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Interview with Felicia Ferguson

Felicia had classmates in high school who became teenage mothers. Her high school was the first in the county to install a daycare for teen mothers to allow them the opportunity to continue their education and graduate. This all plays into her writing and reflects the truths of the world.

With your master's degrees in Healthcare Administration and Speech-Language Pathology, and background in ranching, what led you to start writing, and in particular, to choose the genre in which you write?
I knew in the fifth grade that I wanted to be a writer. Long before I’d heard of fanfiction, I was co-writing Sweet Valley High fan stories with a friend of mine. We’d alternate writing chapters then pass them to each other like other kids passed notes, adding to them until we had a book. Then another classmate would draw the cover picture. In my twenties, I got into writing fanfiction for Star Trek as well as other TV shows. It was a great training ground because the characters and overall storylines were already set up. All I had to do was take them and run. I always challenged myself to stay as close to the characters and canon as possible though—and I still use fanfiction for skill building and writing sprints.

I’m not really sure I’d say I chose the women’s fiction genre. I think it more chose me. I love strong female characters, and my reading preferences tend more to that love than any particular genre. From Star Trek and Star Wars to David Baldacci’s King & Maxwell and Robie & Reel to James Rollins’s Sigma Force to all of Jane Austen’s works—even a little Sydney Sheldon back in the day—I’m interested in characters. Why they do what they do. Who they are below the surface. What emotional wounds they carry. How they grow and change over the course of the novel or a series of novels. Women’s fiction really allows me the freedom to delve into the characters’ pasts, their hurts, and help them grow.

You have previously written devotional material. Now that you have a novel coming out, how do you integrate your faith and spiritual life into your storytelling?
I can’t separate my faith from my writing. There is always a thread of it woven into every piece, whether secular or faith-based. In my novels, I always want to see characters grow in their faith walk and heal their pasts using biblical principles.

The Choices She Made centers around the theme of a teenage pregnancy resulting from a rape and the ensuing choices and consequences. Did your story and character ideas come from someone you knew who went through an experience like this?
Not at all. My intention was to write a story that shows how a Christian acts and reacts to life happenings, looking to scripture and biblical principles as a plumbline for making life decisions and relying on their faith to walk through the trial. As I was developing the character of Madeline, I knew I wanted to show how a girl and later woman of faith relied on and grew in her faith when faced with horrible, life-changing circumstances. A pregnancy from a sexual assault fit all of those qualifiers.

What message do you hope readers take away from this book?
That God can bring good out of any situation, no matter how bad. We have to trust him, trust his plan, and allow him to work in our lives. Also, I hope they see this is just a really good read.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
My stories focus on my characters (the women in particular) working through their baggage using biblical principles to heal or start healing the wounds in their pasts. I’ve never been a fan of stories where the characters bring out all of their issues only to repack them at the end of the book and go on with their lives. Or worse, they all-of-a-sudden change into a better or more whole person, but the reader doesn’t get to walk with them through the growth process to see how they did it. I want to show readers that “how,” give them opportunity to experience and empathize with the hard work, and then celebrate and appreciate the character’s moving into or at least toward a life of freedom (which should be the normal, abundant Christian life). If the reader is then inspired to do the hard work toward healing their own past hurts, so much the better!

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I actually consider myself a “plantser,” meaning I plot by the seat of my pants. I like Steven James’s “organic” writer tag. For me, everything is moveable and changeable, even though I need some sort of overall end point when I start. I like to listen to my characters and hear what they want to say rather than sticking to a script I’ve worked out in my head. I actually had a minor character in the current WIP tap me on the shoulder and tell me a crazy idea that has become a nice, satisfying plot twist that gives the story one more layer of depth. And I love it when that happens.

What is your writing routine? How do you fit in writing time between other responsibilities or hobbies?
I currently write full-time, and mornings are the best time for me focus-wise. After my coffee and devotion time, I’m at my laptop praying for wisdom, discernment, and the right words, then I start writing. I usually eat a protein ball while I’m working, and I take a break after three hours. If it’s not too hot, I’ll take Lillie (my aging French bulldog) out to let her sunbathe while I deadhead roses and iris in my garden. I use that time to check social media and in general clear my head and listen for new ideas or expansions on the current ones. Then I’ll go back and work for another couple of hours until lunch. The afternoons are for errands, exercise, and unplugging.

If you could have coffee with an author, dead or alive, whose work you admire, who would that be? What would you ask him or her?
Hands down, it would be Jane Austen. I read Pride and Prejudice at least once a year—it’s actually my go-to pool and beach read—and I love a good binge of the six-hour BBC movie version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. Miss Jane had a keen eye for humans and their foibles, and I would love to talk character development with her—especially how she created Elizabeth and Darcy. What traits she specifically believed she needed in each of them to make sure their story rang true. And I’d also love to know if she had any inkling of the impact her words would have on so many generations that came after her.

What books are on your nightstand right now?
The only book I keep on my nightstand is my Scofield NKJV Bible. I actually have my TBR and currently-being-read books strewn around my house so there’s always one close by to pick up. I recently finished Story Trumps Structure by Steven James as my craft read—fabulous! Return with Honor by Captain Scott O’Grady and The League of Wives by Heath Hardage Lee are the current WIP research books. And the escape books are My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer, The Reunion by Dan Walsh, and The Indebted Earl by Erica Vetsch. The one book that never leaves my desk is The Emotion Thesaurus by Ackerman and Puglisi.
Pearl Fredericksen lives on the beautiful west coast of Canada, where she enjoys photographing the scenery and writing about her favourite places. She also loves to read and post reviews to spread the word about good books. Her little dog, Bear, sits under her desk to keep her feet warm while she writes. He's very cute, and you can see him in quite a few photos at

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