What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
The most difficult part of writing for me is getting started each day. I’ve found a number of ways to overcome that obstacle through the years. Currently, I’m writing most mornings at a nearby Panera Bread. As my manuscript gets thicker, so does my waistline.
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I love the creative part of being a writer, when you get to invite your imagination to come out and play. And I love those times when I get so lost in the writing that I’m not aware of time passing.
Are there any other new projects on the horizon?
I’m currently working on the sequel to The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society, and then I’ll turn my attention to something a little different, a book about a disgraced Jane Austen scholar who finds the author’s lost letters and must decide whether to publish or perish. I’ll be traveling with my family to England this summer for research purposes. I can’t wait!
Who was the person who influenced you the most with your writing?
My high school English teacher, Sharon Kingston, gave me an excellent technical grounding as a writer. I’m forever in her debt. I’ve been lucky to have a number of mentors and teachers along the way who have helped me improve at each stage. Also, the Romance Writers of America have been an invaluable source of education and encouragement.
What message would you like your readers to take from The Sweetgum Knit-Lit Society?
I want readers to feel encouraged by these women who face difficulties and overcome them with one another’s help and their faith in God. I think women are strongest when we’re in relationship with one another. The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society celebrates those relationships.
What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievements to date are my children, but I don’t know how much credit I can take for them. They came into the world as amazing human beings, and I just try not to mess them up too much. On the writing front, publishing my first novel will always be a shining moment. Another amazing experience was winning the RITA award in 2006 from the Romance Writers of America for Best Inspirational Romance. It was my Oscar moment.