What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by the seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in-between?)
Oh, how I wish I could outline a book and know all the twists and turns before I start! But then again . . . that might take away some of the fun of discovery. I’m pretty much a seat-of-the-pants writer. I do generally have a basic concept before I start. For Thicker than Blood I knew I wanted to write about two estranged sisters, but I didn’t know exactly how the book would end. In early drafts I had things stopping rather abruptly. It usually takes a couple re-writes before I discover exactly what it is I want to say.
Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
My characters become very real in my mind. I’ll be going about my daily life, see someone, and think, “Wow, she really looks like Christy.” Or I’ll wonder how one of my characters will act if faced with a certain scenario. I’ve actually been inspired to do the right thing when I realized how one of my characters would respond to a particular situation. Does that sound insane?
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I have completed a sequel to Thicker than Blood. Its working title is Innocent Blood, and some of the main characters in Thicker become minor characters in Innocent. I’m really, really excited about this book. The main character is a sixteen-year-old girl named Roxi who’s been in and out of foster care since she was eight. A strong supporting character is Abby Dawson, bookstore manager Hunter Dawson’s older sister. Rare books also play a big part in this story, especially a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.
What message would you like your readers to take from Thicker than Blood?
I would love for readers to come away knowing that no one is ever too far gone for God’s love. No matter what we’ve done, God is just one breath away from enfolding us in His forgiving arms. Redemption is an amazing thing.
What is your greatest achievement?
Having my first novel win the Christian Writers Guild 2008 Operation First Novel contest has been the highlight of my life so far. That’s how I got to work with the incredible team at Tyndale House. I’m still amazed people are going to be reading the story that up until now has only been read by my immediate family.