I've visited Jeanne in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I love the area, and Jeanie is a very hospitable person.
It’s simple; I write the kinds of books I love to read. I’ve always enjoyed history, particularly of the old west. I have friends who think I was born 100 years too late, but I do love technology too.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
My happiest day is today. When I wake up and discover that God’s mercies are new every morning, and that each new day brings a myriad of opportunities, my heart is glad. Today, I get a chance to present the gospel to someone who’s never heard the good news. Today, I can mentor someone by using what I’ve learned in the past to show them how to make their future bright and filled with hope. Today can be any kind of day I purpose in my heart to make out of it. I’m filled with the simple truth that today is the day God has made for me to rejoice and be glad in it.
How has being published changed your life?
Being published has given me more confidence in myself and in the abilities God has given to me. I fell in love with the editing process, and found myself enjoying several other aspects of the writing world such as critiquing and mentoring. Two years ago I began studying editing under Kathy Ide, founder of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network. Then one year later, I hung up my proverbial shingle and began freelance editing. My business grew so quickly that within six months, I was able to quit my day job and work from home at my editing and everything else related to the world of writing. Now that’s a change I never expected, but am having the time of my life.
What are you reading right now?
I’m in the middle of Captivating, a non-fiction by John and Staci Eldridge and Remembered, a historical romance by Tamara Alexander.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m currently working on a new short historical romance about a mail-order bride who gets to her desitnation only to find her fiancé had died a few days before, and the tiny townsfolk link her to some shady mine dealings her intended had allegedly been involved in.
Also, I recently got my rights back for my first historical romance, Angel in the Saloon, and I have one month to spruce it up, package it together with the other books in the Brides of Glory Gulch series, and get it ready to send to Glass Roads Productions.
What would be your dream vacation?
I have two dream vacations. First would be my hubby, two dogs and me in an RV, going all around the USA and Canada to visit God’s wonders. It would take us about 3 months to get to all the places I want to see.
The next would be a long cruise to Alaska.
I'd be glad to join you on the cruise to Alaska. How do you choose your settings for each book?
Often the settings come first. Whenever I visit a place for the first time, I never buy T-shirts, but always pick up a book about the history of the area. This will often spawn an idea for a story. Sometimes I make up a town, such as Glory Gulch, but it came from a mixture of Deadwood, South Dakota, and Morrison, Colorado.
My newest book about the mail-order bride came from a jeeping expedition to the top of the mountains one summer, where we discovered many long-forgotten gold mines, and ghost towns. After looking into the actual history of these towns, I knew I had to write a book set in that area.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I would like to spend an evening with Jeanette Oke because she’s my all-time favorite author. Her books were the first Christian novels I ever read, and I own all of her books (all first editions) except for one. I’d be interested in picking her brain for ideas on characterization, setting, plotting and plotting.
Also, I read that A Gown of Spanish Lace, one of my top favorite books, was actually the first book she wrote, but it was something like the fifteenth book she published. I’d love to talk to her about that too. I, like many of my writing buddies, have our first books still sitting in our computer, and it would be great to know if there’s hope for them to come to life some day.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love scrapbooking, snow shoeing, jeeping, exploring historical places, getting away from the things of man and going for a hike in the woods, or staying in a tiny log cabin that nobody can find. I also love going to the Denver Broncos games with my husband. We have season tickets in the club level, and we have such great times together. I also enjoy watching movies, walking the dogs, flea markets, farmer’s markets, and home decorating.
Most of all, I love sharing Jesus Christ with other ladies. I love using my talents to minister hope to women and to show them their true value to God.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time. My life is so full, and there’s always something exciting to do, so finding a nice chunk of time in which to write is my biggest challenge. I often hear people say, “Life gets in the way of my writing.” I think it’s because of that life that we write. It’s simply best to not fret about what I can’t do today, and rejoice in all the great things I get to do today. If I find time to write, then that’s going to be fun too. If not, then what I’m doing, I’ll do as if I’m doing it for God. Nothing is too insignificant for God. He can use a sneeze for his glory if we let Him have total reign in our lives.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
· Give your writing to God. Let Him be in control. Realize that if you believe He is omnipotent, then also realize that He will never let you down, and you will accomplish His will in His timing.
· Never give up!
· Don’t compare your writing journey with anyone else’s. Your story is as unique as you are. It might take one person only a year to write a book and get published, while the next person may take 12 years to accomplish the same.
· Learn! Just as with any ministry or job, there’s a training period and a learning curve. You can’t expect to just jump right in and everything will go smoothly.
· Be flexible. Don’t get exasperated because something else in your life takes away a bit of your writing time. God’s ways are not our ways.
· Never give up!
· Invest in some good writing helps books. For a list of those that I recommend, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send it to you. Join a writer’s group. Join a critique group. I wrote alone for the first three years, and I had no clue what I was doing. Once I joined a couple groups, my path to publication became clearer.
· Get a copy of my book, Writing Basics for Beginners, released in January by Booklocker.com. Never give up!
My fourth book, Shadow of Danger, a short historical romance, was released by Mountain View Publishing in April, 2008.
Blurb: Rachel Ringhold is roused from her bed in the middle of the night and sent away from the orphanage, where she’d grown up and now works. Dazed and confused, she flees from an undisclosed danger. With a prayer in her heart, and little money in her satchel, she sets out to find Seb Jameson, the man who used to work for the orphanage as blacksmith and handyman, and who’d captured her heart as a youth.
Tired, dirty, and malnourished, Rachel finally reaches Leadville, Colorado, and discovers Seb engaged to be married. Unaware of the turbulence in Seb and Myra’s relationship, Rachel enjoys her new life and grows to a fresh awareness of what Jesus Christ accomplished for her on the cross.
The danger suddenly catches up to her. Her renewed faith is shattered. All she’d ever wanted was for someone to love her and a home of her own, but now her dreams have been stripped from her. Who can save her? Is there anyone who would want to?
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Jeanne Marie, for spending this time with us.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Shadow of Danger. Don't forget to check back to see if you won. I still have some winners from July who haven't contacted me.
Then check out Jeanne Marie's web site and Shoutlife page.