|What are some of the challenges you face being an author?
As far as the actual writing part . . . I don’t find many challenges; this is what I’m supposed to do. I wake up at 4:30 every morning and it usually flows. I have three books coming out this year. I write every day seven days a week. I love it; I plan to do it until the day I die. As far as the business part? That’s where I feel challenged. Having to deal with numbers and contracts and the what-ifs of a future that can grow or die at any moment keeps me turning to the only one who has any control over the whole thing: God. Writing for the Christian market demands a fine balance between business, faith, and art. That’s the tough part.
Who influenced you the most with your writing?
I shouldn’t be a writer, my degree is in architecture. I’ve never had a writing course. Yet the writing was always there. I learned how to write by writing and rewriting. Reading books on writing. And reading good novels—studying what makes them good. I got published because of pure persistence. I wouldn’t let anything stop me and I have hundreds of rejections. But when the time was right—God’s time, not mine—it happened. I continually thank Him that He didn’t do things my way in my time. I’m sure I would have messed things up thoroughly. Through this entire process my faith has grown immensely. God’s taught me a lot during the dark times, probably more than He’s taught me during the high points . . . I can’t say any one person influenced me. It was my inner drive to do it, and keep doing it, plus God’s grace, that got me where I am.
How much research did this series take?
None. I don’t do research. Yuck. There are different kinds of writers. There are those who plot out the entire book and outline, and there are the seat-of-your-pants writers. The latter is me. I come up with an idea--often literally one line--then cast it like a movie. Then I let the characters loose and see what happens. It’s a little awkward at first, but really starts to click when the characters take over. I tend to pick areas of the country I’ve been to, or occupations that I know something about. I try not to do any research. Some authors thrive on that and are good at it, but I’m not. The Internet is wonderful for any information I do need to find.
Is there such a place as Steadfast, Kansas?
Not exactly; I did happen to go through a town, Council Grove, Kansas, when I was on my way to speaking at a retreat. They had a library that looked just like the library I pictured for A Steadfast Surrender. There’s also a perfect library in Dexter, Maine. But Steadfast is merely small town USA.