Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Although I don’t make any of the characters me in a complete sense, the events in the story quite often mirror feelings that are going on in my life during the writing. The emotions I’ve recently experienced just show up and there’s not stopping them either.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
At age 24 I had an irresistible impulse to take a writing aptitude test offered by a home study course. When I they said I was a stellar candidate for their course, I was surprised and pleased. Then when I got into the course, I discovered something that felt like magic.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Mysteries, of course. I’m addicted to those. I also enjoy frontier books. I also read a lot of books on writing style, business, and self-improvement.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
My Christy winner, Reaping the Whirlwind
Biggest seller with more than 250,000 sold, Colorado
Other titles: Sharon Takes a Hand, Fireside Christmas, Colorado Christmas
Collaborative works: Betrayed, Face Value
Cookbooks: Survival Cookbook: For Americans Abroad, Penny Pinching Meals
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
For years I’ve taken advantage of the early morning hours before the family wakes up, usually 5-9am, to get my best writing done.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I have some name books that I browse through, looking for a name that feels right. I also use the phone book for last names and jot names from other novels into my journal.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
In my life as a whole, raising 7 great kids, homeschooled all the way
In my writing, winning the Christy Award
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
An otter. They are busy little guys but they also know how to have fun. And they are cute!
What is your favorite food?
Chicken Pad Tai. I’m always on the lookout for a Thai restaurant.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Letting myself go. My own inhibitions stifled my creativity for years. Once I was able to release a lot of inner restrictions, my work flowed.
Read everything about writing you can get your hands on.
Find a good mentor.
Never give up.
Tell us about the featured book?
Homecoming developed from a situation that happened in my extended family. I took the core conflict from that and wrote it into my favorite setting, the Old West. There is a lot of heart in this story because of the love and compassion I felt for my family member going through that type of pain at the time. It has the sweetest ending I’ve ever written.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Dusting a glass jar of penny candy on the wide oak counter, Laurie Wilson smiled. Profits from the silver strike had brought the Aspen Emporium five times more than their most optimistic dreams. The strongbox held golden eagles totaling thirty-thousand dollars. She'd counted them last night.
The money hadn't made her smile. It was the memory of Mark's exultant war whoop that put a curve to her lips and a song in her heart. Mark and his partner, Sandy Miller, had planned and slaved for years to arrive at this day. What a celebration they'd had the night before.
"The coffee bin's showing the bottom," Mark said, breaking into her thoughts. Six feet of wiry strength, he towered over her five feet four inches. "The flower barrel's less than a third full.” He set a bowl-shaped colander on a bare pine shelf.
A heavy snow the night before had forced Mark to delay his plans to travel over Smuggler Mountain. He'd hoped to ride a horse to Salida and hop a train to Colorado Springs. He had a major deposit to make without delay. Mark had definite ideas about which bank was reliable. Since he knew a banker in Colorado Springs, that's where he must go. He didn't want his hard-earned cash in Buena Vista or Pueblo.
"This is the last crate in the storeroom," Mark told Laura. "I hope the snow melts soon. Another week and we'll be completely out of supplies. Sandy may have to drag a sled over the mountain."
"Business isn't heavy now," Laura said. "It may be two more weeks before things get sparse enough for anything that drastic. Surely by then the weather will break."
Mark took the dust rag from her hand and flipped it onto a shelf. He hugged her and kissed the tip of her dainty nose. He gazed deeply into her gray-green eyes, fringed with dark lashes and full of love for him.
"You're a real comfort to me, sweetheart. I made the right choice when I picked you."
"You're mixed up," she countered, her eyebrows raised provocatively. "I picked you, remember?"
A light knock sounded on the door, and Mark quickly released her. "We'll fight this out later," he promised with a wink.
His boots sounded loud on the plank floor as he strode across the room. His key rattled in the lock, and the door swung inward.
Mark froze with his hand on the doorknob. Laura walked farther down the counter to see what was wrong.
In the doorway stood a masked man. He had a Colt revolver aimed at Mark's chest.
Good hook. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Rosey, for spending this time with us.
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