About the Author
I think I’ve known all my life that I wanted to write books. As far back as I can remember I was a reader and a storyteller, so the urge came naturally to me. Realizing what I wanted to focus on, romance with women empowerment came as I got older and things began meshing in my head. I love stories that reach out to women and help lift them up spiritually and romantically with the joy and strength of faith and the quest to strengthen themselves to be all they can be on their own… the hunky hero is a bonus!
2. How many books have you written and in what genres?
I’ve written over thirty books now, with several releasing this year and next. I still PINCH MYSELF that this is real!!!!! Happy dancing! I love romance, so there’s romance in all of my books, but the longer books are more a single title romance with either stronger family issues or external conflict woven in. I can hint at these things in my Love Inspired romances, but I can delve a little more with an extra 25 thousand words. Having said that, I love my Love Inspired romances and the chance to reach readers at such a reasonable price. That means the world to me.
3. What does your writing process look like?
I’m a linear writer. I don’t skip around chapters, I weave a story like you would a tapestry, from beginning to end, and then I go in and add the embroidery… which is refining, editing, revising and tweaking. I get up between 3 and 4 in the morning and work until my before school kids come for breakfast around seven… and when they’re on the bus, I clean up the kitchen and go back to writing. I try to get 2-3,000 words in every day now that I don’t have children here all day. (Until September, I worked full-time and wrote part-time. Now I’ve flipped that to writing full time and wrap around care part time)
And I try to hop online and connect with readers via Facebook and Twitter a few times a day. I love Facebook because it allows me to talk with people and see how they’re doing!
4. How long does it typically take you to write a novel?
This varies on the length and how much of the story I have in my head. But I think if you gave it a three-month window, you’d be accurate. That allows me time for self-editing, too.
5. What projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
Right now I am working on a couple of Christmas projects, a novella collection for St. Martin’s Press in NYC and a historical Christmas collection that is only being whispered about right now because contracts are not signed as yet… So we’ll chat about that next month! I’m also doing some edits on next year’s books and developing a delightful romance series that’s got a quirky little town, a Christmas baby, and three women who pledged to never lose their way… but somehow have managed to do just that. So we help them find their way back to faith, hope and … of course!... love.
6. What inspired the idea for Back in the Saddle? How many novels are you planning for this series?
I’ve always loved cowboys and when Waterbrook editor Shannon Marchese asked for a cowboy series, two of the books were already in my mentally planned storage container. (Some people refer to this as their “head”.) I pulled them out, dusted them off and looked at these heroes… and then the third hero…. And decided that I wanted a “Bonanza” meets “Dynasty” style story line… So there are three motherless men and we get to see how that affected each boy/man differently. Woven into the stories is a really good look at how similar events can have grossly different effects on children and their later perceptions, and how often we push ourselves to make the same mistakes our parents did… while trying desperately to prove them wrong. The FUNNEST part of all of this was creating heroines to match these guys and give them the wake-up call they needed! And all these cute kids, dogs, cows and horses, ramblin’ old cowboys and smokin’ hot young ones… This is a three-book series and contains everything you could want to make the reader smile… cry, maybe, just a little… and then sigh, happily. And that’s my recipe for a great story!
7. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
I love gardening and in upstate we only have a few months for that, so I enjoy it while I can…. And in winter I try to fix things in this old house, and when I fix one thing I usually break two others… but does that stop me??? It does not! J Mostly, though, I enjoy family. We’ve got six kids, plus my beautiful niece that I kind of stole from my sister… Five of them are married, and we have 14 grandchildren that we absolutely love. So hanging with kids comes naturally to me! I don’t know if you can call kids a hobby, but they’re a definite resource for book research! :)