Tell us a little about yourself: I’ve called Iowa home my whole life. I received my B.S. in education from Lubbock Christian University. After my first child was born, I stopped teaching and became a professional wiper. I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, baby’s bottoms, and countertops every day. But at naptime, I wrote. Today, I write historical fiction with a generous dash of humor.
Why did you start writing? I started writing in fourth grade when my teacher introduced creative writing assignments every Friday. While the majority of kids complained, I loved it.I fell in love with writing then, but I started writing toward publication in 2006.
How did you select your genre? While a lot of families watched football or played baseball on Sunday afternoons, my family went to antique auctions. My parents put a lot of emphasis on the importance of history. When I started writing fan fiction, I tried out a lot of different genres including contemporary romantic suspense. After I wrote my first historical romance, I knew I’d found my writing “home.”
What is your writing day like? After I get my daughter off to school, I usually do writing related things like reading blogs and answering e-mail in the morning along with some laundry and housework. In the afternoon I write. Sometimes I write in the evenings if I didn’t make my word count for the day.
How do you organize your writing (outlines/note cards/post-its)? Great question. I organize everything on the computer in files under that book. I make a timeline, chapter by chapter, etc. In my research folders I include everything from hats to cars to locations I want the characters to visit.
Do you have a list of characters that you’re saving for future use? What kind of information do you keep on these characters? I don’t have future characters, but I do have a collection of future story ideas. My ideas often start with a setting or a newspaper clipping from that time period. I keep those for future reference, and sometimes, I pull them out for a little mulling time.
What does your work space/office look like? Right now, it looks like something from an episode of Hoaders. Honestly, it’s in the basement, which gets really cold in the winter. I use a space heater, an electric lap blanket, and gloves with the fingertips cut off them in order to keep warm. I could write upstairs, but I like my space and having all my research things around me.
What is your go-to snack when writing? Anything chocolate! Oreos are my all time favorites, but I often eat M&M’s while I’m writing.
If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why? Recommend only one? That’s impossible. I majored in English. I could recommend one in nearly every time period and genre. If I have to pick one, today I’m going to say The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I listened to it on CD and it was a wonderful way to experience this great book.
If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why? I loved Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water. It isn’t a “how to” craft book, but it captures the beauty of being a Christian writer in a way no one else has for me.
I’d like to thank Lorna for taking time out of her schedule to join us here today. To learn more about Lorna or her books, visit her Web site at www.lornaseilstad.com. Her new book, When Love Calls, is available this month. Read my review here.