First off, I’d like to thank David Rawlings (click his name for his thought-provoking blog) for nominating me for the Liebster Award. David’s been such an encouragement to me, from the first time I met him at ACFW in 2016, in Nashville. We sat in a brainstorming group late at night, and he was the first to take interest in my plotting woes and help me work through them. I’m delighted to call him a friend.
The Liebster Award
This is how the Leibster Award works: it is an award given by bloggers to fellow bloggers and aimed to encourage writers. The rules for the Liebster Award are as follows:
- Thank the person who has nominated you for the award and link to their blog
- Write some random facts about yourself
- Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you
- Nominate up to 11 people for the award (comment on their blog to let them know)
- Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions
Random facts about myself:
- I’ve trained three horses: a pony, a Paint, and a mustang Paint.
- I was born premature and my parents were told my twin and I would be deaf and blind and unable to live a normal, regular life. I guess God had other plans.
- I graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s in ten years, debt free.
- I started working when I was 14. My first job was at a greenhouse which is my all-time favorite place to be. The beauty of flowers is so inspiring.
- My desk is never clean and I sometimes know where things are. (Okay, I guess that isn’t a random fact…)
- I’ve never broken any bones.
- I secretly wish I owned Belle’s library, and as a child, I was secretly in love with Adam Cartwright from Bonanza. Some childhood dream, eh?
- When I was a child, I was deathly afraid of the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
- I started writing when I was the ripe old age of eight and I almost plagiarized. Well…I guess there’s nothing new under the sun, but if you’ll keep reading, you’ll understand why.
My 11 questions to answer:
Who were your favorite authors as a child? Why?
Growing up on a farm, I enjoyed the outdoors as much as I could, but when winter shut me inside, books were my best friends. I spent many Saturday afternoons reading Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene, Trixie Belden series by Kathryn Kenny, and the High Hurdles series by Lauraine Snelling. I loved mystery and horses, and if it could be combined into one book then that was bliss. I could list lots more series but these were my favorite.
Is there a country you have always wanted to visit, and if so, where?
Oh, what a question! I have always wanted to visit Germany and the surrounding countries for the historical buildings, beautiful mountains, and the un-sweet sweets. If you’ve ever sampled Deutsche Kuche Kässe, you’re missing out!
What is your favorite kind of weather?
My favorite kind of weather is a where the sun is peeking through the color on a crisp, fall day.
Why do you blog?
I blog because, like many other writers, I have time just sitting in a barrel waiting to be drawn up and used. 😉
What started you writing?
I started writing when I was eight years old. I reinvented Little Women. The characters were now me and my three sisters. I wrote the six-page story on chunky-ruled notebook paper. It’s titled “Three Sisters,” and stuffed in my old journals in a box somewhere. What really started me writing was Tall and Proud by Vian Smith, and I wrote about it in another blog post. Vian Smith wrote with such honesty and vivid characters that I wanted to write like that. I created a story set in Nevada (Bonanza, anyone? 🙂 ) during the late 1880s. From there, it morphed into 16 hand-written books on college-ruled notebook paper and bound with pieces of ribbon. This series of books is now known as my work-in-progress, To Rise Up, set in the Midwest during WWII. Amazing how things change. But I wouldn’t change a thing.
What are the challenges of being an author/writer?
How do you keep yourself motivated?
Motivation only comes from within. People can encourage me all day long (which is very nice and I am thankful for that), but if I don’t actually sit down and write then I’m not fulfilling a worthy calling. To keep myself motivated, I have Pandora playing (usually music-only movie soundtracks and upbeat classical music, or Big Band if I’m really on a kick), or I scour Pinterest for inspirational photos of what I’m writing.
If you could choose a place to write where would it be?
A place where the scenery reminds me of a summery fall and where I can look out a window at beautiful, colorful leaves. Okay, just give me a mural.
What difference does it make being a Christian and an author?
Hmm, for me, there’s not much difference. I’m a Christian who happens to write. I’m thankful for the opportunity to write so that God can be glorified and others may be encouraged.
What’s your work in progress?
I have several works in progress.
- A WWII historical home front novel, To Rise Up that’s completed but in the last editing stages.Here’s the blurb:
There’s more than just a war on—there’s a battle brewing between father and daughter. Sixteen-year-old Laurie goes against her father’s wishes, while battling her stepmother’s recent death and her own physical illness, to retrain retired cavalry horses for the war effort.
- A WWI historical home front novel that’s in the beginning stages of being written.Here’s the blurb:
Caught in their wealthy uncle’s espionage ring, two brothers must fight to protect each other until lies and deceit drive them apart.
Who is your ideal audience?
My ideal audience likes to relate with somber topics with a twist of hope and humor to highlight that life is always on-the-go and something funny can always be found through it.
My ideal audience likes stories that are similar to movies such as…oh, dear, I can’t think of any comparisons, since I don’t usually watch that many movies. This will have to be a future blog post. Good motivation to come back!
My ideal reader is someone who:
- loves the American home front during the world wars
- struggles with family relationships and broken dreams
- sees that God is all-present in their situation and is there to reach down and lift them up
- wants to draw authenticity and depth of situations from everyday life in the lives of characters that could very well mirror their own
- desires to see the splashes of humor in seemingly hopeless situations
So, my blog nominees:
Crystal Caudill, a fantastic historical romantic suspense writer, fellow writer, and prayer warrior. It’s great to go on writing retreats with her. (We fill up on enough tea to make a balloon swell.) Visit her blog The Write Call and sign up for her newsletter that’s sure to tickle your funny bone more than once.
Jessica Stefani is a historical fiction/time travel writer who has been instrumental in our Unraveling History Critique group. I’ve also enjoyed going to writer’s conferences with her. Hop on over to her engaging blog as she talks about writing, juggling the mom/writer life, and thought-provoking topics.
Cathryn Swallia writes historical fiction with humor, depth, and romance. Also a key contributor to our Unraveling History Critique group, I have enjoyed her engaging comments and interesting information. You’ll really enjoy her blog, The Cooperjack Journal, filled with historical research information, animal tales, and inspiring life stories.
Please follow their blogs. You will be as encouraged as I have been encouraged. In laughter and inspiration. Happy reading!
Winners from the first giveaway post!! Drum roll please….
- Judy G.
- Susanne M.
- Mary T.
- Paula S.
- Amy C.
- Amanda M.
Congratulations, ladies! Winners have been contacted via email.