Lynnette Bonner’s first novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis, released in 2009 from OakTara. Since then she’s written three other books for The Shepherd’s Heart series.
I am married with four children. My husband is a pastor and we live in Washington. I was born in Malawi, Africa to missionary parents, fluently speak an obscure language called Chichewa, and have eaten fire-braised termites. I learned to love reading at an early age. My love of reading eventually morphed into an attempt at writing. At first I only dabbled, but then one day I came across a historical tidbit that simply begged to be turned into a story, and my first full length novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis, (the first book of this series) was born. I’ve been writing ever since.
Lynnette, what was your top reading pick of the last year?
This question is tough, if only for the fact that I didn’t have a lot of time to read this past year. I think I’ll have to choose, Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and its Tributaries: And of the Discovery of the Lakes Shirwa and Nyassa: 1858-64 by David Livingstone. A fascinating book I read for research of an upcoming series. It is highlighted and underlined and even gave me specific instructions on how to cook an elephant’s foot – something that I’m sure will come in handy someday!
Um, that's gonna give me pause if you ever have me over for dinner. Not gonna lie. :-) I haven't read nearly as much as I'd like this year either. But when I do, I love discovering new things about the Lord. Have you learned anything new about God's character through this book?
High Desert Haven is all about exploring the question, “Where is God when bad things are happening to me?” The answer I came down to was that sometimes God is simply asking us to trust him. He doesn’t inflict us with suffering, but we live in a sin-sick world and bad things do happen. Our response to those things can either draw us closer to our God, or push us further away.
Very true, Lynnette. Though that's hard to remember sometimes, isn't it? When you write, are you a Plotter or a Pantser?
I’m definitely a pantser. I’d love to be an outliner, but so far, that hasn’t worked for me. If I try to write an outline it kills the joy of the story for me and I can never seem to get the tension back.
And when's your favorite time to write?
Anytime I can catch a few quiet moments. :smile: As the mother of four, a pastor’s wife, and part-time employee, finding time to write can be difficult. I sneak it in whenever I can.
Sweetie, we have a lot in common! Where do your best ideas come from?
Ideas for stories come to me from all over. Several of my story ideas have come from historical research. Another book I’m working on germinated from a vivid dream. I’ve also been inspired by sermons that made a particular point and I thought, “Oh that would make a great story.”
I do that in church too! OK, what snack do you like to have nearby as you write?
Almost always coffee in one form or another. And generally some type of chocolate.
Wow, it's like we're the same person. ;-) Share something about the book that you think readers would like to know.
Many of the events that take place in High Desert Haven, were inspired by actual history. I’m always amazed at the depths to which men will stoop simply to get more for themselves in life. And Crook County, Oregon (perhaps aptly named?) definitely had its share of hellions. I’ve told a few of their stories within this book.
If you could interview one character in your book, which one would it be? What shocking or interesting thing might that character say? Why?
I think I might like to interview Janice from the Farewell Bend mercantile. And I have no idea what she might say because Janice is the type of person who just might say anything! Maybe someday I’ll explore her story a little more.
How fun! So, who is your favorite character you've created and why?
Oh wow, isn’t that like asking a mother to pick a favorite child? :smile: Hmm… well, I’ll tell you about a few of my characters and what endears them to me. Sky Jordan is wonderful because of his tender heart and compassion. He was just the kind of man Brooke Baker needed in her life to usher in healing. Nicki Trent was so fun to write. I love her sparky personality and her quick wit. Lastly I’d have to say I loved the characters of Cade Bennett and Sharyah Jordan. Cade because he’s a little bit of a bumbler, but always comes back to fix things. And Sharyah because she is so terrified of the good thing that is looking her right in the face and I think we all are a little bit like that when God gives us the desires of our heart. We feel unworthy and figure that somehow something is surely going to fall through.
Great answer! Before we go, do you have a question for our readers?
Yes: Who is your favorite leading lady and why?
Great question and one I've been dying to know. Come on, readers, tell us what you think! One of you will win a free book on Friday. Please come back then to find out who our Champion will be.