Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write historicals because I love this country, and I have enormous respect and awe for the pioneers who left every comfort behind and braved the wilderness with nothing more than they could carry on a packhorse or in a wagon. And I write inspirational books because I love the Lord and want everyone to know the joy I've found in my personal relationship with Him.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Oh wow! How do you choose one day out of sooooooo many. If I have to choose one, it will be the day my husband and I became parents.
How has being published changed your life?
It's made it a LOT busier! And it's forced me into coming out of my comfortable 'shy shell.'
What are you reading right now?
I'm reading Women and Indians on the Frontier, 1825 -1915. It is research for my new book.
What is your current work in progress?
There are two young daughters in both of my first two published historicals, Beauty for Ashes and Joy for Mourning. I have written the stories of three of those now adult young women for Love Inspired Historical. I am currently working on the story of the fourth daughter.
What would be your dream vacation?
A secluded log cabin on a horse ranch in the mountains with all my family along...and my laptop, of course.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
When I am writing a historical the story chooses the setting. For example the story I just sent my editor (the third story of those I mentioned above) takes place on a wagon train going to Oregon country. Therefore, the story begins in Independence, Missouri, and follows the real Oregon trail to its destination. I have to be true to history.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I would enjoy spending an evening with Governor Sarah Palin. In my opinion she has lived her faith under very difficult conditions and I admire anyone who does that.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I collect antique pewter and red and white transferware dishes. I also collect Charles Wysocki jigsaw puzzles. I loved working jigsaw puzzles with my sisters when I was young, now my husband and I work them together. I can relax when I'm under deadline pressure and just let my mind wander freely fitting together the pieces of the story I am writing while I fit together the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Lately, my biggest obstacle is finding large blocks of uninterrupted time to write. I overcome that by staying up and writing in the silence of the night.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
I know it sounds terribly cliché, but write the book that is in your heart. That is the story that will hold your interest and excitement. In my opinion, writing should be enjoyable.
Tell us about the featured book.
Prairie Courtship is the wagon train story I referred to above. But it has a 'twist' to it. The story takes place in 1841, a time when most men sneered at the idea of a woman doctor. Emma Allen finds that to be true when she pursues her lifelong dream to follow in her Papa Doc's footsteps and join him in his medical practice in Philadelphia. But it is when she becomes the only person with any medical training and experience on Zachary Thatcher's wagon train to Oregon country that she realizes what being a doctor really means---and just how much it can cost.
Please give us the first page of the book.
That was not Josiah Blake's voice. Emma Allen turned the direction of the barked order, stiffened at sight of an imposing figure atop a roan with distinctive spots on its hindquarters. So the autocratic Mr. Thatcher had returned to take command. She had hoped his absence since their arrival at Independence had meant he would not be leading the wagon train after all.
Brass buttons on the front of the once dark-blue tunic that stretched across the ex-soldier’s shoulders gleamed dully in the early morning light. Pants of lighter-blue fabric skimmed over his long legs and disappeared into the knee-high, black boots jammed into his stirrups. He rode forward, began to wend his way through the wagons scattered over the field.
Emma frowned and stepped out of sight at the back of the wagon. Mr. Thatcher did not need to wear the faded-blue cavalry uniform, stripped now of any army insignia, to remind people he had been a military officer. It was in his bearing. And in the penetrating gaze of the bright-blue eyes that peered out from beneath his broad-brimmed hat. Eyes that looked straight at a person, noticed everything about her—including a lace-trimmed silk gown that was inappropriate garb for an emigrant. Eyes that had unfairly impaled her on their spike of disapproval at that first meeting in St. Louis when he had simply assumed she was William’s wife and would be accompanying him on the journey to Oregon country—and judged her accordingly. Had the man bothered to ask, she would have informed him William was her brother and that she was not traveling with the train.
But that was before everything in their lives turned upside down.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I may be found at http://www.dorothyjclark.com/ or firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find me on http://www.goodreads.com/
Thank you, Dorothy, for spending this time with us.
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