Her short story, The Quilting Contest, was Historical Fiction Winner of Family Fiction’s “The Story” national contest. Her novella, The Substitute Bride was a 2016 Maggie Award published finalist for Romance Novellas. Grand Exposé was a 2014 Maggie Award honorable mention for a novel set on Mackinac Island (now entitled My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring, Barbour, July 2017). All three of her Christy Lumber Camp books were long list finalists for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year and The Fruitcake Challenge was a Selah Award finalist. Her novel, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (White Rose/Pelican, June, 2016) received a Starred Review by RT Book Reviews.
What is your favorite place to write? Do you ever write on the go?
My fave place is on my back deck, looking out on my parklike back yard. I also sometimes write in a back room that we use as an office. I rarely write anything on the go because it requires ALL of my concentration to write. I go deep into character, I write in character, I have music and scents that go with my story world, it is a whole experience while I am writing!
What period of history interests you the most? Does this influence your writing?
I love both colonial and turn of the century the most. So much was happening during these time periods. I think both were so full of CHANGE and excitement.
What was the hardest part of writing “Dime Novel Suitor” in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order?
What was the easiest?
Not being from Kansas, not having any connections to the place, not having any context to it was hard. I prefer to have a connection (like living in Virginia/Michigan and having ancestors from here and there). The easiest part was writing about the soldiers coming through. I loved doing that and I had a real sense of them.
Do you ever have a specific music playlist for when you are writing? If so, what are some songs you had on your playlist for “Dime Novel Suitor” in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order? If not, do you like complete silence when you are writing? Or do you like nature noises in the background, etc?
I always have music from the time frame playing in the background when I am writing! I learned this from Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck during one of the ACFW conferences. It is super important to get yourself into the mood. For this story, I had Civil War Era music playing. In particular, I love Timothy Seaman’s recordings. He’s from Williamsburg, Virginia, and I’ve heard him play many years ago on his dulcimer. I alternate between his music, YouTube from the era, and also Danny Gokey almost always has a contemporary song that fits my heroine’s or hero’s journey. For this one it was – Tell Your Heart to Beat Again.
Question: When you look at your own family’s genealogy do you see lots of siblings or just a few?
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