What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in-between?)
I used to be an SOTP writer. But the necessity these days of needing a synopsis and/or a chapter by chapter synopsis for editors has helped me in story construction and flow. Though I still tend to add in details not in the initial synopsis. I never want my creativity to stop just because I have a synopsis. It serves as a guide only.
Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
Oh, yes! I think of the sculptor Michelangelo who believed his subjects were caught within the white marble and needed his chisel to break free. In the same way I am bringing to life these characters and their stories as the written word unfolds on a computer screen. I don’t think of them as my own, I think of them as real people in real situations that God has enabled me to bring them to life. And they become my friends.
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I am currently working on a three book contemporary romance series set in the beautiful state of Utah, contracted by Barbour Publishing and due out in 2010. I am also endeavoring to complete my non fiction account of my hike with my teenage son in which we completed the entire Appalachian Trail together.
Who was the person who influenced you the most with your writing?
A woman named Jennifer Ferranti who did freelance magazine work. She encouraged me greatly in my early writing days when the rejections were many. She always believed in my work and said when the time was right the door would open. And as she used to say, rejections meant I was one step closer to being published.
What message would you like your readers to take from Love Finds You in Bethlehem, NH?
That you are special. Your talents and gifts can be used for God’s glory, no matter your background or your outward appearance. And to trust God with your secret desires and dreams, allowing Him to reveal it in the way He wishes and not to strive in your own strength to make it happen.
What is your greatest achievement?
Many would probably look into my life and say- wow, it must be the 14 plus books you have published. Or completing a hike of the entire length of the Appalachian Trail (which I finished with my son in 2007). But the first thing that came to mind when I saw this question was – I homeschooled my son from the time he was 4 years old until 16 years of age. And that to me is probably my greatest (and toughest) achievement.
What is your goal or mission as a writer?
As I like to describe in my bio – my goal is that readers will come away with both an entertaining story and a lesson that ministers to the heart.
What do you do to get away from it all?
Oh, I love to hike! I put aside two months a year to take week long wanders along the Appalachian Trail which is still near and dear to my heart, even though I have hiked its entire length. I am also a traveler, going to visit new places and scenic sights, and always with an eye and ear open for a new story to tell.