Best selling author Vickie McDonough has penned 34 novels and novellas. Her books have won multiple awards including the 2012 Booksellers’ Best Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest, Texas Gold, the ACFW Noble Theme contest, and she has been a finalist in ACFW’s BOTY/Carol Awards eight times. Vickie and her husband live in Oklahoma. They have four grown sons, one daughter-in-law, and an eight-year-old granddaughter.
Interview with Vickie McDonough
S.S: How long have you been writing?
S.S: How long have you been writing?
13 ½ years.
S.S: Do you write full time?
Yes, for the most part. I’m also primary caregiver to my 84 yo mom, and I pick up my granddaughter from school and watch her once a week. If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past? I’ve been a bookkeeper and an administrative assistant and have worked for a community college, a financial advisor, an interior decorator, several banks and a church.
S.S: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?
I think it was probably the day I held that first book in my hands and saw my name on the cover. That was an exciting day.
S.S.: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author?
With no doubt, it’s been my husband, Robert. He believed in me as a writer long before I ever did and has cheered me on through my whole writing journey. He’s been a great, positive supporter. We’re on a research trip as I’m writing this. J
S.S: Do you write in any other genres?
Historical romance is the main genre I write.
If so, what? I have also done several contemporary romances, and now I’m excited to have added a suspense book, Rancher Under Fire, to my list of novels.
S.S: How does your faith play into your writing?
Faith is an integral part of each of my books. There’s always a faith message in my stories. One thing I honestly believe is that God dreams bigger dreams for us than we dare dream for ourselves. This is a common theme running through my books. Another theme is that no matter how bad your circumstances are, God is ready to help you, if you’ll only turn to Him. God is good, and I want my readers to know that—and that he cares for you as much as He loved his own son, Jesus.
S.S: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?
I’d probably be working in the accounting field again, but if I had the talent and knowledge, I’d like to be a graphic artist and animator. That seems like a fun job.
S.S: Tell us about your current release.
Rancher Under Fire is the story of Jackson Durant, a man who was a high-profile pro quarterback who fled the limelight when his daughter was born—the same day his wife died. He will go to any lengths to protect his young daughter and his ranch. Weird thing have been happening at his ranch, and he knows the puzzling incidents are not accidents. Someone is after him…but who? And why? Reporter Mariah Reyes is determined to find out. She never expected her pursuit of a story on the reclusive rancher would endanger her life—nor that she'd fall for the cowboy. But when Jackson's daughter is kidnapped, she'll do anything to help save the little girl—even if it means becoming a target herself
S.S: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
This may sound awful, but I honestly don’t remember. I wrote Rancher Under Fire over six years ago, but it didn’t find a home until recently. I know I wanted to write a contemporary with some suspense and set it in my home state and that I wanted a Hispanic heroine. I needed a heroine who’d challenge the quiet life my hero had established around him and his daughter. A inquisitive reporter seemed just the thing to stir up his life.
S.S: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?
Life can get crazy and unexpected things happen, but God is always the same. He’s always there, waiting for us to call on Him and to seek Him for help.
S.S: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
I really like my hero, Jackson. He was a hotshot bad boy when his life went spinning out of control. He left the game he loved for the sake of his child, who he loved more. Then he became a Christian, and his life took on a new meaning. When his ranch and family are threatened, it takes every bit of his faith to hold on and trust God and not take things into his own hands.
S.S: What are you working on now?
I’m working on a new book called Joline’s Redemption, which is book 2 in my Land Rush Dreams series. This series is set in OK during the land runs days, and my heroes and heroines find themselves swept up in the exciting times. The first book, Gabriel’s Atonement, releases in January. It’s the tale of a gambler who is jumped in a dark alley by a man with a gun. Gabe kills the man in self-defense. In the man’s shirt pocket, he finds a picture of a woman holding a baby, and he proceeds to alleviate his guilt by tracking down the man’s widow and giving her the money that her husband had lost to Gabe. But Lara Talbot doesn’t believe her worthless husband had any money—and she doesn’t want Gabe’s help. But Gabe can’t walk away. The woman needs his help, whether she wants it or not—and somehow he must make amends—he must atone for what he did.
S.S: Any writing goals you still hope to achieve?
I’ve gotten the rights back on several novellas, and I hope to get them online this month. I also have several books I never finished and a couple that didn’t sell that I’d also like to post as indie books. And my husband is still praying that one of my books is made into a movie. J And I’m considering taking a screenwriting class next year.
S.S: Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.
I’m not sure this counts as a bucket list item, but I want to downsize our home and move somewhere that is in the country but not too far from town. I want a place to write where I can look outside and see nature or a pond and not streets and other houses.
Last year, I got to check one thing off my bucket list—I took a stained glass class and have made several small projects.
Most of my other bucket list items include travel. There are so many places I’d love to see before I get too old: Alaska, Hawaii, the New England area, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, some of the Caribbean Islands we haven’t been to.
Probably another thing would be to have my dream office. One with a big window with a scenic view, a compfy recliner for me to write in, with all of my research books handy, and a small fridge of Coke nearby.
S.S: What is the silliest thing you have ever done?
My dad was a big prankster, and I’ve pulled my share too. Probably one of the stupidest things I’ve done was a prank I pulled on one of my old bosses. Do you remember those little firecracker poppers that you toss down and they make a loud pop? They used to look like Trix cereal but now they’re just plain white. I worked in a large room with lots of desks and our boss’s desk was in one corner. He’d come marching in each day, plop down in his desk chair and roll backwards about three feet. One day, I taped poppers to the wheels of his chair. Yep, I did. He came strolling in, plopped down and—Pop! Pop! Pop! He arched up, belly in the air, then jumped up and marched out of the room to the snickers of all the workers. While he was gone, I re-armed the chair. The same thing happened when he strolled in thirty minutes later. It sure was funny, but I’m not sure how I kept from getting fired.
S.S: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
I think the hardest thing I’ve done was to move to Israel for a year. I grew up in the same town I was born in and had never left it except for short vacations. My dad had recently had his 2nd heart attack, and though he was home and doing well, there was always the fear of him having another one. Plus my husband and I had only been married six months, so we were still newlyweds. Going to Israel was a huge leap of faith, and yet we believed it was one God had ordained for us. Three days before we left the States, the main bus station in Jerusalem was bombed. The kibbutz we were going to was only eleven miles from Jerusalem. There was plenty of upheaval in the country, but we had peace it was where God wanted us. We had an incredible time there, getting to know the Jewish people and making friends with some of them and learning of their culture and history. We also got to tour the country and went to most parts of Israel, including a swim in the Dead Sea, a visit to Mount Sinai, and a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. No, Israel wasn’t the safest place in the world, but it was where God wanted us, and He protected us.
Here’s a fun story: Everyone on our team was excited to buy a Hebrew Bible in Jerusalem. We attended church at Jerusalem Baptist Church one of the first Sundays after arriving in Israel. After the service, they had a small store that was open, and most of the members of our team bought Hebrew Bibles. As we’re riding the bus back to the kibbutz where we stayed, everyone was thumbing through their Bibles. Me, being left-handed, started at the back of the book, and lo and behold, I found the words: Printed at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is where most of us were from. We all had a good laugh at that. What an irony it was—to travel half way around the world to purchase a Bible that was printed 3 miles from my parents’ house.
S.S.: Where can readers find you on the Internet?
Website: vickiemcdonough.com (There’s a sign-up link for my newsletter on the Home page. I hope you’ll sign up and keep up with my news)
Heroes, Heroines & History, formerly known as the Christian Fiction Historical Society – HHHistory.com
S.S.: Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Song of the Prairie, book 3 in my Pioneer Promises series released Aug. 15th. The series features the three Harper brothers who help their parents run a stage stop on the Santa Fe Trail in northeastern Kansas in the 1870s. Each book in the series is stand alone titles, but they is best read in order. You’ll love the rugged, honor-bound, god-fearing Harper brothers and will enjoy seeing them carve our their own niches in history.
I also have several novellas in Christmas Collections releasing this month and next month:
The Westward Christmas Brides Collection
The Westward Christmas Brides Collection
A Christmas Brides Collection
Heartland Christmas Brides, which is part of The 12 Brides of Christmas Collection
Thanks so much for hosting me on the Suspense Sisters!
Leave a comment, along with your contact information, for a chance to win a copy of Vickie's book, RANCHER UNDER FIRE!