gallery. I’ve fallen in love with Jack and Vienne’s story and can’t wait to see how things turn out for them!
Book 3 is tentatively titled Yesterday’s Embers. Some days I have to remind myself that Clayburn isn’t a real place!
Do you prefer to write contemporary fiction?
Definitely! I wrote a historical novella a few years ago and was very pleased with the way it turned out, but oh! The research involved! Besides, I just seem to have a better voice for contemporary stories, and I find the social and emotional issues people face today fascinating to explore.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
I am the world’s worst procrastinator. Some days it’s late afternoon before I write the first word! It’s not that I’m not doing worthwhile, writing-related things, but I seem to have trouble just getting in gear and putting my nose to the manuscript grindstone. Along with that, it’s a huge challenge to work from home. There are so many distractions vying for my attention, and always a doorbell or telephone ringing.