Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
Absolutely. I’ll intend two characters to end up together, and in the writing of the book, they absolutely refuse. It sounds funny to a nonwriter, but I follow the natural progression of each word they say, each action they take, and most often they lead me on a far different journey than I envisioned.
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I’m currently writing a novel that should come out sometime in 2014. I’d like to say it’s lighter than my previous books, but that’s wishful thinking. Again I’m dealing with the subject of family drama, the desire to be loved, and all of that. It has a heftier dose of humor than my previous books, I think. I don’t want to say too much because it tends to stifle my creativity. How about we leave it as a “stay tuned”?
What message would you like your readers to take from Wings of Glass?
To those who have never understood the mind-set of an abused woman, I hope they leave with compassion and understanding and a little less judgment. For those who are in an abusive relationship, I hope they see that this is not the plan God has for their lives and can draw strength from Penny’s fight and the wisdom of her friends. To those not yet in a relationship, or at least not married, I hope they get a clear picture of the progression abuse takes. There were so many warning signs I, and most abused women, ignored. If I can open the eyes of one woman, it will be worth it.
What is your greatest achievement?
That one’s easy—my children. I can’t take credit for the successes of my wonderful stepdaughters, as proud as I am of them. But raising two God-fearing sons has been the hardest, most wonderful thing I’ve ever done. They’re not grown yet, so they can still get off track, but watching them succeed in kindness, truth, and love makes me feel that maybe I’ve done something right in this world. May God continue to guide me and them.
What is your goal or mission as a writer?
It’s very simple, really—to tell the truth. It sounds like an oxymoron when you’re a fiction writer, but it isn’t. Good books make writers tear off their masks and show themselves—and the world—as it really is, not just how we want it to be. And in telling the truth, I can’t help but point to the God who is the author of life.
What do you do to get away from it all?
I love to camp, go to the lake to swim, and hike. I love a nice meal out with my family. On a daily basis, I’ll take breaks and watch documentaries, Christian teachers like Joyce Meyer, or read a good book.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I think the subject of domestic abuse might make some not want to give Wings of Glass a chance, but I think they might be pleasantly surprised. There’s plenty of humor and light moments, and I hope a beautifully redeeming ending. I’d love this book to go into the hands of every young woman before she even starts dating.