1) What came first, the research or your storyline?
Research always comes first for me. It’s in digging through the real stories of people and places that the inspiration for my own story is born.
2) You write a lot of books that deal with the ancient world, what made you choose this time period?
It chose me, I think! I can’t really say – I’ve always been interested in the ancient world. Perhaps it was growing up in church, hearing all the Old Testament stories, and wondering about the culture and life of the people we don’t hear as much about.
3) Obviously your books take a lot of research. How long did it take you to research the Garden of Madness?
Research is ongoing through the process. I start with a month or two of studying, plotting and outlining, and all through the months of writing the first draft I’m taking days out from writing to do more research that I need. Then at the end, there are always gaps to fill in, so I go back and research some more!
4) Tia has a pretty adventurous and bold spirit in Garden of Madness, what (or who) was her inspiration?
Yes, she’s unlike most of the women of her acquaintance, but this was purposeful. I think many of us feel like we “don’t fit in” in some way in our lives. I wanted to see Babylon through the eyes of a woman who is questioning everything.
5) When you write your books, do you plan everything in advance or are you surprised with the twists and turns of your novels?
I am definitely a planner, and know what will happen in most scenes, at least in general. But often twists and turns will jump out and surprise me as I write.
6) If there is one thing you want your readers to take away from your book, what would it be?
I would love readers to realize that we are all playing a role in the One True Story that God is writing across human history. There is a battle to fight and an enemy, and we are each important. Live your adventure!
7) I saw that Isle of Shadows is coming out later this year, is there anything you can tell us about it?
Isle of Shadows is actually a rewrite of an earlier title of mine, Shadow of Colossus. It’s been significantly updated, and has a beautiful new cover and a new title. I’m hoping readers will love it!