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I often have readers ask questions about my books. Some of my most devoted readers are writers themselves and hope to be published. So without further ado, here are some questions (and answers) that may be of interest…

Betty asks: Do you have a favorite character or story that you have written?

Yes. I do have favorites and least favorites among my books, just like covers. Some stories just ‘pop’ for me as an author. One of those was Courting Morrow Little Another was Love’s Reckoning. I remember writing them and feeling something was different about them – and myself while writing them! Another one that seemed to write itself and have that spark was The Mistress of Tall Acre, probably on account of Lily Cate. She brought a winsomeness to the story that made me smile. I do believe the writing advice to add children and animals to stories is quite sound. The novel I’m currently working on has a sassy cat named Madoc who is Welsh. My hero is Welsh, his staff is Welsh, and so is his feline:) But the author is allergic to cats!

Lauren asks: I’ve heard you don’t enter writing contests or pursue awards. Is that true?

That’s true, yes. I remember the shock I felt when I learned authors entered themselves in award contests. I thought only readers did that (like the Inspy Awards). Early on my publisher entered my first books since I didn’t and I’m grateful they believed in my work enough to submit it. I do feel contests can be helpful for aspiring or new authors as far as name recognition among readers and agents/editors in the industry. I don’t judge other authors for going the contest route. It’s just not my cup of tea. To me, reading is a very subjective experience, like eating. Who is to say prime rib is better than German chocolate cake? How is it really possible to judge that one book is better than another? Spiritually, the effect of a book cannot be measured, at least in this world, and I want to keep my focus on that. I view writing as ministry, not competition. The eternal reach is what matters most to me. It’s all about God’s glory.

Jenny asks: Which of your characters is most like you?

Poor Lael:) I poured so much of myself into her and included so much of my family history and Kentucky history in The Frontiersman’s Daughter that it seems almost autobiographical. Growing up, I wanted to be Lael. My childish dream was to have been the daughter of my hero, Daniel Boone. Being raised in Kentucky among all those log cabins and forts and rich history didn’t hurt. I’ve always had a heart for Native Americans and their stories. When I was very young, about 3, my granny (her father/my great-grandfather was Cherokee), took me to meet an Indian Chief. The details are hazy and he might have only been dressed up as such, but he wore a war bonnet and danced for me and I fell in love. But back to Lael. Lael is dear to me because she’s a dreamer and isn’t afraid of much. She is most at home in the woods and the natural world is an ongoing wonder to her. She’s clever and finds ways to help others while enriching herself. She has a heart for children and the elderly and lives on a poignant level. Some readers love her. Others don’t. This author does:)

I’ll post more reader questions in a couple of weeks. Happy reading ~ or writing!