What was the most surprising thing you learned about yourself as you wrote this book?
My main character is a helper and she is always "helping" people far more than they really want. She has a habit of purchasing new pets for folks that are impractical to their living circumstances, such as circus donkey's or bald rats. Through the course of the story, she learns that her help really does come from the Lord. While I would never purchase a bald rat for an unwilling pet owner, I discovered that I show others that I care by cooking for them. Strangely, some folks don't care about food and so I realized that just like Shelby and her bald rats, there are times I need to find new ways to show my love.
Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
I loved to read as a girl and devoured Black Stallion books and Nancy Drew mysteries at light speed!
How does your faith affect your writing?
My faith helps me to create a believable inner story arc for my characters as I give them some of the struggles that the Lord and I have faced together over the years. It also helps me to write happy endings as even surrounded by hard times and pain, I have seen the Lord bring about amazing victories and miracles.
If you were a pair of shoes, what style, brand, and color would you be?
I think that I would be bright yellow Chucks! Google, "shoes, Chucks, yellow" and you will see me in footwear form.
What’s more important to you, to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
You saw the yellow tennis shoes, right? Yeah, you guessed it, I deeply enjoy an original story!
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
My dad died when I was fourteen and I actually had to help perform CPR, call the neighbors for assistance (we live way out in the woods and the ambulance couldn't make it), and direct a relative to call 911. When I was finally ready to grieve, I began writing about the experience. Seeing that I was able to both sort through my own pain using words and transport another person to that moment in time was such a powerful realization. Writing gives you the ability to place another human being into your shoes. It shows us that we aren't actually alone.
What is an interesting event that occurred in your life?
I actually put this event into Chicken Crossing after an interviewer asked what makes me unique from every other writer. I told her the story about digging a snake pit as a girl with my cousins and attempting to dangle each other upside down over the snake pit with the use of a tippy tripod made of old logs. We had just watched Indiana Jones, ha! I was too tall and ended up with snakes in my hair! Anyway, the interviewer was so intrigued (apparently my snake pit experience is fairly unique) that I fictionalized the memory and put it into my next book!
What do you hope readers will tell others about this book?
That they laughed out loud! I hope that I can bring a moment of levity to my readers' day.
I love to write Christian RomComs and children's stories. If you would like to try out my writing for free, I have two books available on my website that are free for newsletter subscribers! Yes, they both involve pet chickens! Download a copy here: http://www.kristenjoywilks.com/
I have five other romantic comedies available, including Yellowstone Yondering which follows a young photographer who loses her Scottish terrier in Yellowstone National Park and will do anything (including break all the rules that a handsome ranger keeps reminding her of) to get her furbaby back! Yellowstone Yondering is available here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0828BGZ5J
(which you can read Clare's post about Yellowstone Yondering HERE)