I’m a born and raised Missouri native. You think that’d make me a farm girl, but I’m not that cool. Born in St. Joseph, raised in Kansas City, schooled in Springfield, I’m just a suburbanite stuck in the heartland. No, I don’t pronounce it Missoura. Yeah right! There’s an “i” on the end people.
At 17 I thought I’d prove myself a whiz kid and graduate high school a year early. I wound up at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri–a smaller school in a way smaller town than KC. They called me a city girl because I’d point at cows along the highway and call ‘em cute. Oops! Gotta go where God wants, right? Then I really went against the grain, choosing the least Bible-intensive major available, Communications.
I logged two years at the school newspaper, then got talked into running for junior class treasurer. I met a lot of great people who I still consider lifelong buds. I even scored my first major writing award–second place in the National Religious Broadcaster’s scholarship contest sponsored by Focus on the Family. My prize winning essay was entitled “Cinematic Theology and The Matrix.” That means I got to research The Matrix and get paid for it. Sweet!
CBC’s creative writing class inspired my first novel. And they say steer clear of creative writing classes. But I say, find a great teacher like Ms. Taylor. :) It was a writing year! Junior year I was forced to take a scriptwriting class. That spring I turned it into a successful one act play called Nothing to Do With You. The title, and the play, actually worked–and counted toward my Comm degree.
Senior year they figured they had to put me in Who’s Who Among College Students, just in case my writing went anywhere. They’re still waiting for that to pay off. Me too. Graduating Cum Laude with a B.A. in Church Communication Arts, emphasizing in Drama and Media, hasn’t helped me land a fancy job like I thought. But hey, I do have a two walled officle. Not too shabby. Maybe soon I’ll graduate to a full cubicle.
After college I landed a husband and convinced him to get me a dog. I’ve done everything from graphic design to working in the registrar’s office. Okay, so that’s about all I’ve done, unless you count barista in college. For my first book I just landed a contract with OakTara, a small publishers whose editor worked with Madeleine L’Engle. Now that I’ve made my mark with one editor it’s time to get cracking on her list of demands. (Just kidding). Then, if all goes well, I can start in on the next three novels in my series. Guess that means my other ideas, a girl-on-the-run thriller and a science fiction/fantasy adventure, will have to wait. Who says I don’t have a range?
Favorite color: Purple
Most recent award: Voted “Laughs-a-lot” by my manager. :)
Newest OakTara Author–yeah that’s me!
Next book ideas:
- Suspense/Thriller developed from a foggy day
- Sci-fi/Fantasy taken from a color-filled dream
My personal BPH Awards for best fiction:
- All-time favorite:
Madeleine L’Engle for A Ring of Endless Light
Jane Austen, Kristin Billerbeck, and Jenny B. Jones.
- Best College-Girl Series:
- Robin Jones Gunn for the Katie Weldon series
- Best Popular Girl Turns Christian Series:
- Stephanie Morrill for The Reinvention of Sklyar Hoyt series
- Best Final Book of a Chick-Lit Trilogy:
- Tracey Bateman for That’s Amore, #3 in the Drama Queens series
- Best Multiple Personality Book:
- Susan May Warren for her 5+ POV masterpiece Finding Stephanie
- Best Boy Book:
- Neil Gaimon for his sci-fi page turner Interworld
- Zaniest Character:
Kristin Billerbeck’s Ashley Stockingdale series
- Best Theological Allegory:
William P. Young for The Shack
- Best Free Book:
Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson. (Still free on Amazon.com)
- Best Book to Read as a Child or an Adult:
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis