Tell us about your newest book.
My debut book, “The Right Ingredients” is a contemporary romance about a shy, hard-working baker whose carefully constructed life of safety becomes gradually shaken loose and transformed by love and faith. It tackles some deep issues, as well as celebrates the way God guides the main character Ann, into a faith relationship. And of course, there is a romance in it, too!
What are two things you have learned during writing and publishing?
In writing, I’ve learned so much about tightening up my writing. In the beginning, I wrote in a rather conversational style, or what is often known as lazy writing! I’d had no idea I was a lazy writer, since what I wrote before was almost always short, inspired bursts of poetry or song lyrics. But a novel is a different animal altogether. I still have much to learn!
With the publishing experience, so far I’ve learned there is a tremendous amount of self-promotion and marketing to learn. These are things that don’t come naturally to me. I love the challenge of writing, but I’m an introvert, and the social media stuff and self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to me. But, I’m stubborn enough to keep plugging away at learning it, though it’s such new terrain.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I got my first contract! Before that, I considered myself someone who liked to write. The surprise was that a publisher liked my writing enough to contract it. So, after that I thought of myself as a writer.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I wanted to show how gentle and loving God is. I think all believers are familiar with how we get tested and challenged, in order to grow, but I think sometimes we forget how gentle His hand can be. I wanted to show how he opens a person’s heart, much the same way He coaxes a flower to open through just the right conditions. Hence, this story, “The Right Ingredients.”
What books have influenced your life most?
The Bible, of course. After that, I’d say as a child it was the “Little House” books and “Little Women.” Later on, “The Grapes of Wrath” had a huge impact on me, as did many classics by other writers, especially Shakespeare. How I love the way he expressed the inner workings of human beings. Fascinating.
Do you have any other works in progress you can share with the readers?
I have a women’s fiction novella set during the dust bowl, which comes out next spring. I also have two historical romances which I’m waiting to hear if they will be picked up for publication. One is set in the 1890’s, the other in the 1970’s.
Right now I’m working on a romance set in the 1920’s, as well as a fantasy/speculative fiction story a bit similar to Tolkien or C.S. Lewis. I love to write in various genres, and have an idea for a children’s story as well. Writing is such an adventure!
Thanks for interviewing me, Mary!
Nancy, it's a joy to have you on "Behind Every Story," may your writing be blessed as you travel your journey. Tell the readers where they can find you.
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