Author’s Cove: Please share with us your writing background and experience.
I entered my first writing contest when I was in high school. I had several articles/devotions published during those years as well. I did a little bit of writing in college and wrote my second full length book when I was in my early twenties, before having children. During the midst of home educating my two sons, I wrote a column for a homeschooling magazine for at least seven years. I’ve had some devotions published, semi-finaled and finaled in several writers’ contests, and eventually started attracting the attention of publishers.
Author’s Cove: When did you first know you wanted to become a writer?
I think it was some time during second grade. My teacher had given us an assignment to write a poem. Soon after that I started coming up with my own little stories that I illustrated myself and then stapled it all together to make a ‘book’.
Author’s Cove: Who are some of your favorite writers? How have they influenced your writing?
Through the years there have been several that have stuck out – Laura Ingalls Wilder, Janette Oke, Lori Wick, Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, and Kristi Ann Hunter.
Each of them influenced me in different ways. Laura Ingalls Wilder definitely started me on the journey of loving to write historical books. I hated history as a kid, but since then I’ve learned the fun of delving into the stories throughout history. I may not be able to pinpoint how each author has helped shaped my writing, but I do find that I analyze as I read a story to figure out what they are doing to draw the reader’s heart. You know it’s a great writer/book when you forget all about analyzing and become wrapped up in the story itself.
Author’s Cove: Describe a typical workday for us.
That’s a little difficult to describe because a lot depends on what commitments I have that day and what stage I’m in with writing, editing, promoting, etc. I always start my days with devotions – Bible reading, prayer, contemplation. I try and get in a walk each day (providing the weather cooperates), which is also my favorite time to pray. I pray for my writing day and for those who will be touched through my writing.
I do spend a bit of time daily on social media, trying to stay in contact with my readers. Depending upon where I am in the writing process, I’ll spend time in research, writing, editing, or promoting. I try and make sure I finish up my writing day by 3:30 PM so I’m available when my husband gets home from work. Unless I’m under a deadline, I don’t work on weekends or evenings. In fact, most times, once hubby gets here, you won’t find me on the computer again until the next morning. Evenings I spend with him, reading, going to church activities, or visiting with family.
Author’s Cove: Early in your writing career, did you have any moments of discouragement or thoughts about quitting? If so, please share with us how you overcame these moments and continued writing.
There have often been moments of discouragement throughout all the years I’ve been writing. It’s a tough business and so subjective. The two biggest things that have gotten me through has been knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is something that God has called me to do. The other is the faithful support from my husband. If I didn’t have his continual love and encouragement, there were many times I would have been tempted to quit. He’s my hero!
Author’s Cove: How did you come up with the idea to write a story about the Oklahoma Land Rush?
My mother-in-law started me on that quest. She had several relatives who raced for land and staked claims. Over twenty years ago she took me to see one of those original claims. The rock house that was built in 1894 was still there. It was in a state of disrepair, but I could already start picturing characters in the area.
Author’s Cove: Describe for us your research method.
A lot depends on whether or not I’m setting a story in an actual place. If I am, I will do extensive research to make sure I have it as historically accurate as possible. That’s always my aim with any book I write. I also try and find fun facts about the time period that I can weave in throughout the tale. I always love learning new things when I’m reading a book, so I try to do that as well. My researching includes online searches, contacting museums, finding/reading books from that time period, journals, etc.
Author’s Cove: I loved all your characters. How did you go about creating Elsie, Benjamin, John, Aunt Kate, and the others?
Some of the characters evolve as I’m going throughout the story. I’m a part planner and part pantser. I find that I think I know how my characters will behave, but once I get going they often surprise me as well. Before I get started writing, I usually try to fill out a character assessment chart for my hero and heroine. I will often search online to find a photo of what I have in mind for them to look like. Sometimes I loosely base them on someone I know so I can easier describe their characteristics and foibles. Don’t ask me who in my life they are most like… because I won’t share that secret.
Author’s Cove: What is the central message you’d like readers to take away from this book?
For this book, the importance of letting go of bitterness.
All my books in general also revolve around the hope we can only find in Christ.
Author’s Cove: Where can people purchase it?
On Amazon. Here’s the link: Purchase Link for To Claim Her Heart: https://www.amazon.com/Claim-Her-Heart-Jodie-Wolfe/dp/1946016470/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525790723&sr=8-1&keywords=to+claim+her+heart
11. How can readers connect with you online?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jodie-Wolfe/e/B01EAWOHXO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Purchase Link for To Claim Her Heart: https://www.amazon.com/Claim-Her-Heart-Jodie-Wolfe/dp/1946016470/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525790723&sr=8-1&keywords=to+claim+her+heart
Thank you so much for having me here today. I’d love to offer an e-book of To Claim Her Heart to one of your readers.