Did the original idea you have change very much by the time the books were completed?
I started writing Soaring Free when my husband, who I am usually not parted from overnight, went to help some friends for a few months. The loneliness I felt for him was palpable. Since I am a writer, I took the loneliness I felt and started writing it down. Those writings and feelings became the essence of Soaring Free. Arcan's Revenge came at a time when someone was dealing with us very badly and deceptively. I used the emotions that just started fluttering over the surface and imagined where they would lead if I gave them full sway. Having a very vivid imagination, having dealt with evil and knowing the Bible, I could readily tell where such feelings would lead. That was why Arcan's Revenge began the way it did.
Is the Dark One symbolic of Satan?
Should I really give that away? Seriously, who else could it represent?
I grew up in a house that some might say was haunted, but I think was more possessed than haunted. What I mean is, I don't think there were ghosts of the dead as much as demons haunting the place. I grew up knowing and being aware of what evil was, even though I was a child full of innocence. It did not impact me as much as one would imagine, I think God shielded me quite a bit. I always felt a kind of protection that I didn't quite understand at the time, but I am sure now was angelic. I was taught about God from a young age and knew that God was real. The problem was my father had a strange idea of who God was and how to get to Him. His beliefs were a strange combination of religious ceremony mingled in with the supernatural and aliens. He was an artist, though he only painted in his spare time. Most of his scenes depicted forests and landscapes with spaceships in the sky. I didn't think any of that was unusual. It was my life. I was drawn to the supernatural from the start, and in my early teens when searching for the fullness of God, I found myself in the occult. My mom told me more when I was an adult about my dad and his beliefs, but they were a spiritual influence because of his activities. That influence remained even when he died when I was 9. I had not known that my father dealt with the occult when I was a child and that is probably why the house felt the way it did, why strange things happened in it and why I was drawn to the supernatural. I found Jesus as my Saviour when I was fifteen, when my brother, Devan, was saved, and I saw the change in him. From that point on I knew the truth and could not be deceived again by the ultimate deceiver—Satan.
What about the other characters. Are any of them symbolic of anyone or anything?
All of the characters are based on someone but no one is entirely based on anyone.
Who did your beautiful illustrations?
My daughter, Heather. Besides the black and white chapter illustrations for Soaring Free 10th Anniversary Edition, Heather has fully illustrated 16 of my books. She also did artwork, along with poetry and musings, in a section of Pathways. The cover art was done by my oldest daughter, Jasmine, who did the cover art for the original version of Soaring Free.
My son, Joshua, did the cover art for Arcan's Revenge and is doing the cover art for the 13th Anniversary edition of Arcan's Revenge that is coming out later this year. Joshua also did the cover art for A Fatal Blow [Soaring Free Book 3]. In Pathways, he did the cover art and also did artwork and poetry.
Would you tell us about Creature Companion Enterprises?
Creature Companion Enterprises was formed to bring together all the various aspects of the family's creative talents. My two youngest daughters, Heather and Autumn, work with me in the business, both illustrating my books and are themselves writing books. My son, Josh, does a lot with photography for us and also did artwork for the covers of Arcan's Revenge and Pathways.
Creature Companion Enterprises started out as a newsletter Creature Companion News, that we sent out to fans telling them about upcoming book signings, events and contest etc. One thing that has carried through in many of our books is the idea that first started in the Soaring Free Series and then was highlighted in the Tales of Lamac, that is Creature Companions. Whether they are mystical, fanciful, frightful, silly or down to earth pets, they are a part of all of us, a part of our creative processes. Being a household filled with dogs, their antics are a part of our daily life. They cannot but influence our writings, our illustrations, our very existence. Creature Companion Enterprises seemed a fitting name for our business.