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Interview with Naomi Musch

Although I haven’t yet met Naomi in person, we connected through our love for history, respect for one another as writers, and, quite possibly, our Midwest roots. Through e-mail and Facebook, the impression she gave me from the beginning and has not varied since, is a kind and giving woman of God.

Tell us a bit about what launched your publishing career? What influenced you to be an author, etc.

I've wanted to be an author since I was ten years old. I've written in various venues from fiction, to journalism, to essay ever since, but things didn't really start progressing with my fiction writing until a couple of years ago when I began submitting The Green Veil, the first book in my Empire in Pine series. I had a couple of very encouraging rejections, but it happened to be at the same time new eBook readers and eBook publishers were popping up everywhere. I decided to try and catch that wave, querying a smaller, newer eBook publisher that had an open call for stories like mine. Desert Breeze Publishing has become a real presence on the eBook publishing scene very quickly. It's been a delight to work with them. They contracted me for a three book series. That same summer I sold a novella to Black Lyon Publishing which was starting a line of inspirational novellas.

What occupies your time other than writing? What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
I used to think the biggest challenge was having time. When my 5 kids were younger and all still being homeschooled, that was true. I still have one homeschooler left to graduate, and I work part time. But these days my biggest nemesis to writing is my own mental state. I'm a professional procrastinator for one, and the other problem is that when painful life situations intrude from time to time, it shuts down my creative juices. I try to keep myself working anyway, but it sure can be a struggle. I try to remind myself that God gave me this desire and it honors Him and brings Him joy when I'm using it to the best of my ability.

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
Faith is forefront, because even if I'm not telling a particularly "Christian" story, I write from a Christian world view. I don't want to write things that dishonor my Heavenly Father, though I do write about a lot of painful, heart-breaking choices, which is the essence of my story-telling genre.

I have noticed a direct correlation to situations in my stories cropping up in real life around me from time to time. It makes me sit up and take notice at what God is trying to teach me.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career thus far?
Hmm. That is difficult to say. Signing a book contract? Being asked to write an article for a national magazine? Getting to see my book's cover for the first time? I think the absolute best moment with anything I write, whether with fiction or nonfiction, is hearing a reader say they couldn't put it down, or that they stayed up all night reading, or more importantly, that it made them think about something deeply or see something in a new light.

Who/What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?
My stories most often come from tiny historical moments of interest that quirk my thinking. They sometimes come from a Scripture verse that speaks a theme to my heart. They can even appear from a line of a song. Only once did I actually awaken from a dream with an entire story spun out in my head -- and it made sense! I'm working on that one now.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
Just as God gives every artist and musician a brush stroke or voice that is theirs alone, He gives each writer a nuance in their gift and how they use it. He gives them a special thing to write about. I write mainly about life in the woods, the Great Lakes, the rich history of the upper Midwest. I also endeavor to create multi-layered stories with subtle sub-plots and a canvas of characters.

What question do you wish I had asked? And what is your answer?
Where can you find The Red Fury? The Red Fury is available in any digital format: Kindle, Nook, CBD Reader, Sony, PDF, and so on. Desert Breeze Publishing is beginning to put some of their books into print, and hopefully the day will come when the Empire in Pine series is among them.

Any parting words?
The Empire in Pine series is a generational saga spanning Wisconsin's rough-and-tumble logging period from the 1840s to its peak in the early 1890s. I hope readers will join me along with the young pioneer women who ventured among the brawny lumberjacks, greedy land speculators, and raucous townsfolk in a day when lumber was king.

Thanks for sharing with us, Naomi.

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