What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Writing 11 books! Scratch that—raising three children to adulthood. They are definitely what I am most proud of.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
We lived in the country and I spent a lot of time alone, which was good fuel for my imagination. I also read constantly, since books were my companions.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes, since I was a teenager I wanted to tell my grandmother’s story because she had such an interesting life. I finally did in my book Gathering Bittersweet.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for almost 30 years now. That includes books, articles, blogs, and ghostwriting.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Children’s fairy tale/ fantasy. I can let my imagination run wild and say the truly important things. It’s easy and fun for me. When I’ve been working on something difficult like a commentary or a mystery, I take a break and write a children’s story. It’s very refreshing!
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
Barbara Kingsolver hugely influenced me after I’d written several novels. After reading her descriptive work, I went back over my books and added a flourish that she inspired.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Sticking with it. I love beginning a novel. Coming up with the idea is my favorite part, but somewhere in the middle it gets really hard. It’s often difficult to keep the momentum going. I’d rather just come up with a new idea. So, I have to discipline myself to stay with it.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Of course! I just determine to keep going. I get something down, even if I have to go back and rewrite it the next day. Or sometimes I take a few days off and do something entirely different. Often I can then return with a fresh perspective.
Ella is a bored, inner-city girl trying to fill the long, monotonous days of her summer vacation. As she keeps a promise to her mother to clean the cellar, she discovers a crumbling brick behind an old trunk. Even though it’s raining outside, sunlight pours through the opening. Intrigued, she chips away at the brick to find the source of the light. To her astonishment, she finds another land beyond her cellar wall, gripped in the freshness of spring.
In the land of Neo, she makes new, unusual friends, discovers breathtaking beauty, and learns of Kosmeo who will guide and direct her during all of her adventures. She discovers Kosmeo has brought her here for a purpose. Princess Onyma must choose a suitor who will eventually rule all of Neo. Many of the citizens of Neo are threatened during this perilous time of choice between good and evil. Can Ella save this beautiful kingdom from disaster? THE CRUMBLING BRICK is told in the tradition of C. S. Lewis’s and George MacDonald’s fairy tales.
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Genre – Fairy tale, Fantasy
Rating – G