Most of my life, but as an adult, in 2000. Since 2000 when my 8th child was born and people kept asking me, "How do you do it with all those kids." I tried to explain that you only get them one child at a time, but then my overly active imagination went a little wild and I tried to consider just what would happen if a single gal with no experience with children DID inherit eight... and a mother-in-law (grandma) when she didn't even have a husband. EEEP!
Reading. I learned to read just around my 4th birthday, so I hadn't learned to write then. Mom taught me using a Nancy Drew book for reasons I've never understood, and I haven't stopped devouring books since. Writing, however, followed as I realized I could put all the stories in my head on paper. And then when I was 12, I read a book that gave me that, "I want to be a writer" moment. A character in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn told her student, "Tell the truth, write what should have happened," and it killed my frustration with the truth. The truth was never what I thought it should be, but lies were even worse. Writing fixed that.
Our town has a prayer house (that I fictionalized in the book Premeditated Serendipity) where people come in at all hours of the day and night to pray. Volunteers stay here to pray with or for people, to keep the place "watched over"" and prayed over almost 24 hours a day. The 9-5 shift (9 PM to 5 AM) is mine. I have a lovely desk, peace and quiet, and no one cares if I play hymns and sing all night if I want. :)
So many--Pepper Basham knows how to write great humor and inspire me to keep pushing myself to do better. She also gives me great ideas without even meaning to. Cathe Swanson writes the most realistic and interesting characters. Her books are filled with people of all ages and ethnicities. Her children are hilarious, her elderly quirky, and as a mutual friend of ours says, "She writes humor for smart people." There's nothing slapstick or punny about her--just that solid wit that you lay down on the paper and let it do its job without drawing attention to it. Liz Johnson, of course, but mostly because she and I tend to come up with the same generic plot, independent of each other, and then write it in totally different ways. She also creates beautiful characters that you want to sit down and have coffee with. And I don't even like coffee. Susanne Woods Fisher and Michelle Griep both do historical well. They write books that draw you into the setting and let you live there with the characters instead of just unveiling the setting for you to watch. It's rather beautiful. Michelle, in particular, can turn a phrase like nobody's business, and neither of them go overboard with their description. You get all you need to have a rich image without the story being weighed down. And then, of course, Michael Phillips. He is who inspired me to make my fiction Christian. Before I read his work, most Christian fiction I'd read was actually evangelistic fiction and often rather insipid. His was rich, meaty, and made me turn to the Bible to learn more. I liked that.
Well, I have a couple of books by Nicolas Gage given to me by a friend. They're stories of Greek Life--Eleni and something about Ithica. Um... Tulips on the Snow by Liz Tolsma. I need to finish that ASAP because the SoCal convention is coming up and I'd like to talk to her about the series. Robert Falconer by George MacDonald & David Jack(translator), Murder by the Book by Julianna Deering, Running by David Milbrandt, and Habit (audible) by Charles Duhigg--mainly for research for my final book.
The third and final book in the Sight Unseen Series. It's about people who wake up and they have no memory of their prior lives. The first two are None So Blind and Will Not See, and this one is Ties That Blind. Simon Prescott wakes up when the police arrive at his door to inform him that his wife he doesn't remember is dead and he's the prime suspect. So that should come out late June early July.
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