Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mindy Obenhaus reveals researching a story can be dangerous!

Mindy Obenhaus always dreamed of being a wife and mother. Yet as her youngest of five children started kindergarten, a new dream emerged—to write stories of true love that would glorify God. When she’s not penning her latest romance, she likes cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her grandkids. Learn more about her on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Was there a specific 'what if' moment that sparked the story for your debut novel?

There was. Amazing the things that go through your mind when you hike. What if a single mom believed the father of her child had turned his back her and her unborn baby, only to discover a decade later that he never knew about the child?

Did anything unusual or funny happen while researching or writing this book?

Does almost falling off the face of a mountain count? I was determined to hike to a specific area that was used in the story. Problem was that there had been a lot of snow in Ouray, CO that year. Most of our hike was unhindered, until we rounded to the north side of the mountain. Snow covered much of the path. Determined, I pressed on, knowing we could figure it out. But after my husband and I both went sliding down the icy slope, praying for a tree to stop our free-fall, we decided it was time to turn back. I was heartbroken. But God is good and provided other ways for me to get the info I needed.

Do you consider yourself a visual writer? If so, what visuals do you use?

I’m a very visual writer. I have pictures of people and places all around my desk, as well as websites I visit on a regular basis.

Have you discovered some secret that has helped your process for writing?

If I have, then it’s a very well-kept secret. You know, like when you put something some place you’ll remember and then can’t remember.

I guess the one thing that helps me as I go along is to continually ask, “What’s the worst thing that could happen to the POV character at that particular moment.” Of course, the hard part is then figuring out how to make that happen.

What is your writing MO? Are you a plotter, a pantster, or somewhere in between?

I’m definitely a pantser, though I’m beginning to see the benefits of plotting. I can see myself ultimately ending up somewhere in between.

Some say a writer is born and others say anyone can learn. What do you say?

I think it can be either one. Some people are born story tellers. Others have the gift of prose. But all must learn how to bring craft and story elements together.

What are your thoughts on critique partners? 

Love ’em! Crit partners are valuable tools when used correctly. Everyone processes things differently, so you need find someone who “gets” you. My writing partner understands how I think, but she also comes at things from a totally different angle. She doesn’t try to change my voice or my story, but throws out things I may never have considered, things that can enrich a story.

Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing?

I used to think that those who loved editing were crazy. Now I’m beginning to agree them. During the editing process, the story is out of my head and I can fix it. I love creating when the story just flows from my fingertips. But sometimes there’s a huge clog in the line. That’s when creating becomes a challenge.

What's the most difficult part of writing for you ~ plotting, setting, characterization? How did you overcome that?

Probably setting. For as visual a writer as I am, I often forget to transcend those visuals into my writing. That’s only one of many places where a good crit partner comes in.

What's your strength in writing (characterization, setting as character, description, etc)?

Dialog is definitely my strength. I love to make up conversations in my head. My characters can say things I’d never dream of verbalizing, so I get to live vicariously through them.

Did you have any surprising discoveries while writing this book?

Hmm…I don’t think so. At least not that I can recall.

Where do you write: In a cave, a favorite corner in a coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?

Ooo, a cozy attic nook sounds very cool. But alas, I just have a small office that I really want to redecorate and is occasionally commandeered by my boys. (That’s what I get for putting a TV in there. Hmm...maybe I should paint it pink. Think that would keep them out?)

Do you have a full or part time day job? If so, how do you balance your writing time with family and work?

I’m a full-time domestic engineer. That means I work 24/7 with very few breaks and only the occasional cold meal. I try to be at my desk from 9-3, Mon-Fri. Though that doesn’t mean I’m always writing on my stories. There are also blog posts, social networking, grocery lists, paying bills….

What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard?

Just write. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can always fix it later.

Do you have any parting words of advice?

Don’t give up on your dream. It won’t happen overnight, and it may not happen when you want it to. But if God has called you to that dream, it will become a reality in HIS time. Your job is to persevere and follow His lead.

The Doctor's Family Reunion

Family means everything to Dr. Trent Lockridge. Growing up without a father, he always yearned for a family of his own. One long-ago summer in Ouray, Colorado, he thought he might build a future with beautiful Blakely Daniels.

But when he abruptly fled town, he broke her heart and left behind more than memories. Years later, Trent is shocked—and overjoyed—to learn he's a father. He'd like to earn back Blakely's love and trust— but it won't be easy. And the clock is ticking. He's got only a few weeks to prove that, this time, he's here to stay…forever.


Cecelia Dowdy said...

Great interview and the book sounds exciting! I have a dream that I can stay at home and write someday!

Mindy Obenhaus said...

Hi, Cecelia! Thanks for stopping in. I pray that your dream will come true one day very soon!