Welcome Yvonne. What a pleasure to have you join us today. How did you develop a 'love of story'?
Some of my earliest memories involve my dad reading to my brother and me. I always thought of books as marvelous wonders, and once I learned to read, I couldn’t get enough of them.
One day in early elementary school when I was home sick, I’d exhausted every “easy reader” book in the house, so I found a book for older kids that had never interested me before. Boring cover, no pictures, nothing to attract me but an interesting smell and smooth, crisp pages. (If you’re a book lover, you’ll know exactly what I mean.)
I started reading, and before I knew it, I’d finished the first chapter. This was the first time I’d read a chapter book, and I was inordinately proud of myself. With nothing else to do, I continued reading – and then I read because I was drawn into the story. I couldn’t wait to finish, to see what would happen next (my first experience with “can’t put it down”). The sun sank low, bringing my mom in to turn on the lights while clucking, “You’ll ruin your eyes!” But I kept reading.
And then, at last, I finished it! I was elated for about a second and a half. Then I burst into tears, because that wonderful story was over and I couldn’t read any further.
LOL. I can totally relate and yes I'm a book smeller too. :) What does your writing space look like?
I have an office in a spare bedroom—big oak desk, bookcases, file cabinets, and a nice comfy chair. I’ve done a lot of writing there, but that’s not the only place I write. Before we moved to Western Maryland in 2013, one of my favorite places for writing—weather permitting—was the big front porch of our old farmhouse in rural Ohio. That’s where I wrote almost the entirety of Words in the Wind, the second book in my Gateway to Gannah series.
I love being able to write outdoors too. The old farmhouse sounds like it was a special place. How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing?
My writing is an offshoot of my faith. It outlines and illumines it, paints a picture of it, transcribes it into words and punctuates it. If not for my faith, I would have nothing to write about.
Well said. What do you plan to work on next?
I’m working on a new sci-fi novel, which is likely to become a series. It’s not set on Gannah, but it’s similar to my first series in that it takes place on a planet that exists only in my imagination.
Tee hee. Sounds like most writer who have any imaginary world in their heads. :) What is the genre you write in?
This isn’t as easy a question to answer as it sounds, and here’s why:
I’m told if a story involves space travel, it should be classified as science fiction. But you won’t find much technical or scientific stuff in my Gateway to Gannah series, so that seems a misnomer.
I’d like to call it space fantasy, but it doesn’t have the standard fantasy elements (mythical creatures, characters with special powers), so that’s not quite accurate either.
Space opera? Not enough emphasis on war and battle scenes.
There’s a little romance, but as a seasoning, not the main course.
I’ve settled on this tagline for the series: Fly through the Gateway to Gannah for some serious sci-fi adventure. I’m satisfied with that description because Gannah is a fun adventure series that gives readers serious things to think about.
I'm intrigued. What is one thing you hope readers will take away from your story?
Each of the four titles in my Gateway to Gannah series has an underlying theme, which I hope readers will pick up on. I wrote Book 1, The Story in the Stars, to illustrate the universality of God’s creative and redemptive power. Book 2, Words in the Wind, points to the authority and reliability of the Scriptures. In Book 3, Ransom in the Rock, I seek to portray the responsibility of the individual to accept the freedom Christ purchased for us. And Book 4, The Last Toqeph, points to the fact that God always keeps His promises, even if it seems a long time coming.
I know I need the reminder from your theme from book 4. How much time do you spend researching before you write?
Because my stories are set in worlds I create in my own mind, the bulk of my research consists of private mental exploration. The more time I spend in these worlds, the better I know them, and I spend months and years in the endeavor (some people call it daydreaming or woolgathering). Before ever writing the first word, I also spend a great deal of time with the characters so I can portray them as multi-dimensional people. This kind of research can be done while I’m doing other things – exercising, doing household tasks, or anything that doesn’t require a lot of concentration. You might say it’s invisible research – no one can see me doing it. Unless they notice my dazed look. Or try to talk to me, and I say, “Huh? Did you say something?”
Chuckle. Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?
In the early 1980s, my husband and I had a mini-farm. We milked a goat, had chickens for eggs and meat, raised hogs, grew our own vegetables, etc. That didn’t cover everything, but we sold enough of what we produced to cover the cost of what we had to buy. So the bottom line was, we ate for free. My husband’s paying job took care of non-food items, provided us with investment capital, and helped tide us over before our farm’s products were ready to sell.
Sounds like it was fun and hard work at the same time. Thanks for stopping by today, Yvonne. Be sure to leave a comment today for your opportunity to be entered into the drawing for this month's mystery gift. Next week we'll be doing something a little different.