Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing?
I’ve been a writer since I was little: poems and little stories and the like. When I discovered I could read books as an English major in college, I ran in that direction! Since then, I’ve written everything from government papers to preschool newsletters to a play for a major Christmas church production. When my youngest went off to kindergarten, I was out of a job. But then, I got this idea for a novel…
Why do you keep writing?
Writing is the way I process my world and make sense of my life. My first (and still unpublished) book was particularly cathartic. I go a little crazy if I can’t write!
What about “Words of Conviction”? How did that idea come about?
My good friend Sharon Smith was a forensic psycholinguist for the FBI. (She’s now retired.) In that capacity, she analyzed kidnapping notes, checked suspects’ speech for deception, and did all manner of other interesting things. She was incredibly generous with her time and expertise as I developed the story.
In “Words of Conviction,” the five-year-old daughter of a powerful senator is abducted from her bedroom. Special Agent Mackenzie Graham, a forensic psycholinguist, is assigned to the investigation team to analyze words from the kidnapper. But is her science reliable? Kenzie works with Special Agent John Crowfeather, a Navajo running from a difficult past, and Agent Scott Hansbrough as they search for the little girl.
What is one thing from your book that you hope readers identify with?
The sovereignty of God in all things.
What is your overall goal for your writing?
I want to present the reader with a good, logical story. I also want to write authentically about the FBI. My husband worked at the FBI Academy for over 27 years, and many of our friends are agents. But my overall mission statement is this: To spread a passion for Christ through white-knuckle fiction. If I can encourage someone to move a little closer to God through my books, my work is successful.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
Persist. If God has called you to this work, keep writing. Because in the end, it’s not publication credits or awards or acclaim that matters, it’s obedience to his design for your life. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10 ESV