1. What was your inspiration for Beneath a Navajo Moon?
Several years ago at age 45, God put it on my heart to get serious about this secret dream of writing I’d had since I was a child. In fact, He compelled me to take the stories that had been swirling in my imagination and write them down. That story became Carolina Reckoning. My second novel, Aloha Rose, was the result of a God-ordained reunion and now in March Beneath a Navajo Moon releases—Olivia’s story came to me in its entirety in a dream. The Navajo put great stock in their dreams; God often reaches them through the kind of dreams with which He once visited upon Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I think maybe we’ve grown too sophisticated to hear His voice either in our nighttime or waking dreams.
Sometimes people stop themselves for reaching for their dreams because of fear of failure. Whatever your dream, I am the living proof that there is no expiration date on dreams. Rather in my life, God carefully orchestrated my experiences with the proper season of me being at a place that would bring Him honor through my writing offerings.
And so, I write. Stories given by God of incredible loss and unforgettable triumph. Humanity in all its weakness. So that others might see their great need of Him and find healing and the truest of all loves in Jesus Christ. The ultimate paradox is that although I proclaim His worthiness, each story brings me to my own weakness and unworthiness. Perhaps this is indeed the moment we become of use to Him—when we’ve reached the end of our confidence, the end of ourselves and our own sufficiency. When we embrace Who He really is and accept who we really are. It is as Erin remarks in Beneath a Navajo Moon often “a long obedience.”
2. I learned so much about the Navajo culture, did this book require you to do a lot of research?
I did a lot of research, which I enjoy. I’ve also visited the area and talked to members of the Navajo Nation. I love exploring cultures different from mine.
3. When you start the writing process, how much do you outline beforehand? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants (so to speak)?
I start with a general story idea. Next, I begin to people that setting/idea with characters in my head. I usually know how the story will end but the middle is always murky territory. I’m definitely more of a seat of the pants writer. The only story I ever tried to outline is the one story I’ve never finished. Why finish when I already know what’s going to happen? I enjoy the journey of discovery alongside my characters.
4. Did you have a favorite character when writing this novel (I will admit that Adam was mine)?
Adam is my critique partner’s favorite, too—even out of all the characters I’ve created over the years in my books (which, bless her heart, she’s read and faithfully helped me edit). Adam is my favorite character in Beneath a Navajo Moon. I find his struggles to believe go to the heart of some of my own issues—surrender and its conjoined twin of obedience.
5. Can you tell us what you’re working on next?
I just finished edits for Under a Turquoise Sky, releasing September 2014. Fans of Adam
and Erin will want to be sure and read this next romantic suspense novel which is set on the New Mexico side of the Navajo Nation. Although not Adam and Erin’s story, they will make a guest cameo appearance and readers will get to “catch up” on what’s been unfolding in their love story. I’ve got to confess as much as I loved Beneath a Navajo Moon, something about this story (Aaron and Kailyn’s) truly gripped my heart. I hope readers will enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Fans of Carolina Reckoning, my debut novel, will get to “catch up” with Alison and Mike in Vines of Entanglement also set in North Carolina in March 2015. Two other romantic suspense novels will follow into 2016.
Thanks so much for hosting Beneath a Navajo Moon—and me. 🙂