I have been telling myself stories for as long as I can remember. When I was in third grade, I started writing them down. First it was a continuing series of stories about a family with four sisters. Then it was an adventure series starring Murphy the Martian. As a college student, I fell in love with Jane Austen in my literature classes, and later discovered romances at the local library. Writing romances just seemed natural. There’s nothing more rewarding as a writer than helping your characters find their happily-ever-afters.
2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I have been published for over eleven years. I sold my first book in October, 1996. I remember the day I got the call. It was around noon and I was slicing lettuce for tacos.
3. How do you handle rejections?
I expect rejection. I’m actually surprised when I’m not rejected. I’m the kind of person who just expects some amount of doom, I guess, which makes rejection oddly earlier to deal with.
4. Why do you write?
I love being transported into a story. I love stories.
5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
I would be reading. I used to constantly have a book in my hand. Since my time is limited, reading these days is a luxury. Also, I would have a very large rose garden. I might even be able to scrapbook, rubberstamp, knit and cross-stitch regularly again!
6. What are you working on right now?
I’m starting a new family series for Love Inspired. The Grangers of Wyoming are hard-working ranching folk. I’m loving this family. I’m also working on series 4 of the McKaslin Clan.
7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
I think it’s impossible not to. I think my sense of humor comes through (for better or worse) and my love of close families and a small-town way of life.
8. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you believe in. Write from your heart. I think it’s such an uncertain business that we are always looking for advice and guidance, which can be wonderful and make all the difference. But always take care to nurture your unique voice and your vision.
9. How important is faith in your books?
Very important. I try to write books about faithful heroines who are trying to walk the right path, make right choices and find true love along the way. True love ought to happen to nice girls, and in my books it always does.
10. What themes do you like to write about?
The bonds of family, overcoming tragedy, and the obtainable dream of true love.
11. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
There’s something that is my favorite in every book I’ve written, which makes picking one very difficult. But if I had to choose just one, it would be my July 08 release from Love Inspired Historicals, High Country Bride. The story and the characters were extra special to me. I don’t know why, but the characters touched me a little more deeply than usual.
12. What is your writing schedule like?
I work five to six days a week, from 6 am to 6 pm. Sometimes longer.
13. For Love Inspired you write for both the regular line and the historical line. Which one do you like to do the most and why?
I could never choose, which isn’t fairly answering your question! I love the historical line because I love traveling back in time to 1880s Montana to the town of Angel Falls and the characters I have met there. I adore Love Inspired because of all the families I have been able to write about and the characters I have fallen in love with. It’s a tie.