Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a grandma, and that is my most comfortable role. I taught younger children for years, and needed a fix of “kid” in my life in order to stay sane. There is something about dropping out of the adult rat race and seeing the world through a child’s eyes that can be calming. Of course, minor mishaps can be devastating to a three year old. But to an adult, the fuss is a tempest in a teapot, and then it crosses our minds that God’s perspective on the problems we face is similar. What looks like irreversible disaster in our eyes is small in the big scheme.
I like things to be quiet and peaceful, and then I get to the point where I want firecrackers, friends laughing, and sharing fun food like cake balls. When I write it has to be quiet so I can remember all the little things I thought up while washing dishes and folding clothes.
How did you come up with the concept for Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball?
This type of question is always hard for me. Basically a new story comes from a sudden image in my head of either a character or a setting. Then I watch the scene play out as the character unexpectedly comes across something unusual. Or a reasonable scene is disrupted by the entrance of a pothering character.
In this case, Cora walked down the snowy street in a city decked for Christmas. Her head was down, avoiding the cold wind and light snow. She had a piece of paper in her hand and as she concentrated on that, she walk right past garish displays of Christmas commercialism. She entered a street that immediately embodied a different type of Christmas cheer, and I followed her into the book shop.
Do you have a favorite character in Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball? Why?
The sisters. Not the Booterbaw sisters in the Costume Shop, but Simon’s sister Sandy who had a heart of generosity and service. She valued simple pleasure and applied what she’d learned from the Bible in a straightforward, no nonsense way.
And Cora’s sister Zee is the villain you love to hate. But she also brings to mind the depth of God’s love. Even Zee would be accepted by her Heavenly Father if she turned to Him. And Zee shows what Cora might have been like without God’s intervention in her life. Watching Zee destroy relationships creates a deep sadness. And it is good to recognize the sorrow of a fallen world and compare it to the inexpressible joy in God’s gift of His Son.
How much research did Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball take?
None, absolutely nothing. I don’t think I . . . fairy cakes! I looked up fairy cakes.