Project Inspired Posts First Interview For “The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch”

My first Interview for The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is posted on Project Inspired.

I’m a contributing Culture Shock and Style blogger for the website, which focuses on providing advice and news to Christian teen girls. It’s a great forum and I’m excited to be featured on it.

Here’s a snippet:

Girls, you’ve been enjoying T.M.’s Culture Shock and style articles at PI—we’re thrilled to announce that she’s just released a novel! It’s called The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch.

TDSR is about the hardships experienced by a distrustful 10-year-old boy named Benny, a foster child, who is bound and determined to avoid faith and keep his distance from everyone. (We bet you’ve met a few people like that, huh?) David and Martha Credence (his new foster parents) have their work cut out for them to help open Benny’s heart and show him to his path with God—they also have a whole foster family to look after!

You can read the first chapter of TDSR here.

We asked T.M. all about the book and why girls should read it. Check out our Q&A!

PI: T.M., we’re so excited about your new book! First of all, what inspired you to write The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch?

T.M.: My novels are usually inspired by a different number of things. It could be a thought, a news story, an issue I’m passionate about, a biblical verse, or even a random person I see on the street. With Sunshine Ranch, it was a mix of some of these prompts. I imagined my main character, Benedict, a 10-year old foster child, struggling with the fear of his past and being cynical about his future. I pictured him as this grumpy kid who was afraid to be happy. The elevation of children, especially those who come from bad or poor upbringings, is always inspiring to me. I wanted to tell a story about children and teens, scarred by adversity, but strengthened by God. I was inspired by the desire to inspire, and ultimately, I think that’s why I write all of my stories.

PI: What do you hope young Christians will take away from this novel?

T.M.: That past adversity should never dictate or assume an adverse future. No matter where you come from, you have the ability to succeed. Trust that God has a plan for you, and that in difficult times, He will carry you through. This book epitomizes the scripture Philippians 4:12-13. Basically it translates into:

“I know what it’s like to be in need and to have plenty; I’ve learned how to be content in any situation, because God gives me strength to deal with anything that comes my way.”

I pray this truth reveals itself to my readers, because nothing is impossible with God.

Read the whole interview at Project Inspired.

 

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A Day in the Life of a Catholic Novelist

“I am grateful for my life, my blessings, husband and children, my home, and my writing.” I continue my daily mantra instinctively but faithfully. Except my words lack the enthusiasm insisted by Tony Robbins. “I’m grateful for finding my passion, although my time is restricted. My life’s full with every second consumed by one being or another seeking my attention. I’m grateful for it all until insanity kicks in.” I suck in a much needed breath and glance at my two little homeschoolers working diligently at the dining room table, my third sits playing with the spice rack. A sudden gush of happiness washes through me, cleansing all remnants of sarcasm and discouragement that taint my mood.

I’ll survive the drudge of today, with its typical formation. I’ll follow yesterday’s steps, same as the day before. I’m not alone. I prepare a snack, send out the dog, clean the kitchen, and change a diaper. My only interruption is to grab a scrap of paper, napkin, piece of gum wrap, anything obtainable for me to safely transfer a soon-to-be renowned phrase or idea from thought.

Finally, I’m onto my beloved chore, staring at my impending bestseller while my boy plays by my feet. The older two are in bed and my time has come. I read prewritten words in an attempt to transform my mind into one of a novelist’s. Distraction comes soon, however, when I feel little hands grabbing at me. I try to type faster, frantic to finish a thought. What was it, again? It’s too late. I’m no longer a writer. I’m a mountain that must be scaled. Little grunts indicate the magnitude of his mission and it’s too endearing to ignore.

I surrender to his command and drag him onto my lap, hoping he’ll be entertained by the words appearing before us. I regain my literary composure, but soon my sleek lines of literary genius are tainted by an intrusive ‘g,’ followed by a roguish ‘p.’ The meddlesome letters continue appearing, accompanied by impish giggles, and my only response is a desperate, ‘no sweetie,’ ‘don’t touch,’ while maintaining as much patience as my deteriorating mood allows.

It’s too tempting for those tiny fingers, however, and again I’m compelled to surrender, save my potential masterpiece and spin away from the screen, causing a squeal of delight. I lift him into the air and he looks down at me, eyes wide with the anticipation of my next move. Who knows what that will be? Even with routine comes uncertainty, but in the sparkling eyes of my child is a promise of something extraordinary, and for that I am always grateful.