Q: Why did you decide to write this book?
A: I didn’t really decide to write this book—I was directed to. In 2006, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, and the Christian Day of Atonement all took place on the same day. It was also the day of the Nikels Mine School shooting of innocent Amish children. On a day of terrible tragedy yet awesome religious significance, the story of all three books for The Heavenly Host came to me.
Q: Do you have any secret writing tips you’d like to share?
A: Buy a nice pen and colorful notebooks to keep track of your research, and store everything related to your book in a large bag or knapsack so it’s always together. If you like to listen to music while you write, throw your ear buds and CDs or iPod in there too.
Q: Tell us a quirky or funny story about you!
A: I was in New York City with a male friend and we decided to have our picture drawn by one of the street artists who perch on the sidewalks of every block. The woman was very nice and tried to make conversation. She asked my friend what he did for a living and guessed right away that he was an attorney. Then she turned to me and guessed first that I was my friend’s secretary and then that I was “a lady of the night”!!! I could only laugh, but at least on the third guess she got it right and said I was a writer.
Q: Have you ever battled writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
A: Not really—I have so little time to write what I have to say comes spilling out when I finally get around to it. Maybe my block is making time—I tend to put other things before writing when it should be at the top of my list.
Q: What’s your favorite quote?
A: We travelers, walking to the sun, can’t see
Ahead, but looking back the very light
That blinded us shows us the way we came
Along which blessings now appear, risen
As if from sightedness to sight, and we,
By blessings brightly lit, keep going toward
That blessed light that yet to us is dark.
Q: Who inspires you the most?
A: Of course God is the source of all my writing—He gives me the stories and I just write them down and polish them off. But on a human level, it would be my friends! They’re all unique and do such interesting and diverse things. They give me the energy and support to persevere through bad times.