How closely is Never Far From Home based on your life experiences? Or that of close friends?
I try to use themes such as infertility and difficulties growing up that are not only familiar to me, but to many women of all walks of life. The spiritual conundrum that Seth faces—how much is enough opposed to how much will distract us from God’s purpose—is something all Christians struggle with.
How did you choose the location for the setting?
My location is my favorite place to go—Holmes County, Ohio. I have visited there for years, long before I decided to write books set in this beautiful area.
How long did Never Far From Home take you to complete?
It took about six months to finish and turn in to my editor.
Do you have a favorite character in Never Far From Home? Why?
It’s Emma, of course. That sweet girl allows me to remember my youth, and for a little while feel young again. She is strong-willed, yet gentle. A bit vain, but tender-hearted. Not afraid of hard work, but doesn’t always see things clearly. Come to think of it, I’ve given her all my bad traits.
How much research did Never Far From Home take?
I soon found out I knew far less about farming than I thought I did, despite living in the country for many years. I had to ask close to a million questions about crops and livestock.
What was the most interesting fact that you learned while writing Never Far From Home?
I learned that farming isn’t simply sticking seeds in the ground and praying for rain. I was astounded by the complexity of agriculture these days, whether Amish or English. I developed a very high regard for farmers and the difficult job they have providing food for us.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Time management. Isn’t that what plagues us all? It’s hard to sit down at the computer to write when my house is dusty, my garden is weedy, and the dog is insisting on a walk. But sometimes you have to, or the book will never get done. There’s always so much to do and so little time.