The early years:
I grew up a farmer’s daughter and love country living. The unobstructed view of the sky and the solitude of wide-open spaces feeds my soul. I saw–and continue to see–each each leaf and flower as a tiny miracle. As a kid, exploring the woods and the fields kept me occupied and with an endless supply of inspiration. When I wasn’t doing chores or helping preserve our garden produce, I read, imagined, or watched stories.
My favorite books:
When I could had enough reading under my belt to start reading chapter books, I delved into classics like The Secret Garden, and Patricia St. John’s books, of which Treasure of the Snow was my favorite. As my reading level expanded, I became hooked on L.M. Montgomery’s books, such as the Anne of Green Gables series and Emily of New Moon. I loved old-school fantasy books by Madeline L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door) and George MacDonald’s The Back of the North Wind and Lilith. I also favored The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Later on, I read MacDonald’s adult fiction and forged my way into classics like Jane Eyre, Emma, and The House of the Seven Gables. These books molded and stirred my love of a good story.
My mom and I used to enjoy old musicals and movies together. Any with Judy Garland were our favorites. Meet Me in St. Louis ranked number one. It thrilled Mom when she could buy movies on video tapes. She built her collection a little at a time, and by the time I left for college, she’d filled up a large bookcase. Now, when I sit down to watch an old movie, I think of her and deeply miss her company.
Do you have a favorite old movie?
The beginning of my author journey:
My author journey began gradually with my love of stories, but the day I remember walking into our local library as a child was the day I became a writer. I recall the musty, dusty, lemon oil smell, the creaking floors, and the shelves of books all calling my name. A few moments in my life I’ve seen as magical; that one qualified. Little did I know then that I would be a librarian someday, much less an author.
This road to authorship has been filled with so much life: marriage, family, happiness, tragedy, loss, illness. My growing up years and everything in between this point and the past have all contributed to who I am as a writer. Each smile, tear, and experience has given me fuel to craft my tales. I could not have been the writer I am today back in my twenties. I hadn’t lived or cried enough. Characters need more substance than an imaginative yanking out of a magical hat. They are more real when their emotions have been mine, at least in part. I write best when I keep that in mind.
My author future:
Last month I published my third inspirational historical fiction novel, Silver Moon. Now, my editor has my fourth, Harvest Moon, in hand. It seems strange and surreal, but this indie author journey requires courage and perseverance and often more energy than I have. I’m not certain of what the future holds or how much my physical weakness will dictate my progress as an author, but I’ve come to the decision that whatever happens, it will be OK. Maybe this next book will be my last, or maybe I’ll write 18 more. Who knows?
Life’s interruptions don’t frighten me as much as they used to. If my physical ability allows me to continue on, I’ll rejoice. If it doesn’t, I’ll rejoice as well that I published four novels and did what I thought was impossible. Isn’t that what we all want—to defy the impossible?
What’s your impossible dream?
Tell me something unexpected and bordering on the impossible that happened in your life or that you wish would happen. I used to think Walt Disney had it wrong, that dreams don’t come true, but now I know they do. But often not as we expect.
Thanks for reading! Blessings, J