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Interview with Mona Hodgson

Your new release, Twice A Bride, is the final book in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek books, a series about four sisters who head west. I find it interesting that you were offered a chance to write about four sisters when you are the oldest of four sisters in real life. How did your three younger sisters react to this series?
My sisters got a kick out of me writing about four sisters. They had fun looking for themselves in Kat, Nell, and Vivian, assuming I was Ida. This was especially fun because, as is true in most families, there is an overlapping of characteristics. Each of us tend to be a combination of at least two of the Sinclair sisters.

A Q&A page on your website states that your original submission was a manuscript with a copper mine in Arizona for a setting. How hard/easy was it to create a 4 book series set in a gold mining town in Colorado instead?
So easy...the opportunity was an answer to prayer and a fulfillment of my dream to be a published novelist. And I'd already researched mining camp life in the late 1890s. Having four sisters and a father in the story equation, made a series of four books a natural fit.

How did you balance the deadlines for the Sinclair Sisters series with your devotionals, and children’s books’ projects, as well as your other responsibilities?
As far as my writing and speaking business is concerned, writing historical fiction for WaterBrook Multnomah is my main focus right now. Devotional books and children's books simmer on the back burner. I use the word "juggle" in place of balance because I'm constantly juggling writing with marketing with family life with care-giving.

Your Jonah story of how you became a writer is fabulous and I can see why you’re a success with children’s books. But when did you begin to formulate your ‘copper mine’ story, and how long after that before you sold it?
Thank you! In Arizona, I live at the base of Mingus Mountain, home to the most vertical town in the United States—Jerome. More than twenty years ago, when I first visited the Jerome State Historic Park, the Douglas Mansion, I became fascinated with the historic copper mining camp’s history and the romantic appeal of the late 1890’s. Soon thereafter, I entertained the idea of writing a historical novel set in Jerome during its boom town years in the late 1890s.

In 2008, I sent the first twenty pages of that endeavor to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) as an entry in the Genesis contest for unpublished novelists. Later that year, my writing sample was awarded First Place in the Historical Fiction category at the annual ACFW conference. Yay! In 2009, I received contracts for Two Brides Too Many and Too Rich for a Bride.

How does your faith and spiritual life affect your storytelling?
My faith in Jesus Christ and my faith walk with Him inspire my storytelling--my themes and my characters' journeys. My faith in God's purposes and abilities gives me the courage to sign book contracts and pour my heart and soul into paragraphs and pages.

Your website has an abundance of free stuff for writers and readers. It’s very well done. Do you manage it yourself?
Thank you! I'll pass the kudos on to my hubby Bob. He manages my website. I create the content and he makes it appear in html. He is an amazing support to me, helping with the technology side of the business, research, and so much more. If you're into history and research, check out Bob's Corner on Hindsight by Mona Hodgson (http://monahodgson.wordpress.com), where Bob shares some of his research in videos.

Finish tis sentence... If you could ask God any question at all, it would be:
Lord, what did You see in me that You would entrust me with Mom's care as I walk her through the valley of Alzheimer's Disease?

That’s precious, Mona. Do you have any parting words?
Many thanks to all who read my books and schedule me for speaking engagements. I appreciate your partnership in my ministry.
Also, here's a bit of advice for aspiring writers: Recognize and remember that writing for publication is a process and a journey. Expect detours. Enjoy the adventure! Make the most of writers’ conferences, writers’ market guides, and critiques by published writers.

Congratulations on your next series, Mona, and thank you for sharing with us.
Thank you, Anita! While I'm a little sad about leaving the Sinclair Sisters series behind, I'm exciting about the new series. Look for The Quilted Heart eNovellas, beginning in February 2013 with Dandelions on the Wind.




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