Here is part three of the author interview with Paula Moldenhauer and Kathy Kovach.
Questions to get to know the authors
1. What are you reading right now?
I’m constantly reading! Every Friday on my blog I post about a new novel I’ve read. I think the last one I posted was Brandilyn Collin’s Gone to Ground, but I’m very eclectic. Right before that was Christmas Belles of Georgia, a romance anthology which included my pals Rose McCauley and Debra Ullrick, and before that I wrote about a couple of novels with a literary feel and a couple of historicals! I also read non-fiction. Right now I’m reading One Thousand Gifts and just finished a book of devotionals based on the works of Charles Dickens.
Paula exhausts me. LOL I’ve been reading The Help for the past couple of weeks now. I think I just passed the halfway mark. I read very little non-fiction, but a friend just gave us both one on spiritual sensitivity. I’ve barely cracked it, but like it so far.
I loved the Help!
2. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have told stories all my life, even before I knew how to write. My mother would ask, “Now, Kathy, is this a real story or a made up story?” Once I learned how to put words on paper, I wrote a poem about a fat cat in a black hat. I sold hand-written copies of that poem to my friends, complete with a drawing of a fat cat in a black top hat that looked more like a dusty snowman with whiskers. I charged a nickel and I made 25 cents. This, in my mind, made me a published author. After that, I wrote poems, short stories, I even became an award-winning author when I won the 9th grade writing contest with my entry, “I Was A Female Dog, An Autobiography By George.” It was a true story—about my female dog named George.
In third grade. My teacher, Mrs. Duncan, told us to write a personification story. I wrote about a pencil and an eraser. They fought all the time. The pencil though he was best because he could write and the eraser couldn’t The eraser said he was best because he fixed all of pencil’s mistakes. Of course there was a crisis—a robber! Then pencil and eraser had to work together to save the classroom, discovering that each of their talents was important and necessary. After writing that story, I was hooked. I decided I would be a writer after I was a teacher and a mommy. I’ve taught in public, private, and homeschool venues, and my four children are almost raised. I’m thrilled to be pursuing that writing dream now!
3. Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but this one from Jane Austen’s, Persuasion, is one I treasure, “I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.” I see myself in it, especially in my spiritual walk. A while back I was in a difficult season and felt angry with God. Then I struggled with the guilt of those emotions, which hurt just as much. As I wrote out my struggles, the Holy Spirit helped me process. Suddenly those words spilled upon the page, “weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.” It was like the Lord showed me my heart. Sure, I was human. I’d been weak and resentful, but I’d never stopped loving Him, and He knew it. It was very comforting.
4. What makes you feel alive?
The Colorado Rocky Mountains. My husband and I love to camp and fish, and I feel energized when I smell a crackling fire, or cast a line into a mirrored lake. Odd that I love the mountains when so far the books I’ve published are set in Florida, San Francisco, and Southern Oregon. My first book was set in Colorado, but it hasn’t been published. I cut my teeth on that piece, and it shows. lol
Beauty, people, and great stories! I especially find beauty in nature. Flowers, trees, and gurgling streams make me happy. I enjoy leisurely hikes in the mountains and wish I could visit the ocean at least once a year. I love people. Good conversation over a cuppa something is priceless. And I can stay awake most of the night with a good story, not just reading it, but thinking about it over and over as I lie in bed when the book is closed.
5. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m not sure I do, but this seems a very important question! Besides writing and serving as ACFW CO coordinator, I’m mom to four, ages 14 – 20, two of which we still homeschool. Right now they are all living at home. What keeps me sane is Jesus, Jerry, and my prayer group!
I also crave quiet time and the beauty of nature. It shows when I don’t take enough quiet hours to curl up in a soft chair and prayer journal or read with a cup of hot tea close by (lady grey in the morning, white pear in the afternoon, chamomile in the evening). If it’s a cloudy day or dark, I light candles. Sometimes I listen to classical or worship music—something without words. I need to smell the flowers—literally. I do better when I take time to walk in the sunshine with my husband. (I need to get back to that. He’s worked up to walking/jogging 3 or 4 miles a day while I’ve sat at the computer eating dark chocolate. *sigh*) The jokes of my teenage boys, the delight of my daughter, and the hugs of the whole family also ground me. Two months ago I started a gratitude wall. So far I’ve recorded 116 blessings in colored sharpie. I try to write three a day. It’s too easy to focus on the problems or the stresses instead of the moments of joy and beauty we’re always surrounded with.
My kids are grown so I’m not part of the run, run world anymore. However, I can lose my sanity on occasion. I’m afraid I tend to fold into myself when life wants to go too fast. I’ll watch a movie or go shopping by myself. Have some quality “me” time at Starbucks (Chai latte, thank you very much!)
6. What Scripture or part of the Bible is most meaningful to you right now?
For some time I’ve clung to this simple statement from Jesus, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” I do believe in the long run God works things for my good, that He has hope and a future for me. But in the middle of difficult seasons, when I have a hard time seeing that hopeful future, what I cling to is the promise that my Lord is there. He loves me and won’t leave me. I can trust Him. My pastor says it this way, “Lean your life on Jesus.”
Through tough times, I continue to get the instruction to “keep my eyes on Jesus.” That reminds me of when Peter walked on water and succeeded as long as he focused on Jesus. But when the boisterous wind frightened him, he began to sink (Matthew 14:29-30.) It can get pretty gusty in my life, and when the waves threaten to overtake me, I try to remember to do as the song says, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
7. What is your favorite book?
That’s like asking me to choose a favorite child. I never could. I love many books. I suppose one of my favorite experiences with a book was with Donita Paul’s Dragon Spell. I’d just come through an amazing experience with the Lord, discovering grace at a whole new, beautiful, freeing level. I was stepping outside of a lot of insecurity and inadequacy. Donita’s book came into my world at that time, and I read it aloud to my four children, then elementary age. We finished up the book while on a winter vacation in the mountains. I’ll never forget weeping through the story, telling my children, “He’s really like this. Jesus is really like this.”
I’m a chain-reader, often having two fiction and a non-fiction going all at the same time. Rather than remembering a favorite book, I’d rather tell my favorite genre. Pretty much anything that makes me laugh, even if it’s a dramedy. If I read historical, my favorite is romantic western or at least late 1800s, but contemporary romantic comedy or romantic mystery are my favorites. Hm . . . can you find the keyword in this paragraph? Could it be romantic?
8. What’s your favorite movie?
It’s a toss-up for movies. I’ve coined my own phrase, “literary movies.” Top three? All BBC productions: Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, based on Jane Austen novels, and North and South, based on an Elizabeth Gaskell novel. I love the slow, deep character development. On my lighter days I love classic chick flicks like You’ve Got Mail or While You Were Sleeping, or even oldies like Pillow Talk or An Affair to Remember.
My very favorite is Ever After with Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott. I love the twist that this is the “real” story of Cinderella without the bippity-boppity-boo. Of course, the romance doesn’t hurt! I have a blog, Craft Cinema, where I discuss movies through the craft of writing, and I analyzed this one http://craftcinema.blogspot.com/search/label/EVER%20AFTER. As a romance writer, I thought it a great study on how to write 50/50 romance (giving both main characters equal arcs.)
Best wishes for a great weekend readers,