Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Texas with the love of my life. We’ve been married over 48 years. All our children, grandchildren, and great grandson live near us, except our Army grandson who is deployed. Writing is my fulltime job, and I love it. I have an office in my home.
What was your inspiration to write McKenna’s Daughters Series?
The idea for the series came to me seven or eight years ago. It simmered in my mind for several years before I put it down on paper. I’m sure the inspiration came from God, because the series deals with bitterness, unforgiveness, a poor self image, and a lack of commitment and trust in God. The Lord led me through the growth of the characters in a marvelous, revealing way.
How much research did the McKenna’s Daughters Series take?
Lots and lots. It’s very important for me to get the details of a historical novel correct—society, setting, everything. Probably I spent the most time on researching the settings. At least, it’s easier to do that than when I first started writing historical novels. The Seattle Public Library resource person helped me find so many things that I needed. With Seattle and the other settings—Portland, Oregon City, Little Rock, and San Franciso—I also used online maps and books of old photographs from the time period.
The next thing I spent the most time on was transportation, because it’s important in each story—wagon trains, railroad, trolleys, ocean liners. And I loved researching the clothing.
Will you please give us an overview of the McKenna’s Daughters Series? Does each book in the series need to be read in order to fully get the gist of the story?
The series is about identical triplets, born on one of the last wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Their mother dies giving birth to them, and they’re separated. They don’t find out until near their eighteenth birthday that they have sisters.
Maggie’s Journey and Mary’s Blessing can be read in any order, but the reader will want to read both of them before they read Catherine’s Pursuit. If not, there will be spoilers in book three.