Please tell us a bit about yourself for our younger readers.
I'm a Former Bad Girl who is truly thankful for God's grace! After a decade in the wilderness of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, I found myself in a pit so deep, only the Lord could save me. Because of his goodness and mercy, he carried me out of that darkness into the light of his love. I was one changed woman! Opportunities came to share my testimony at churches around town, which turned into a full-time speaking ministry, which turned into a full-tilt writing career. I've been speaking and writing ever since: 1600 presentations in all 50 states and 12 foreign countries so far, plus 28 published books and counting. May the Lord get all the glory for every word and story!
How did you come up with the concept for Mine Is the Night?
The book of Ruth has fascinated me since childhood, perhaps because my first name was Ruth. Even before I knew the Lord, he planted her story deep in the soil of my heart. Decades later, when I began writing Scottish historical novels based on biblical characters, I started with Leah and Rachel, knowing Ruth and Naomi would be next. The themes in Ruth are so rich: love, loss, redemption, restoration, and always hope. What a thrill to transport that timeless story to my beloved Scotland during Bonny Prince Charlie's rebellion, with all the drama and pathos war and its aftermath inevitably bring.
Is this a series?
Hmmm. Is "sort of" an answer?? Here Burns My Candle and Mine Is the Night started out as a three-book series, then shifted to a one-book wonder, and finally turned into a two-book saga in 2010 and 2011. As always, God knew best: the biblical version has two parts, starting in Moab and finishing in Bethlehem; in the same way, my novels begin in Edinburgh and end in Selkirk. The relationships we explore are also two-fold: a mother-in-law with her daughter-in-law in the first book, then a young widow with her redeemer in the second. Though each book stands alone, they do flow from one to the other, covering just over one calendar year, September 1745-October 1746.
Do you have a favorite character in Mine Is the Night? Why?
As it happens, I posed the same question in the Readers Guide and am eager to hear how my readers will respond. Of course, all the characters captured my imagination at some level, but I became most attached to Naomi's Scottish counterpart, Marjory Kerr. Perhaps because she is an older mother with an empty nest, her story arc parallels my own journey a wee bit. And I loved watching her grow in her faith. She also provided the biggest surprise for me, when her story line took a major and unexpected shift. I love when that happens!
How much research did Mine Is the Night take?
Though I've researched Scottish history for the last 15 years, Selkirk was a new area for me to write about. So, off to Scotland I went, walking the narrow streets and closes of Selkirk, interviewing the locals, taking copious photos and notes, and drinking in the glorious green scenery. My bookshelves overflow with books about Scotland, so I'm constantly reaching for those as well. From food to furnishings to fashions I try to get every detail right, so my readers and I will be swept away to the eighteenth century.