Before I began writing The Tallowood Valley Series, I had a clear vision of the setting and one of the main characters - Alex (whom you will meet in Bridge to Return), but I was stuck with getting started on the storyline. I was feeling a bit discouraged and also frustrated, as it wasn't progressing as I would've liked. (I am a perfectionist, and get frustrated when I can't get things right...something I'm still working on!)
I spent quite some time praying about it - that God would guide me and give me some inspiration as I wasn't getting far at all.
Not long after, I met a woman in my 'day' job who "just happened" to live on one of the biggest cattle stations in Australia. She was a long way from home when I met her, and in my brief interaction with her, she told me a little about life on the land - the challenges they faced, the joys they experienced, how their children went to boarding school, how many cattle they had etc.
As I was busy talking to the woman, her husband walked into the room. I was utterly gobsmacked, but had to maintain my best poker face as I was introduced. Her husband - whom I had never met - just happened to be the man I had envisioned as Alex in Bridge to Return. Exactly the same build. Exactly the same features. Exactly the same piercing blue eyes. It was both amazing and frightening! I had to maintain my professionalism and not let on that anything was out of the ordinary. At the time, I remember thinking, "Just stay calm."
It was a bizarre experience, as though my book had come to life right in front of me, before it had even been written. And I truly believe God had something to do with it - just to give me a little nudge of encouragement and inspiration. That particular day has stuck with me, and I still smile at just how perfect God's timing was for me to meet those two people.
God works in ways we can't always fathom, and He often uses everyday circumstances and opportunities to lift our spirits. I always pray as I write - and it is my prayer that God would somehow use my feeble words for His glory and that you might be encouraged by them.
Bridge to Return is available for pre-order now.