Thank you so much for joining me today, Sally! It is an honor to get to know you better!
PM: Tell us what are you reading for fun right now?
SB: Hi, Paula Marie! I’m delighted to be here today. Thank you so much for inviting me! Right now I’m reading “Within My Heart” by Tamera Alexander. It’s the third book in a historical Christian romance series. I thought I’d read all of Tamera’s books, but was delighted to learn I’d missed this series so there were three more books to enjoy!
PM: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite gender?
SB: Keeping the dialogue short and not apologizing much. From what I’ve been taught about writing for male characters, they don’t talk in long sentences and they don’t use the words “I’m sorry” nearly as often as women do. I also sometimes have to ask my husband to make sure I get things correct. So I come to him with questions like “Do you know what color mauve is?” (Answer: “Some kind of purple.”) “Would you ever describe something as mauve?” (Answer: “Uh, nope.”)
PM: That is so funny, I love it! So great that he is a sounding board for you. I just adored Love at Sunset Lake and I am curious to know if your fictional town of Abundance resembles the town you grew up in in Missouri?
SB: I’m so glad you liked that story! Abundance is smaller than my hometown of Rolla, Missouri, but shares the characteristics that people always know each other’s business and know exactly how each person in town is related to the others. (Why, yes, those two people did date in high school, twenty years ago.) Sunset Lake itself is based on a lake near my hometown, Little Prairie Lake, where my dad used to take me fishing when I was kid. I don’t think there are actually any houses on the real lake, at least there weren’t when I was little, but when I think of the size and the landscape, that’s what I see.
PM: Have you always known you had the writing bug (and ability)?
SB: I’ve always loved books and writing. I studied journalism in school and worked as a newspaper copy editor and in corporate communications for several years before I became an at-home mom. Except for a brief attempt at writing a murder mystery when I was 23, I never wrote fiction until 2009.
PM: Tell us what you enjoy doing the most when you are not writing or reading?
SB: I love spending time with my husband and grown children, playing cards, doing crosswords, and going kayaking. I also love the beach.
PM: I was reviewing your website and see you were an Alex P. Keaton fan too, so we definitely have that in common! What were some of your other favorite shows growing up?
SB: The Dukes of Hazard, M*A*S*H, and the old Dick Van Dyke Show with Mary Tyler Moore.
PM: Wow, we definitely have a lot in common! I still enjoy those reruns, lol. If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be, and why?
SB: I guess everyone probably says “Jesus,” right? He’d be my first choice. If He already has dinner plans, I’d love to dine with Jane Austen.
PM: I see you enjoy Italian food as well, what is your favorite Italian meal, and do you like cooking?
SB: My favorite Italian meal is spaghetti with meatballs. I enjoy cooking, but I’d rather bake than make the entrée. Just say the words “Olive Garden” and I’m in the car.
PM: Okay, as an Italian, I am just going to say I really like their salad….lol. What was your most beloved book to read as a child?
SB: Just one? Hmmmm… One of the Trixie Belden mysteries. I wore the covers off mine.
PM: I will admit, I needed to look this one up, never heard of them. They look very interesting! I will have to recommend them to my cousins. I have to know – do you bake the pies you write about? I bet your friends and family love being taste testers!
SB: I do bake pies, but not as much now that it’s just my husband and I living at home. He would sadly tell you that most nights I serve fruit as dessert, trying to keep us both healthy. I know myself well enough to know that if I make a pie, I’ll eat a sizable serving every day!
PM: How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
SB: Join my newsletter! It comes out about every two months and includes information about my new releases, special promotions, Christian fiction I’ve enjoyed reading, and any interesting news in my writing world. Readers who subscribe to my newsletter receive a free family tree for the characters in my books and an insider’s guide to my series.
To sign up, please visit http://eepurl.com/grrCZH
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
SB: Tea, please. In the winter, I like hot English Breakfast tea with no sugar or cream. In the summer, I like iced tea, unsweet with lemon, even at breakfast.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog!