And a hint for readers… You might just catch a glimpse of someone from the Belmont books in the Belle Meade books (or visa versa), as well as glimpse a character from a past novel of mine in To Whisper Her Name.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author? And what aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
While I’m grateful to be writing and have moments where the words “flow,” by and large writing is just flat hard work. And not to be discouraging to aspiring writers, but it only gets harder with each book. Yet along with that comes a greater satisfaction when the books are published. It’s especially meaningful when readers join me on these journeys and then grow to love these characters as much as I do. That’s a great feeling.
What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in-between?)
I’m actually somewhere in between. I plot to a certain extent but still enjoy those “ah ha” moments when the characters do things you weren’t expecting. That’s one of the most enjoyable things about writing. That, and connecting with readers through these journeys we take together.
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I’m currently writing the second book in the Belmont Mansion series, and love being back in the Belmont Mansion again.
What message would you like your readers to take from To Whisper Her Name?
I never set out with a "message” in mind when I’m writing a book, and To Whisper Her Name is no exception. I prefer to leave it with the readers as to what they take away. For me, the faith element grows from the character’s struggles and how they grow in relation to the conflicts in their lives, and their responses to those conflicts. When my readers reference the Christian message in my books, they often use the word subtle when it comes to the faith plot, and I take that as a compliment. I believe in planting the seed of hope and in pointing others to Christ, and then trusting Him to do the drawing.
What is your greatest achievement?
I turned and asked my husband this question and he said to say that it was marrying him. LOL! Truly though, my family is my greatest blessing. Joe and I have two fabulous children, and we’re grateful for the ways God has stood in the gap for us as parents when we weren’t consistent or when we made mistakes. And boy, we made plenty. I’m so grateful for God’s faithfulness.