Welcome, Denise. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’ve heard it said it’s almost impossible to write a character that doesn’t reflect at least a little bit of the author’s personality, so I guess all my characters have bits and pieces of me. And maybe some of them reflect qualities that I might have had … had I been raised differently, or lived in a different time, or … been a man. Haha.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I need to get better at quirky. Unique? Now that I can answer. For a number of years, I led a mid-1800s vintage dance group. It was beautiful and fun, and showing up in a hoop skirt always took people by surprise. However, I was always puzzled by the people who asked if I was Amish.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
At age eleven. My parents took me all over the Southeast to historic sites when I was growing up. My active imagination wondered what kind of people lived in those beautiful old homes and quaint towns. I started bringing spiral-bound notebooks with me and scribbling stories in the back seat. I would read them to my mom, who encouraged me to continue writing.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy classics, contemporary romantic suspense, historical romance, and Christian non-fiction titles that help me grow closer to God.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I start each morning with a cup of coffee, my Bible, and prayer time. Beyond that, I try to keep things organized and as balanced as possible. With all the big life changes happening in the next year for me, I’m holding tight to my calendar with one hand and God’s hand with the other. I get the feeling that calendar might fly out the window at certain points! LOL
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Choosing a character’s name is always easier for my contemporary stories. I just go by whatever I feel reflects the character. For a historical, I research names popular to the time period, the location, and the ethnicity, as well as considering whether the moniker reflects the individual’s personality.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Definitely raising my two daughters, Emily and Abigail. Emily is twenty, a student at the
soon to apply
to the PharmD program, and engaged to be married in December to a fine young
man serving our country in the Army. Abigail is a high school senior who plans
to attend University
of Georgia to study child psychology.
Most importantly, both girls are seeking God’s will for their lives. Lee University
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a dog, since they seem to get the most love in the world. I sure love my cockapoo, Lucy.
What is your favorite food?
Cheesecake, coffee, or chocolate, or something that combines all three.
That sounds yummy right now. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
When I was just starting out, a brand-new publisher committed to put out my Georgia Gold Series (which ended up being four books). Book one had barely come out when the publisher folded. The situation put everyone in a financial, social, and emotional disaster. I had to work directly with the printer for a while. I learned a lot during that time, but mostly, I had to come to a point where I surrendered my writing to God. To let Him know I was willing to do something else if He wanted. Eventually, I found another publisher, and I knew that was the path forward. So I’d say, even when everything crumbles, surrender, but don’t despair.
Very good advice. Tell us about the featured book.
The Witness Tree is about a Moravian marriage of convenience that leads to an adventure in 1805
Past betrayal has turned John Kliest’s passion to his work as a builder and surveyor in the Moravian town of
Now, to satisfy the elders’ edict and fulfill his mission in North Carolina ,
he needs a bride. But the one woman qualified to record the Cherokee language
longs for a future with his younger brother. Cherokee Territory
Clarissa Vogler’s dream of a life with Daniel Kliest is shattered when she is chosen by lot to marry his older brother and venture into the uncharted frontier. Can she learn to love this stoic man who is now her husband? Her survival hinges on being able to trust him—but they both harbor secrets.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Late August, 1805
“You have received a marriage proposal.”
At Susanna Stotz’s whispered words, Clarissa Vogler almost dropped her paintbrush into the carpet of lush grass. Her heart thundered with so much excitement it was easy to act surprised. “I have?”
She couldn’t see the middle-aged woman’s face because of the way she stood, blocking Clarissa’s light as she painted the women at work in the garden of the Single Sisters’ House. But Susanna could read Clarissa’s expressions with ease, so she widened her eyes. “Who asked for my hand?”
She wasn’t supposed to already know the answer to her question. In their faith, a man ready to wed told his choir helper—his spiritual advisor—followed by the elders. They counseled and prayed, then, based on biblical principles, consulted the lot—slips of paper in a jar that read yes, no, or were left blank, indicating the encouragement to wait. Only if the lot offered a yes from God did the intended bride receive a proposal.
Clarissa pressed her fist to her chest, barely noticing the dampness of the paint smudges on her apron. She closed her eyes. Yes. The name of the man who promised her freedom.
**I’ll say this … Clarissa is in for a BIG surprise.
I’m sure she is. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Link to book: The Witness Tree on Amazon
Thank you, Denice, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me.
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