Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in California, attended Baylor University, met a Texas boy there, married Texas boy, and lived overseas (in the Caribbean and Australia) for four years before settling down in Dallas. I'm the mother of three.
What is your favorite Bible verse? (Translation too, please) Why?
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)
This is my favorite verse because it so beautifully encapsulates my ministry as a writer. Every time I sit down to work, I first pray this verse to the Lord. I truly believe that I couldn't author so much as a page without the power of His Holy Spirit working through me. It's my hope that my books (and I) will stand as His witnesses to the ends of the earth.
What was your inspiration to write My Stubborn Heart?
I was inspired by the character of Matt Jarreau, my hero. I imagined a man who'd once been a great NHL hockey player. I imagined that he'd loved his wife. I imagined that his wife had died of cancer very young. And I imagined that the tragedy of that loss had caused him to walk away from hockey, fame, and his relationship with God.
How much research did the My Stubborn Heart take?
Not much! Because My Stubborn Heart is a contemporary, I didn't need to study the time period, the clothing, the manner of speaking, etc. Kate, my heroine, loves antiques so I did do some research into antiques. I also did as much as needed for: the setting, the professions of the characters, my heroine's asthma, and the Cadillac that plays a role in the story.
What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing My Stubborn Heart?
The fact of God's faithfulness. I've long known on a cerebral level that He is faithful. I can even look back over my life and point to many personal examples of His faithfulness. But while writing this book, I had to place my trust in Him over and over, many times every week. What a blessing to watch the results of His faithfulness! The publication of the My Stubborn Heart is a tangible example and reminder that if He calls me to do something, He'll be faithful to see it through to completion.
What was the most difficult aspect of writing this story?
Carving out the time the write. I was a full-time stay at home mom of two when I started My Stubborn Heart. The only hours I had open for writing were the hours when my kids were at preschool. I'd been using those hours to clean the house, exercise, run errands, etc. But when I heard God's call me to write a novel, I determined that all those preschool hours would go straight to my writing. They added up! I worked on the manuscript consistently for eight months and had almost finished it when my third child was born. Well! That threw me for a loop. I set the book aside for ten months to care for my baby. But eventually (thanks to childcare help from my husband and my mother and father-in-law) I was able to return to My Stubborn Heart and finish it.
Do you write by the seat-of-your pants letting the story unfold as you write, plot the entire story; write with an outline, or a combination of the above?
At the outset of a project, I spend time working on the characterization of my hero and heroine. Once I have them both firm in my mind, I create a bullet point outline of all the scenes I envision in the book. I take off from there!