Next, I develop a hero and heroine to fit into the situation, characters that both attract and repel the other, and then I weave together a plot to carry my characters to a satisfying ending. After all of that and researching the setting, their jobs, and any other information I might need, I start the actual process of writing.
I don't plan the spiritual thread as much as I plan the other components of fiction. The spiritual part seems to flow naturally out of a struggle I've gone through or one that someone close to me has faced. In Perfect Ways, much of what Adelaide learned about forgiveness, I'd learned only months early--or relearned.
Speaking of Adelaide, my mom asked me why I gave my heroine such an awful name. In all honesty, I didn't care for the name much myself, but somehow it fit her perfectly. She was stuffy, prim and proper, and it was the name that came as I developed her character. The hero calls her Addie and hopes and prays she'll become a more relaxed version of herself.
Do you go by a nickname? Do you like your given name? Would you change it if you could? Answer one, two or all three to be entered in a drawing to win a book at the end of the week.