What inspired you to write A Prairie Christmas?
I loved the research of logging and sawmills in East Texas in the 1880s. I wanted to tell a saga about a family who lived in this setting with a heroine who loved her family and state, but also went through some confusion about where God wanted her in life.
Any deleted scenes you’d like to share now? (Please set it up before you share it.)
Nope„Ÿthe story came out just as I wrote it.
What is your favorite Christmas recipe?
Yum„Ÿjust thinking of Christmas foods makes me hungry. We had great sugar cookies, fudge, and divinity. My mother and grandmother could make some pretty incredible dishes for the holidays that included homemade egg noodles and chicken, meatloaf, eggplant casserole, as well as pies and cakes that came from long-handed-down recipes.
Can you share a favorite memory from the holidays?
My favorite memories are always ones that surround family. I have such wonderful memories of my children at Christmas„Ÿgoing sledding, drinking hot chocolate, enjoying the music of Christmas, and driving around looking at Christmas lights. Maybe one of the most precious memories I have is of expecting my third child during the Christmas season. Doctors wanted me to abort him, telling me they were certain blood tests pointed to there being problems with the pregnancy and the baby. I remember being so overwhelmed with sorrow over the situation and being so worried and miserable during a time when I should have been filled with joy. I happened to be performing in a choir cantata that year at church, and as we were practicing I was praying for peace of mind regarding the pregnancy. As I poured my heart out to God, we began singing part of Handel’s Messiah: “For unto us a Child is born …unto us a Son is given.” I was suddenly blessed with such peace of mind, I felt God’s presence and His assurance that everything was going to be fine. And it was. On Mother’s Day the next year I gave birth to a perfectly healthy son. God’s faithfulness was evident then just as it is now.
What is your favorite Christmas song/hymn?
“O Holy Night.” I love this song for the way it reminds me of Jesus’ birth and the wonder of His deity.
Does your family have any Christmas traditions?
We usually gather for church on Christmas Eve, have a nice dinner, and read the Christmas story. Later that night we will watch A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott. On Christmas morning, we open gifts. We’ll have an easygoing Christmas dinner, usually sandwiches, snack foods, soups, salads. And over the last ten years, we have gone to a movie on Christmas afternoon.
What is your favorite Christmas movie?
I love A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott, and A Christmas Story (about a little boy who wants a Red Ranger BB gun).
Do you have a favorite Christmas book?
Again, I love Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I think the story is a powerful reminder that we need to connect to one another—to let go of the past (or drag it around with us for all time)—and to love one another with a generous heart.