The Christian writing community is wonderfully supportive, and I met Laura DeNooyer when she hosted me on her blog in September. (You can read that post here.) She is a sweet and encouraging woman, and it is my pleasure to introduce you to her here.
You can connect with her through:
Website | Facebook | BookBub | GoodReads | Newsletter
Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Laura with rapid-fire.
CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?
CC: Print or E-book?
LD: Both. Two years ago I would have said print, hands down. But ever since my daughter gave me a Kindle, I’ve grown to love it.
CC: Cat or Dog Person?
Morning Person or Night Owl?
LD: Night Owl
CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?
I used to be a print-only person too, but having access on my phone has been pretty handy. Now onto the more in-depth stuff.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
LD: Ephesians 1:3-14 is a favorite because of the reminder of all God has lavished on His children, and the blessings of an unshakeable, undeserved inheritance in Christ.
“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.
What are you reading right now?
LD: I’m usually reading two or three books at a time, at least one paperback and one on my Kindle, at least one fiction and one non-fiction:
- Jesus through the Eyes of Women (Rebecca McLaughlin)
- I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (Hannah Green, 1964)
- Shadows of the White City (Jocelyn Green)
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
LD: In second grade. Our unconventional teacher had us writing and illustrating our own books, a remarkable feat for the 1960s. I discovered story writing was the way to go, and became prolific that year. I decided to be an author when I grew up.
CC: That sounds like an amazing teacher, someone who knew what was best for her students.
What is your Kryptonite?
LD: Wordiness. In the spirit of brainstorming, I used to pack every possible word into a scene, figuring I could cut it down later. But after spending multiple hours (weeks, actually) trying to winnow three ridiculously long novel manuscripts, I changed my philosophy. However, I can still be tempted into wordiness.
What has been your biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?
LD: Originally, my biggest challenge was learning how to accept criticism and separate the wheat from the chaff. Being in a writers critique group helped immensely in developing broad shoulders, and has been a vital part of stretching and growing as a writer. More recent challenges include having patience with the publishing process and jumping through the necessary (but not always so fun) hoops.
CC: I understand all of those things. This writing journey is no easy thing.
Now let’s talk about your book All that is Hidden.
Are secrets worth the price they cost to keep?
Ten-year-old Tina Hamilton finds out the hard way.
She always knew her father had a secret. But all of God’s earth to Tina are the streams for fishing, the fields for romping, a world snugly enclosed by the blue-misted Smokies. Nothing ever changed.
Until the summer of 1968. Trouble erupts when northern exploitation threatens her tiny southern Appalachian town. Some folks blame the trouble on progress, some blame the space race and men meddling with the moon’s cycles, and some blame Tina’s father.
A past he has hidden catches up to him as his secret settles in like an unwelcome guest. The clash of progressive ideas and small-town values escalates the collision of a father’s past and present.
Purchase your copy at Amazon | Barnes & Noble
CC: What was the most challenging character to create?
LD: The mother, Jennie. I knew what I needed the father, Drew, to be, as well as Tina, the daughter and narrator. But I couldn’t decide what kind of a woman Jennie was, couldn’t even visualize her—until one day when I was out to lunch with friends. The minute our waitress came to the table, I knew it was Jennie. This sounds weird to most people, but some novelists can probably relate. Suddenly, Jennie had a face, mannerisms, and a personality, full blown with quirks. I suddenly knew what kind of a wife and mother she was, and had no trouble writing her after that.
Which character was the most fun to create?
LD: My initial learning occurred when I first visited western North Carolina in college years ago. It was culture shock for a Midwestern kid who grew up surrounded by people chasing the American Dream. These mountain folks found happiness and contentment by different means, and it deeply touched me. That’s part of what I wanted to bring out in my story, with characters who had no trust in big cities or city folk who climb the ladder of success. I got to thinking: what would happen if one of their own people lived in the big city for a while and came back? As I wrote the story, I identified with these folks even more.
Crystal, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog!
Thank you so much for participating!
Great interview! Laura is one of the hardest working, conscientious, generous and talented people I know. I think her actual superpower is creativity! I’d forgotten how she came by Jennie’s character but what a good story!
I have to agree. Thank you for stopping by, Anita!
Wow, Anita, thank you for the accolades! I hope I can live up to your assessment! Glad you could join us today.