I am an author of contemporary Christian romance novels focusing on the amazing love of Jesus Christ and how His love influences our ability to love one another. I live north of Atlanta, Georgia with my hubby. We are empty nesters as far as children go, but we do support, feed and care for a dog, 2 cats and 2 birds. (Who are at often time way louder than the kids used to be!) I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. So about 12 years ago I started witing novels. Writing for publication is an amazing, crazy journey, but I wouldn’t trade it in at all!
How did you come up with this story? Was there a specific ‘what if’ moment?
My ideas for stories start with the ‘what if’ moment. In this case it was what if there were three friends and two of them started dating, how would the third person feel?
Did anything strange or funny happen while researching or writing your book?
There is the story of the heroine’s name, Allison. My father wanted to name me Allison, but my mother said no. She won. My dad wanted us kids, if we had a girl, to name her Allison. He has three granddaughters-Brenna, Laken and Meryl. No Allison. So I thought “I’ll name my next heroine Allison. Then my father will have his Allison.” Well, my step daughters didn’t know this story and they didn’t know I was working on a novel with a heroine named Allison. My step daughter Melanie was pregnant and we knew the baby was a girl, but we didn’t know the name. I started writing my book at the end of June—Melanie’s baby was due at the beginning of August. I wrote the first draft of Her Best Catch in 74 days. I was living, breathing everything Allison. When Melanie went into labor we were all at the hospital and when we were all gathered together in her room before she gave birth she said, “Since everyone’s here we’ll tell you the name now. Her name is Allison.” I said “Allison?” At first she thought I didn’t like the name, but then when I told her the story we all thought it was very cool. Very God. The dedication in my book reveals this story in a few words.
Every novelist has a journey. How long was your road to publication? How did you find out and what went through your mind?
My journey was about 12 years from that first book idea to publication. When I wrote ‘The End’ after that first book, you know the one that will never see the light of a published page, I found I loved writing ‘The End.’ The only way to write those words is to finish a book. At some point during those 12 years there was a period of about a year and a half where I didn’t write. I read the Bible all the way through. I had never done that and that’s how I spent my mornings instead of writing. I think it was a good time of reflection for me.
Do you ever bang your head against the wall from writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
I think I used to more than I do now. Now, if I can’t think of anything to write, I just start writing something. A lot of time the something gets erased, but a lot of times it gets me unstuck.
Do you consider yourself a visual writer? If so, what visuals do you use? I do think
I’m a visual writer. I have photos of my hero and heroine on my bulletin board. In the book I’m working on now I have a computer file saved with pictures of the huge house I wanted my heroine to live in. So if I’m writing a scene in her bedroom I pull up the photo. Sometimes there’s nothing about the description of the room in my scene, but it anchors me as the writer to where she is and what she might be feeling.
Novelists sometimes dig themselves into a hole over implausible plots, flat characters or a host of other problems. What’s the most difficult part of writing for you?
Ha—writing anything other than dialogue! Seriously, I love writing dialogue and then scratch my head at having to layer in emotions, setting. I’m working really hard though on my current wip to at least think about emotions as I write. I figure if I learn one step at a time, maybe the next wip I will can add more in as I write that first draft.
How do you overcome it?
Oh, answer above!
Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?
I have an office that I share with my hubby. We each have our own desks. Well, I’d like to think I have my own desk. I think it’s my cat’s desk and they let me use it now and then. When I write I have at least one if not both cats laying on my desk and/or sitting in my lap.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Up early, devotional, check email, work on current wip—go to work, come home. At night I find it hard to create. I can revise, judge contests entries, do internet networking or blogging.
Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins or do you have to tweeze each word out?
When it flows, it flows. I rarely have a significant block of time to work. I have the occasional Saturday where I can work for long periods of time. I’ve had to learn to write in 20-30-60 minute blocks. But I will say, if I have that Saturday and I get going, I can really put some words to the page. I LOVE being in that mode. (But then of course there’s usually a LOT of dialogue and I have a LOT of revising to do!)
What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard?
There are actually two. From Nora Roberts—sit your behind (Nora used a different word here!) in the chair and write. The other one is to not give up.
Do you have any parting words of advice?
Basically what I stated above. If you can’t get those crazy or not so crazy characters out of your head you have to get them on paper. You have to sit in the chair and write. Also, no matter how long the journey is, stick to it. Keep learning, keep networking. Keep creating.
Her Best Catch
Allison Doll’s mother is rebelliously turning fifty, her two best friends have started dating and a gorgeous injured relief pitcher has joined her Sunday school class rocking her world into confusion, heartache and temptation, places she hasn’t visited in a long time, much less all at once.
But with the help of family, old friends she really hasn’t lost, a new friend she really can count on, and God, she finds herself no longer a girl waiting for life to happen, but a girl who’s ready to commit to her best catch!