Tell us a little about yourself: I love to write healing fiction—fiction that touches someone’s life for the better and draws them closer to the Father. My husband and I, two children, and my mews, Spookers and Knucklehead (he came with the name) live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I’m a member of Oregon Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers. When I’m not writing, reading down my extensive Kindle book list (read addict), homeschooling my two children, or playing board games, you might find me at my drum kit imagining I’m on a world tour.
Why did you start writing? I’ve always had stories rolling around my head, so I figured I’d better start writing them down!
How did you start writing? I started writing in high school, but didn’t write in earnest toward becoming published until about fifteen years ago.
How did you select your genre? I’m really drawn to contemporary women’s fiction stories that make a difference in people’s lives and encourage social justice and healing so it was an easy pick. When I started writing, however, contemporary wasn’t selling so I was encouraged by others in the industry to write historical novels. Try as I might I couldn’t get anything remotely historical to emerge naturally, so I kept writing contemporary stories. Low and behold, it’s starting to really take off now.
What is your writing day like? I have to fit writing in amongst homeschooling my two kids (ages sixteen and eleven) and surviving chronic illness and fatigue. My writing day is haphazard and completely reliant on the Lord for strength and clear-headedness. Some days I can’t write a sentence to save my life, and other days I can write for hours.
How do you organize your writing (outlines/note cards/post-its)? I use Scrivner (a software program) to organize my notes and research, and then compose in Word. I don’t use outlines. I’ve found knowing where my story is going step by step kills my creative juices. If I know the outcome of the story, I lose interest because it’s complete. It’s like reading spoilers!
What’s the most surprising thing a character has “told you?” My characters always surprise me with their insights and discoveries about the Lord. In every novel I’ve completed I’ve learned something new about God that I’d never considered before. I love that.
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 actually have an extensive list. I’ve read about people with card catalogues full of characters, but I’ve never let my mind get that far ahead. That might be the spoilers thing coming into play again. I’ll usually get the idea for my next novel and character as I finish up the last one. Then I move on.
What does your work space/office look like? My desk is one my father built. I try to keep my workspace organized chaos—however, if things are too messy around me, I become distracted organizing things and never write a thing. So I have to keep it under control, lest I be sidetracked. Music is very important to me when I’m writing, so I have a nice set of speakers framing reference books behind my laptop.
What is your go-to snack when writing? Gum. I go through several packs of gum a week—if there’s food at my desk, I’ll eat it and not even notice. Gum? Won’t swallow that! Well…not twice anyway.
If you could only recommend one NOVEL, what would it be? Why? Ugh. Just one? I’d have to say Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury. That’s a novel I’ve read many times over. No one draws me into character and setting like he did.
If you could only recommend one CRAFT book (writing, no crocheting), what would it be? Why? I loved Stephen King’s On Writing. He packages excellent writing advice with a sense of awe and loads of real life situations and humor.
Independent or Alone? Macy longed for independence her whole life. Maybe marrying Arthur to escape her home hadn’t been the best plan, but it seemed good enough at the time. Now, pregnant and abandoned in a diner far from anyone she knows, Macy must start life all over again. Relying on the mercy of the diner’s owners, she begins to put things back together. Macy must make her own decisions for the first time in her adult life—but it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And with the
too-alluring Toby at her side instead of her husband, she’s discovering those decisions harder to make than ever.
All too soon the illusion of freedom comes crashing down when she realizes her family back home might lose everything if she doesn’t return. She’d married Arthur to get away from those responsibilities, so how can she face ending up where she started? With her grandmother’s lessons on faith coming to mind again for the first time in years, Macy has to learn what freedom really is…and
which road will lead her to where she ought to have been all along.
You can connect with me by following my blog at http://aprilmcgowan.com I’d love to hear from you!