Do you remember the first story you wrote? If so, what was it about?
Yes! I was in high school and already planning my career as a happy wife and mother of ten children. That summer I went to an auction and tried to buy a set of china for my hope chest. An antique dealer squashed my babysitting-money-bid first thing. So, my first attempt at a novel was based around that event – with a completely different outcome! (I got the china, the boy, and a home in the Rocky Mountains.)
Every writer has their own personal timeline in which they develop their skills. What was your journey from writing as an educational exercise to writing as a passion?
My journey was long, but wonderful. I basically spent twenty years enjoying writing as a hobby. I studied, practiced, and puttered. I even had several articles published. Then, one day I woke up and thought: You better do this before you get too old to remember the stories. So, I took an online course in writing fiction, and I got busy.
We’ve known each other for about a quarter of a century. I’ve watched you go through highs and lows in your writing journey. Tell us how you have learned to deal with the rejection every writer faces.
At my first writer’s conference in the 1980’s, an editor from Tyndale House told me, “The words on the page are not your flesh and blood. They are just ink.” I’ve tried to remember that when someone says, “No thanks” or “Revise” or “What the heck are you trying to say here?”
What are your 3 favorite books and why?
Hmmm. That is a tough one, but here are three of my favorite novels: A Tale of Two Cities. I love unraveling the language in those long, complicated sentences. It is almost like a puzzle. And the ending is just so beautiful and heart-rending. I think you have to really believe in redemption and in Heaven to enjoy it, though.
Heidi – I know this is a children’s book, but the story of family and relationships crosses all ages. Once again, redemption plays a major role.
The Help – A modern favorite. The first time I read this, I felt I was literally sitting in the kitchen with Abilene, Skeeter, and Minnie during the scene where violence breaks out. I caught myself holding my breath. This one wins for good writing, good story, and a topic that made me think. And pray.
Who are your 3 favorite writers and why?
Serenity Bohon, Felicity White, and Charity Long. Is that cheating since they happen to be my daughters? I also enjoy a little Charles Dickens and some Jane Austen. I am a big fan of Jan Karon’s Mitford series.
Are there new books in the works? Are you still submitting articles to periodicals?
Yes, to the books and the articles. Characters from the next book have been talking to me. They seem eager to get on with their story. And some other novels are waiting their turn. I also plan to submit more articles this year while Thirty Days to Glory is floating around in the world.
Is there a message you would like your readers to take away after reading Thirty Days to Glory?
Prayer works. Relationships matter. We are never too old or too lost to make a change or make a difference.
Thanks, Kathy, for answering all our questions.