Please tell us a bit about yourself.
In my twenty-five years as I writer, I have tried just about every type of writing imaginable: writing for kids, writing screenplays for TV and movies, writing magazine articles, writing curriculum, writing booklets for writers. Oh, and of course writing books. I just finished book #40. But I am much more than just a writer. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a wife, a mother, a traveler, a speaker. We are all multi-faceted, aren’t we?
What is your favorite Bible verse (translation too, please)? Why?
The year I was thirteen, I decided to really get on God’s good side by reading through the Bible—in the King James Version, no less. Parts were interesting (Genesis). Parts tedious (Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers). Parts confusing (Ezekiel). But when I came to Micah 6:6-8, it knocked me to my knees. Micah dared to voice my own question: “Is there any possible way I can ever please God?”
The answer still moves me to tears: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (NIV)
How did you come up with the concept for Hope of Shridula?
We cannot truly understand India until we gain some understanding of their fight for independence and the horrors that marked the partition between Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. Since this trilogy is a saga of two families and covers an entire century, the setting of independence made sense. Certainly, this event altered every part of the country and every caste in the social order. It shaped the India we know today.
What was your inspiration to develop the story The Blessings in India series?
One thing I love about this series is that it came about at the request—maybe I should say pleading—of Indians themselves. Few Westerners really understand what makes this second most populated country in the world both great and wretched. Few of us understand the caste system and the crushing influence it has had—and to a degree still does have—on India.
I chose to tell the story through the eyes of two families—untouchables and the high caste Christian landowners who own them. The main character in each of the three books is named a different Hindi word for blessing, and the three themes are: Faith, Hope, and Love.