It's an overcast day in PA following a snow/ice storm. When we have weather like this I love curling up with a new book. Today Rebecca Jepson is here to tell you about her writing life.
Welcome, Rebecca. The first question I usually ask is....How did you develop a 'love of story'?
My love of story began with reading. Actually, it started even before I learned to read! At night, my mom would read aloud to us kids, children’s classics like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books and The Secret Garden. When I was old enough to read on my own, I devoured The Bobbsey Twins and Boxcar Children—then on to Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t get enough of the early Christian fiction authors like Janette Oke, Gilbert Morris, Michael Phillips and Judith Pella. Not only did my “love of story” grow as I read, so did my dream of being a writer.
I had to chuckle when I read your list of books and authors because they almost mirrored my reading as a child. :) Where do you get ideas?
I often look through books of paintings for inspiration, especially paintings of landscapes or cityscapes. A simple image like a broken-down fence dividing two properties, or a village with a quaint city-square, can inspire an entire plot. Traveling is really inspiring for me too. Learning the history of a place often sparks an idea for a story.
Ooh. I like that idea. I'll have to try it sometime. :) What qualities do you look for in a hero and heroine?
I like to see growth in my characters. I want them to mature spiritually and emotionally throughout the book. So I generally give them some sort of baggage to overcome, or occasionally I make them young in the beginning, with depth of character to gain. I also imagine how their circumstances and surroundings might have shaped them, especially their historical setting. I ask myself, “What would it be like, living in this era, in this set of circumstances, in this world I’ve put my character in? How would I really feel, sailing on the Mayflower, traveling west in a covered wagon, or ‘debuting’ at an oh-so-proper ball?”
Great ideas, Rebecca. Thank you for sharing that. How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing?
I always include in my writing a truth God has used to comfort me or stretch my faith. These spiritual elements in my books usually revolve around a particular passage or verse in the Bible. I’ve done themes of God’s sovereignty, human suffering, and keeping one’s faith amid life’s storms. In A Highbrow Hoodwink, my heroine, Katie, has to learn to trust God’s ability to make her truly “clean.” These types of lessons spring from my own experiences.
Well said. What is the farthest place from home that you've traveled?
Indonesia. A missionary couple from our church became ill with dengue fever, and needed help taking care of their two small children. So I turned eighteen in the city of Surabaya, on the beautiful island of Java. Another faraway place I’ve been is Russia, and it was an honor to meet the brave Christians there who’d persevered through the years of Communism. I later wrote a story about them called “The Camouflage Bible,” which was published in Clubhouse Magazine.
Wow! You have had quite the travel experience. :) If you have a day off, what's your favorite thing to do?
I love to take walks with my husband. We’ll stop at a coffee shop first, then walk downtown along the river or meander through a Tahoe skiing village. When we return home, I always feel refreshed and ready for another day of writing.
I can picture it, and it gets me in the mood to write. :) Thanks for stopping by today, Rebecca.
Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into February's mystery drawing. :) Be sure to stop by next week to visit with Joi Copeland. Hope you have a great day.