Firstly thanks for agreeing to this interview and congratulations on your debut novel I really enjoyed it and the historic setting.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Thank you so much for your kind words. I am delighted to be a part of the FIRST Wild Card Blog tour and your personal blog.
I always consider myself a very ordinary woman with a call of God on my life. God has been my number one passion since I was a very small child. I began teaching Sunday school as a ten-year old and still enjoy relating to people through the spoken word. Now I reach out with the written word. I am a life-long resident of the panhandle of Texas. I met my husband, Terry, at a small Bible school in Baxter Springs, KS in 1974. We married March 1, 1975 and raised three sons. We now have the added joy of three daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. Our life revolves around family and church.
I am a church secretary and enjoy the challenges that work brings. Since I am a part-timer, it gives me the opportunity to write and promote my books. I love scrapbooking, reading, painting, and playing the piano and organ.
2. How did you know you wanted to be a writer, have you always had the desire or did it come later?
My mother and dad always enjoyed reading good books. They passed that on to me. When I started school I was very excited to learn how to write. I think some of my teachers would have liked to have a sentence in the spot that I answered in paragraph form. While all the other students in Jr. High were groaning that we had writing assignments, I was cheering. (on the inside)
I wrote short little books for my best friend. It was a tragic teen love story, but she loved it. It was a tremendous feeling for me.
3. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
I love being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Other than that and writing, I enjoy public speaking.
4. What was you motivation for writing Nan's Journey?
My mom and dad always watched westerns on television. One day when I was still quite small I saw an episode that had a small girl who had been beaten by her mother or dad. I had never seen anything like that before and it stuck in my mind. Throughout the years I thought about what it would be like to be that little girl and how she could get away.
When a was a young mother the image came to my mind. I got out a legal pad and began to write her story in long hand. As I wrote of the pain and suffering she went through, I felt that I knew her. I felt that I had suffered with her. When I was a child people did not consider mental abuse. Some of the suffering Nan encountered was the same mental anguish I had been through.The story unfolded and I realized that the thing Nan needed most to be able to heal completely was the ability to forgive. It was then that I realized that God was showing me that the only way I could be free of the mental pain I suffered was to forgive also. It was the most difficult lesson I ever had to learn.
5. How do you come up with the characters for your books and are they modeled on people you know?
Nan's sweetness and appearance reminds me of one of my sisters. Elmer was patterned after my two oldest sons. Fred is a mixture of my husband and my youngest son. Nate is like my dad and my husband mixed into one. Martha is like my sisters. My brothers had characteristics in common with the doctor and preacher. I made an effort to not have any person in mind when I wrote about the "bad guys".
6. What would you like readers to take out of reading "Nan's Journey"?
People who are "bad" need Jesus. People who are "good" need Jesus.Even if someone has suffered a lot in their life, they still need the Savior. God will help you deal with your past. He will forgive and strengthen you for the task of living your life. Forgiveness is not optional.
7. What was your favourite part of writing this story?
After I decided that I had to write the book the story unfolded to me as I wrote and upon awaking in the morning. The words flowed quick and sweet. I knew God was working on me and in me. I feel very blessed.
I also love the characters so much. I found myself understanding Mary and why she behaved the way she did. It was important that the characters were unpredicatible and textured.
8. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects and will we see more of Nan?
I received a contract for the second book of the series last week. I am very excited to get it on the shelves. It is tentatively called "Elk's Resolve". I am half-way through writing the third book and can hardly wait to see where it takes me!
9. How can readers find you on the web?
10. Do you have any final thoughts for us?
Never give up! For years I knew God wanted to use me. I couldn't imagine how, but I was willing. Now, after my children are grown, He has set my feet on this path. If you feel that God has something for you to do, don't give up. He will let you know what it is.
Finally thank you so much for agreeing to this interview and sharing your time with us. I look forward to reading more novels by you.
(review coming later)