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Interview with Mindy Obenhaus

Hi, Mindy! Thank you for taking time to share your writing journey with us. I guess we’ll dive right in.

You have quite a few books published with Love Inspired. How did you start writing for them?

Thanks for having me! Since my mother perpetually had a Harlequin book in her hand, it seemed natural that I gravitated to Love Inspired. I went to every ACFW conference where I attended Love Inspired Spotlight sessions. I pitched what would be my first book to Melissa Endlich in St. Louis in 2011, and she requested the full. After several months with no word, I emailed her to see if she’d read it. She responded that she had but it needed some work, and she sent me a revision letter. It took a while, but I revised the story based on her comments and submitted again. And in January 2013 she offered me a contract. So note to those who’ve received revision letters—it’s worth it to follow through.

I know Love Inspired books tend to be shorter. What challenges do you face when writing shorter-length books?
I don’t really see them as challenges, but you don’t have a lot of space to delve into the lives of secondary characters. You also learn to be more succinct in some areas, so you have the word count to go deeper with the important moments. There’s no room for lengthy descriptions.

Many of your books feature a handsome cowboy or horse on the cover. What inspires you to write in more western settings?
Probably because I live in a rural Texas community. Most small towns are surrounded by farms or ranches. They’re the lifeblood of the communities. And there are always interesting characters to be found.

I will say, though, that I had one cover with a cowboy when the hero was not a rancher nor a cowboy, nor did he ever wear a cowboy hat anywhere in the story. Not only that, the story took place within a small town. But it was a good-looking cover.

Where did you get the idea for The Cowgirl’s Redemption?
Like most of my stories, it started with a character. Gloriana Prescott, in this case. A woman who only thought of herself…until she met Jesus. Then she suddenly found herself with a whole lot of wrongs she needed to make right. I thought of all the challenges she would face. People she’d hurt weren’t likely to forgive and it would take time to prove that she really had changed.

Do you relate to any of the characters personally?
I relate to some more than others. That’s when I have to dig deep and put myself in their shoes and feel what they’re feeling. Know how they would react in certain situations. Not to mention create situations that will cause them to either fall or rise to the occasion.

What message do you hope readers take away from this book?
That forgiveness often benefits the one doing the forgiving more than the one who’s being forgiven. It doesn’t mean we forget or that we’re a doormat. But if God has forgiven us, who are we not forgive others?

Let’s chat about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’m a pantser forced to be a plotter. So to save myself from going crazy, if I can vividly envision a scene as I’m plotting, I give myself permission to write it out so I can revisit it later.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
Overcommitting. But since I write full time, I treat it as a job and try to make sure others also understand it as such.

Anyone who’s tried writing a novel knows it’s a difficult task. Why do you keep at it, even through the challenging times?
Because I know it’s what God has called me to do. But I can’t do it in my own strength. It’s only Him working through me that allows me to push through those challenging times.

What made you want to be a writer?
I often tell people I’m an only child who never outgrew her imaginary friends. But honestly, I believe God put that desire in me because I wasn’t a reader until my mother moved in with us back in 2003 and brought all her books. I always had stories floating around my head, though. One day, I decided to put pen to paper and tell one of those stories. And so it began.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
Whenever a reader says one of my stories gave them hope.

What is your writing routine? Any quirky habits or must-have snacks?
Monday through Friday, I try to treat as a regular workday, generally at the computer from 9-4. Of course, not all of that time is spent writing. There’s also the business side of writing that has to be tended. When I’m actually writing, I prefer quiet. Unless I’m writing a Christmas story, then I like holiday music playing softly in the background.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
Cooking or baking. Redecorating. We live on a ranch, so I like to go for walks and enjoy nature. Unless the kids or grands are visiting, then it’s all about them.

What books are on your nightstand right now?
LOL! None. I do most all of my reading on my phone. I’m currently reading Allie Pleiter’s A Place to Heal.

Finish this statement: If I were not an author, I would be twiddling my thumbs, wondering what to do with all of these people in my head.
The Bible came to life for Christine Boatwright when she realized it told one, complete story—the story of Jesus Christ. A church girl from the get-go, Christine learned storytelling through her time as an award-winning journalist and academic writer. She's the president of the ACFW Upstate South Carolina chapter and has won a handful of ACFW awards for her debut manuscript. In her free time as a stay-at-home mom, she connects the dots between the narrative of the Old Testament, the prophets who lived it, and the God who never changes. Connect with her at or on Instagram at

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