Thought you would enjoy reading an interview with Christian author Colleen Coble. The third book in her Mercy Falls series, The Lightkeeper’s Ball, releases this month. Colleen is a prolific author of romance, romantic suspense, historical fiction and even an Amish title! She’s written 35 books, which have sold about 2 million copies.
To start, Colleen, tell us a bit about your growing up.
“I was born in 1952 on a farm in Wabash, Indiana. Born and raised in the Midwest, I grew up on a farm with horses, pigs and chickens. I was the oldest—I had three younger brothers—Randy (who died in 1990), Rick, and David. As you can imagine, being the only girl, I had plenty of adventure–from being dragged by my pony to running my brother Randy’s motorcycle through a fence. Maybe that’s why all my stories have action and adventure in them. My dad (George Rhoads) was a farmer who also worked as a guard at General Motors. He was very hard-working. My mom (Peggy Rhoads), was a wife and mom—and also very hard-working.”
So after graduating from high school, you went right into the workforce, right? And you didn’t write books right away. But tell us what got you writing.
“I was a receptionist at Wabash Electric Supply, near my parent’s farm. I had to answer about 1000 phone calls a day. But in on August 28, 1990, my brother Randy was killed by lightening in Wyoming, where he lived at the time. It made me realize that life is short, and I shouldn’t wait to do what I always had wanted to do—write a book. And in my brother’s memory, the first book (actually the first four books) was set in Wyoming. But that first book took me a year to write because I still kept my day job at Wabash Electric!”
I’m so sorry to hear about your brother. But it sounds like you turned that tragedy into something positive. Many of your books have been published by Thomas Nelson. But who published those first ones?
“Those were published by Barbour Publishing under its Heartsong Presents imprint. I loved working with them, and I absolutely love the team at Thomas Nelson as well!”
You’re amazingly prolific—you seem to release several books each year. How do you do it?
“Well, I’m an empty nester, so I don’t have kids around to distract me. So I write all day. Also, I have terrific brainstorming partners, authors Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter. We sit down together and come up with the plot for several books at a time.”
Speaking of empty nest, you have two kids, right?
“Yes, my husband Dave and I have two kids, Dave and Kara, and three grandchildren. They’re terrific.”
You can see all of Colleen’s books and more at her website, www.colleencoble.com. Connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Colleen-Coble/156271444433789.