I've known Diane for a long time. I'm glad to welcome her to the blog. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I think anyone who knows me will hear traces of my voice in my books. And while I’m not Annie in The Runaway Pastor’s Wife, there’s a lot of me in her. I think it’s our life experiences that make the best writing, so I’ll always surface in one character or another.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I was in my mid-twenties, I was a turtle dove in a Christmas program at our church—in full bird-costume glory. Quirky must be a good look for me because the partridge in the pear tree proposed and we got married.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Senior year of high school. My Creative Writing teacher, Mrs. Bullock, told me I had “quite a gift.” For a freckle-faced redhead who'd never been a stand-out in anything, I was thrilled. I only wish I’d listened to her and stayed with it. But in this “second chapter” of my life, it’s been such a blast to rediscover this long-forgotten passion.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Show me a bookshelf and I’ll always reach first for a well-written novel with colorful, interesting characters. I steer clear of vulgar language or graphic writing, so I lean more toward Christian fiction. I also enjoy biographies and inspirational books by those who’ve walked the walk. Nicole Johnson’s Fresh-Brewed Life is my all-time favorite in that category.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I tune out that run, run, run philosophy and make sure I start the day on my knees in prayer. It’s amazing how quickly the world and its antics fade into the background when you start your day with Him.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Good question. I have no idea! They just seem to name themselves. I like to stay away from weird or bizarre names because as a reader, I don’t like being tripped up page after page with names I can’t pronounce. But that’s just me.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My marriage of thirty years to the love of my life and our two amazing kids. They’re both grown and successful and happy. Pretty darn proud of both of them!
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Well, I do have this thing for flying pigs and what they represent. But there’s just something wrong with thinking of oneself as a form of pork, don’t you think?
What is your favorite food?
You didn’t leave me enough space here,
But if I have to narrow it down to just one, I suppose it would be
exceptionally good Mexican food. No, wait. My cheesecake. Although my
grandmother’s carrot cake is legendary . . .
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The Gatekeepers – traditional publishers, editors, and agents. For almost fifteen years, I played the game, spent thousands of dollars I didn’t have going to conferences, submitting my brains out, only to receive those lovely rejection letters over and over. I had to have their approval, their “legitimacy” to be a published author, right? No! This year I discovered the
New World of self-publishing and proved
them all wrong. I’ve never had so much fun in all my life! I’ve been in the top
five Christian fiction bestsellers on Kindle for almost a month now, often in
that coveted #1 slot. Every day I watch my sales numbers soar. If readers buy
and love my books, doesn’t THAT make me a successful author? Just sayin’ . . .
Tell us about the featured book?
The Runaway Pastor’s Wife actually evolved from a series of counseling sessions. I was in full-blown menopause hell when my husband lost his job on staff at a large metropolitan church in
He handled it with so much grace. Me? Not so much. Long story short, my
counselor knew I loved to write and suggested I start writing a book as a form
of therapy. Almost without thought, the plotline came to me: a pastor’s wife
who runs away from home . . . Since the book came out, I’ve lost count of how
many pastors’ wives have told me they’d had that urge many, many times. Fascinating.
I guess God needed me to write for them too. Florida
Please give us the first page of the book.
There’s a Prologue that takes a peek back into Annie’s past, but I chose to give you the first page of Chapter 1 instead.
The Runaway Pastor’s Wife: Chapter 1/First Page
Annie McGregor felt the heat of impatience creep up her neck as she clutched the steering wheel, the cell phone cradled against her shoulder. “Because I can’t be there. I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to manage without me.”
“Well, calling Tuesday morning is rather short notice, don’t you think?”
Annie bristled. “Fran, I know it’s short notice. Something has come up and I simply can’t make it to Bible study this morning.” Glancing over her shoulder, she merged into the flow of traffic entering the
irritated at the obstinacy on the other end of the line. Didn’t “assistant”
mean you assisted when necessary? Tampa
“What’s wrong, Annie? You sound upset.”
Fran’s tone iced through her veins. “I’m not upset! But I don’t think I should have to explain myself just because I can’t be there. You’ll do fine without me. Run the video then break them into their small groups. It’s not that hard, Fran.”
“Are you sick? Is one of the kids sick? Is it David? Is something wrong?”
Here we go again. All the questions. The constant prying. Why does everyone think they’re entitled to know my every thought and action? Annie took a deep breath, willing herself to calm down. Fran wasn’t a beast. She meant well. “Look Fran, I can’t be there. Can we just leave it at that?” She cringed at the hypocritical tone of her own voice.
“Annie, what’s gotten into you? You’ve been so irritable lately. And I don’t mind telling you, I’m not the only one who thinks so.”
“Fine. I’m irritable. I’m crabby. I’m obnoxious. So sue me.”
She snapped the phone off and tossed it toward her purse in the passenger seat. Annie bit her lower lip to dam the flood of tears, desperate to keep her appearance intact until she walked through the door of Christine’s cabin in
. Catching her reflection in the
rearview mirror, she was startled by the angry woman looking back at her. Tiny
red lines laced roadmaps across tired brown eyes, normally warm and smiling.
With her thick hair pulled back into a long pony tail, her face looked pale
despite an earlier dash of make-up, her lips pinched in an absurd scowl.
Disgusted, she muttered a growl and pressed her foot harder against the
accelerator as she flew through the ribbons of traffic approaching the airport
Seated on the plane two hours later, Annie reached into her purse to turn off her cell phone. The special cell pocket was empty. She panicked, digging through the rest of her bag. Nothing. Mentally back-tracking her morning, her shoulders sagged in disbelief when she remembered tossing it toward her purse in the van, but apparently not into her purse. The tiny gadget was most likely resting between the passenger seat and door.
Wow! I can't wait to get my copy. How can readers find you on the Internet?Visit my website at www.dianemoody.net
Thank you, Diane, for the interesting visit.
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Kindle edition: The Runaway Pastor's Wife
Print edition: The Runaway Pastor's Wife
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