Is any part of Almost Forever factual?
There are elements of real events in all my novels in the sense that what happened to Bryn has happened to others. When I was researching this story, I was amazed at the news stories I found where similar incidents had occurred. My books are also “factual” in the sense that I’ve researched how things would happen in real life so that when something happens to one of my characters, the reader can know that this is realistic – it really could have happened this way, with these results, in the real world.
What is the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing Almost Forever?
I’ve had some of the most interesting experiences while researching my novels! Because part of the storyline of Almost Forever revolves around events in a homeless shelter, when our church asked for volunteers at our local homeless shelter, I answered the call.
My first night on duty was a Sunday and I was told to bring something to read since usually the hours were dull and uneventful. (Yeah, right!) I thought it strange when I arrived that no one else from my church was there yet. But I introduced myself to the volunteers from another church, and we began our evening serving supper to about 20 residents who had checked in to the overnight-only shelter.
Not once the entire night was there so much as a minute to sit and read. According to the other volunteers, this was the craziest and most eventful night they had ever experienced at the shelter.
It was quite an eye-opening night for me, with a suicide watch, a new fresh-out-of-jail admittance who turned out to be on the no-admit list, a bottle of Vodka discovered hidden in the hallway that meant administering a (thankfully negative) Breathalyzer test on the main suspect, a mild altercation between a resident and a volunteer (not me!), and a phone that rang virtually the entire 5-11 shift. Before the evening was over, I'd had some fascinating conversations with residents, and had the privilege of praying with a suicidal man.
I went home with my brain brimming with ideas and information for my novel, and a new appreciation of how God often turns research into ministry. Only after I arrived home after 11 p.m. did I glance at my calendar and do a double take. I had looked at my schedule wrong! I wasn't supposed to show up for my shift until the NEXT Sunday night!
What other projects do you have on the horizon?
The second Hanover Falls novel, Forever After, will come out next January, and book three, After All, the following September. Once I finish writing the third book, due this September, I have a stand-alone novel to write for Howard/Simon & Schuster, called The Face of the Earth. I have a couple of other fun writing projects in the works as well, so I won’t have any trouble keeping busy!