I love the background behind Becky Lyles‘ latest works, and hope it inspires you all as much as it did. Becky grew up in Wyoming, which is the setting for her Kate Neilson novels. Shes enjoys places with mountains, plains and deserts – and fresh air. Thirty-plus years ago, shortly after her first child was born, she took a writing class and began writing articles and short stories. Many more classes, writing seminars and conferences later, her first book was published in 2000.
Enjoy this interview.
Tell us about your latest book. What do you hope readers take away from it?
Winds of Freedom is the second Kate Neilson story and again features women who previously spent time in prison. My hope for the series is that readers will feel empathy and compassion for those who desire to leave the past behind and walk the narrow road yet find doing so extremely difficult, whether it’s because of their upbringing, friends and family who drag them down, addictions, ignorance, false beliefs or stubbornness.
I pray readers will also be inspired to find ways to help ex-offenders, whether through prison and jail ministries, transition services, Angel Tree, supporting families of incarcerated individuals, providing worship services for sexual offenders who aren’t allowed to be around children, welcoming former felons at church services and other social gatherings, and any other way to befriend someone who may feel like an outcast.
Here’s a blurb for Winds of Freedom:
Winter storms blast across the Whispering Pines Guest Ranch, and a cold wind blows through Kate Neilson’s soul. Despite her pain, Kate’s well-being takes a backseat to the needs of loved ones: her best friend, who’s been ensnared by evil; her failing great-aunt, whose dementia care keeps Kate guessing; and Laura and Mike Duncan, whose ranch and livelihood are threatened by a land-grabbing neighbor.
Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?
I hope to compile and publish a short story collection in the next few weeks, begin the process for creating audio versions of the four books I’ve written so far and write the third book in the Kate Neilson series, Winds of Change. After that, I’d like to begin a Montana series.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
Wow, that’s a hard question. I’ve read so many great books. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage about a ship trapped in Antarctic in 1915 and the crew members’ struggle to find their way back to civilization is probably the most fascinating book on my shelves right now.
At the moment, my favorite authors are Gina Holmes, Charles Martin and Kristen Hannah, all beautiful writers and great storytellers.
Book you’re currently reading?
I just finished Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes and am currently reading Hiking Through: One Man’s Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail.
Any type of writing ritual you have?
I like to edit the previous day’s chapter or section, not only to clean it up (fixes are always needed!) but to remind myself where I’m at in the story and to “prime the pump” before I tackle the next scene.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to walk, garden, camp, hike, cross-country ski, snowshoe, participate in women’s Bible study groups, Skype with our grandchildren, hang out with writing friends, read, cook from scratch and make fun fermented foods like kombucha tea, sauerkraut and yogurt.
What is one of the things you’re most thankful for as a writer?
I’m grateful for mentors and supportive friends, family and fellow writers – and readers willing to take a chance on my writing.
In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?
I believe a successful writer is a person who’s awed by the amazing brains God gave us to create something from nothing. All forms of art astound me. How is an image in a painter’s or a sculptor’s mind translated to canvas or clay? How does our brain assemble letters and words and form a story that makes sense? Successful writers, in my opinion, are humble and appreciative of those who choose to read what slipped out of their heads, through their fingers, and into print.
Where can we learn more about you?
LinkedIn: Becky Lyles
Facebook: Rebecca Carey Lyles
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you, Cherie, for allowing me to visit your classy site. I enjoyed the interview!
Me too! Thank you Becky and feel free to come back anytime.
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