How I Got Here – I Think
Sum up a long road in few words?
I started writing due to becoming a honked off ten year old. I was a fan of “Bonanza.” Being a less-than-patient sort of kid, I kept waiting for the women to appear. I waited. And waited. No women. Or worse, whenever a woman appeared, she was either a Loose Woman or a Doomed One. Remember Ben’s wives? Doomed, every single one of ‘em, and no surprise there. Ben wasn’t known for holding onto ‘em very well.
I gave it half a season. “If they don’t put one in, I’ll do it myself.”
Enter Vanessa Cartwright, Ben’s long-lost, newly discovered daughter. Being ten, I didn’t speculate how she’d gotten onto the Ponderosa. She just arrived. No six-gun, of course, but leather pants and her own horse. She had adventures, mostly with Hoss and Little Joe, ‘cause I didn’t care for Adam. Too much black.
They spoiled her stupid, the Ponderosa men. My parents wouldn’t get me a pony, but Vanessa had a palomino quarter horse. I wrote her as spoiled as I wanted (of course it didn’t ruin her character—Vanessa was a sweetie in spite of overindulgence by four grown men). I could give her long, curly hair! I could make her a redhead, a brunette, someone who could handle a rope and a calf. I could take her up into the high Sierras and have desperadoes menace her. I could make her outwit them.
All this, and she never had to cope with 6th grade!
Opening my mind to Vanessa awakened all sorts of possibilities. Once I outgrew “Bonanza,” I wrote popular girls. I wrote athletic types, adventuresses, career women, co-eds, sharp and witty and successful. Better still, for an hour or so at a time I was all these people. Free to wander my own imagination’s Ponderosa, I could get into lives and make things happen.
I never stopped writing. In college and afterwards, I filled notebook after notebook. Anya Seton awoke me to the possibility of writing real, true love stories. A few years later, Carolyne Aarsen showed I could write real, true love stories that encompassed God’s amazing love as well as that of a man and woman. I wrote the end on my first book in 1983, and foolishly sent it out. My rejection letter was kind. That’s all I’ll say about it.
From then on, I’ve written to publish. My first novel, POWERLINE, sold to a small press in 2002, and since then it’s been a ride up and down them hills on the Ponderosa. Though not everything has sold as of now, I’ve made a quality decision to write only what I love. It’s all rooted in Vanessa Cartwright, and feeling my way toward how things should be. That’s my power. That’s my pen. Writing romance in a Christian worldview gives me freedom to express faith, love, and hope—and not always in order.
I wouldn’t trade that for Vanessa’s palomino.
Is healing really a phone call away? Cassandra McAdam volunteers at the church-sponsored crisis line. With a wall around her heart due to early losses, she believes all she can do is listen. Only God's help gives her anything of value to offer.
A devastated man calls the Powerline to discuss his thoughts of suicide. Jeff Hadley recently lost his wife, and questions why a loving God allows such suffering. Though caller and client are not supposed to meet, a neighbor's illness accidentally brings them face-to-face. Jeff realizes Cassie's voice is that of the woman on Powerline.
Cassie soon wonders if a relationship of helping can possibly turn into a partnership of equals.