I started writing professionally in 1984 while in graduate school. I have always written. If not on paper, I’m writing something in my head. I can’t remember a time when I was not writing. I believe that some people are called to write. I’m one of them.
It's been described as direct and breezy. For my nonfiction in particular I strive to use as few words as possible to make a point. I’m a fan of William Zinsser’s On Writing Well. I learned much about cutting the fat by reading his book.
I attended a Christian writer’s workshop at the Billy Graham conference center, The Cove, outside Asheville, N.C. in 2003 that changed my self-concept. It made me realize that I had been waiting for years for someone to call me a writer, to validate my gift. I am a writer because God designed me to be one, not because someone says I am.
The Bible, of course. Beyond the Word of God, there are three. The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, for their charm, human interest, and physical descriptions. Zinsser’s book, as mentioned—it forever shaped my writing. And in high school I read Up From Slavery, by Booker T. Washington. He inspired me greatly because he believed so much in the rightness of being true to himself. He simply would not be denied what God had granted him as a creature made in his image. Booker T. would not give up.
No. Well, maybe. As a Christian romance writer you tend to write with an imaginary Christian censor on your shoulder. It’s terribly constricting. Next time I’ll tell him to shut up. But overall I’m happy with the text, and I LOVE the covers of all three books. I was literally jumping up and down when I first opened up the graphic file the artist sent me for Crazy Woman Creek. Piret Mand (of Estonia) is so talented. I cannot say enough about the attractive cover. Really makes the book. Same can be said for the pretty cover of The Lesson, which was created by Tatiana Villa of Indiana. The cover for What to Do When the Blessings Stop – When God Sends Famine, by Reynaldo Licayan of the Philippines wasn’t meant to be pretty; I meant it to send a message. Reynaldo succeeded.
Writing a book requires courage, discipline, and a lot of hard work. I have undying admiration for best-selling fiction writers. They have to keep track of so many parts of the story: multiple characters, themes, plots, subplots, individual ways of speaking, pacing. And they have to entertain.