I thrive on writing novels because life is filled with pain and excitement, and I want to convey these aspects through my quirky, flawed, and yet, endearing characters. I like characters that beg you to consider them to be more than you had originally planned. In my two novels (Rain Song and How Sweet It Is), two characters asked me to develop them and let them run. I gave in; with the results, I couldn't be happier.
My son Daniel died in 1997 and from his life and death I have grown in my writing. He was only four when he breathed his last in my arms, but his legacy of courage and love shines on over the years. I suppose my novels will always include death because this is reality--as much as we hate to admit it.
In Daniel's memory, I gathered recipes from fellow-bereaved parents and siblings for two cookbooks--Slices of Sunlight and Down the Cereal Aisle. These were published by Daniel's House Publications. I created this organization and for six years sent an ezine to over 1,000 subscribers.
Bethany House is the publisher of my novels and I hope they are as excited as I am.
Rain Song takes place in North Carolina, where I live now. The novel is an east-meets-west story of family, tradition, fears, devotion, and the unity that comes about when you whip up a batch of pineapple chutney.
How Sweet It Is takes place in the mountains of western North Carolina and deals with forgiveness and self-image..
Hatteras Girl arrives in bookstores in October. Like the title suggests, this tale is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Jackie is determined to run the old Bailey Bed and Breakfast in Nags Head.
My newsletter, Literary Lyrics, is free to sign-up for, and that can be done at my website. I send it out whenvever the mood strikes, so it's not going to clog your in-box often.
I teach Writing the Heartache courses, both online and at conferences. Sharing the value of writing with others is life-giving for me. As Alice Walker said, "Writing saved me." I agree.
About Rain Song from the publishers:
His words have unlocked a special place in her heart,
but he lives in the one place she vowed she'd never return...
Nicole Michelin avoids airplanes, motorcycles, and most of all, Japan, where her parents once were missionaries. Something happened in Japan. Something that sent Nicole and her father back to America alone. Something of which Nicole knows only bits and pieces. But she is content with life in little Mount Olive, North Carolina, with her quirky relatives, tank of lively fish, and plenty of homemade pineapple chutney.
Through her online column for the Pretty Fishy website, Nicole meets Harrison Michaels, who, much to her dismay, lives in Japan. She attempts to avoid him, but his e-mails tug at her heart.
Then Harrison reveals that he knew her as a child in Japan. In fact, he knows more about her childhood than she does! Will Nicole face her fears in order to discover her past and take a chance on love?
About How Sweet It Is from the publishers:
When Deena Livingston moves into her grandfather's cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, she plans to keep to herself, start a cake-decorating business, and recover from the heartbreak she left behind in Atlanta. But a special request from Grandpa Ernest compels her to interact with the Bryson City locals, who have some surprising stories to share with the new girl in town.
Can a Dr. Seuss-quoting plumber who shows up at the most unexpected times, a handsome social worker who seems to know exactly what Deena is thinking, and a classroom full of mischievous middle-school students teach Deena to once again embrace the sweet things in life?