So happy to visit with you today, Kathleen. Tell us about your latest book, Secrets and Wishes.
When their sons collide in a fist fight, Maggie Galloway and Thomas Harper also collide with words. Both widowed and rearing rambunctious children, they have more in common than they like to admit. From Maggie nursing Thomas back to health to confronting a dangerous charlatan together, their children see they’re a match. Uncertain of their future, Maggie plans on returning to her hometown. Thomas can’t fight his feelings for her any longer. Is it too late to declare his love for Maggie?
Why did you write this book?
When I wrote my novel, Rumors and Promises, Maggie Galloway was a secondary character as the older sister of the hero, Reverend Ian McCormick. Maggie is feisty but kind, and I enjoyed writing her conversations with Ian, who liked to tease her. Besides, she was kind and accepting to Sophie when she needed a friend. I grew to really like Maggie and thought she needed her own story. That was probably the biggest reason I wrote Secrets and Wishes.
What’s your favorite scene in this book?
This is a toss-up! One of my favorites was toward the beginning of the story when the Harpers’ housekeeper quits because of the practical jokes the Harper boys play on her—particularly a snake in her clothing drawer! It was fun to write about these rambunctious boys and their mirth over their prank.
The other scene is closer to the end. I don’t want to give a spoiler here. Suffice it to say Maggie and Thomas spend much of the story at odds and fighting their attraction to each other. They finally have a moment by the mill pond when they are standing close to one another. Thomas takes some of her curls in his hand and kisses them. Maggie closes her eyes and waits…
Sorry, that’s all I’m giving away!
How do you share Christ in your writing?
I try to weave it into the story. For example, the hero in Secrets and Wishes, is literally a “doubting Thomas.” I wrote his questions into the story, questions many people wrestle with, such as, Why is God letting this happen to me? Why did God take ________ away? Does God really love me? Is He really there?
In real life we don’t always get our questions answered in “x” amount of time. However, in the novel, Thomas’s journey will at least bring him to a place of facing whether the Lord is worthy of his faith and trust, and making a decision.
To sum up, I do my best to share Christ in my writing by showing that Jesus and His word have the answers, that He is worthy of our trust even when we don’t get all the answers we want. He is the answer.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
This kind of goes along with the previous question. I find I seem to return to the themes of trusting God to work out the right plans in our lives, hoping in Him even when things seem hopeless, and letting go of past mistakes—receiving His forgiveness.
What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
When you write a novel, it’s like giving birth to a child, in a way. A piece of your heart exists on every page. Also, that so much work goes into each book between the author, editors, proofreaders, cover design, marketing, etc. Many people play a part. Okay, that was two. Sorry about that!
Tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.
It was an email I received from a reader who read Rumors and Promises. I had identified more with the heroine, Sophie, so I thought of her journey as the main one, but the reader had identified with Ian’s journey and been able to let go of something from her past because of it. It was healing for her and it touched me deeply that God could use my story that way.
Do you have an unfulfilled dream?
Yes! Traveling to Italy with my husband. I have been blessed with a trip to South Korea to help a friend bring home a child that she was adopting. Also, last year I went on a mission trip to the Paris Prayer Conference and was able to stop in England on the way to visit my niece (one dream fulfilled), so I can’t complain too much.
However, my maternal grandparents were from Italy and I’ve wanted to visit there for many years, especially since I was so close to my mom. Plus, there is so much history there, and pictures of the countryside are always beautiful and amazing.
What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I just returned to a position as a co-teacher of primary age kids at Community Bible Study. I have volunteered at CBS on and off in the past. I keep coming back for fellowship with other women who have a deep love of God’s word and to learn more from the studies. I homeschooled for over twenty years and really missed teaching children. Being able to teach little ones about scripture is a privilege and a blessing that I’m thankful the Lord called me to do.
Do you have pets, and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
I have a cat named Lilybits. She’s a gray tabby from a rescue. Lily came to us with a half of a tail and eventually had to have the rest of it removed due to phantom pain. Anyway, we brought her into our home after the kids had all left home and she’s been great company for me. She has inspired blog posts in the past. And since I love to sit in my recliner with a cup of coffee by my side and Lilybits on my lap, she keeps me on the computer—definitely an inspiration to write!
What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I really enjoy the creativity of designing and making jewelry with beads or wire wrapping! If I had time for both I’d love to have a jewelry business alongside my writing. I also enjoy knitting, going for walks with my hubby, or bike riding. I love to bake, especially if the treat contains chocolate. However, on my current weight-loss program, I don’t dare, so I miss that.
Tell us about your next project.
I’m currently working on a novella for a Great Lakes lighthouse romance collection. The working title of my story is “The Last Memory.” I’ve chosen to set my romance at the Mackinac Point lighthouse, a place I enjoy visiting and have visited many times.
Thank you for joining us, Kathleen, and sharing about your life, writing, and motivations.