What happens as an author writes a novel? Don’t you love hearing the “Story behind the story?” Today, I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes peek at my latest book, “The Promise Box.”
Where did your inspiration for The Promise Box spark?
I’m a person who journals many times a week, and I always wonder what my kids will think when they come across those journals some day. I share favorite Scriptures, prayers, worries, needs, hopes, and ideas. It’s quite a collection! My kids know me as Mom, but I have a feeling they’ll know me on even a deeper level when they read what I’ve written just for myself—things I don’t easily share. I also wonder if the things I write will some day impact the spiritual lives of those who follow.
This thought spurred my idea for The Promise Box. I pictured a young woman who was adopted and feels like there is no place tat she truly belongs. Yet through the notes in her adoptive mother’s promise box, she learns more about her mother’s faith and her own life. Lydia truly discovers who she is through reading her mother’s words on the page.
How long did your book take you to write?
Well, the idea stirred in my mind for a while. As with all my books, once I know the main plot, the characters and scenes filter into my mind over time, and I make sure to write those things down. When I actually sat down to write The Promise Box, it only took a few months. The months prior of my mind “working through” the story really helped because by the time I sat down to write, the movie had already been playing in my mind, so it was just about getting the words on the page.
How long was the editing/publishing process?
The Promise Box is part of the series Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors. I contracted three novels for that, and this is the second book. After I turn my novel in, I usually do one round of edits and then a second round of minor things. In this novel my editors Sue and Leslie encouraged me to write a few more romantic scenes. I have the bad habit of allowing my characters to fall in love too easily and too quickly.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice is to think about your idea and try to see what other books are similar to it <click to tweet>. Study how the author handled the characters and the pacing. When did the romance start? When did the trouble come? How long are the chapters? How much description was used? Is it a quick read or a slow-paced work? By seeing what worked for other authors, that will help you know what will work for your novel, too. Then . . . sit down and write!
What’s your next book or project?
I’m currently working on the true story of Ora Jay and Irene Eash. The Eash’s inspired my novels set in the West Kootenai area. Their true story is even more amazing than fiction, and I’m excited to share! The title of the book is A Simple Hope, and it’ll be out in 2014.