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These are the questions asked of me this week with regard to the new book Portsoy Woods
Thank you to all who read the book in advance of its release and who allowed me to post their questions here.
Q.) Is this book autobiographical ?
A.) No. Most authors of fiction take things they do indeed know something about and create a world which resembles our own world in some ways but not in others. A good author incorporates many people, many things, and many situations into a book. There may be parallels to real life, and there may not. A good writer should leave you wondering what is true in their book, and what isn't. Blurring the lines of reality can be desirable and can make a book more interesting.
Q.) Why is the husband who is the main character an intelligence analyst ?
A.) Living in Virginia, I know quite a few people who either work in intelligence analysis today, or who have in the past. Some of them have mentioned the occupational hazard of becoming concerned for the safety of their families in the world, especially after years of reading concerning information regarding the security of our nation. I found this particular occupational hazard interesting and I wanted to explore it.
Q.) I found several of the things that happened in the story upsetting. Why did you let those things happen to good people ?
A.) Sometimes, in life, bad things happen to good people. In order to resonate and to interest readers, art must sometimes approximate life. In this book, the characters are not subjected to strife for no reason. The lessons they learn and the ways in which they cope can be instructive for those of us who are enduring trials, similar and dissimilar, in our own lives. Reading fiction can be enjoyable sometimes, but more importantly, it can also be instructive.
From a Christian standpoint, God is always with us even in terrible circumstances. From a humanistic standpoint, men and particularly women are more resilient than they realize. Resiliency is an aspect of human nature which interests me.
Q.) Are the children in this book your own ?
A.) No. Although there are certainly elements of my children at certain ages in Kristin, Chloe, Hunter, MJ, and Amanda Jane, they are not my own. I did homeschool my children, and one of my children did die unexpectedly, and this is where the parallels end.
Q.) I wondered why there were not romance or sex scenes.
A.) Michael and his wife have a normal life together. However, their sex lives do not relate directly to the challenges in the book, and so the focus was not placed on these.
Q.) Why did you wait several years before releasing a new book ?
A.) I continue to do many things in life in addition to being an author. Raising my family is the most important task my husband and I have undertaken. Running a farm and then making money in a variety of ways continue and are important. I do have a number of writing projects in process. Sometimes there may be a delay between books and sometimes there may be a short hiatus before the release of another.
Q.) When do you find time to write ?
A.) Much of my writing and almost all of the writing for this particular book occurred from about four in the morning to about seven thirty in the morning. Later in the afternoon, I may have time to reread, rephrase, and revise what was written that morning. Sometimes, at night after dinner, I will organize projects better and name chapters.
Q.) Do you ever worry that you will run out of things to say ?
A,) Not really. There are always things which interest me that are occurring in the world. I am interested in seeing how people, particularly families, handle challenges. I hope my readers are also.