Why I Started Writing: I started writing because I wanted to tell entertaining stories. Early in my writing journey, I thought telling a good story was all that mattered. As I became more thoughtful about what I really liked and wanted as a reader, my writing changed. The books and short stories I write are often historical with a strong Christian thread. Entertainment, though important, is not solely at the heart of my stories now. The application of biblical truth in historical settings shares the spotlight. I want to see how my characters grow and change based on the choices they make, and how biblical truth impacts their lives.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me: I have only to see what books I pick up to reread more than twice to know which authors have influenced my thinking about what is good writing. Francine Rivers continues to speak to my heart of faith with her Mark of the Lion and A Lineage of Grace series. Kathleen Y'Barbo's, Millie's Treasure, encourages me to get comfy and enjoy a little steam-punk. Georgette Heyer, though not a Christian writer, shows me how witty and engaging historical romances like The Masqueraders and Simon the Coldheart can be, and Patrick W. Carr's Staff and Sword series has changed my mind about fantasy in general, and Christian fantasy in particular.
Books I Have Written: Dodging Destiny is the first book in the Destiny trilogy. Dodging Destiny is a loose parallel of the story of the Prophet Jonah. I wondered how this story might look in more contemporary times, and what lessons a woman like Lexie Logan, the main character, might learn. Would the lessons change if a time-travel element was added?
I intended to make Dodging Destiny a stand-alone book, but my beta readers were not happy with this decision. They wanted to know what happened to the people Lexie left behind in 1857 so In Search of Destiny, the second book in the trilogy, continues their tales as they travel the Oregon Trail and face the dark days of the Civil War. I wanted to know how Lexie impacted their lives and what decisions they made based on their belief in her knowledge of the future.
What I'm Working On Now: I'm working to finish Following Destiny, the third book in the Destiny trilogy, for release in the Fall or Winter of 2016. Readers wanted to know if the lessons Lexie learned in the past changed her future, or if the fears that caused her to run in the first place continue to hamstring her.
I've also completed the first novel in my Texas trilogy. The book is tentatively titled, Colorado Treasure. The second book in this series, Trouble in Texas, is half-way written, and the third, The Prodigal Returns, is in the research and planning stage. 1894 ― 1914 is the span of this historical trilogy.
Patrick W. Carr's Staff and the Sword and Darkwater Saga suspenseful fantasy series and Robin McKinley's Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast and The Blue Sword were so well-written they caught and held my attention and challenged me to expand my writing muscles. I've always thought of myself as a historical writer, but Carr and McKinley have made me rethink my thinking. I've started a medieval fantasy, The Jindentors and am seriously pleased with how the story has taken shape.