What is your mission as a Christian writer?
I aim to show you how much God loves you, that His love is truly unconditional, and that there’s nothing you can do to chase Him away. You are uniquely gifted, made in His image, and deserve honor, love, and respect. My hope is that my stories make you wonder how the issues and answers you read about might pertain to you own life.
I’m so deeply touched when readers tell me how my stories have ministered to them, and reminded them how deeply loved they are.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Never. Give. Up.
We get distracted by how well others are doing, the opportunities they get that we don’t, and figure it’s not to be for us. But each writer’s journey is unique, just as your stories are unique, and you sidetrack your own success when you expect your path to look like someone else’s. There will be many roadblocks along the way, times when you’re sure you’ll never reach your goal, but if you stay focused on your path, it will happen. So stay focused, embrace the learning process, and never give up.
Are there questions you seek to answer throughout each book?
The questions for each book vary based on the storyline. What are the characters wrestling with? What are their goals? How do they need to change to become stronger, healthier, happier people? And always I hope that my readers come away with a sense of how much God loves and delights in each of us.
Christian fiction continues to flourish. What would you like to see happen in the field?
I hope it will far surpass other genres, so more and more people turn toward God as they read and relate to stories of redemption, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
Tell us about your current work.
I’m developing a series called My Father’s House that deals with adoption, identity, and discovering the meaning of family. Each book will follow one of the sisters on her journey to uncover where she came from and how that impacts her today.
Where do you get your ideas for your plots?
I honestly have no idea where the ideas come from! They have come from a song I heard, a story in the news or something overheard in a coffee shop, or from a character that popped into my head.
Which is your favorite book of those you’ve written?
The one I’ve just finished! At that point, I’ve become very attached to the characters and am still mulling over everything they’ve been through. It takes a while to let go of those people and get into the next book. They’re absolutely real to me while I’m writing the story!
If I HAVE to pick a favorite…I can’t! I was going to say Vanessa and Kurt in Dance of Grace, but Keira and Peter were my first characters. Then I fell in love with Marti and Sam and all the struggles they encountered. And I’ve loved the relationship that took so long to develop between Minnie and Jackson, and still think about the seniors of Open Circle.
Which book was the hardest to write?
The Color of Truth was most difficult because I never intended for there to be a series. I struggled to get to know Marti and her issues, and really had to drag that story out of me. Once I did, I loved it!
What made you decide to write about a supermodel, or a young woman with a physical disability? Or an ex-con, for that matter?
I know nothing about any of that, and have no clue why it’s who those characters needed to be, but I’ve loved learning about them. I got to interview a woman who has modeled most of her life, learn about prostheses, and imagine how it would feel to lose my freedom and then have it restored. I didn’t choose their issues, but I enjoyed working through them with each character.
Which character is your favorite?
That’s like asking which of your children is your favorite. They all have endearing qualities, and struggles, and victories that make them my favorite.
What advice would you give a reader who can relate to some of the difficulties your characters face?
Life is so much better lived in community! Share your journey with others when you’re going through trials. There is nothing noble about trying to shoulder all the pain, the responsibility, the problems on your own. We long to help and care for others, but when someone who is suffering shuts us out, it keeps us from reaching out in our own time of need. We were created to live in community, which includes offering, as well as accepting, help. We all have different gifts, abilities, knowledge that is meant to be shared.