What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
Seeing the book come out in the completed form. Most of the work is done at that point, although I still have to market the book, do online interviews, blog articles, and book signings, and start thinking about my next project.
I love it when a reader contacts me and tells me they enjoyed one of my books or God spoke to them as a result of reading it.
Research trips are definitely a part of the writing process I enjoy. Traveling to new places and learning about other parts of America is fascinating. So far, I’ve traveled to the Oklahoma panhandle, North Dakota, Colorado, Utah, Texas (several times) and Charleston, while researching my books.
I also love all the friends I’ve made—other authors(some of whom I’ve read their books for years), editors, my agent, to readers who have contacted me. God has expanded my world in a way I never expected.
What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?
The main group has been ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) They host monthly online writing classes which are free to members, there’s a members’ loop where you can ask any writing-related question and get almost immediate responses from multiple published authors, and also you can network with other authors, and even join a critique group. As I’ve grown as a writer and gone on to be published, ACFW has been an outlet where I could give back to help other newbie writers.
I’m also a member of RWA, WIN (Writers of Inspirational Novels), the Tulsa Nightwriters, OWFI, Women Writing the West, OKRWA, and FCW. If I let off a group, I apologize.
What do you do to keep your writing fresh and improve on it each time you write a book?
I read a lot and enjoy watching movies and my favorite tv shows, which often give me ideas. I’m a character-driven author, so the characters are the heart of my stories. Since every character is different and has his/her own unique back story and motivation, each one will react in their own way and not the same as others, which helps add variety to my stories. When I do get stuck, I’ll call one of my writing buddies or email a critique partner and do some brainstorming. Sometimes you just need another set of eyes to help you see the story from another angle or to think outside the box.
Are there any other new projects on the horizon?
I’m just finishing up Finally A Bride, which releases next April. Then I have two Heartsong Presents books to write, Indigo Hearts and Dueling Hearts, both are set in historical South Carolina. I have some other writing projects in the works but nothing definite yet.
I’m also in a Christmas novella collection called Christmas Mail Order Brides, which is a September 1st release. It’s the story of four mail-order brides who travel the transcontinental railroad, hoping to find a husband and a new life in the West.