Monday, March 29, 2010


Oneof these books is not about a disease.  Do you know which one?

1. Why do you write about diseases?

This is multiple choice. There could be more than one right answer. And no, you don’t want me to be your doctor.

A. I am a sick person.
B. I should have been a doctor.
C. I  probably have a fear of getting sick.
D. I am fascinated with the emotional aspects of illness and the way it changes people’s lives.

2. Who’s your favorite character in your books?
  • Well, in every book, I’m always attached to my main characters.
  • I think Imogene Wilfong in Blue is very cool.
  • But I also happen to love Junior Bledsoe in Blue and especially in Comfort! He’s a very hot item you know. One of my readers sent me an email saying if her husband ever divorced her she was going to drive to North Carolina and track Junior Bledsoe down!
3. How did you get ideas for your stories?

There are so many fascinating hidden stories in history. When I'm working on one project I discover some story that grabs me by the heart and tries to drag me away with it. Usually I force myself to ignore it until I finish the project I’m on. But in the back of my brain a story begins to take shape and as quick as I can I go after it!

Example:  I was writing Vacation Bible School curriculum when I discovered Father Damien. I only needed a short story about leprosy for the curriculum.  But the research led me to more info and I wanted to do something longer with it. So I eventually wrote and published Healing Water, about a boy who is banished to Hawaii's leprosy settlement on the Kalaupapa Peninsula. He meets Father Damien there.
On the Kalaupapa Peninsula.

4. What was it like to go to Kalaupapa? 
I had to hike down a steep trail for a few miles. That was challenging. I had to hike back up. That was hard. The next day my legs hurt so badly I could barely walk.

Being there was cool but also a little bit frustrating because I wanted to roam freely and spend lots of time alone, getting to know the landscape and thinking about my story and my characters. But I had to stick to the guided tour and of course, there were other people around. I understand why people like me can’t just roam freely in this very private place but still, I wanted to.

1 comment:

  1. reading your post as we drive through rural Indiana. very pretty here; very nice to hear your voice via the blogosphere.