Well, today is a special day for me. It's my 37th birthday! And, what a better way to celebrate than to post an interview with one of my all-time favorite authors!
Lois Richer has two passions that she confesses to on her website: travel and books. And, since one of those became my passion as well, I have so enjoyed reaing her works. I couldn't get enough of her North Country series and am working through her Family Ties series.
Here is what this talented author had to say in answer to my questions...
Me: What was the hardest part of writing this book, and what did you enjoy most?
LR: Finishing! Ha! Accidental Dad is about a hero who loses his twin brother and a hero who loses her sister, leaving the couple to care for preschool children whose world has shattered. Actually putting myself in the place of the hero and heroine as they put aside their own grief to deal with their precious nieces and nephew was painful to work through. It taught me great sympathy for those who've suffered such loss and are willing to take on such a lifetime commitment.
Me: What or who inspires you to write?
LR: This is really hard because there are so many answers. Primarily I suppose I write because I can't not write. I have to get the stories written. I have questions about God and a story helps me explore His answers to my questions.
But I'm also inspired by encouraging words from readers and my editor which spur me on, make me work harder.
I also suffer from a disease called 'What if?' I can't stop asking that question, hence I keep writing, trying to figure it out.
Me: What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?
LR: Most useful--to stick with what I believe and trust God to teach me more with every word I write. The character's faith struggles are always a mirror of my own faith journey. As they learn to trust and obey, so do I.
Least useful--getting caught up in the 'rules' of being published. I did what I could to improve my writing at the beginning, but I sometimes got off track by listening to others' opinions that no one from my rural area with no training and no support group could get published. God doesn't care about that and I had to learn that my focus should be on seeking His plan. That's what is important.
Most destructive--paying attention to nasty comments, put downs or getting caught up in someone's praise. My job is to write the story. The rest is up to Him.
Me: How has your life changed since you've become a published author?
LR: Surprisingly, not a lot. I started out writing when my kids were going to school and though they're long gone I still keep that schedule. I write in the same place I always have, or wherever I happen to be, and I'm always trying to catch up to my deadline. ;-)
The most change comes from readers who contact me. They are from every walk of life, men, women and children, old and young. I've never met them, would never have heard from them if it hadn't been for a book. I am so grateful to each one who contacts me and deeply humbled when they tell me that something God directed me to write has touched their life.
Me: What inspired you to write your first book?
LR: I don't remember when I didn't write. I began reading at an early age and am still a voracious reader, so I guess that initially got me interested in writing.
I started writing seriously when my kids were preschool, mostly as a way to entertain them. That turned into writing the kind of stories I liked to read and the rest is history.
Me: What books have most influenced your life most?
LR: The Bible, of course. David and Goliath, Moses and the Ten Commandments, Jesus healing the lepers, teaching the Beatitudes, dying on the cross--I loved them all.
Missionary stories I read as a kid were pivotal. I could always imagine them in the Congo or South Africa or China and I loved it when they visited the church and told us about their work in such far off places. So inspiring.
A ton of Bible study books which continually help me figure out who I am in Christ.
Agatha Christie because I am in awe of the way her mind worked and because I adore mystery/suspense.
Alexander McCall Smith because I adore Mma Ramotswe and her gentle sensible approach to life's problems.
Oh, there are just too many!
If you want to check out Lois Richer's brand new book, Accidental Dad, go visit her website today! -AJ