How much research did Fields of Grace take?
Every historical novel requires much research. This one took a bit more because of the travel from Russia to America—I wanted the ship voyage to be as realistic as possible. I almost got seasick writing it, so it became real to me! lol
What was the most interesting fact that you learned while writing Fields of Grace?
Little children were given the very important task of choosing the hardest, reddest kernels of wheat to bring to America for planting. Can you imagine a 6-year-old spending hours picking through a seed bin, selecting only the hardiest kernels? I found that fascinating.
Is this a stand alone book or the beginning of a series?
Fields of Grace is a stand-alone novel.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Trying to keep a balance between reality and fantasy is one challenge. Another is finding the time to do everything that’s needed; while I’m writing one book, I’m helping market a previous release and thinking about the next one to be written… Writing is an exercise in multi-tasking, and the older I get, the more of a challenge this becomes!
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I love every part of it (researching, writing, connecting with readers through speaking events or email exchanges…) except the marketing. Just isn’t my comfort zone. :o)
What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in between?)
I am very much seat-of-the-pants. I’m as surprised as anyone else at how the story progresses. But I am fully in tune with my characters before I begin a book. That works well, because then they take over and tell me the story. I’m just the transcriber.
Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
Oh, most definitely. They surprise me, make me cry and laugh…and the ones for the next story are constantly tapping me on the shoulder, asking, “When are you going to get to me?” Yes, I am all grown up and still have a host of imaginary friends. But it works for me!