What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Rally Round Green?
A very strange thing happened after I had written much of Rally ‘Round Green: The issue of closing schools became a big deal in North Louisiana. I attended a meeting in a small-town gymnasium and listened to the residents talk with such passion about what a school means to a community. I also learned a lot about the design and construction of the Louisiana State Capitol, where people from Green gather to rally ‘round their school.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Maintaining the daily discipline of sitting down at the computer and writing. There are many distractions, and they often seem more urgent than the need to finish a manuscript. My agent told me early on to guard my writing time, and I try to live by that advice. I also find that I have to take a fresh look at my life and work on a regular basis to make sure that I’m spending my time and energy on What’s Most Important.
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?
I am thankful for the opportunity to be a writer. I absolutely love being drawn into a story, inventing towns and people, and watching them take shape. I have a great time playing with words. I believe I’m using a gift that God has given me, so that makes this work a special pleasure.
What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?
American Christian Fiction Writers, which I highly recommend to anyone who wants to write inspirational novels.
I’m also a member of a group of published writers who share ideas and answer questions for each other, and I attend at least one writing workshop each year to improve my craft. I also read books on all aspects of writing, which I find very helpful. There’s so much to learn!
What new projects are on the horizon?
“Downtown Green,” the fifth book in the Green series, will be out in spring 2012, and I can’t wait for readers to see what Lois and her crew are up to! Many small towns are struggling to stay vibrant, and Green is no different – so Lois will have to come up with a way to turn things around.
My first Young Adult novel, “Wreath,” will be released by Barbour Publishing in October. Wreath is a 16-year-old girl who lives in a junkyard for a year after her mother dies. She’s committed to getting her high-school degree and works at a local furniture store, where she is the catalyst for lots of changes. I fell in love with this teen-age girl!
My “Hurry Less Worry Less” nonfiction series is blossoming, and I pray that it will encourage busy folks. “Hurry Less Worry Less for Moms” will be released in October 2011, and an enhanced version of “Hurry Less Worry Less for Christmas” is coming out this fall, too. The latter includes an Advent study guide and lots of great recipes, among other things!
What message would you like your readers to take from reading Rally Round Green?
Readers bring different perspectives to a novel and take away different lessons, depending on what’s going on in their lives. I hope that readers come away with a fresh sense of the importance of coming together to make good things happen.
What were your favorite books as a child?
“The Boxcar Children” series. “Me and Caleb.” A biography of Harriet Tubman. The first place I drove when I got my license was to the public library.