Friday, June 29, 2012
Recently, I sat down and had an interview with CBD....here it is: What was your inspiration to write the Justice Seekers Series? If you read the papers, watch the news, or listen to the radio, you hear story after story about injustices. Social. Legal. Human. It literally breaks my heart. I had the opportunity to sit in a local federal courthouse during three different trials. In each instance, I personally found a witness or someone who came across as untruthful. I realized that in every profession, even legal and law enforcement, shortcuts can and are taken in the rush for a conviction. How much of the story comes from personal experience? A vast amount of everything I write is personal. In To Write A Wrong, I was able to pull much of the emotional impact of the story from events in my own life, in my own family. It’s hard to sit and watch people lie about people you love. How much research did To Write a Wrong take? Luckily, I had great friends who are in “the system” as parole board judges, lawyers, and law enforcement, not to mention my friends who are in the medical field and those who have spent time in prison. Every time I asked my relentless and pointed questions, they were only too happy to take the time to give me very in-depth answers and explanations. I do preliminary interviews with my sources, then keep a running list of questions that come up as I’m actually writing that I usually ask once a week or so. Why do you choose to write in the romantic/suspense genre? I write what I love to read…it’s funny. I get a lot of emails and snail mail from readers who love, love, love the romance aspect of my stories, then I get almost the same number of contacts from those who prefer the heavier suspense and lighter romance. I don’t ever consider a “balance” requirement-I write it as the story calls for it. What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing To Write a Wrong? One thing that was really cool to me was learning about the “remote” parole hearings done over monitors. That is so cool…yeah, it’s the odd things that impress me. LOL I don’t know if I’d say this was interesting, but one of the most disheartening facts I learned was how many innocent people are convicted and sent to prison, only years later for forensic science to advance enough to prove that person innocent. To me, this is horrible and inconceivable. It’s become my personal opinion that we don’t have a justice system-we have a legal system. What are some of the challenges you face as an author? The ever-changing industry is always a challenge for any writer. Back when I completed a Writer’s Digest novel class in the late 90s, there wasn’t even a hint of an e-reader on the horizon. Now, everyone has one (including me, my husband, and two of my daughters). The explosion of e-books is just an example of the changes in the industry. To me, that’s the biggest challenge. What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most? Hands down, the best part of being a writer for me is when I receive an email or letter from someone who informs me that a story I wrote changed their life, their outlook on an issue, or renewed their faith in some way. THAT’s why I write! What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing? I can attribute ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) for helping me on my writing journey. I learned so much about the craft from their online courses and conferences, and the open and giving attitude of the members. And I wouldn’t have met and become great friends with my mentor, Colleen Coble. What new projects are on the horizon? Speaking of Colleen Coble—we’re working on a brand new series in a co-author venture together—Rock Harbor Search and Rescue series. The kids of Rock Harbor get wrapped up in mysteries in this age-appropriate youth mystery series based on Colleen's best-selling Rock Harbor series. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are on writing this. Thomas Nelson will release the first book in April 2013, with the 2nd book releasing in the fall of 2013. What message would you like your readers to take from reading the Justice Seekers series? One of the messages I learned during research and in personal trials…don’t be so quick to judge. Sometimes the truth isn’t what it seems, and often, VERY often, there are layers of interpretation of what is consider just. I hope that after reading each book in the Justice Seekers series, the reader will be changed in some way. The third book in the series, Strand of Deception, releases in February 2013 and takes a medical bent on my romantic suspense. It’s one of my favorite storylines. What is your greatest achievement? Hmm, that’s hard because I hope I haven’t acquired it yet! What do you do to get away from it all? I have always been able to lose myself in story, so naturally, I read a lot to get away from everything. I’ve learned that I can’t ever just “do nothing” or I’d go insane. LOL I love spending time with my family and that’s probably when I’m at my most relaxed.