Sunday, September 05, 2010
I have walked with the Lord long enough to know that He continually surprises us, so to try to guess what is around the corner? Goodness, I haven’t a clue! I feel so blessed thus far with the doors that He has opened. To get fan letters from readers who have been blessed and brought closer to the Lord – well, it’s mind boggling. And my books are being printed in German, Dutch and Hungarian. I never would have predicted that.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am married 48 years to my college sweetheart. We have three grown daughters, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. But, of course, I’m much too young to have great-grandchildren :-)
I have a great grandson, too. They are a blessing. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Oh, absolutely. I read with a much more critical eye. And I read much more fiction than I used to. I read a lot of fiction when I was young, but then up until about ten years ago, was reading mainly non-fiction. When I started writing fiction, I decided that maybe I’d better see what is on the market, and I started reading novels again. When I go into a bookstore, I am overwhelmed every time at how many books are out there. So many books, so little time!
But that's so much better than it was when we had to really search for a book without objectional content. What are you working on right now?
My fourth book, which is a stand-alone novel, set in Texas during the Civil War.
I can hardly wait. We must feature it here. What outside interests do you have?
I am also a classically trained pianist, so I love music. We have two grandsons and two great-grandsons playing baseball, so going to their games keeps us busy. And we are huge Baylor University football and basketball fans. I also love the theatre and attend as many plays as I possibly can, which is easy here in Waco with all that Baylor has to offer. Our junior college here also has an excellent theatre program which we support as well.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
As I’ve been doing the research on the Civil War book, I have been astounded at the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln. It almost seems as if he had a supernatural discernment as to what the nation needed when at the same time being viciously opposed from both sides. No one thought he would win even one state in his re-election bid, and he carried them all, except New Jersey, Vermont, and a couple of other New England states. I think the hand of God was all over him. I believe he will be in heaven when we get there, so I guess I’ll get to do that for real, eh?
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
It is much more difficult than I ever dreamed it would be. I’m very task oriented, so meeting deadlines is not a problem, but the continual learning of the craft that never stops is amazing. I just read Deb Raney’s post on the ACFW loop comparing learning music to writing, and it is so true. The deep learning comes in the doing—not in the reading about it, but in the doing. Practice, practice, practice.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Psalm 138:8 is the Scripture I am claiming these days: “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, endure forever-forsake not the works of your own hands.”
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
And as instruction with all three of those points: never, never give up. I have a quote over my computer that says, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
That's very good. Tell us about the featured book.
Where Hearts Are Free is the conclusion to the “Darkness to Light Series.” It is the story of when my ancestors came to this country and settled in Pennsylvania. Parts of the book are true, but the storyline is fiction.
Please give us the first page of the book.
A plantation on the outskirts of Philadelphia, 1681
The familiar trembling slid its slippery fingers through Bridget’s stomach and into her throat. Philippe galloped ahead into the meadow beyond the cornfield. She struggled to catch her breath. “D-don’t go into the meadow. It is not part of Whisper Wood. It’s dangerous!”
Ignoring her warning, Philippe urged the black gelding over the low wooden fence and plunged ahead. “The sow is probably down in the hollow by the river. Follow me.”
Twelve-year-old Bridget halted her horse, and the mare reared as the girl slipped off. Her heart churned, and the heaving threatened to surface once again. “No, Philippe. Come back! It’s . . . it’s sc-scary down there.” She bent over and waited for the sensation to stop.
She could hear him thrashing through the brush on the riverbank as he searched for the sow and her piglets. Then he emerged from the oak trees that lined the Schuylkill River, a wide grin spreading over his face.
“I was right. The sow has found a place for her piglets down on the riverbank and is burrowed in. I’ll need to get the wagon and bring it back to—” He reined his horse in beside her. “What’s wrong, mistress? Are you ill?” He dismounted and held the reins in his hands, staring at her.
“I don’t like this place.”
Philippe looked around. “I see nothing to cause you this kind of extreme alarm.”
Tears formed in Bridget’s eyes, and she brushed them away with the back of her gloved hand.
I can hardly wait for my copy to come. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you for dropping by, Golden.
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