What writing clubs or organizations do you belong to?
I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. I’m also CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. If you have an interest in writing fiction for the Christian market, ACFW can’t be beat! Our conference is coming up in September and it’s has a fantastic lineup of faculty!
What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in between?)
I’m an in-betweener. I usually know the main conflicts and why the villain committed the murder. But I like to let my imagination have full rein (a scary thought!) when I’m actually writing. I recently attended a fabulous Michael Hauge workshop and I believe I’ll be doing a little more plotting beforehand now. I highly recommend the DVD workshop he did with Christopher Vogler called The Hero’s 2 Journeys.
Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
They do! I think I know how a scene is going to go and they persist in taking me off in another direction. I love that about the writing process!
How do you keep coming up with fresh ideas?
They are everywhere! I watch documentaries, read about new non-fiction coming out in Publishers Weekly, listen to the news, read newspapers and magazines. There’s always something that piques my interest.
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I’m working on my first historical romantic mystery series. The first book, The Lightkeeper’s Daughter, will be out in January. I’m working on the 2nd book in the Mercy Falls series, The Lightkeeper’s Bride. The series is set in 1907 northern California in Mercy Falls, a town patterned after Ferndale and Eureka. The setting was inspired by CBD’s own Dianne Burnett!
Will there be any more books in this series?
Yes! Lonestar Homecoming will be out in March 2010. I think it’s my favorite so far.
Who was the person who influenced you the most with your writing?
I’d have to say my editor, Ami McConnell. I learn so much from her with every new book. She has an innate sense of story and character that inspires and motivates me to work on craft. Her influence has shaped my writing in a lot of ways.
What message would you like your readers to take from Lonestar Secrets?
I’d like them to step away from fear and be willing to be real in their relationships, especially with God.
What is your greatest achievement?
Raising two great kids who make me proud every day.