What is your writing style? (Do you outline? Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants? Or somewhere in-between?)
Each phase of writing a story is done with a different type of style. I might sound a bit schizophrenic, but bear with me as I explain. Initially, I am completely seat of the pants. To me, this allows a unique breath into the story, allows the characters to reveal themselves to me, and the story to unfold. Then, I will draft up a very loose outline (no more than a page at most) and continue on with the story. Once I get about ¾ of the way through, I will write out detailed explanations of the last chapters to make sure all the threads are coming together the way I want.
Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?
Absolutely! Shiloh proved especially difficult at times, refusing to cooperate with the way the story was headed. There was one time, where I needed her to do one thing. . .and she surprised me with what she actually did. I couldn’t change it because her actions were true to her character and the situation.
What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
Currently, I am preparing for the July release of Nightshade, the first in a four-book series called the Discarded Heroes. Each book tackles combat-related PTSD in different ways. As a military brat married to a veteran, this series is one I am very passionate about. The books will release every six months (July, January, July, January).
What message would you like your readers to take from Dead Reckoning?
God knows. So many times we go through things in life and think nobody cares or knows—but God does. And even in times when we can’t see Him at work—especially in those times because I believe those may be times of testing or trials that are closest to the dawn—we should trust His heart. Know that the events have not taken Him by surprise. His plan for you has not been changed or hampered by events.
What is your greatest achievement?
Being smart enough to recognize the most handsome man I’d ever met was godly and the right guy for me because from that decision came four beautiful children.
What is your goal or mission as a writer?
Some writers are evangelists—on the front lines of the battle for souls. That’s not me. I’m a deeply empathetic person, who aches and hurts for others. I’m more like the surgeon tucked away in a tent, tending the wounded. I feel my mission in writing is to take the hand of the hurting and help them return to Christ’s love, to find healing through Him and His Word so they can return to their mission (life).
What do you do to get away from it all?
Get away. . .? Oh. Right. I’m supposed to do that, aren’t I? Seriously, I’m so excited you asked. For our 20th anniversary, my husband and I are slipping away to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater for four days. It’s the first time we’ve done something like this. Needless to say, we can’t afford to do that often, so my regular respite is watching movies with my kids—Serenity, Firefly, Pride & Prejudice, Mr. & Mrs. Smith. . .or painting a room, or working in the flower beds I’ve just installed.