At the beginning of a New Year...can you share with us one of your biggest blessings of '08? What is one thing you are really looking forward to in '09?
On a personal level, the greatest blessing of 2008 was watching my older kids—Melanie, who’s 21, and Matthew, 19—start to find themselves, who they are outside of their family. Both of them embraced their faith with more certainty and meaning than they had before. Nothing compares to watching your children hear and accept God’s call, and take it into adulthood. Professionally, 2008 saw the launch of the young adult series, which has blessed me in more ways than I ever guessed it would. I had a chance to talk to a lot of middle schoolers, and their enthusiasm and passion have been contagious. I’m hoping that 2009 will bring more of that. I’m also very excited about Deadlock and the adult thriller after that one, which will introduce a little of the supernatural into my brand of action-adventure storytelling.
What kind of exciting and fun feedback are you getting from your Dreamhouse King site? Would you like to share any teasers for the next book - Timescape?
In addition to the letters I’ve been getting from readers who want to share their enthusiasm for the stories, I get a lot of responses from the two Dreamhouse contests. One is a weekly trivia contest that tests reader’s knowledge of the series. Usually, they go further than simply answering a question; they go into how a particular scene made them feel: scared, excited, encouraged to write stories themselves. The other contest, called “Dream the Scene,” lets them suggest places the Kings go in history to look for their mom. I’m amazed at how creative and bright the people who write in are. I’ve been having a lot of fun getting to know my readers. They’ve been more encouraging and inspiring than any other aspect of my job.
Timescape is one wild ride. We learn the meaning of the weird wall sconces that line the hallway of doors—or portals. We find out just how nasty our bad guy Taksidian really is. And two of the worlds the Kings enter are from “Dream the Scene” contestants. In one, David and Dad step onto the deck of the Titanic as it’s sinking. They have to try to find a clue to Mom’s whereabouts and get back home before the icy Atlantic claims them. In another, the brothers step into the middle of the Viking raid on Alfred the Great’s castle in the ninth century. There, they draw the attention of berserkers, insane warriors no one should ever have to face.
Words of encouragement or comments about where God is leading you?
Two areas of my writing that I’m really excited about, that I feel God’s tug into, are the young adult books and the exploration of supernatural elements in my adult thrillers. I wrote three thrillers intended for adults before delving into the young adult stories, and I wonder why it took me so long to realize how rewarding writing for young people could be. I want to continue writing for this age group after the Dreamhouse books. I have two ideas for stories that I’m totally pumped up about. I can’t wait to jump into them. And the next adult thriller: the more I outline and research it, the more excited I am about it. I think it’ll surprise a lot of people—in a good way, I hope.
For the writers reading this, let me just say that if God has given you the desire to tell stories, He is faithful: He will give you the skills, the time, patience and opportunities. All in His time. But you have to keep writing, you have to keep honing your skills and developing stories so when He says, “It’s your turn,” you’ll be ready.