Interview with Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana Authors Tricia Goyer and Ocienna Fleiss

Posted 10 December, 2009 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Welcome to Book Reviews by Buuklvr81!!! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for me!

BL:When did you first realize you wanted to write books?

O: I’ve always love stories. As a child I constantly made up my own tales, but when I first really wanted to write books was when I realized the power of story. How God can use a novel to change someone’s life. I knew I was no preacher or theologian, but perhaps through fiction I could show Christ in a simple way.

T: When a friend told me she was working on a novel something struck a chord with me. I’d grown up wanting to read and I couldn’t think of anything cool. God refined my enthusiasm, though, and changed my motives. Now, more than anything, I want to write to glorify God and to inspire and encourage people. The story of my writing journey can be read here:

BL:How do you choose the themes for your books?

O: The theme for Lonesome Prairie came from the title! We wanted the characters to long for a home and then find it in Christ.

T: From that theme we built on the characters, their struggles, and worked toward a happily-ever-ending in which God and pure love is uplifted.

BL:What is your work schedule like while you are writing books?

O: Both Tricia and I homeschool so it’s pretty crazy! I do school with the kids in the morning and write in the afternoons and evenings. Saturdays too when a deadline’s looming.

T: I write during the day while I’m homeschooling. My youngest son is 15 now so I can say, “Get to work” and he knows exactly what to do. Of course, I do have to stop and help him at times, but it’s not as all-consuming as when my kids were younger.

BL:Are any of the characters or events in your books based on actual people or events in your life?

O: That question could get me into trouble. … I’ll say that the two-year-old, Bea, in Lonesome Prairie is based on my own sweet little girl.

T: Isaac was inspired by Brother Van, who was a circuit preacher in Montana in the late 19th century. We just made him younger and gave him a love interest! The heart of the two men is the same, though.

BL:What genre of books to you normally read yourself?

O: I almost only read the classics. Sometimes I read historical fiction if I find an author I love (like Tricia!).

T: I mostly read non-fiction Christian classics like Oswald Chambers, Watchman Nee, Andrew Murray, research books (about whatever currently working on), and some novels. Favorite novels I’ve read lately are The Book Thief, The Help, The Guernsey LIterary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and The Shape of Mercy. (I just realized now they all start with THE!)

BL:Do you have a favorite author?

O: Shakespeare, CS Lewis, Gerard Manley Hopkins (a poet), Alexander Dumas, George Elliot

T: Catherine Marshall, Corrie ten Boom, Henry Blackaby, Francine Rivers

BL:Out of all the books you have written, which one is your favorite and why??

O: Well, since Lonesome Prairie’s my first, I’d say that one.

T: Um, hard question. It’s like asking which of my kids I like the best! I do have a special place in my heart for Night Song. My 13-year-old son was the same age as the main character who was in a concentration camp and I cried through the whole book!

BL:What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

O: Pursue excellence. Don’t strive to get published. Write what you love, hide in God, and leave the results to Him.

T: Read, write, and seek God’s face. Attend a Christian writer’s conference!

BL:What is the most interesting place you have been to do research for your book ideas?

O:Nintey-one year old Georgie Kunkel’s house. She’s a Rosie the Riveter Tricia and I interviewed in Seattle. What a character! When we commented on a picture of her deceased husband, she clapped like a school girl. “Isn’t he handsome?” When we asked her what kind of music she liked during the War, she answered, “I was born too late. I like rock and roll!” and got up and started dancing. And as we were leaving, she said, “I’d be a nudist if people didn’t mind the wrinkles.” Too funny!

T: Yes, Georgie was amazing! I’ve also been to Europe four times, and I have to say a memorial moment was walking the streets where the Nazis used to live outside the camp gates and Willy pointing out who lived where and what the did. Willy was a young boy when the Nazis were there. I remember thinking, “I feel as if I’m part of a History Channel documentary–this is surreal.”

BL:Typically, what is the length of time if takes you to write you novels??

O: Lonesome Prairie took about four months, but I’d like to have more time in the future.

T: Four months is pretty average for me. I’d always like more time, but I’m ADD … and I can’t help but wanting to jump to the next project.

BL:Are there any messages you want your readers to come away with when they read your books??

O: To boil all my lofty thoughts down to a brief message, I’d have to say that I hope people will be compelled to seek Christ in the Scriptures and to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

T: Ditto. Amen!

Many Thanks to these wonderful ladies for stopping by for an interview!



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