Interview Questions

What were you like when you were in school?
When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
What advice would you give to your younger self?
How do you relax?
What draws you to this genre?
Where do your ideas come from?
How do you overcome writer’s block?
What was the hardest thing about writing your last book?
What was the most surprising thing you learned when creating your books?
What do you think makes a good story?
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?


What were you like when you were in school?

I was outgoing, loved sports and played basketball, softball, and ran track. I enjoyed spending the weekends and my free time on our dairy farm and family ranch. I showed jersey cows, liked hiking, hunting, fishing and riding my horse. My first business venture, at age 8, was a rabbit farm.  On the more refined side, I enjoyed tea parties, live musicals and plays, and hosting parties. I also dreamed a lot. I remember pulling away from everything and just sitting on our back porch, dreaming about the future, dreaming about writing, or just watching the sunset and thinking.

When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I dictated my first story when I was around five, but I don’t think I really understood what an author was until later. I was 9 when I started my first draft of Alone Yet Not Alone.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in.”
—Winston Churchill

 

Writing books was a dream, but as a young girl, overcoming dyslexia made learning to read with confidence my biggest hurdle. Following my dreams has not always been easy and many times they have only been realized after hard work, disappointment, lots of tears and dependence on God’s grace and His strength.

How do you relax?

Enjoying nature, hiking, gardening, watching a sunset, star gazing, and reading a good book by the fire on a cold winter evening.

What draws you to this genre?

I love history and think that historical fiction is a great way to make history come alive for the reader.

Where do your ideas come from?

Most of my books are based on real people and actual events in history. The Kathleen McKenzie series was inspired by my grandmother and her stories of growing up during the Great Depression and World War II.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

I think everyone has days when you have to meet a deadline and your mind goes blank. Nothing. I have found the best way to overcome it is to listen to inspirational music. I also love movie sound tracks like Jurassic Park, The Patriot, Legends of the Fall, etc. Music from Gladiator was a favorite one while writing Alone Yet Not Alone.

The other thing that helps is to stop and take time to think and be still, enjoy a sunset, take a drive through the country or simply let my mind rest.

If all else fails, I just go to a coffee shop, stick on my ear buds, ask God for grace and face my deadline.

What was the hardest thing about writing your last book?

I wrote it during a move from Colorado to Texas and I was pregnant at the time. My personal deadline was my due date. Our moving van arrived less than a week before our daughter was born. She was born two weeks early and I actually requested to have my computer brought into the labor and delivery room so I could meet the deadline. That, of course, didn’t happen, but thanks to help from our family and friends, we were able to move in our new home and I completed the book shorty after she was born.

What was the most surprising thing you learned when creating your books?

Fact is crazier then fiction. This was especially true while writing Alone Yet Not Alone. The historical events recorded by Barbara after her return from captivity are amazing. The adventures and trials that she faced felt like a fiction novel that couldn’t possibly be true. She experienced one trial after the another including nearly drowning, a bear attack, starvation and almost being burned at the stake.

What do you think makes a good story?

Growing up, I enjoyed reading books based on real stories or actual events, like Little House on the Prairie and Carry On, Mr. Bowditch.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Take creative writing classes, join local writing support groups, read good literature, enter writing contests. Write, write, write, rewrite and write again. The more you write the easier it will flow. Be open to critiques and suggestions from other people.