What is your favorite part about writing? Why?
Oh, I have to choose? I love the writing part. Creating a world, characters, and situations and then exploring them makes for great fun. It takes more work than simply reading a book, but the work is worth it because I have something tangible when I am done. Something I can share and others can enjoy over and over again.
Who helped you the most while you were beginning to write?
The first people to read my writing beyond my parents were a huge encouragement. My piano teacher, Mrs. Holden, found something to praise even though I am sure she also saw the flaws in my meager attempts at writing. She related to my characters, which guided me to pursue developing and replicating that in my next story.
My mother taught me to work hard. She never gave out praise unless it was merited. She showed me there is constantly room to improve and grow. Learning, growing, and improving are hard work, but they are worth the effort.
What first gave you the idea for Wren?
A group of my friends, both writers and young women interested in writing, came up with an idea of doing a writing project together. Creating a family of nine siblings, we endeavored to each write one sibling’s story. We intended to begin and end each book in the same place and connect the stories through letters (hence the epistles in the series title).
Wren’s character began with her name. I wanted her to be like her namesake, small and plain looking, but extraordinary in quiet ways. Unlike her siblings, she does not struggle with her faith in her God, but she does struggle with how to walk by that faith. She is a strong woman in a world that does not welcome women of her ilk. Despite her unconventional skill set (she is a bounty hunter and falcon mistress), she maintains her femininity and tries to adhere to the path God has set out for her. She is a woman of seeming contradictions, which I love about her. The aspect of her character that I really latched on to as I wrote the book was her confidence. She is far more self-assured than I have ever been.
Do you have any more projects in the works?
Oh, yes! I am currently working on releasing the next two installments of the Theodoric Saga. (The Crown of Anavrea, the first book, is already available.) I am finishing up the rough draft of the sequel to Duty, which is tentatively titled Honor. A number of short stories from Duty and Honor’s world are in the works and will follow soon after. Also, there are other projects, both old and new, in the queue and ready for my attention. In the mix are an inspirational speculative fiction trilogy, an modern day inspirational retelling of East of the Sun West of the Moon, a Regency mystery/romance, a fourth Theodoric Saga novel with plot problems, ideas for two more sequels to Duty and Honor, more than one science fiction novel, and a whole mess of short story ideas.
The ideas are endless. The challenge is finding the time.
If you were to start over, what would you do differently? (Providing that you still had the knowledge of writing you do now?)
I would spend more time reading, writing, and editing. Writing is a journey and I am constantly learning new things about the craft.
Also, I would pay attention more closely in marketing class.
Regardless of which way you end up publishing, writers are required to do more and more of their own publicity as time goes on. The one marketing class I took in college turned out to be a great resource despite my lack of interest at the time.
Remembering when you were first starting out, what was the most important thing you were told or learned along the way?
I have learned that you can’t please everyone. Make sure you please God. He is the most important audience you will ever have. Write for His glory and trust Him to handle the rest.
Also, for those of you who are on the brink of publication or researching publication feel free to contact me with questions. I would be happy to offer my services at a discount or just point you in the right direction. Traditionally published or independently published, we authors need to help each other.
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