Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
More than I care to admit! As with most new authors, my first work is based much on my family. My female protagonist bears many of my characteristics, including vanity, stubbornness and her humble and accurate opinion that she is always right.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
This was a hard one. By temperament I am about 50% melancholy, 50% choleric—not a “quirky” combination. I asked my husband, and he couldn’t think of anything either. I’ve done lots of stupid things, some bold things, had some adventures, but “quirky?” I guess the quirkiest thing I’ve ever done is try to launch a writing career at my age. I kept asking God if he remembered how old I was—and he assured me that he did!
I know what you mean. Age is just a number and doesn't mean anything in the larger picture of God's plans for your life. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Being raised in a family of newspaper editors and published authors, I always wrote. I was published in our hometown newspaper at the age of nine. I wrote poetry. I wrote plays. I wrote Sunday School curriculum. I wrote Christmas productions. I wrote training literature. But I never seriously pursued writing a novel and getting it published until just a few years ago.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Well, of course, I have always loved historicals, which is why I have probably ended up writing them. I like Biblical fiction, allegories, and inspirational books that delve beneath the surface and make one think deeper. And being a fiction writer, this probably is an anomaly, but I love true stories, documentaries.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I have written a Biblical fiction novella series, Hidden Portraits of Nameless Women In Scripture, that has not been picked up yet. I have written a Bible study book, A Wise Woman Builds, that we self-published. I have four non-fiction WIPs on marriage and general inspiration.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
My husband and I pastor a church as well ministering through the writing/speaking ministry. Our church is small and in a small town, but it keeps us hopping. I promised the Lord in the process of developing this phenomenon of writing in my life, that I would spend about an hour every morning with him, before I run to the computer and regardless of what else is going on. I’m not legalistic about it, but I pretty much stick to that. I think that keeps me grounded.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I just research what names were popular at the time. My main character’s name, Madeleine, however just wouldn’t let me go. My actual ancestor’s name was Louisa, but it didn’t seem to fit her.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
That our three daughters love God and are walking upright in their communities.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
This was another hard one for me. The one I’m most like—I think I’d have to say an owl. I’m rather reserved, and I sit back and watch. I try to think before I speak. Some people have called me “wise.” The one I’d most like to be like? Probably a graceful swan or a gazelle. Our son-in-law is a big game hunter and the gazelles he has brought back are just beautiful.
What is your favorite food?
Like every woman I do love chocolate. But if I had to choose something that if I were stranded on an island and could have nothing else, it would have to be fresh fruits and vegetables. I love good homegrown tomatoes, cantaloupe, fresh corn, etc.
We've often had our own garden in our married life, and I know what you mean about fresh-picked produce. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
After so many years of rejections, it had to be the self-esteem, confidence issue. I’d had pretty good luck with getting articles published, but just couldn’t seem to hit it right in the book arena. I had a bad experience with an agent. Couldn’t find another one. My prayer many times was, “God, if you’ve called me to write, why can’t I get a book published?” Then when the time was right, he literally sat me down beside my future agent at a conference, and it took off from there. But I never quit. I kept on writing and submitting.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Avail yourself of all the networking available at writers conferences. Perfect your craft. And never, never, never give up. I kept a caption taped beside my computer during all those discouraging days, “A professional writer is an amateur who never gave up.” If you are a Christian and God has called you to write, stand on that call and keep pursuing it. It will happen in his time.
Yes, God's timing is always perfect. I often tell those I mentor that fact. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Quite by accident, I came into the possession of an original, published genealogy of my family heritage from 1907. It chronicled the persecution of the French Huguenots under the government of Louis XIV and their subsequent flight from 17th century France, eventually coming to this country and settling in Pennsylvania. The story fascinated me, and up until that time, I did not recall seeing any novels on this subject. I have since become aware of several and have read some of them. What a price they paid for our heritage of faith! In The Shadow Of The Sun King is the first installment in a four book series on the story of my ancestors has they sought religious freedom.
Golden, how can readers find you on the Internet?
My web site is http://www.goldenkeyesparsons.com/. Or at http://www.classervices.com/, or http://www.christianspeakers4you.com/.
Thank you, Golden, for spending this time with us.
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