If I was to describe myself as a character in a book, it would look something like this:
As she stood on the shoreline, you could barely make out her five foot four, 118 pound frame. Her naturally curly, light brown hair hung down to the middle of her back, with some streaks of gray giving away her secret of being almost fifty years old. A singer since childhood, she’s known as Big D to her friends and a few fans. Singing with joy songs of faith, she has a smile on her face most of the time. She hasn’t always been happy, though. Born and raised in a broken home as an unwilling participant in her dad’s dysfunctional relationship issues, without a full-time mother, she was very often confused. In fact, at the ripe old age of thirteen, she began drinking and doing drugs as a way of coping with the instability that was her life. Her dad, at a loss as to how to help her, decided to send her to live with his mother in Florida. So, she packed up her little dog named Buttons and boarded a jet plane bound for the south. She quickly found herself in a different location, but in a distressingly familiar place. It was in Florida that she delved further into the abyss. Lost in depression and despair, she tried to take her own life. Over the next four years, she attempted suicide several times. One night in February of 1986, a few months before turning nineteen, she had a dream. A form of a man told her that she had one week to live. With the little she knew about God, she interpreted that to mean that she had seven days to choose to live for God or eventually, when she died, she would go to hell. One night after three days of binge drinking, she decided to call out to God. She said, “God, if you’re real, I need You to show me.” It was the strangest thing, but the next day she awoke as a completely different person on the inside! She was new, and the only explanation was that God had heard her prayer and had saved her. In gratitude to God for this gift of life, she is determined to live every waking moment for Jesus, and convinced that her best days are yet to come.
Some have said that I have a down-to-earth quality about my writing. They say that it’s so real, it’s as if they were sitting down with me. They can hear my voice when they read something that I’ve written.
What makes you special as a writer?
I think it’s transparency that sets me apart. I’m not afraid to tackle hard questions and then admit when I don’t have the answer. I’m also very willing to share my own struggles, failures, and successes with my reader. I think people appreciate the “no-nonsense, no-pretense” quality about my writing. I use analogies to illustrate real life issues.
Who or what inspires you to write?
I’m amazed and inspired by many people. Some of the people that inspire me are not published authors, but I love their humorous style and gentle wisp of sarcasm. I write because I have to write. I have so many ideas that pop into my head on an hourly basis that I have to get it out and share it with others. If I had to name one person who inspires me the most, it would have to be Jesus. He settles my soul and sometimes He uses a brand new writing to do it.
What constitutes a great novel?
Not that I read novels, but if I did, I think I would like some mystery and twists and turns-something that I didn’t see coming. Even though the Bible is not a novel, I have been reading the Gospels and I’m finding everything I want in a novel! There are many interesting characters, there’s mystery, intrigue and even unfortunately suicide and murder. The truth is, Jesus’ life, experiences and example move me to aspire to a greatness that without Him I could not even fathom.
What is your favorite part about the writing process?
I love getting the idea for a writing project, but the idea is eclipsed by the completion of the writing. I’m not happy until it’s finished, so I guess, the result of the writing brings me the most joy.