Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Interview with the Oregon Heroines

This article appeared on the Heartsong Presents author blog the week of Sept 20.

For today’s article, I thought it would be fun to interview my Oregon heroines. We will cover their aspirations in life, their relationships with the Lord, and for fun, something about the men.


God Gave the Song Please meet Ruthanne Fairfax from God Gave the Song (GGS),  




Crossroads Bay Meranda Drake from Crossroads Bay (CB),




Fine Feathered Friend  and Glenys Bernard from Fine, Feathered Friend (FFF). Welcome ladies!




Ruthanne (GGS): Hi Kathy. It’s been awhile.

K: I know! Your story came out in October 2009! It’s great to reconnect with you again.

Meranda (CB): Ahoy, Kathy! How is the landlubber?

K: You know me. I got nauseous just writing about you on your charter boat!

Glenys (FFF): Hi Kats! So great to see you this soon!

K: Absolutely! I hated to let you, or any of the ladies, go. But there are readers out there who need to hear your stories. So, let’s get started.

K: First of all, tell us what you wanted in life at the beginning of your stories. (We don’t want tell how you’re doing now, or it may spoil things for my audience! LOL)

Ruthanne (GGS): I was so focused on helping my friend, Hannie, manage her alpaca ranch, that I nearly missed how sick she’d gotten. But, I wanted so much to help this magnificent woman after the death of her husband. I guess I poured so much into the business that I forgot to have a life.

K: Well, we fixed that little problem, didn’t we? BTW, after researching alpacas, I think I want one now.

Meranda (CB): Nothing became more important to me than finding the coins that had been in my family for generations. I needed to prove that they weren’t a myth because my father died trying to find them, and the whole community labeled him “crazy.” I’m afraid I neglected the rest of my family as I became obsessed.

K; But sometimes the hardest lessons are the ones that reap the greatest rewards. Of all my heroines, Meranda, you were the one that I had to push off the edge to get you to see God’s will.

Glenys (FFF): I guess focus was the theme for all of us. I was so focused on landing that career changing role in a movie that I forgot who God wanted me to be.

K: You’re right, Glenys. All of you were living with blinders in your own little worlds. But, we must start low if we’re going to end high, and each of you came away with lessons learned.

Meranda (CB): Hey! Be careful not to spoil anything for your readers!

K: Heartsong readers know there’s always a happy ending. They wouldn’t read if you all stayed in yourselves and never grew. And speaking of growing, let’s talk about your relationships with God.

Ruthanne (GGS): I think I can speak for all of us when I say we all knew the Lord, but had strayed from His plan. For myself, Hannie had led me into the Kingdom after taking me in. Her servant’s heart touched me deeply, and I aspire to be just like her.

Meranda (CB): Yes, I also strayed. My family had gone to church when I was young, mostly because it was THE thing to do. My mother was more focused on being seen at church than seeking God. But, somehow, His word soaked in to my young soul. I drifted away after my father died, angry at Him for taking Pop away.

Glenys (FFF): My mother led me to the Lord. Between us, we worked on Dad, but she never saw his conversion. . .this side of heaven anyway. I knew I wanted to become an actress, but somehow, I forgot to pray about that. Was that God’s will for my life? Did He want me to go out for the big role? I had a tough lesson to learn, as well.

K: Yes, we all journeyed together, didn’t we girls? And now, let’s talk about our men!

Ruthanne (GGS): I thought Skye Randall was the oddest person I’d ever met. And remember, Hannie was a hippie! Despite his sky blue eyes (and yes, I did notice them!) there was a cloud hanging over him. A dark, thunder cloud. He was clearly unhappy that we raised alpacas on our ranch. But, he was a good man. I saw that through his determination as he worked through things in his own life.

Meranda (CB): I’m afraid I didn’t see Paul Godfrey as the hero in my story for quite awhile. He catered a wedding on my boat, but all I noticed was that he spent most of his time draped over the side. No way was I going to hook up with a landlubber!

K: But I had other plans.

Meranda (CB): Oh, yes you did, and when I finally saw him the way you wrote him. . .wow! Who can resist a man who not only cooks for you and but helps you follow your dream.

Glenys (FFF): I’m afraid I was so frightened of all the birds in the rescue center that I didn’t even think about Tim Vogel as a potential boyfriend.

K: Hey, you had a fear of birds because of my Aunt Helen.

(Silence and strange looks from the three women.)

K: Let me explain. My Great-Aunt Helen and Great-Uncle Cameron raised chickens at their house in Ellis, Kansas. When I was about six years old, we visited them. Aunt Helen took me out to see the chickens. She placed a hen in my arms and it wasn’t as soft as it looked! I thought the pin feathers and clawed feet felt “icky” in my arms. And when it thrashed around wanting to be let go, it frightened me. So, poor Glenys had to suffer because of me. Sorry about that. But, please, continue telling about Tim.

Glenys (FFF): Thanks a lot, Kathy! Now, back to the more pleasant subject! I gravitated toward Tim, mostly to avoid the other bird of prey, a tall, slimy man named Vic. Both men had offered to help me over my fear, but Tim seemed the safest choice. It’s a shame that he had to work through his prejudice over actresses in order to get to know me better.

K: Thank you, ladies! It still astounds me how three diverse women could have the same struggles and victories, yet such different stories. It’s been great visiting with you again. Let’s keep in touch!

Ruthanne (GGS): Thank you, Kathy! I pray your readers continue to pass your books along so that we can continue to relay God’s message through our stories.

(Meranda and Glenys nod in agreement, wide smiles on their faces.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Theme Verses

The following article appeared on the Heartsong Presents authors blog the week of Sept 20.

BibleYou’ve seen the scripture on back covers of Heartsong Presents books. But have you ever wondered how the author arrives at that particular verse?

Heartsong is one of the few publishers that requires this verse. Not only does it enrich the reader’s experience, it also keeps the author on track with their spiritual theme as they write the book.

As I tested my wings with my debut novel, Merely Players, it would have been so easy to go into several directions. The spiritual theme wasn’t obvious to me at first since I did no pre-plotting. But eventually it was clear that the characters struggled with their identity in Christ.

Imagine my pleasure when part of my favorite passage became the theme. “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.” Psalm 139:1 NIV

Brick and Bethany didn’t know who they were, but once they both yielded to God, He illumined the identities they had both been born into. Brick especially struggled. He’d become a different person entirely from the one Bethany knew as a teenager, even going so far as changing his hair color and his name. But God used Bethany to bring him into his true self, because God knew who he was deep down inside.

After that book, I plotted each novel, making it clearer to know each of my characters before the first word was written. In the first of the Oregon series, God Gave the Song, Skye is challenged by God to forgive the mother who hurt him so deeply. He finds that he can’t move on until he does one crucial thing. “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25. Ruthanne had to learn the same lesson due to her ex-husband’s neglect and abandonment.

The second of the Oregon series is Crossroads Bay. This verse became more than a scriptural lesson for Meranda. It became the key to finding her inner and outer treasures. “This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’” Jeremiah 6:16

After searching for the coins that had been in her family for generations, she found herself at a crossroads. Should she continue the journey that took her father’s life and almost ended hers, or trust that if God wanted her to find the coins, He would lead her there.

For Fine, Feathered Friend, the Lord allowed me to have somefile9381250976295 unusual fun with the verse. In the story, Cyrano is a tattle-tale African Gray Parrot. He tells the heroine, Glenys, everything the hero, Tim, says about her. Glenys has no idea who is talking to Cyrano since he is exposed to so many people at the Raptor Rescue center. Cyrano’s reports are a tad skewed since he rarely relates things in the right order.

In a radical move on my part, rather than finding a verse that reflected the spiritual theme, I decided to tackle Cyrano’s problem. I went to www.BibleGateway.com and searched for gossip. Most of the verses were so negative, that I couldn’t burden poor Cyrano with them. After all, he was only trying to play matchmaker. So, I entered “bird” just to see what would come up. The following verse, to my delight, became the verse on the back cover of Fine, Feathered Friend. “. . .A bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.” Ecclesiastes 10:20

Yes, readers, God has a delicious sense of humor.

Within the text, I used another verse that dealt with fear, since Glenys is an actress afraid of birds and Tim is a bird handler afraid of actresses. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25. This helped me stay on track, but always, I’d have the fun verse in front of me as a reminder to play and have a blast.