What organizations are you involved with?
I belong to RWA (Romance Writers of America) and its inspirational chapter, FHL (Faith, Hope, and Love) as well as ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a number of historical writing loops, and a local face-to-face critique group where we all encourage one another’s writing endeavors.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
If I could just sit in front of my computer and write all the time, I’d be one happy camper. But God has assigned me more than that, and I have to remind myself that all of the work I’ve been given is important. Reading the passage about the various parts of the Christian body in 1 Corinthians 12 is always helpful when I feel like running errands or cleaning the toilet isn’t as important as writing the next scene.
Who is the person who most influences your writing?
It isn’t really one author but so many whose books I love! I recently came across an old manuscript of mine, and I literally cringed when I read some of it. Granted, I was fifteen years younger than I am now, and hopefully all of the great editorial input I’ve been blessed to receive has helped grow me as a writer. But back then, when my kids were little and I had even less time than I do now, my reading time was limited. These days, between my book club, judging for various contests, and reading more Christian fiction than ever, I’m feeding my brain with great storytelling. It’s the best teacher in the world!
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I love the work of writing—and it is work, even though it’s meant as entertainment. When I’m revising the same scene for the tenth time, there is still some amount of enjoyment, though it’s a different kind of enjoyment than when I was first creating it. I like improving on scenes, getting the right wording and rhythm, deepening the emotional impact to the best of my ability. When I’m working on a project and a new angle appears—something that seems to fit just perfectly with the plot and characters already established—it feels like uncovering a treasure that was already there, just waiting for me to notice.
What do you do to get away from it all?
In a perfect world I’d retreat to someplace quiet with a pretty setting—hills and trees and lakes in the distance. All I’d need then would be my computer! But since I’m the primary caregiver to my disabled son, it’s impossible to get away without a lot of planning. The result? Let’s just say I’m glad God wired me to be a homebody. I can stay home with a good book or escape into a movie for a couple of hours and feel refreshed, ready to tackle the next phase in whatever project I happen to be working on.