What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I like the freedom to create people who exist only in my mind but who seem real on the page. I like contemplating the reasons why we love what we love and fear what we fear and despise what we despise. Writing fiction allows me to explore what makes us human and divine. We were created in God’s image, so there’s something divine about us, and it usually comes out in a good story. As does our flawed humanity.
Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
Most definitely. And I am very glad they do. Because while I am still in the driver’s seat, those characters tend to sound and act just like me. When they take over I become a narrator. And they begin to seem real, even to me.
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I am working on a book called The Girl in The Glass which will release next year with WaterBrook. Part of it is set in Florence, Italy – one of my favorite places. I have a young travel book editor headed there for lots of compelling reasons, one of which is to meet a woman who claims she is the last of Medici and that the great paintings and statues talk to her!
What message would you like your readers to take from A Sound Among the Trees?
The past is not be feared or adored or ignored. It is to be considered, so that we can discover what is real about it and what is not, what matters and what doesn’t. The past teaches us why we are who we are, but it doesn’t define who we are. We are who we because of the choices we made, not the circumstances that were imposed upon us.
What is your greatest achievement?
I am still waiting to feel like I have achieved any kind of greatness. I think it will happen, if it happens at all, in Glory, and I am okay with that.
What is your goal or mission as a writer?
I want to present truth in the form of story in such a way that when the story is ended, the truth resonates inside somewhere, long after you’ve closed the book and moved on.
What do you do to get away from it all?
I like quiet places that are cozy and conducive to quietness and solitude. A mountain top retreat, a secluded beach – those appeal to me. But I want there to be amenities! Good coffee, good music, the people I love close by, books, and no clocks.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for this lovely chat!