Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Let’s see, I am currently living out my happily ever after in Wisconsin with my high-school-sweetheart-turned-husband and our four children, two cats, and one dog. (Yes, our house could technically be classified a zoo.) I write emotional books about real Christians dealing with real problems of life, love, and faith. I recently released the first full-length novel in the Hope Springs series, which will very soon be followed by a Valentine’s Day novella. I also have a Christmas short story I offer free through my website. Before embarking on this Christian fiction journey, I wrote children’s nonfiction–more than 300 books about everything from animals to people to writing.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Not Until Forever is my latest book (and the first in the Hope Springs series). Odd as it sounds, it was actually inspired by book two in the series, which I wrote first. There were two secondary characters in that books whose backstory I just had to explore. So I did–and their story became book one! And now that I know them better, book two is even stronger. 🙂
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Not unless you count talking to myself while I take walks. My morning walk with my dog is my best brainstorming time. When I get an idea, I pull out my phone and record it with my voice recorder. I suppose anyone watching me would think I’m simply on the phone–until they noticed that I never stopped to listen to the other side of the conversation. 🙂
What authors, or books have influenced you?
So, so many. Jane Austen is my first and forever favorite author. I love how she brings her characters to life–flaws and all. Christian fiction-wise, I am a huge fan of Karen Kingsbury and Denise Hunter. But I think I’ve learned something from every book I’ve read throughout my life. What better (or more fun!) way is there to learn than from reading your favorite books!
What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up final edits on Not Until Valentine’s, a novella in the Hope Springs series that will release very soon! Then on to edits of Not Until You, book two in the Hope Springs series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I have an email list I communicate with weekly–and I’ve met lots of great readers through that. So far, Facebook has also been a great source for promotion–both organic and paid. I’m also enjoying connecting with readers through promotional sites (like this one!) and will soon be running some AMS ads.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
When it’s hard and the story doesn’t seem to flow and you want to pull your hair out, don’t stop. Keep writing, even if it means slogging one word at a time. Sure, you might have to throw much of it away–but that’s better than having nothing to throw away. You have to just get that first draft out one way or another before you can shape it into something beautiful through revisions—that’s where the magic happens.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
It’s from the Bible: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
What are you reading now?
I am currently reading Finding Joy by Melanie D. Snitker as well as The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maas.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More books in the Hope Springs series! So many ideas, so many story lines! I wish I could write them all at once–but that might be a bit of a mess. So one at a time it is. 🙂
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
my Bible, Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen, Persuasion – Jane Austen, The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom