1. Tricia: So, Trish, your first book just came out. What was your first thought when you finally held it in your hands?
Trish: I had seen the cover for several months prior to receiving the book, so holding it in 3D gave me a huge rush of thrilled disbelief! But, as I mentioned elsewhere, the strangest feeling followed—mild depression. I had to chat that one over with a few friends (and the Lord) before I realized I was under a bit of attack. I hate to start an interview off with something deep like that, but I need to give glory to God for pulling me into awareness so quickly there! And to give all authors (published yet or not) encouragement to listen to the right voice in their writing journey. The Lord will never throw depression your way with regard to writing for Him; He might draw you elsewhere, but He won’t knock you down. Now I’m back to being thrilled. 😉
2. Tricia: I hear you have a degree in Psychology. How does knowing how the human mind works benefit your writing?
Trish: The Psych knowledge is a terrific help. I did my college work relatively late in life, so when I realized—smack in the middle of my degree work—that I was being drawn to write, I thought, “Oh, for Pete’s sake, am I ever going to figure out what I want to be when I grow up?” But the degree was a valid part of my training to be a fiction writer. Now I know so much more about how people think and feel, and why they behave the way they do. I love showing a character acting in a way that’s a manifestation of some insecurity or fear or emotional need, especially if the character is unaware of why she’s behaving that way. People are simply fascinating and complex, no matter how basic or transparent they might appear!
3. Tricia: You’ve enjoyed being part of a local writer’s group for a while. If someone wanted to start a similar group in their area, what are three quick tips would you offer?
Trish: These days writers have a distinct advantage in having the Internet at their disposal. If I weren’t already involved with Capital Christian Writers, I would seek local writers through one of the many resources available online. I would post requests on writers’ forums (like the forums available through American Christian Fiction Writers, for example), to find local writers with whom I was certain to have something in common. That would be my first move.
Second, I would suggest equal delegation of any leadership and administrative duties. That way everyone feels an integral part of the group’s success and no one feels too much individual pressure to keep the group running.
Third, I would let the group become what it became. Capital Christian Writers has gone through a number of incarnations since we formed in 1999. Each year our Board has a simple meeting in which we discuss what’s worked over the past year and what hasn’t, and we adjust our format. The make-up of your membership changes, needs and interests change, and the Lord blesses the flexible!
4. Tricia: What book(s) is/are on your night stand right now?
Trish: I have four of them (it’s a crowded little nightstand!)
Donita K. Paul’s DragonKnight, which I’m reading for the ACFW book club; Brandilyn Collins’ Getting Into Character, which I’d recommend to all fiction writers; An unpublished novel manuscript (In the Father’s Image) by my friend, Lyle Carlson, who I swear will be the next Frank Peretti; and My very own The Guy I’m Not Dating, just because I want to read it in its final, published form! (Please tell me you’ve done that, Tricia, and that I’m not the most self-indulgent creature on earth.)
5. Tricia: If you had to pick one color to represent you . .. . what would it be and why?
Trish: That would have to be red. I still remember when I was about 15, and my mom bought bathrobes for my two sisters and me. She gave my oldest sister a regal purple, my youngest sister a delicate pink, and for me? She gave me POW! red with a leopard-skin collar. At the time I felt a little insulted by the lack of femininity in that choice. But Mom knew me better than I knew myself. She brought out the POW! in me, my very leopardessence. I went through a rather wild stage of life after that (fueled by more than the bathrobe, I’m sorry to say), but I’ve retained a rather red personality. I like POW!
6. Tricia: What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Trish: You know that point in your writing when the dialogue is snapping back and forth between your characters and you barely have time to get the words down? As if you’re a courtroom stenographer at a cross-exam out of control? Oh, my goodness, I absolutely love that! The process doesn’t feel like work; it doesn’t feel like you; it’s just like dropping into someone else’s world. Such a blessing!
7. Tricia: Roses or sunflowers?
Trish: That’s a toughie. I do love flowers. But my sniffer gets more sensitive every day, and roses can smell a bit like that church lady who overdid the White Shoulders before choosing the pew right in front of you. So we’ll go with the happy, happy sunflowers! I have a photo of my son standing among giant sunflowers when he was just a sapling. Wonderful.
8. Tricia: If you had to try a new occupation for a day (for research, of course!) what would it be? Why?
Trish: I’d probably give you a different answer each time you asked this question. But because of a rewrite I was working on earlier this afternoon, today I’d have to say I’d work in Labor and Delivery at a hospital for a day. I’ve only experienced L&D activities twice for myself, twice for a friend, and once for my daughter. Birth is too amazing to experience a mere five times in one lifetime. I’d love to attend a few more births, especially if I’m not the one doing the hard part!
9. Tricia: You worked in D.C. for a time. If a visitor could only visit for one day, what would you recommend they see first?
Trish: If I can pick the place and the time of year, I’d recommend coming in late March or early April and visiting the Jefferson Memorial and its Tidal Basin first. The Jefferson is my favorite memorial, architecturally, and fantastic statements like this are inscripted inside:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men.”
Plus, at that time of year, the cherry blossoms are truly amazing. The experience will take your breath away.
10. Tricia: What Scripture verse have you read lately that really zinged your heart?
Trish: Here’s a great one for all Christians, but put on your writer’s hat and read it:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
That’s Acts 1:8—really a powerful verse. What we owe Him for the gifts He’s given us is to get out there as best we can and tell what we know in the most attractive way possible. And we’ll write in the way He deems most attractive for His purposes, if we keep asking the Holy Spirit to “speak” through us. He’ll use us to spread His Word “to the ends of the earth.” Wow!
The Guy I’m Not Dating (August 2006)
Too Good to Be True (March 2007)
Carrie Turansky says
Hi Trish and Tricia,
Great nterview! I loved this peek into Trish’s life. : ) I can’t wait until ACFW to get my signed copy of the Guy I am Not Dating! Blessings,
Tricia Goyer says
Bummer. I won’t be at the conference. I’ll miss all ya’ll there!