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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Author Interview - Vickie McDonough

Anne: Vickie McDonough and her husband live in Oklahoma. They have been married thirty-nine years and have four grown sons and a feisty eight-year-old granddaughter. When she's not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, gardening, watching movies, traveling, collecting antique,s and doing stained glass projects. To learn more about Vickie's books, visit her website:

My first curiosity for any author is how they come up with their stories, so I asked the same question about Vickie's latest book, Gabriel's Atonement.

Vickie: I honestly can't remember. I started the book back in 2008. I think my goal was to write a "bad boy" story and redeem the hero, but Gabe proved not to be as bad as I'd first envisioned. He'd had a rough childhood and definitely made some wrong choices, but he wasn't a bad person. Gabriel's Atonement was what authors call "a book of the heart." I've wanted to tell Gabe's story and show that if God can redeem a gambler who has killed someone, He can redeem anyone.

Anne: I love the interplay between Lara and Jo. Have you experienced similar sibling rivalry?

Vickie: LOL Oh my goodness...yes! I have one sister--she's 22 months younger and more stubborn than me :) -- and we fought like cats and dogs when we were younger. Our mom worked, so after school, it was just the two of us--two stubborn, hormonal teenagers. Well, you get the picture.

Anne: You've clearly put a lot of research into the writing of this book. Do you do your own research?

Vickie: I do own several books about the Oklahoma land runs, but I also did a lot of research online. My husband and I visited several of the towns settled during the land runs, too, like Guthrie and Kingfisher, and went to several Land Rush museums. We also visited Caldwell, KS, where Lara's family lives at that beginning of the book.

Anne: Would you be willing to share your sources and/or tips?

Vickie: Always visit the place you want to write about, if you can. Even if your location is fictional, your story will feel more realistic if you base it off of a real town and you've actually seen that area: the landscape, flowers and trees, the rivers and lakes, and know which birds and animals live in the area. One of the websites where I got some of my land rush info was:

Anne: Are you a recluse or outgoing?

Vikie: I'm an introvert, but I wouldn't call myself a recluse. I work long hours at home, but I'm the primary caregiver for my 84-year-old Mom, who can't leave her house without help. I also pick up my eight-year-old granddaughter from school one day a week and watch her until her mother gets off work. I enjoy going to movies with my husband or a friend or getting together with my writing buddies. And that sister I mentioned earlier...we've put away our battle axes and have a booth together at an antique mall that we call Sassy Sisters--rather appropriate, don't you think? To get up and moving, I go to auctions and garage and estate sales, hunting for bargains and things to put in my booth.

Anne: Plotter or panster?

Vickie: I started out as a panster, but when I started writing books for the Heartsong line, I had to send my editor a chapter by chapter outline of the story, so I had no option but to plot out the book. I hated doing that, but I've discovered that it makes writing the book so much easier to have the basic plot lined out. I don't do the chapter by chapter outlines any more, but I do like to have a book somewhat plotted out before starting to write.

Anne: And finally, what's your next book going to be about?

Vickie: Gabriel's Atonement just released on January 1. It's the first book in my Land Rush Dreams series. It features Gabe and Lara as hero and heroine. The next book, which I just turned in last week, is called Joline's Redemption. It will release this fall, and it's the story of Lara's snot-nosed rebellious sister whose bad choices have landed her in a world of hurt. In her story, you'll meet a halfbreed Cherokee girl who will be the heroine of the third book in the series.  

Anne: I know I loved Gabriel's Atonement, and I'm sure everyone else will too. If the reader would like to read my review of that one, click HERE. There are links there where you can buy the book too.
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