About the Author
Goodreads Facebook Twitter Pinterest Amazon Website/Blog Overcoming with God Blog
I put my hands on the computer keyboard and started typing. J Really, though, part of the process is referred to as butt-in-chair or BIC. If you don’t sit down and start doing it, the writing won’t happen! My first publication was a nonfiction as a co-author of a chapter, in a psychology book, many years ago. I was a psychologist for twenty-five years and I was also published in my field but not in fiction until my arthritis derailed my psychologist career.
2. What or whom inspired you?
I “blame” my best friend, Libbie, for introducing me to books by Brock and Bodie Thoene over twenty-five years ago. And also to fiction by Janette Oke. I thought—I’d love to write stories like they do. I may not come close—but I sure do enjoy writing for the Lord!
3. How many books have you written and in what genres?
Written vs. published yet gets tricky. I have published one Civil War novella, Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, with a small publisher. There are three published 1890’s books in The Christy Lumber Camp Series: The Fruitcake Challenge, The Lumberjacks’ Ball, and Lilacs for Juliana. The Fruitcake Challenge is also part of the Christmas Traditions Collection, currently continuing as a #1 Amazon Anthology book!!!! I published a post-WWII short story “Snowed In” in Guidepost Books’ A Cup of Christmas Cheer collection. I have a European/Colonial American novel, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter, with White Rose, but I don’t yet have the release date. I am under contract to write a novella in The Sporting Chance Collection for Forget-Me-Not Press in 2016. I just received a contract this week with Barbour Books for another novella, The Wedding Quilt, in The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection, planned to release in January, 2017. I contributed to a nonfiction book sharing testimonies called God’s Provision in Tough Times. And I co-wrote a chapter, with Gina Welborn in her contemporary suspense serial story, now available for free. I have four more completed novels and one completed novella that are looking for good homes and dozens more stories, in my head, crying to get out!
4. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
Working on my Christmas Town novelette, which is set in Shepherd, Michigan. That title is A Substitute Bride and it will release in October. I am one of a group of authors led by Gina Welborn, who are contributing to this collection. Cynthia Hickey’s lovely novella, “The Christmas Stamp”, has already released.
5. What does your writing process look like?
I like to mull a story over first and I prefer to do a fleshed out synopsis and character sketches before I start writing. I prefer having a critique partner (CP) who writes at my level or better. I’ve had some wonderful CPers and have been very blessed. And I hire editors to help me. I am in a small accountability group, too, that I find helpful. The Pagels Pals Reader/Reviewers Group is a great support to me. I find myself running over there for help on a regular basis and I’m always blessed by them!
6. Where is your favorite place to write?
I write primarily on our deck. In fact, I refer to our small deck as my office.
Oh, you are really opening a can of worms here!!! Names are super important to authors. Having someone change the name of your heroine, for instance, can be devastating. I actually know someone super well, who had this happen and her agent said in all her 35 years of working in industry she’d never had it happen.
I choose names from friends, family members, from ancestors or my husbands’, from my Pagels’ Pals reader/reviewer group, and sometimes God “gives” me a name. We were recently at Gettysburg, and I met a man whose nametag showed his surname as Penwell. Well, my hero has been corresponding with a woman long distance--voila!—what a perfect name for my hero! Sometimes I use names of people from the research. For instance in this next book, a real woman named Cora had died in a Poor Farm near where my story is set. So one of my secondary characters is named Cora. I suggest using your own genealogy because you KNOW those are REAL names! Also, I Google certain years online to see what the most common names were.
8. What authors/novels that you enjoy would you recommend?
SO many! Tamera Alexander, Julie Lessman, Jen Turano, MaryLu Tyndall, Serena B. Miller, Lorna Seilstad, Lisa Norato, Kelly Long, Cynthia Hickey, Carrie Turansky, Gina Welborn, Julie Klassen, Debbie Lynne Costello, Kathleen Maher, and so many more!!! Just finished a great audiobook series by Jane Perrine. We are blessed in America to have so many wonderful authors in the CBA market.
9. Where is your favorite place to read and why?
In bed. I have arthritis and I usually read my comparables when I’m not feeling so good, and I lie down in bed in the office and read on the kindle. I also listen to audiobooks while cleaning.
10. What period of history interests you the most?
I love colonial, and I live in an area where it is available and I have the Colonial Quills group blog. But I also love turn-of-the-century because my paternal grandmother was born in 1895 and my grandfather in 1886 and I never had the opportunity to know them. I did have a wonderful great-aunt and great-uncle, who were born in this era, and I’ve always found it fascinating.
11. If you could choose someone famous to star in one of your books made to a movie, who would you choose and for which character? (Possibly share an image of this famous star.)
I’d like Chris Hemsworth of Thor, to play Johan in Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter because he looks very much like I imagine Johan except my Palatinate hero has larger teeth. But he’s older than Johan, too. And I can’t imagine him playing the humble peasant that Johan is but that scene in Thor where he shovels food into his mouth—that kind of reminded me of Johan ;)
12. What inspired the idea for The Christy Lumber Camp Series? How many novels do you plan to have in this series?
I grew up hearing some stories of my mom’s time living in a lumber camp. Also, we have a wonderful logging museum in my hometown and my great-grandparents cabin is at that site. And I love the Hartwick Pines in Michigan—a preserved area of virgin White Pine forest, which is gorgeous. When Gina Welborn asked me to participate in the Christmas Traditions series, I thought a fruitcake challenge, based at a lumber camp would be fun. And it was! This novella was a Selah finalist and also a finalist on the long list for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year, PTL! After I’d finished that book, I wanted to tell more of the Christy family stories. There will be another short story that will be free to my newsletter subscribers plus one more short story or novelette with a wedding or two!
13. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
Beading. I love to bead when my hands and eyes will cooperate. I wouldn’t call it a hobby, but I like to paint as in with a roller or a brush on a wall or furniture. God did not gift me with an artist’s eye, though, so no artwork painting for me! I like bike riding or riding my stationary bike. Love history so we frequently go to museums here and on our travels. Is eating chocolate a hobby, Sydney?