Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Greetings, CBD readers! I was born in Hollywood, California and spent the first ten years of my life living above a mortuary one block away from the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine. Now, I live about ten miles from the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.
Obviously, God never intended me to lead a boring life. To prove that point, here are a few miscellaneous personal tidbits: I was miraculously healed of Lupus when I was in fifth grade; Back in the ‘80s I was on Richard Simmons’s exercise show. Twice; I played a man as an unpaid extra in the movie Seabiscuit; Last but far from least, I once went on a first date with a man who told me he’d been praying for a wife and I was it. It was a year before I’d go out with him again. Three months after that, I married him. Now we have an 18-year-old son and are about to celebrate our 20th anniversary. See what I mean? Nothing boring there.
What is your favorite Bible verse (translation too, please)? Why?
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV)
I love this verse because there was a time in my life when I so badly needed to be a new creation! God reached down to me in my lowest, ugliest place and reminded me that I had always been his. I’m still a work in progress, being daily reshaped and reformed into what he wants me to be.
What was your inspiration to develop The Mother Road?
My early inspiration came from a wild thought that flew into my head: What would a marriage expert do if her husband wanted a divorce? I built on that question, creating my main character, Natalie, and imagining what she would do, how she would react. Then I imagined her family, and wild-child Lindsay was born. At that point, I knew I wanted to stick them together in a car for long periods of time, so a road trip was the next logical step. And since they were starting in California, what better way to get up to Illinois then on the Mother Road?
How much research did The Mother Road take?
Quite a bit. Although I never had the chance to drive the whole road (see the next question) I wanted to be as accurate as possible. I checked books out of the library and then bought the ones I knew I’d need to refer to over and over. I also purchased a DVD set about the Mother Road. And of course, I burned up the Internet looking for facts and interesting tidbits. It’s the most enjoyable research I’ve ever done.
The other research I had to do was in the area of Alzheimer’s Disease. That was more sobering. It’s a terrible disease and takes such a toll on families. At the end of The Mother Road there’s a note to readers, sharing all the research I did, as well as different books and websites they might find helpful.
Did you take a research trip on Route 66?
Oh, how I wish I could answer YES to this question! I intended to go on my own road trip, but life-issues got in the way. Still, I do have hands-on experience with a section of Route 66. For many years, I lived on Huntington Drive in Duarte, California, which is part of The Mother Road. So I’m extremely familiar with all the Southern California stops that Natalie and Lindsay make.