The Northwest Christian Writer’s Association has been a powerful influence in my writing life. Not only have I been blessed with wonderful friends there, but the monthly meetings, annual conferences, and Facebook encouragements have kept me improving in my craft, introduced me to editors and agents, and have inspired me to KEEP GOING and try to bring glory to God through my writing.
One of my fellow NCWA members, Denica McCall, invited me recently to participate in a new idea, the “blog hop.” She gave me four questions, which she has also answered on her blog, here: http://denicamccall.com/2014/06/16/interview-with-a-writer-blog-hop/. Please “hippity hop” over to her blog, too! She herself is linked back to Lorna Faith’s blog, who is linked to . . . You get the idea. You might discover some great books to check out, or blogs that you might want to follow!
Here we go with question #1:
1. What are you working on?
Since I am on summer vacation from my elementary school library job, I am working intensively on several writing projects. They are in very different stages, so when I get tired of one, I can “hippity hop” over to the other one and feel a renewed sense of motivation. One project is the rough draft of the third book in the Sophie Topfeather series (Book one, Bon Voyage, Sophie Topfeather, is due to be published by the UK company, Sunpenny Publishing, March 2015). This third book is a gold rush train adventure! Sophie and Timley Mouse have learned that their beloved Park is going to be bull-dozed and turned into urban villages unless the City comes up with enough money to save it. My owl and mouse friends think they have found the answer to all their troubles when they see a poster advertising a “Get Rich Quick” gold rush. Too bad they don’t know what the word, “re-enactment,” means, and really too bad that Sophie is accused of committing murder on the very first night of the trip! Most of all, it’s really, really too bad that they forget all about asking Sky Painter for help until it’s almost too late. . . .
The second project is one I’ve been mulling over for years, but I am in serious research mode right now. It’s a young adult novel set in 1600s Japan (by the way, never tell God that you’ll “never” do something–I always knew I would “never” blog, and “never” write a YA novel). Tokugawa Ieyasu has become the supreme Shogun of Japan, and to insure that nothing threatens his power, he expels almost all the foreigners out of Japan and all of the missionaries. The novel will explore the fate of one young woman, a maid at an inn, who hears the gospel from a traveling priest just before he is kicked out of Japan, and how it changes–and challenges–her very life.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
My work differs in that it strives to point others to the God of the Bible without being didactic.
3. Why do you write what you do?
My writing all stems from the time when I lived in Japan and was asked to teach an interfaith religion class to second graders at an international school. I was so moved by the children of different faith backgrounds who jumped up to ask me whether or not the Bible stories I read were true; they were the only stories that prompted such a reaction. Then, after 9-11, my 5-year-old daughter had a playground argument over “whose God is biggest.” That’s when I knew that kids thought about religion but had no means to learn more about each other, and that’s when I started writing the Sophie Topfeather books.
4. How does your writing process work? Very scattered and hit and miss, and different for every book! I usually have “sign posts” outlined of what needs to happen by when, and I go from there, writing in big chunks when on school vacations, and focusing mostly on short picture book texts during the school year. Sophie Topfeather started as a strong vision of an owl, back when I was teaching in Japan.