Who was the person who influenced you the most with your writing?
There are several authors whose work I admire, including Maya Angelou, Francine Rivers, J. California Cooper, Anna Quindlen, Jodi Picoult and John Grisham. These authors all write in a manner similar to my own – often focused on social issues and/or sharing a spiritual message without being preachy, even John Grisham.
However, I’d have to say the person who influenced me most was my mother, who never laughed at my dream or told me that despite the fact that we lived in a small Arkansas town, far from the world of publishing, that what I desired was impossible. Instead, she bought my first typewriter, gave me notebooks and novels endlessly, and never balked at the time I spent writing as a child instead of playing outside as much as I should have.
What message would you like your readers to take from Dreams That Won’t Let Go?
I want readers to put down the book with a renewed confidence that if they give their problems and their past to God, he will redeem their mistakes and restore their lives. While we can’t change the past, God does give second, third and more chances, as long as we rely on him. I hope readers will realize this through the journey that Reuben, and his sister Indigo, find themselves on.
What is your greatest achievement?
I think I have a long way to go before I can authentically answer this! In the short term, I would have to say having an opportunity to achieve my lifelong dream of becoming a published author. The icing on the cake has been hearing from readers from all walks of life who take time to write or email and let me know how a particular book has touched their lives. It’s all very humbling.
What is your goal or mission as a writer?
My goal is to entertain readers while inspiring them to trust God and to understand that the wholeness or peace they long for comes with a relationship with him. I hope my characters speak (in a non-preachy way) to readers’ needs and show them that whatever they’re grappling with, God is right there with them.
What do you do to get away from it all?
As busy as my life can get, getting away from it all can be as simple and rewarding as a regular nap several times a week! ƒº Seriously, though, I take mini-vacations with my family, which keeps me grounded and balanced. I also will take time away by myself one or two weekends a year. I’m usually going away to write, but while I have that quiet time, I use it to quiet my spirit and try to hear from God. I always come home refreshed and renewed.