Today I am happy to share with you an interview with D.L. Koontz, author of The Crossings Trilogy.
1.) When did you decide to become a writer? In other words, what made you actually sit down and write something?
I can’t remember a time when I did NOT want to write. My father says when I was a toddler I would climb on his lap with a book and beg him to read to me, and that I’d always say I would write one of my own one day. Then, in fifth grade, Mrs. Flamm dubbed my poem about wild horses as “brilliant.” That did it. I began writing dozens of novels…and never finished any of them.
2.) Every writer is eventually asked this question, but where do your ideas come from? Why do you write what you do?
I begin each day with a four-mile walk outdoors. There’s something wonderful in how physical activity activates and clears the mind. That’s when ideas come. I carry my iPhone, and have gotten much use in its built-in “Voice Memos” feature, to catch ideas. My work always includes elements of suspense because, really, I can’t imagine reading anything that doesn’t keep me on the edge of my seat. So, I try to do that for my readers as well.
3.) Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to see where an idea takes you? How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’ve tried every approach. (No, seriously.) I am envious of people who can outline their stories before starting. Not me! No matter how much I think and ruminate and plot and plan my story and its characters in advance, those characters start taking over the story at a certain point and take me down paths I hadn’t anticipated. I used to laugh when other authors said that; now I get it.
4.) What is the hardest thing about the creative process of writing? If you’re a Christian, what are the challenges you believe Christian writers face now and in the future? If you would, please tell us what was hardest thing about writing your last book? How long does it typically take you to finish your book?
I am a Christian writer, and I’ll tackle the last two questions. Due to work, family, our farm, book promotion, many pets, etc., it takes me about a year to write and finish a book. I find the hardest thing is to review my work objectively. By the time I’m done, I’ll have read the early-written parts several dozen times, and if it doesn’t “grab” me, then I begin to wonder if it’s terrible or if I’m just tired of reading it. That’s when panic sets in.
5.) Name your three biggest frustrations about the writing business.
- May I list a 4th? – The “Thou Shall Not” rules assigned to Christian fiction.
6.) On the flip side, what excites you the most about the creative process?
I can’t name just one! Creating my own worlds. Developing characters I would both love and loathe in real life. Weaving words together – I’ve always marveled that the dictionary holds within it every book I’ve ever read, and the ones I haven’t written yet! It’s all in how those words are strung together. Isn’t that amazing? Finally, best of all, hearing from readers—I LOVE that.
7.) What are you reading at the moment, and who are a few of your favorite authors and why?
Kate Morton, Thomas H. Cook, Frank Peretti, and Susanna Kearsley. Two reasons: 1. Their work challenges me to do even better; and 2. They provide more depth and description (and adverbs!) than we seem to be allowed to do in the Christian market.
8.) If you would like and have the time, write a paragraph or two about anything you wish.
I write novels that blend historical intrigue and modern-day suspense with romance and a touch of supernatural. Try to find that category at your favorite book store! And therein is my first challenge in marketing. Outlets, retailers, marketers, all want to neatly place books into cozy and convenient little subject headings, but a book, like real life, is always so much more multi-dimensional.
Then too, I am a history buff, but happy living in contemporary times. As a result, I like to marry the past and present together in my writing. Some authors use time travel to accomplish that feat; generally taking a modern gal into the past. My trilogy does the opposite, bringing the past into the present, by way of souls that lived a long time ago, but who come into the life of my young protagonist. As a result, it was relegated to the category of “paranormal,” which is discouraging (and a no-no for many Christians) because it implies spooky and ghoulish, but the books are more poignant and inspirational than that. Honestly, the trilogy began with a historic building and the thought, “What if these walls could talk?” The series answers that question as it takes the protagonist on an incredible journey to make peace with God and her faith about the deaths of her family.
Check out D.L.’s “Crossings Trilogy” below –
With her B.A. in journalism and her M.A. in corporate public relations, DL Koontz spent years in four glamorous cities hiding her early fiction ideas, first on journalists’ notebooks where she detailed hard-news interviews, then on laptops as a management consultant and college instructor. She now lives with her husband in rural Georgia on a cattle ranch, where she divides her time between writing and endlessly “going to town” for supplies. She has one son and one step-daughter.