I asked for more questions and got some. Emily came up with varied ones. So here goes.
Q 1 – Do you have any funny stories about raising chickens when you were growing up?
I could come up with lots of chicken stories. Not sure how funny any of them would be. I did have a pet bantam rooster that I loved and my older sister hated. Of course, that could be because the little rooster let me pet and hold him and then he tried to attack my sister with his spurs. She was very disappointed the day my mother ran out the door waving a tea towel to keep a hawk from picking him up, but I was very glad. I don’t remember what eventually happened to him. Maybe my sister beaned him with a rock or that hawk finally got him when my mother wasn’t looking.
Q 2 – What does your middle initial stand for?
That’s an easy question. I use the initial of my maiden name, Houchin. My dad always worried about having only daughters and no son to carry on his name. He didn’t have any brothers either. So, since I was the youngest kid, the one who was supposed to be a boy, I wanted to keep my maiden name. I never liked my middle name anyway. It’s Bernice, a perfectly good name that was after a favorite aunt, but when I was a kid, somebody told me it was a boy’s name. That messed the name up for me. I was too impressionable as a kid.
Q 3 – What advice do you give to aspiring first time authors?
First I would tell a want-to-be writer to read, read, read. That feeds your brain and helps you learn about putting words together. Then I would tell that person to write, write, write. Everything you write can be considered practice whether you find a market or readers for it or not. Last, I would tell that writer to persevere. Most writers aren’t instant successes. Many write several books before they start seeing success with their writing. So believe in yourself and keep writing.
(I’m saving Emily’s fourth question for a future post. It’s about growing up on a farm.)
Q 4 is from Lou Anne – Do you believe your destiny is writing?
I don’t know about destiny, but I do think I was born a writer. I’ve always had a gift for words. I feel that is a God given talent and for that I’m thankful. I’ve been through some years that made me doubt if I could be a successful writer, but I never doubted that I am a writer. I’ve been blessed these last twelve years to be able to publish books in the Christian market where I am able to include faith elements. Maybe that’s what the Lord intended all along. So can you consider that destiny?
Sandi asked several questions.
Q 5 – Do you ever feel the call to “write” is overwhelming?
No. I’ve always been happy that I could write stories. I don’t know that I ever thought about it as a “calling,” but I know many Christian writers do feel as though they are called to write. I just like to tell stories. That I can tell Christian viewpoint stories is a gift. I do sometimes struggle with writing a story when the words come hard as they do at times. Generally, when I’m writing, the enthusiasm of beginning a story carries me through a number of pages, but then I’ll often feel bogged down and begin to wonder if the story is working. The experience of pushing through to the end of more than thirty stories helps me out there. I know I’ve done it before and most of the time the story turns out the way I want.
Q 6 – Do you ever want to resist the absolute need to write?
My trouble has always been finding the time to engage in that absolute need to write. I’ve struggled with that ever since I got married and had children. Often, I found it difficult to carve out time to write. Now that my kids are long grown up and have their own families, I still sometimes struggle to dedicate the necessary time to writing. So many other things pull at my attention — my family, social media, the sunshine outside, publicity for the books I’ve already written, chores I need to do — there’s always something. So, while I wouldn’t say I resist the need to write, I do sometimes delay getting down to the hard work of filling pages with words to tell the stories I want to tell.
Q 7 – Are you ever sorry your life didn’t take a different direction?
This question is not at all hard to answer. I love being a writer. I love being a wife, mother, grandmother. I love being a child of God. I love living on a farm. I love having all you reading friends. I am blessed. I’ve never tried to imaging any other direction for my life. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Could have used some do overs, but the Lord has a way of weaving the good and bad in our lives and somehow making it all work out. So, I’m very happy with the direction of my life and that the Lord led me into the Christian fiction field. I’m right where I need to be.
That’s all the questions for this Wednesday. If any of you have other questions, I love Q & A and will be glad to do another session next week. Just ask away. let me know what you want to know. As always, thanks for reading.
What questions would you like to ask?