How long did In Every Heartbeat take you to complete?
Generally, it takes me about four months to research and write a novel.
What was the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing In Every Heartbeat?
I was shocked by the open hazing that took place on the college campus, showcased by photographs in the 1914 yearbook. I assumed hazing was a relatively new—and greatly frowned upon—activity, but apparently not!
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Because of my tight deadline schedule, while I’m writing one story, I’m also doing edits on the previously turned in manuscript, assisting with marketing on the most recent release, and planning the story I’ll be writing next. Sometimes it’s hard to keep everything straight—Grammas aren’t always the best multi-taskers. LOL
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I love researching and absorbing myself in a different time period. I love the whole creative process of bringing characters to life. And I love the opportunity writing gives me to connect with people I otherwise would never have met. I truly love being a writer.
What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in-between?)
I am definitely seat-of-the-pants. I’m as surprised as anybody by the way my stories end. I am very much character-driven—I get to know my characters really well, so they end up telling me where the story is going.
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
Coming in January 2011 from Bethany House is Courting Miss Amsel—Walnut Hill, Nebraska, has just hired a new schoolmarm, and the community will never be the same.
In my young adult series, book three, Katy’s Homecoming, will also release in January ’11.