Cindy: You previously two works thru Thomas Nelson and recently republished Rightfully Mine. What prompted you to republish that particular book?
Aggie: It was well received when it was originally published. Local newspaper reviewers begged for a sequel and my editor at Thomas Nelson also urged me to continue writing for them. Health problems prevented it at the time, but those problems are less intrusive now, or rather technology allows me to accomplish more. But I no longer have an interest in going through traditional publishing houses. The opportunities are endless now for indies, so I chose that route. http://www.aggiev.org/rightfullymine/Cindy: Are you working on anything new right now?
Aggie: Yes I am. Two yearly books I've been urged to do; one a compilation of my 2009 writers' interviews, and the other a compilation of the year's photographer/artists interviews.
So many of my interviewees commented on the depth of the questions and how much time I put into the pre research that I started googling interviews and found that most interviewers ask similar questions in each interview. There was no real investment of the subject's spirit and personality into them.
I spend a great deal of time researching my subjects so I won't be asking them to repeat information they've already given a thousand times. Some use my interview introductions in their promo material.
Now, this is a secret. I'm also dipping my toe into beginning research for the two sequels to RM, plus two nonfiction books. And, of course, I'm always writing for the VAJ blog and articles and guest posts, etc.
Cindy: You co-authored your first book, Chase the Wind. How did that come about?
Aggie: A friend, Deborah Lawrence, and I planned to write a book of short stories about Biblical women. We started with Gomer and never left her. She is still my favorite Biblical character.
Cindy: And what is it about?
Aggie: Chase the Wind is about the old testament book of Hosea; the prophet God commanded to marry a prostitute as an example of God's unfaithful bride of Israel.
Cindy: You're also a professional photographer. When did your love for photography come about?
Aggie: I've always loved photography. My mother gave me a brownie when I was about 9. They couldn't keep me in film. I took pictures of everything from the sweeping clouds to blades of grass.
My kids used to tease me and pretend they didn't recognize me when I lowered the camera or camcorder from my face. But it wasn't until the spring of 2007 that I got a digital SLR camera and made an attempt at going pro.
Cindy: What inspires your photographic work?
Aggie: My beloved mountains. I wish I could live up there, but I spend as much time roaming them as I can. Since I live in the foothills of the San Juan Wilderness area I can do it fairly often.
Cindy: Earlier this year, you started up a website, Visual Arts Junction. How did that idea come about, what is your goal, and what does the site offer to its visitors?
Aggie: I've gained much through my writing and photography. I always like to give back. I wanted to establish a gathering place where other artists could meet and learn and get acquainted through interviews with other artists. I emailed my internet friends in the field and those interested (like you) joined me in the adventure.
We are always adding more events, hoping to make the subscriber's experience deeper and more fun, and because we just plain like to have fun ourselves.
There's our monthly writing contest. The winning entry is posted on the sites of our panel of judges (a total of nine sites) and our continually growing list of sponsors, now numbering 16, with several posting to multiple sites. So the winner is posted on, at the minimum, 27 sites (so far), with a readership in the thousands. That's quite a prize.
We run a monthly raffle of one of my photographic art pieces. This month you can enter here and become an art collector for under $5.00.
Our newest event was initiated by Shelagh Watkins; VAJ Shorts. She wrote the opening of a story. And now visitors add to the story in the comments box. No word limit, but it must be original.We have freebie pages, including archives covering many topics. The photography archive is like a free college education. It's the largest archive on the net that we know of.
I particularly like our List Your Art Site page where readers introduce themselves and their sites. This was the most populated page on the blog until I recently switched our "comments" software and lost everyone's entries. Sorry everybody!
Keep tabs on our VAJ Contests, Give-a-Ways & Raffles. It changes monthly. And of course there is always the vast array of interviews by our staff that we have become known for.Cindy: You actually traveled to research before writing Rightfully Mine. What inspired you to do that and to write a fiction work around that particular story originally?
Aggie: There were comments in reviews and interviews of my first novel about how realistic are my descriptions. I wondered if I could make them even more so in my second book if I'd actually been to Israel. Reviewers seem to think I succeeded.
At the time, the early 80s, there was heated debate between the church and the feminists over the passing of a women's equal rights amendment. When I read the Number's story of Zelophehad's daughters, who essentially lobbied for the first equal rights amendment I was eager to bring that story to the world. Thousands of years don't make as much difference as we suppose.
Thomas Nelson wouldn't let me use the tag line "God's First Equal Rights Amendment." They said it would be too controversial within the church.This is a women's equal rights amendment straight out of history, and handed down straight from the throne of God. How much more do we need in order to understand the great worth of women, and our worth to God throughout history, today and evermore?
Cindy: Where can we learn more about you and your art/writing works?
The Rewritten Word writing courses:
Find Your Niche & Style coaching
Visual Arts Junction
Cindy: Are there any new projects in the works for you other than the art and writing?
Aggie: I teach an online course about rewriting. I'm working that up into a book. I'm working on the same thing regarding my personal coaching course, Find Your Niche & Style.
I plan to begin teleseminars later this winter. I'm very excited about the chance to get to bring together the artists with the readers. I love my text interviews, but everyone gets so much more out of it when they can be involved and ask questions. But for those who would rather curl up with the book, I'll have the sessions transcribed for the 2010 compilation books.
Cindy, I've really enjoyed this time. Thankx so much for inviting me.