Oh, boy, that's like asking me if I have a favorite child. But, I suppose I liked Vidalia a whole lot, Studebaker cracks me up, Ruth is a pip, but I suppose the character I felt the strongest affinity for was Griselda because she's simply doing her best to keep it all together.
How much research did The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow take?
A lot, surprisingly to me. I needed to investigate small towns, eat a LOT of pie, go into the Wayback Machine and revisit the 1970s, and even research mortuary science a little.
What was the most interesting fact that you learned while writing?
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow
Eye caps. Morticians use eye caps to keep the deceased eyes closed during the viewing. Creepy.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Time, mostly. I wish I could write and write and write but I have a family and a job and other obligations that often pull me away from my writing table. I wish I didn't need sleep.
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
Oh boy, it's Christmas every day I write. Sometimes it feels like opening gifts and discovering something wonderful and then writing about it. I like the exploration.
What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in-between?)
I have no style. Not really. I sit, I write, I eat M&Ms, and follow my characters around pretty much recording what they do. But there does come a point when I need to stop, read the thing, about half way through I think, and make sure I have continuity and then I will make some notes on where I need to go and what needs to happen to get me there within the allotted number of words.
Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
Absolutely. I couldn’t write if they didn't talk back.
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I am currently working on Book Two for Abingdon Press Fiction, entitled Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise and it is of course, zany and quirky but hopefully will pack a few punches of its own and readers of Agnes Sparrow might find some surprises inside. Next fall, I believe.