As seen in the December issue of Uncaged Book Reviews.
Uncaged: You write sweet and inspirational romances, what inspired Secret Angel? Can you tell the readers more about your books?
Secret Angel is set in Glen Arbor, my favorite town in Michigan. My family and I spent several summers vacationing in a cottage on Little Glen Lake, and I have many fond memories of my time spent there with friends and family. One summer, my cousin and I decorated the cottage for Christmas. We’d always dreamt of spending Christmas up north at the lake. Therefore, it seemed only natural for me to choose the area as the location for a sweet, hometown Christmas story.
I love sharing my favorite places with readers, and weaving a bit of my own family’s history throughout the tale. For example, Love’s Full Circle takes place in Denver, Colorado, home of my favorite football team. And a lot of the buildings and dorms in The Fearful Heart bear my family’s surnames. Each book mentions the Church of God, where my dad was a pastor.
Uncaged: This is our holiday issue – can you tell us of some of your holiday traditions and some things you love to do during the Christmas season?
Every Christmas morning, my family gathers at my parents’ house for a big brunch. After everyone has stuffed themselves with eggs, bacon, sausage, homemade biscuits and gravy, and pancakes, we exchange gifts. Like clockwork, the cats attempt to swat ornaments off the tree, and roll around in the ripped wrapping paper, scattering it across the floor. And of course, my dad has plenty of his famous sour cream cookies on hand for all to enjoy!
Uncaged: What or who influences your writing the most?
I grew up reading the inspirational romances in the Serenade/Serenata series published by Zondervan Publishing House in my hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The stories were clean and entertaining. When I sat down to begin writing my own stories, I knew I wanted to follow in those authors’ footsteps and write sweet romance.
Uncaged: As a reviewer, I’m always curious as to what authors can take away from the reviews, do you read them and what do you take away from the reviews?
Yes. I read them. It’s interesting to see how the story resonates with each reviewer. One reader told me that her faith was strengthened because of the Bible verses interlaced in my stories. It was a humbling experience for sure!
Uncaged: Can you tell us what you have coming up next?
I’m busy writing a sequel to Secret Angel. It’s a Valentine’s Day-themed story.
Uncaged: Where do you come up with your characters and their names? How much do you pull from people you know?
When I choose characters for my stories, I first decide on the hero and heroine. Then I build their social circles with fun, quirky, and combative characters that influence them along the way. As far as naming the characters, I either search the internet, or thumb through baby name books. Sometimes I might use a variation of a name of someone I know. For example, I might use Dev instead of Deb.
Uncaged: What is your favorite parts about being an author? What have you found to be the least favorite?
My favorite part of the writing process is creating characters and scenes. I have to admit that it’s been fun living vicariously through my characters! The least favorite part of the writing process for me is marketing. I’d much rather spend my time writing.
Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
When I have time, I enjoy reading romance and mystery books. I also like to scrapbook, go on day trips with my husband, and bake. At Christmastime, I make lots of pistachio bread. Yum!
Uncaged: I know that my favorites change as I read more and more books, but was the last book you loved? The last book you wanted to throw against a wall (good or bad)?
I’m a little biased, but my husband’s book, The Tome, is pretty good! I haven’t read a book lately that’s made me want to throw it against a wall. Although, I’ve wanted to read the Pretty Little Liars books since I was a huge fan of the show. I have no doubt that the books, like the TV show, will get my emotions churning!
Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?
I’d like to thank them for purchasing my books, encouraging me along the way, and for helping to spread the word about my writing. They can follow me on Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, or my blog, Romantic Tales.