Wednesday, January 06, 2010
This really depends on the age of the character. Most of my older characters have some of me in them.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Dressed up as Phyllis Diller for a costume party. Or when my best friend and I, who have similar coloring and size, exchanged clothes when we were teenagers and our friends didn’t notice for about an hour and called me Carol and her Martha.
Back in the day, I did a Phyllis Diller impression in full costume at a couples' party at church. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As a child I learned I loved to make up stories for my dolls and paper dolls and then I began writing skits for my cousins to perform at family gatherings. My mother always commented after I told about something that happened. “Now let me tell you the way it was without Martha’s embellishments.”
Mother said it took me three hours to tell about a two hour movie. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love anything from suspense to sweet romance. I love Brandilyn Collins’ scary books as much as I love Kim Sawyer’s gentle books of romance. The only things I don’t read are some of the Sci Fi and allegorical books. (Except for Donita and Stuart S.)
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I have at least 7 completed novels that have not been published. The second in the Winds Across the Prairie, Morning for Dove, is complete and turned in. I am working on the third now and a Christmas novella, Key to Her Heart that is contracted for 2010 release.
You didn't mention your fun story in Sugar and Grits. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Prayer and laughter. I look for the lesson God wants me to learn from whatever circumstance I’m in.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
They just come to me. I think of a story and when I start it the character names come. Then I have to interview them and find out who they are. My grandchildren are asking to have characters named for them.
I've borrowed my grandchildren's names for some books and the names of some of their friends. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
50 years of marriage to a wonderful husband whose faith is as strong as mine and our three sons and the fine husbands and fathers they have become.
A bunny rabbit. We raised them during WW II and I loved them. Our son also had one as a pet for many years. They’re warm and cuddly.
We raised rabbits when our children were young, but we used them for food, so they couldn't be pets. What is your favorite food?
I love chocolate, too. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Not believing I was good enough to be published in fiction until I met up with DiAnn Mills and she began mentoring me and showing me that I could do it.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Persevere and never give up. Let God be in control and if it is in His will and when the time is right, He will give you your heart’s desire.
He often put those desires into your heart, too. Tell us about the featured book?
It’s a historical set in Oklahoma Territory in 1896-97. The story is the coming of age of Lucinda Bishop and the spiritual growth of Jake Starnes. Lucinda learns that she is stronger and more adaptable then she ever dreamed, and Jake learns the true meaning of love through the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Lucinda Bishop accepted the condolences offered by well-meaning friends. In one brief moment her life had changed forever. The two people she loved most in the world lay ready to be covered by mounds of fresh dirt. She squeezed back tears and tried to listen to the words of those who spoke to her, but her mind grasped none of them.
Despite the warmth of late summer, a chill coursed its way through her weary bones. The thought of leaving Mama and Papa here among the weathered headstones of the church cemetery brought tears yet again. She blinked her eyes, vowing to remember their wonderful love and not to dwell on their passing.
Aunt Amelia’s hand fell like lead on Lucinda’s arm. “Come, my dear, we must return home. Guests will be waiting.”
It couldn’t be time to leave yet, but Aunt Amelia, Uncle Ben, and she were the only mourners remaining in the cemetery. Their driver waited by the carriage, but Lucinda didn’t want to leave. If she left Mama and Papa here, then their death became a reality.
Aunt Amelia wrapped her arm around Lucinda’s waist. “We must go. Ben and I can bring you back later if you wish.”
That's just a peek into the complex and interesting story. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Martha, for spending this time with us.
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