What was your path to publication?
My path to publication started with reading. Ever since I learned to read I’ve had a passion for “story.” I learned what I liked in a story…and what I didn’t. Over the years I wrote in a variety of ways…a diary, letters, a humor column for several newspapers, Christmas dramas for church. In some way or another all of it was “practice.”
All that writing taught me what I was going to need to tell a story and get it published. I also studied the “business” of writing. I learned how to write a query, and what publishers were looking for. It took me a year to write my first novel. Another two years to find a publisher. The best investment I made was to attend a writers conference. It was there that I pitched my novel and interested an editor. Within a couple months I was signing a contract and the rest, as they say, is history.
How do you motivate yourself to write?
Sorry to say, there is no ‘magic-motivation-potion.’ I always tell people that writing is a “job” just like any other. Some days you wake up raring to go to work. Other days you’d rather turn over and go back to sleep. But, you get out of bed and get to work because that’s what you do.
What do you love the most about writing?
Knowing that I’m using the gifts God gave me. Hearing from readers that my stories and characters have impacted their lives, and have made them more aware of God in their every day lives.
What gave you the idea for your current book?
“On a Someday” deals with the subjects of retirement as well as career-building. I’m in that aging-baby-boomer stage of life and many of my friends are starting to talk about retirement. I started to think about what’s next??? I’ve had this sense that, as we get older, at some point each of us needs to step aside and let someone else (someone younger) take their turn at our work. I wanted to explore those ideas…
How do you develop characters?
I get to know my characters as I write. I have a sense of “who” they are at the beginning of a story, but they come to life as I live with them over a period of many months. Sometimes they surprise me!
How do you connect with your readers?
E-mail is wonderful!! Hearing from a reader is my ‘reward’ for spending long hours at my computer. I have a website: www.roxannehenke.com where I blog weekly. I send out every-now-and-then e-newsletters to my readers. And I do a fair amount of speaking and book signings. Living with fictional characters is fun but meeting real LIVE people is better!
How do you weave God’s Word into your writing?
I start each book with a theme in mind. Before I do any writing I look up Bible verses that pertain to that central theme. I study the verses and find one or two that sum up what I’m hoping to write about. My characters are ‘real’ to me. They make mistakes. They certainly are not perfect. I do my best to let them live their lives in ways that show my readers how God is present even when life isn’t going so great. One of the best compliments I can get is when a reader writes to tell me they find themselves praying throughout the day and they learned to do that from my characters.
What is your hope for your writing?
To tell a great story. To entertain my readers and make them think. To help my readers see God at work in their daily lives.
Thanks, Alisa, for this chance to chat with you and your readers!
Here is the description of “On a Someday.”
On a Someday: Jim Westin is tired. Over most-of-a-lifetime he’s built his grocery business, hoping someday to hand it over to one of his kids. The only trouble is none of his kids want the business. Jim’s wife, Claire, thought she was ready to retire along with her husband, but an unexpected career development has exciting new opportunities coming her way. Their son, Drew, is climbing-the-ladder in New York. No way would he consider moving back to North Dakota to help his dad. . .or would he? What happens when plans conflict? When “someday” is different than you planned? What happens when someday is now?
Take care…and risk!
Roxy is the author of the popular Coming Home to Brewster series…After Anne, Finding Ruth, Becoming Olivia, Always Jan, and, With Love, Libby. Also available…The Secret of Us, Learning to Fly, and her newest release: On a Someday!