Question #1: What made you want to become an author?
When I became a born again Christian, I asked God… “What can I do for You?” Since I’d run out of Christian books to read (over 100 by Grace Livingston Hill) I decided to write my own. My first book was bid on by three large Christian publishers. I went with Fleming Revell (later Baker Book House) where I received two 2-book contracts. I wrote for them: Forbidden Legacy, Captured Heart, Dangerous Illusions, and Stolen Heritage.
Question #2: What genre of books do you write?
31 of my books are Christian historical westerns. One book is a 1900 romance.
Question #3: How long have you been writing books?
Thirty years, but with a twenty two year hiatus. My first book was published in 1988 last was 1993. I then took 22 years off, in order to work full time. After retirement I wrote 28 more books from 2015 to 2017. I’m still writing.
Question #4: Are you self-published or traditionally published? And tell us why you chose either.
Both. My first 4 books were traditionally published, and since 2015 self-published, which I prefer. Self publishing enables me to put books out quicker, freedom of content, and I can better promote them. I enjoy complete control over content and cover.
Question #5: What’s the best tip you can give to a new author?
If you want to be traditionally published go to a writer’s convention and meet the publishers, that’s how I sold my first book. I sent my first book to every Christian publisher and they all were returned with rejection slips. I went to a Christian Writer’s convention and three of the same publishers who sent rejection slips, bid for the book. When you mail a manuscript to a publisher it goes into a slosh pile that generates rejections. The only way around it is to have your manuscript passed through the slosh pile by writing to the publisher, telling them about the book, and get a special address to send the manuscript. It is then a solicited manuscript.
Best tips for self-publishing: Join a lot of FB groups, start a FB group, get a professional cover artist, hire an editor and proofreader, upload to Amazon.
Question #6: What’s your writing routine like?
I manage my fan group, edit, and work on my audiobook versions during the day. I can’t write during the day because there is too much going on around me. I write from 8 pm to about 1 am. I write on Word, on a Mini Mac. I don’t have a specific number of words I write a day…I go with the flow. When the flow is good I can write several 7 page chapters. Some night the flow is not as good and I just write as much as I can. I never force it. When it’s there, write it; when it’s not…don’t.
Question #7: What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
One reviewer said they’ve started to think more about God after reading Shadow of Storm, that’s a great review. Another who read that book said she’d come back to God and church since she’d been harboring guilt for past sins but now, knowing God can wipe her slate clean, came back. Reviews like that make my day. Not all my books have a distinct Christian message like my Shadow Series, some just have people who pray and go to church–but all have romance. My Shadow series is probably the most inspirational of all my books. I’ve had great feedback on them. Even the books without as much inspiration give the same message: sex before marriage is sinful, and sex after marriage will be blessed.
Bonus Question: Why should a reader want to read your book?
If a reader wants to escape reality, travel to the old west, experience the thrill of a clean romance, edged with morals and inspiration as well as adventure, my books will please. Experience, bank robberies, kidnapping, gunfights, and riveting but clean romantic situations.