What is your favorite Bible verse?
Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
How did you get started as a Christian fiction writer?
I guess it all started back at Parkview Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, when I became a believer in Christ. The journey took me through years as a newspaper writer and editor. A few years ago, I began to write the inspirational nonfiction Hurry Less, Worry Less series.
All along the way, I nurtured an idea for a novel set in a small town in the South, with a lead character trying to find her path in life. The writing of the novel coincided with the launch of a new line of inspirational fiction by Abingdon Press, and the pieces came together almost miraculously.
What inspired the concept for Gone to Green?
Sitting on porch swings in North Louisiana for years and observing life at newspapers for a long time. I carry a notebook with me everywhere and have kept a journal since I was nine years old and still have all of them. The inspiration for the novel was buried in all those notes.
I love the idea that we are each created to do something special with our lives – and that each person can change the world in his or her own way. I wanted to tell a story about that and show the basic goodness of people.
Is any part of Gone to Green factual?
Sure! Any Louisianan can tell you that the details about the August heat and humidity are 100 percent true. While the plot and characters are fictional, lots of the details are factual, including many of those about publishing a newspaper. The town of Green is invented, but it includes the personality of several North Louisiana towns.
How closely is Gone to Green based on your life experiences?
There is some of me in Lois, the main character, and there is now some of Lois in me. I was a reporter and editor for nearly 30 years, and that certainly played a part when I wrote Gone to Green. I have lived in the South most of my life, and that also shaped the story.