1. Storm is filled with spiritual (not religious--there is a big difference) references and insinuations. You could not have written this book without having a strong faith of your own. When did you realize how important faith was to you, and how did it come about?
I realized just how strong my faith was when I found myself alone with a five month old baby, no income and in an apartment I knew I couldn't afford. At that point in my life--God was my only hope--and He came through for me. Since that time, I have found my faith deepening constantly,
2. I know that you have a menagerie (i.e. zoo) of your own. Did you think about how much comfort the ending would be for pet lovers who have lost their four-legged family members?
I never thought about how the ending would affect those who lost a furry friend--I'm glad that is something it does, however. There are many moments in this book that found their way into the story without me realizing it.
3. I loved your references to the railroad. Is there some significance to railroads for you? If so, what is it?
I have always loved trains and railroad tracks. When I was a little girl, I would look down the empty tracks and imagine what it would be like to follow them until they ended--I somehow felt what was at the end was so much better than where I was--safer, happier. With Storm, I decided to see just what WAS at the end of the track :-)
4. How long did it take you to write Storm? It seems like you must have lived and breathed the storyline, as it is so "real" to the reader. How did you feel when you finally finished it?
The actual writing took two years from first word to last period. Before that, I spent nearly six months turning it over in my mind, doubting my ability to write, etc...
I did literally live this book--day and night--many parts came as I woke from a dream and had to write--when I got stuck, I'd pray that God would point me in the correct direction--and the next day I'd write.
I was actually scared when I finished it. I put so much energy into Storm I wondered what would come next--and the thought of rejection was overwhelming.
5. You have a teenage son, who I happen to know is a wonderful young man, and that you homeschool him. Do you think you had to sacrifice some of the time with him when you were working on the book? Did he ever indicate that he felt like he had suddenly become "second fiddle" to a man that didn't really exist--except in your mind?
I do believe time with him was lessened--but not once did he complain. Shane is an incredible young man. He is the one who kept pushing me forward--reminding me I should be writing when I did other things. He is my biggest supporter when it comes to writing.
6. When you started the book, did you KNOW who Storm really was, or did that take you by surprise as much as it does the reader of the book?
That was the one thing I did know. It actually made it hard to write, because he needed to discover that for himself and I wanted to "help out" :-) There were a lot of surprises in Storm--but this wasn't one of them.
7. Now that you are moving into the marketing phase of your first book, what do you plan to do to make this wonderful work known to the entire world? Is Oprah in the cards? If you could be on one of the major TV talk shows to discuss Storm, which one would you prefer?
I have started sending out press releases/reviews to all the newspapers and the libraries. I am gathering a list of every bookstore I can and will be calling each one personally to ask that they order at least one copy of the book (although I'm hoping for more).
The thought of being on Oprah scares me--but I plan on mailing her a copy also. I'm not big on talk shows--most are so controversial--but Oprah has a classier program.
Truthfully? The one person I always wanted to be interview by was Barbara Walters--that woman knows how to conduct an interview!!!
I'd like to see Storm become a weekly TV series (I think the way it is set up it is possible) or a movie--but that's just a dream.
I also want it translated into Spanish and done as an audio book.
I don't want much, do I??
8. I know this will probably sound strange, but then you know I'm not "normal" anyway. LOL! Do you think you have ever "seen" Storm? I mean, has he manifested himself to you in a physical presence?
Yes, I believe he did--over twenty years ago and only for a brief moment--a moment of intense eye contact that has stayed with me since.
Thank you so much for stopping by, Joyce. I'm thrilled for you to have this life-changing book out for people to read it. I wish you the best of luck with it.