I'm happy to welcome Vickie McDonough to my blog with her new release.
I don’t deliberately write myself into my characters, but readers have mentioned how they like the humor in my books. My family jokes a lot, so I guess that’s a part of me that shows through. The main thing I want readers to grasp is faith in God and that God can help them through whatever they’re going through in their own lives. That’s what I believe and hope that I convey that message well through an interesting story.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I bought a motorcycle when I was 14 and rode it all over town. Scared my mom half to death, but it gave me independence and was a blast!
Another one is that my husband and I lived on a kibbutz in Israel for a year right after we were married. Our first son was conceived there and I’ve always teased him that he couldn’t wear one of those “Made in America” shirts.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’m a writer? I can honestly say I never once planned to be a writer. I prayed for years for a home business that I could do while home schooling my boys, and then one day, a story started running through my mind like a movie. I was getting about five hour’s sleep at night because this crazy story wouldn’t leave me alone. I decided to try writing it down to get it out of my head—and that became my first book. Right on its heel came another book. By the time I finished the second one, I began to wonder if God was trying to get my attention. I started studying writing, went to local conferences, joined writers groups, and learned the craft. I’m still learning. I like to think of myself as a storyteller more than a writer. I first started writing in January 2001 and have been working hard at it ever since.
I'm like you. I consider myself a storyteller, too. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorite books are prairie and western Christian romances. I like just about any historicals expect Regencies. I also like a good contemporary romantic suspense occasionally.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I have several books I’ve written that haven’t been published, but here’s a list of the published ones:
Oklahoma Brides - An Oklahoma historical trilogy which just released
Spinning Out of Control – a Heartsong Presents novel that appeared in Virginia Brides
Wild At Heart – Book One in a North Dakota historical series comes out this fall
A Bride by Christmas
The Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner
Kiss the (Cook) Bride
Lone Star Christmas
Brides O’ the Emerald Isle
A Stitch in Time
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Get take out food whenever possible, make time to read some, and I just have to say no to some things.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I use Baby Name sites quite often and search until I find a name that seems to fit my character’s personality or has a meaning that fits that particular character well. I also check the Social Security sites that list the top baby names of a specific year.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
You didn’t mention if this had to be writing-related, so I’m going to say my thirty-three year marriage and my four sons.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A wild mustang. I’ve always loved horses and even owned a few when I was young. Horses are so majestic, and wild horses epitomize the American spirit.
What is your favorite food?
Just one? I don’t think I have a specific one. I love steak, chicken fingers dipped in country gravy, fried okra, potatoes. Mmm…I’m getting hungry. :-)
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I tend to be a very insecure writer. I never planned to be a writer and didn’t care for writing way back in school. But God sometimes takes us in directions that we never planned, and for me, that’s writing. I pray and ask God to help me where I’m lacking and to stir my creativity and help me to write the best story I can. Then I have to do my part and sit down with my laptop and write.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Study your craft well. Read the genres that you want to write. Attend conferences like ACFW. Make friends with other writers who can encourage you when you’re down. And be patient. It takes a long time to get published.
Vickie, I love your cover. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Oklahoma Brides is a collection of three Heartsong novels set in the Oklahoma and Indian territories. Oklahoma has a unique history, and I wanted to show some of that in my trilogy. The first story, Sooner or Later, has a hero who rides in the first OK land run, and the third book, A Wealth Beyond Riches, deals with the OK oil boom. They are stories of young women who find themselves thrown out of their element and must rely on their wits and their faith to survive.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
A very good blog. I'm also a contributor to Bustles & Spurs. I write on the 13th of the month.
Thank you, Vickie, for spending this time with us.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Oklahoma Brides. Then check out Vickie's web site and blog.