Good morning, dear friend. Please help me welcome author Gail Kittleson to Women of Faith and Fiction. Gail, please share a little about yourself.
I’m old enough to know better–about a lot of things–but I still have the urge to plunge into new adventures. As I review the last ten years of my life, I can see mistakes, but I’m also glad I took risks. (Even if I was fearful.) We’re still here on earth to learn and grow, and it’s taken a long time for me to view my errors as learning tools.
My supportive husband has encouraged me to nourish my writing bent through all the ups and downs of this journey, and several times I’ve had the sense of coming full-circle. That tells me to keep listening and do my best to obey the leading I receive.
I believe viewing our errors as learning tools is something we learn to do as we age.
Where did you get the idea for your latest WIP or your current release? And what inspired you to choose the setting of your story?
Since it wraps up a series, the characters and plot of A Purpose True were already in my mind. So was the setting of Southern France during WWII. But in the process of writing, another subplot kept niggling at me. Many Nazis fled to South America at the end of the war, and my husband and I had visited one location where they sought refuge.
That trip we took entered into A Purpose True rather unexpectedly, and led to WWII flashbacks occurring to a main character in the 1970’s. I felt unskilled at this type of era-skipping, but did my best to make things clear. Some of my beta readers’ reactions increased my confidence that this was, indeed, a vital part of the story.
No matter my age, I seem never to outgrow my need for this kind of affirmation. Like most people, I avoid failure whenever possible, but if you do that all the time, you miss out on a lot.
Favorite thing to do when not writing.
I love to read and spend time with our grandchildren. Our 12-year-old granddaughter likes to read books out loud with me, and that is such a joy. There’s something about that shared focus that magnifies the gift of the book. Our grandson, 14, is all about becoming a pilot — it’s fun to encourage their passions. I hope they spend far less time in fear than I did.
Please share a writing quirk—a ‘must have’ or a ‘must do’ to get words down on paper.
I need quiet. I’m so word-centered that if I hear music, the lyrics run through my mind and get me off track. For fiction, I also need a character whispering in my ear. For me, the characters always show up before the plot.
You are truly a kindred spirit, my friend! 🙂
This year’s theme is First Things First. Setting our priorities is a must if we’re to be about our Father’s business. What advice would you offer someone struggling to spend time with Him? And, how has spending time with Him changed your life?
I think you nailed it when you used the word priorities. Back during my freshman year of college, I learned about having a “quiet time,” even a few minutes alone each day with God. That became a habit, probably because I was so extremely needy of inner peace.
Maybe it had something to do with my love of the written word, too—it seemed natural to listen for messages as I read and prayed. But bottom line, I made a commitment to be there each morning, and decisions like this make all the difference. To some, an every-day meeting might seem dull and wooden, but for me, it’s essential and very alive.
Recently I’ve been studying Spanish, and have learned the word for prayer comes from the same Latin root as the English word orator. To pray is to speak—I used to try following “guidelines” for prayer, keeping lists, etc. But now I see communicating with God as simply listening and speaking, a back and forth relationship.
Commitment and continual conversation is a recipe for growth. Gail, thank you for visiting Women of Faith and Fiction and for sharing your thoughts with us.
Readers, Gail is offering an e-copy of A Purpose True to one commenter.
A Purpose True
Southern France – Spring, 1944
German panzer units crisscross the region, dealing ruthless reprisals against the French Resistance, and anyone suspected of supporting its efforts. Secret Operations Executive (SOE) agent Kate Isaacs is tasked with providing essential radio communications with the Allies, while her guide, Domingo Ibarra, a Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter, dedicates himself to avenging the destruction of his home and family.
Thrown together by the vagaries of war, their shared mission, and common devotion to liberty, the last thing Kate and Domingo anticipate is the stirring of affection that threatens to blossom into love. But how can love survive in the midst of the enemy’s relentless cruelty toward innocent citizens?
Everything hinges on the success of the Allied Invasion – L’Invasion
When Gail Kittleson’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors. She also facilitates writing and creativity workshops, both in Iowa and Arizona, where she and her husband spend part of the winter in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim. Favorites: walking, reading, meeting new people, hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.