God's Will FAQ {Pt. 1}

In no particular order, the promised answers to all of your great questions about God's Will. There were so many, I've divided them up into two posts. The second will be featured on Every Good Word on Thursday, so stay tuned!

1. How long did it take you to write "God's Will"?
I began writing in June of 2007, and finished the first draft in March of 2010. I overhauled it twice between then and 2012.
2. What are your favorite ways to immerse yourself in the historical time period that you write about?
Research, research, research! I am a history buff/nut and I love to dig deep into every angle of the time period I’m writing in. We have these collections of Depression-era recipes and stories from people who lived through it and I read them cover to cover. I mostly read, scour the internet for the finer points and first-hand accounts, and occasionally watch shows or movies set in that era. The Waltons was a great inspiration for God’s Will, as a matter of fact.
3. Which characters were the easiest to write? (i.e. They practically wrote themselves!)
Judy, the grandmotherly figure and aunt to Elliott. She was a definite cross between my mother and grandmother and she showed me her personality right off the bat.
4. Any tips/tricks for finishing a novel?
Don’t edit as you go. Just write. Cut scenes. Check continuity and accuracy. Finishing a novel can mean a lot of things. At first, it means writing The End. The second go-around, it means cleaning up all the red edits and maybe even overhaul the thing until you come to The End again.
5. Did you listen to music while writing God's Will?
I most certainly did. A lot of old hymns re-worked by current Christian and country artists, a good deal of country music...one song that fit eerily well with the story was Someone Worth Dying For by MikesChair. And while the song itself is it’s own story in itself, the chorus of Martina McBride’s God’s Will got me through many a difficult chapter.
6. Who are some authors that have inspired you in the journey of writing God's Will?
Lynn Austin and Leisha Kelly’s writing inspired me at the outset of writing my novel. Lynn Austin’s Hidden Places and the way she brings you instantly into the place and time is incredible. Leisha Kelly’s the Wortham Family Series is comparable to God’s Will in that it is character-driven, emotional, reflective and deals with multiple characters.

7. How did you come up with the title "God's Will"?
Is it terrible that I don’t even remember how I came up with it? Titling is on my Top Five Least-Favorite Things about Writing list. I searched hymns, song lyrics, devotionals, etc. for title inspiration. It may have been Martina McBride’s song, it may’ve been a line in my study Bible. Whatever inspired it, it stuck and stuck well.
8. What was your favorite thing about writing a book set in the Great Depression?
The Great Depression has always been a fascinating time for me to study. The way people had to band together to survive, what they had to do to live frugally can teach us today.
9. Did you have a lot of editing to do or did you hire an editor?
As I mentioned before I overhauled the novel twice, but those weren’t technically edits. That was my writing style catching up to itself, if that makes sense. When I made the decision to self-publish, I knew the novel needed a good spit-polish of editing. And that is why I knew exactly who to go to--Rachelle Rea, editress extraordinaire.
10. Who made your cover?
The very talented Rachel Rossano made my book cover. It was so exciting to work with such a talented, mind-reader like Rachel Rossano as we put together the cover. The first mock cover only had a handful of tweaks and voila! She worked her magic.
11. Does your story draw in your ancestors?
Not exactly. I used a few family names for characters, but that is the extent of my family ancestry. Judy and Ted are my grandparents, and Loretta--mentioned in the Epilogue--is my great-grandmother. The scene where she is mentioned also mentions her heirloom china from the Old Country. I was gifted my great-grandmother Loretta’s full china service by my great-aunt Pat.
12. What was a favorite step in the self-publishing journey for you and what would you say has been the hardest part so far?
My favorite step in the self-publishing journey was the cover. Hands down. The hardest part would probably be an ongoing struggle for me of believing in this novel of my heart and telling people about it. If this is any indication–I hid in my room during my third birthday party. Always being shy, my writing it where I can open up and say anything, be anyone, and even, like in God’s Will, process things and pour my heart out in ways I couldn’t verbalize. As time goes on, I’m learning to have fun putting my novel out there and respecting it as the finished work of many years hard work.
13. One author who challenges/inspires you and why?
One author that inspires me is Jocelyn Green. Gosh that was a difficult choice–all the authors I read inspire and challenge me in different ways. She writes in my favorite era–the Civil War. The way she so tightly interweaves real history in and around fictional characters is enviable to me, and also a challenge. To honor the history I so love to study but to make it come alive to the reader so they sit back at the end of the book and feel like they just came back from time-traveling.
14. What is one thing you have learned from walking this self-publishing road? What did you enjoy most about this journey to authorhood?
This self-publishing road has been one of much learning and getting outside of my comfort zone, let me tell you. I've learned to believe in the calling of author God has placed upon my heart, and to receive congratulations, praise and interest about my book with a gracious spirit. I've greatly enjoyed keeping God's Will a surprise, working withRachel Rossano on the cover, and now that launch week is winding down, I'm enjoying the ride. I never wanted to self-publish God's Will for the numbers. I wanted to publish it for my mother, grandmother...and me. No longer will I hide my light under a bushel, thanks to the Lord Who's upheld me through these last few months of self-publishing.

Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this! Can't wait to read the next batch on Thursday! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Congratulations on the new book! How exciting. I've been poking around your blog and like what I'm seeing. Thanks for sharing!


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