As far as location research—I rely almost exclusively on locations where I have spent a fair amount of time. Mary lives in suburban Chicago—as do I—go figure. And she moves to a small town on the Atlantic Ocean—where I had spent much time soaking up the atmosphere and ambiance.
What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing The Dog That Talked to God?
Uhhh . . . that a dog’s shoulder blades aren’t attached to the rest of the dog skeleton—better for running and jumping.
Does that count?
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Finding the time to write.
There’s that pesky activity called ‘work.’ Then there is that pesky group of people called ‘family.’ Then there is that pesky television show called ‘Cops.’
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I love to create characters and their worlds—and to explore what it means to be human—and a believer.
What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?
I have to admit that I am not much of a joiner. I’m the person at the party who always stands at the very edge of the action—observing mostly. When I am called on this anti-social behavior, I simply say that I am a writer and I am observing.
I did learn a lot getting my MWA degree.
But I learned more by doing . . . actually writing.
That’s my advice. If you think you want to write . . . well, start writing.
What new projects are on the horizon?
I’m working on a book with a cat. The cat doesn’t talk.
What message would you like your readers to take from reading The Dog That Talked to God?
That despite pain and loss, God is with us and watches over us and protects us. And maybe he uses a dog sometimes to call the lost back to him. Just maybe.
What were your favorite books as a child?
Yellow Eyes by Rutherford Montgomery—about a mountain lion.
The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek—by E.S. Lampman—about . . . well . . . a stegosaurus who appeared at Cricket Creek
What is your greatest achievement?
Raising my son to follow Christ.
What do you do to get away from it all?
I take the good dog Rufus for a long walk and talk to him.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Uhhh . . . no.
Maybe one thing . . . buy the book.