And now . . . your questions and a few answers. 🙂

Linda asked: Seriously, did anything you learned during the writing of these books come to mind or were of any help or comfort when your dad passed away? I know he is in heaven which is the untimate comfort.

I really liked Buggs. Does he grow up to take over Fairlawn?

Yes–when my dad died last December, I wasn’t at all nervous about seeing him in the casket or anything. I know some folks get the heebie jeebies at the thought of approaching the casket, but I was able to go up and admire the fine work the mortician did. As to the spiritual aspects, seems like I’ve always known that to be “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” so I had no worries about that at all.

And yes, in the back of my mind I’m convinced that Jen’s boys will grow up to take over the funeral home. It’ll be part of their lives by then, and they’ve been molded enough by Gerald, Jen, and Daniel that they’ll appreciate the ministry it is.

Trisha asked if SIABP is the final Fairlawn book . . . and yes, I believe it is. The story is finished.

Suzanne asked: Do you plan to ever add to this series? I really like it when my favorite authors do books in series, I usually fall in love with the characters and it’s nice to have them around for a while. How about any other series in the works?

At this point I don’t plan to add to the series. It feels finished to me. If the Lord sends another irresistible idea, though, I may reconsider that. And right now, all the ideas I have in mind are stand-alone novels. I get bored so easily that when I’m done with a book, I usually like to be DONE with it so I can move on to something else.

Sally asked: How do you choose names for your characters? What organizational method do you use to keep them from landing in another book?

I choose names that are easy to pronounce, suitable for the time and age of the character, and which seem to “fit” the personality I have in mind. And I’m afraid I don’t have a system that would keep me from using the same name in another book–if I’d known I would be writing so many books, maybe I would have established one twenty years ago! But usually I can remember if I’ve already used a major character’s name. I don’t mind using the same names for peripheral characters–in fact, I frequently use my friends’ surnames for characters who pass quickly in and out of a story. 🙂 It’s my little shout-out to them (in case they ever read the story!)

And I promised to give away a free book. Code was:FPTLAQICB. Which means, “First Person to Leave a Question in the Comment Box” since the beginning of the BOM, and so that person is–Tricia! If you’ll write me through my web page, Trisha, I’ll send you a copy of something. 🙂



  1. Richard Mabry

    So great that your previous writing added to your peace at the time of your Dad’s passing. My writing came after my loss, but it had a similar effect. Isn’t it wonderful how God seems to find a way to bless us, often in ways we never considered when they were happening?


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