Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the honor of interviewing Kimberley Woodhouse, a fellow historical novelist. Kimberley’s novels have recently won the Carol Award in the novella category and the Reader’s Choice Award from RWA Faith, Hope, and Love in the short historical category! Kimberley is one of our newest CAN members, and I can’t wait for you to meet her! Welcome, Kimberley!
Please tell us about your new novel, The Express Bride.
The Wilderness is a great place to hide. Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station after her father’s death. On a quest to find his boss’s heir, Elijah Johnson passes through and her world is turned upside down. Caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities, can Jackie remain strong when secrets of the past are unearthed?
What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?
The Pony Express is such a fascinating but short piece of American history. It was completely overwhelming to me to find how many people, horses, and stations it took to keep the Express running. And then the price! I thought our mail prices nowadays were high… but wow. Initially it was five dollars to send something half an ounce or lighter. That’s over $142 in today’s economy.
I’ll never complain at my post office again. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
The gift of forgiveness. What God has done for us and how amazing and healing it is for us to also forgive and let go.
What was the hardest scene to write?
There’s a scene at the end that was the hardest to write and is also my favorite. It made me cry. I’ve had a few readers sent me notes that it made them cry too and meant so much to them. So I praise God for using His story.
What a wonderful reminder that those difficult scenes are usually the ones that resonate most with readers.
Kimberley, what would be your ideal writing place? And…what’s your actual writing place like?
I have a huge office in our home that is my sanctuary. I love it. In it, I’m surrounded by bookshelves overflowing with books, my desk that always seems a mess with research, and a comfortable reading area. My Bible study table is also here and I love to look out the windows to our Montana mountains and smile. Writing is a LOT of work. But God is so good.
That sounds lovely! Tell us about your funniest moment with a reader.
It’s a funny moment, and also one of my favorites. I was speaking at a women’s Christmas luncheon. There were about 250 women present and it was an incredible event. Those ladies knew how to serve a luncheon! Well, at the book table later, I had quite a line and enjoyed talking to each of the women. About mid-way through, a lady approached me and asked if I would take a chicken for a book. (I had shared during my talk about a traumatic event we’d just had with our chickens at home.) So I told her “sure!” and wouldn’t you know, about thirty minutes later, she was back in line with a chicken (in a box) for me to take home. My daughter wasn’t quite sure what to think when I told her that we would be driving home with a chicken. For three and a half hours. And that was the best, sweetest hen we ever had among our flock.
This might take the prize for the funniest author story ever—I’m still laughing! What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I’m a pastor’s wife so that is almost a full-time job in and of itself, but I am also very passionate about Operation Christmas Child and serve as a year-round volunteer for this fabulous ministry. I love that every shoebox packed goes with the gospel to a child around the world. 168 million shoeboxes have been delivered over the past twenty-six years which is a HUGE number. But there are 1.9 billion children in the world under the age of fifteen. So we have a lot more children to reach.
What talents do you have aside from storytelling?
I’m a musician – in fact that was what I majored in. And I still teach piano and voice lessons and serve on our church’s worship team.
Tell us about your next project.
Forever Hidden, the first book in the Treasures of Nome series is my next book from Bethany House (releasing January 2020) written with Tracie Peterson. We are SO excited to introduce our readers to the red-headed, musical Powell sisters.
How fun! Thank you for sharing with us, Kimberley!
Writing for Him,