Friday, August 23, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature: Vickie McDonough

Today I welcome 
Vickie McDonough,
whose characters nagged her until she wrote their story.

Enter to win Vickie's July release,
Whispers on the Prairie
Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

Vickie is quite an accomplished author. She has twenty-seven books/novellas published. I am pleased to introduce her to you. While we chatted, I asked her to share with us how God led her on this great writing journey. This is her answer:

The Story That Kept Me Awake at Night

Thank you, Mary, for inviting me to be your guest today. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved to read. When I was young, I read every book I could find that had a horse on the cover. Then I graduated to Nancy Drew books, and later, when I was the frazzled mom of four teenage sons, I discovered Christian romance novels, and fell in love with them.

As my boys got older, I started praying that God would help me to start a home business—something where I could work at home and be there for my sons but still bring in some badly needed extra income. Several years later, the idea for a story started running through my mind. It was like watching a movie in my brain. I would think about it off and on all day, but then it would keep me awake at night. I finally decided to write it down in hopes it would go away and let me sleep. I wrote a whole book, and as soon as I finished it, another story started forming. I wrote that one down too.

By the time I finished the second book, I began to wonder if God was trying to get my attention. I talked to my husband, who’d been watching me write with interest, and told him that I felt God might be leading me to become a writer. He encouraged me to do whatever I needed to learn the craft.

I started reading books on writing, taking classes locally and online, and attending writers’ conference. And I guess you could say the rest is history. I recently signed a contract for my 32nd book. It boggles my mind more than anyone that God could take a girl who hated English and history way back in school and turn her into a historical fiction writer.

When God calls you to do something, no matter how far-fetched it seems, if you yield to Him, He will enable you to do that task, and the effort will be highly rewarding.

Tulsa native, Vickie McDonough grew up wanting to marry a rancher, but instead, she married a computer geek who is scared of horses. She now lives out her dreams in her fictional stories about ranchers, cowboys, lawmen and others living in the West in the 1800s. Vickie is the award-winning author of 27 published books and novellas. Her books include the fun and feisty Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, and Whispers on the Prairie, Book 1 in a new series set at a stage stop in 1870s Kansas. Whispers on the Prairie was chosen by Romantic Times as one of their Recommended Inspirational Books for July.

Vickie is a wife of thirty-seven years, mother of four grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and grandma to a feisty seven-year-old girl. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, antiquing, watching movies, and traveling. To learn more about Vickie’s books or to sign up for her newsletter, visit her website:

Where to buy Whispers on the Prairie: (released July, 2013)

Where to buy Pioneer Christmas: (will release September, 2013)

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of 
Vickie McDonough's book: "Whispers on the Prarie":
leave a comment (and email address)
and become a follower of this site if you aren't already.

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Vickie, for Joining us This Weekend!

Friend, not everyone has such a fun-easy road story to share about their writing journey. But we all have the fun-easy road story about something in our lives. What has been really simple for you to learn to do?

I'll start. I find it really easy to explain concepts to children. I don't know where the ideas come from but funny and easy to understand examples pop in my head while I'm speaking. The children always laugh and when tested, know the concept.

You're turn. 


Janice said...

Very interesting to hear how the characters insisted on being put into print. I find that I am fairly creative in coming up with crafts or activities to use along with Sunday School Bible stories. I ask God for ideas to help reinforce what He wants the children to learn. So I give Him the credit for what seems rather easy for me.

Barbara Thompson said...

What has been easy for me was to play the piano and sing. I started singing in church when I was 4 years old. Started taking piano lessons when I was young and as I got older, we found that not only could I read music, I could play by ear. I totally give credit to the Lord for my talent. He was the one you blessed me. I love Vickie's books. Really enjoyed her posting. Please enter me in the giveaway.
Barbara Thompson

Also, I'm a follower!

Mary Vee said...

So true Janice. God is the one who helps us with the ideas. He directs our paths, whispers in our ear, and touches our heart so we know. :)

Mary Vee said...

Play by ear? Oh, Barb, you are a treasure.

bonton said...

Enjoyed your interview, Vickie! I have read of & talked to numerous fiction authors who claim it is the characters who tell the story & direct the path in which it goes. But if God is directing our paths - he is in the characters also.

I am good at decorating, baking, crafts, & photography, also love to sing (was a cast member of a Passion Play on the life of Christ for a year), play the piano & organ (& the accordian many years ago).

Mary Vee said...

Hi Bonnie,
So nice to see you.
I love you thinking about God being in the character. Wonderful way to say it.

You have quite a gift for the arts! Looks like God is using you in many ways.

So glad you stopped by today.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mary for having Vickie here. I don't see how these writers ever sleep the way they talk about the characters talking to them and even waking them up. I don't know what GOD wanted me to do other than being a good wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. I have a big family, now Grammy to 19 greats. Also have tried to be a good christian, friend, listener, and encourager. My dad taught us all to sing and we sang at church. I sing Alto. I used to draw clothes designs, and made clothes for my kids. Also, some for the grandkids. I loved sewing, but started having too much trouble with my back and neck. Made my own patterns for some dresses for myself also. I used to draw pictures at the top of my letters. Especially to my favorite aunt, who was the best pen-pal I ever had. I received letters from the age of 16 when I married until one week before she died. Many years. I've also wrote many poems in my cards I have sent for different occasions. There you have me. I would love to win Vickie's book. Thanks for the chance. Mary, I am a follower of yours. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

Pam K. said...

It's kind of hard to know how to answer your question. I guess it would be cooking was fairly simple for me to learn to do.
I enjoy books set in my native Kansas so would love to win a copy of Whispers on the Prairie. Thanks for the chance.


Wendy Newcomb said...

I am looking forward to reading Whispers on the Prairie, thank you for the chance to win a copy.


Mary Vee said...

Actually, Maxie, it can be quite entertaining to have a conversation with a character even if it is a villain.
Wow you wear many hats! God certainly has blessed you.
I am so thankful you are here and shared all these fantastic opportunities to serve God.
You are a treasure, Maxie :)

Mary Vee said...

Pam, I hope you stop by again. I'd like to know what kind of cooking and what your favorite recipe is.
My teen daughter and I recently stepped into the kitchen craze. It's been so much fun. I've stopped buying cookies etc. She can have them...if she makes them from scratch. So this weekend she is planning to make Julia Child's Queen of Sheba cake. Isn't that awesome!!.

Mary Vee said...

Hi Wendy!
So nice to have you visit with us today! Thinking it won't be long before we break out the virtual hot cocoa :)

Cindy Q said...

Love that her characters were demanding and her husband encouraging :)

I suppose encouraging others is at the top with baking cookies playing a part somehow :)

Vickie McDonough said...

It's so true that God gives us creative ideas, especially when we ask Him for help. There are times when I'm proofing the final galley's of a book, which usually come along four or five months after all the edits have been done, and I'll read something in the book and think that I didn't write that. That's when I know God stepped in and made the story message deeper than I could have done myself. I'm sure He gives you many great ideas for your class, Janice. Isn't He great!

Vickie McDonough said...

Barbara, My dad was an incredible trumpet player, and he played totally by ear. Never could read a note of music. That's so cool that you can too. It's obvious God blessed you with this special talent. I always wished I could sing, but that's not the case. I just pray my singing is pleasant to God's ears. :)

Vickie McDonough said...

Wow, you are super talented! That's wonderful! I agree that God is in the characters. I pray when I'm beginning and writing a book that God would enable me to write the story He wants told--a story that will touch someone who needs to read it and a story that will entertain frazzled women who need some "me" time.

Vickie McDonough said...

Maxie, It sounds like you've lived a very rich life serving your family. That's something to be proud of. Think of the heritage you'll leave behind and the memories of people receiving your special letters with pictures and poems. My mom used to make our clothing too, and that takes a special talent. I think God has been using you for many years in many different ways.

Vickie McDonough said...

Pam, Cooking is a wonderful talent to have. You can bless so many people with your skills. I don't really like cooking. I've had feet and leg trouble for so long. Standing makes them hurt, and you can't cook unless you stand. I tend to cook a lot on the days I do cook, so we have leftovers to eat other nights. I agree with Mary. I'd like to know what you like to cook the most.

Vickie McDonough said...

Waving at Wendy. Thanks for stopping by today!

Vickie McDonough said...

Cindy, Encouraging other is such a wonderful talent to have. My husband is better at that than I am. I was always the disciplinarian in our home, because he was too soft-hearted. I can just see you showing up at someone's door with a plate of homemade cookies and an encouraging message.

Anonymous said...

The thing I like about reading Vickie's stories is that I feel like I have entered another world and I get to escape the one I am in. i grew up in a small town in Minnesota and worked for a historical site and enjoyed the escape. Keep up the good work Vickie maybe if more people read your great work there would be less bad in the world. Melody Estus

Becca Whitham said...

Great interview. Thanks for the opportunity to get to know Vickie a bit better and for the opportunity to win.

I've always found it easy to listen to people. I love hearing their stories. I just plain love stories, whether it's someone's real life or fictional (and real life is ALWAYS stranger than fiction). I even have characters from some favorite books which I need to reread on occasion to "check in" on them and make sure they are still okay. If a story grabs my attention, I can't sleep until I'm sure the hero and heroine are going to make it. It's rather sad--maybe even a touch pathetic--but it's one of the things that makes me, well, ME!

Julianna Rowe said...

What an interesting interview! I really enjoyed reading it. There were times when I would have scenes from the story that I was writing burst upon me, fairly begging to be written down. Unfortunately I never finished it. However, my sister is urging me to write and my English teacher is convinced that I will be a novelist..ha..We will see where God leads me. Right now, I am a music major at MBC of Michigan. I cannot wait to read Whispers on the Prairie and I am honored by the chance to win a copy. Thank you!

Vickie McDonough said...

Thank you for your kind comment, Melody. I was once a frazzled mom of 4 boys, and reading was my escape time. I loved entering someone else's world for a while, but I never dreamed back then that I'd one day create my own worlds for characters that I dreamed up.

Vickie McDonough said...

Hey, Becca! It's readers like you that make writers happy. We love hearing that our book kept you up at night. Don't apologize for that. I'm a story lover too. I almost always have a book that I'm reading--and another one that I'm writing.

Vickie McDonough said...


It's never too late to pick up your book and finish it. Wait for the right season, though. I didn't start writing until I was 47 and all but my youngest son were grown. I couldn't have found the time when the 4 boys were younger. You sound focused and busy, That's great! But maybe when your life slows down, you can start working on your book again.

Angie Adair said...

I am looking forward to reading your new book! I love Historical Romance in the 1800 period. Best Wishes, Angie Adair angadair(at)nwcable(dot)net

sm said...

I enjoy Vickie's writings and would love to win this book, WHISPERS ON THE PRAIRIE! sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Vickie McDonough said...

Thanks for stopping by, Angie. I love reading historical romances too.

Vickie McDonough said...

I'm so glad to hear that you enjoy my books. Thanks for reading them! Good luck in the drawing.

Mary Vee said...

Ooo Cindy, you bake cookies?
Wait, do you bring a plate of virtual cookies to share? You are the sweetest.
Thanks, Cindy:)

Mary Vee said...

Welcome! Your sweet comment for Vickie's books is touching. I am so glad you came today.

Mary Vee said...

You are such a treasure to so many people. It seems one of the most important quality men, women, and children want in a friend is the for them to be a listener. And your fun way of checking in on characters...I can see already you are a simpatico friend for many.
Thanks for joining us today.

Mary Vee said...

So nice to see you back again. You have many great gifts that God has blessed you with. What an exciting life you have ahead.

Mary Vee said...

I agree, Historical Romance stories are wonderful reads to get lost in. Thanks so much for joining us today!

Mary Vee said...

Welcome Sharon, to our chat about Vickie McDonough's books. Sure hope to see you back again.

rbooth43 said...

Your books are a history lesson and a great read! I would love to read WHISPERS ON THE PRAIRIE!
rbooth43 at yahoo dot com

Mary Vee said...

Hi Rebecca!
Welcome to our chat about Vickie McDonough's books and God led writing journey. I'm so glad you came.

rbooth43 said...

I tried again to follow your website!

Mary Vee said...

Thank you Becca for becoming a follower. I sure am happy you've part of our group! I look forward to seeing you again.

Mary Vee said...

Thank you Sharon for becoming a follower. What a blessing to have you join us! Have a blessed Sunday.

Mary Vee said...

Hey, Rebecca!
Thanks so much for all you've done! I have sent you an email.

Mary Vee said...

Yeah! Success! I'm so glad you've joined us and truly look forward to seeing you again. As you know, you are entered in the book drawing and I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

Vickie McDonough said...

sThank you, Rebecca. I try to have some actual historical events in each of my books, even when my town is fictional. A young Teddy Roosevelt made a cameo appearance in one of my North Dakota books. Adding tidbits of real history makes a story more realistic.

squiresj said...

Please enter me to win. I already follow you - that is how I got here. If this book kept author up all night, then we are in for no sleep reading it. I love Vickie's books. I have even reviewed some of them and shared them with others.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Mary Vee said...

Don't you just love reading books that keep the pages turning? I'm so glad you were able to pop in last night. Sure enjoyed seeing you ad chatting.