Tricia Goyer is a homeschooling mom of ten, grandmother of two, and wife to John. A bestselling author, Tricia has published 50 books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. Tricia is also on the blogging team at TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling sites.
Tricia volunteers around her community and mentors teen moms. She is the founder of Hope Pregnancy Ministries in Northwestern Montana, and she currently leads a Teen MOPS Group in Little Rock, AR.
Can you tell us a little about your writing and/or your family?
Thanks for having me! I’ve been married to John for 25 years, and we have ten children, ages 26, 23, 21, 15, 13, 13, 11, 8, 5 and 5. Our two oldest kids are married, and I have two grandkids! I was a teen mom, and I had my oldest when I was just 17-years-old, then I met and married John and then we had two more. Then John and I started adopting. We adopted one baby and two sibling groups from foster care. So things are busy and crazy around our house.
I started writing when I was pregnant with my third child, over twenty years ago. I started writing magazine articles and then I moved into books. I have over 56 books in print by major publishers like HarperCollins and Random House. I write fiction, non-fiction, and books for children and teens. I also blog on my website at www.TriciaGoyer.com. I’m also working with Storehouse Media, Sony Pictures, and Walden Media to turn my Big Sky novel series into a Television show. I’m hoping that will happen some day!
How did you get started?
I was a young mom of little kids and one day, in the church nursery, a friend told me she was working on a novel. I knew that was something I wanted to do! We went to a writer’s conference and I started writing while my children napped. I only have a high school diploma, but what I lacked in education and skill I made up for in perseverance.
What is the thing you dislike the most in your career? What is the best thing? What are the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge is time. I’m sure every professional mom would say the same thing. I could use every moment of the day for my family, yet I also find so much joy in writing.
The thing I dislike the most is not being able to give enough to every person who reaches out to me. I get many comments, messages, and emails through my website, and I love that … but there is never enough time to give everyone the time and attention they deserve. I do my best, though. It’s all I can really do.
Also, the best thing is when I’m sitting at the computer and having the words flow. I enjoy speaking and marketing and plotting, but all of that is only for one reason … to share the messages of my heart. And that comes down to putting words on paper.
How has becoming a mom changed how you work?
I’ve only worked when I’ve had kids at home, so I’ve always had to adjust my schedule around theirs. I’m also a homeschooling mom, so most of my day is spent with my kids. This means I work in the mornings, in the afternoons, or in the evening. Also, when I sit down to write I really have to write. I can’t play around. I think this has benefited me as a writer. I’m productive because I’ve had to be productive as quickly as I can.
Do you have any tips, resources, or tools for managing work/life balance?
I get asked all the time how I balance writing and kids, and I used to answer a lot of emails answering questions about this. Because I was used to sharing my tips so much, I put it into a ebook. This is my first self-published book, and my whole goal was to just help other moms. Here is the link: http://amzn.to/1LDHaV5
Also, my most-used tip is just asking myself, “What is the most important thing that I have to do today?” I ask this about parenting, writing, and all the other things I’m involved in. If I take care of the most important thing … and maybe a few more things … than I’m excited!
But, the second tip is this … sometimes you just have to let everything go. There are days when I just have to live in the moment with the kids and the mess and not worry about priorities!
What creative activities do you like to do with your kids?
We are a really crafty family. Sometimes it drives me crazy though. During the day every surface gets covered with craft sticks, yard, glue, crayons, markers, etc. The challenge is allowing the kids to be creative and have fun but not let them destroy my house! We spend far more time making stuff or playing than we do watching movies or TV. It’s a fun, but crazy, life!
Do you have any advice for moms thinking about taking the plunge?
When it comes to writing, remember that there’s a learning curve. Take time to go to writer’s conferences, to connect with other writers, and to read books and blogs. I’m always learning and growing. I’ve never felt as if I’ve arrived.
Do you recommend any resources (websites, organizations, books, etc) for people interested in pursuing a career in writing?
Here are so many great websites out there. Ones I love:
For all writers: Writer’s Digest: http://subscriptions.writersdigest.com/Writers-Digest/Magazine
Finished Book: http://www.finishedbook.com/
For writers interested in Christian fiction: American Christian Fiction Writers: http://www.acfw.com/index.php/
For insight into publishing: Books and Such Blog: http://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/ (This is my agent’s blog)
How do you manage the day-to-day process of making your art/working/etc. with children?
I usually wake up around 5:30 a.m. I spend time reading my Bible and praying, then I might have a little writing time before I have to get ready for the day. I spend a little time with my husband before he goes to work. Then I homeschool from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. In the afternoon I do chores, answer emails and write. We always have a family dinner around 6:00 p.m. and sometimes I also sneak in a little writing time after dinner. As you can see there’s a lot of trying to fit writing into life, but somehow everything gets done. It’s amazing what can happen in 30-60 minute slots!
Which of your work are you most proud of and why?
That is so hard! Can I pick two? I love my WWII novels, especially From Dust and Ashes, because I put so much heart into those books. I visited Europe and interviewed hundreds of World War II veterans. Those novels mean so much. I’m also super excited about my Big Sky Amish series. This series is inspired by a true story, and it has been picked up my Storehouse Media, Sony Pictures, and Walden Media to turn into a TV series. There is nothing for sure yet, but it’s fun to think about! (Oh, and I also was able to write the novelization of the movie Moms Night Out, and I got to walk the red carpet at Crauman’s Chinese Theatre, so that was fun!)
Fill in the Blanks:
If I could have a super power it would be no need for sleep! LOL
A famous person I would love to meet is Steven Spielberg. His grasp of story is amazing!
True, amazing stories inspire me.
The thing I love best about California is I was born and raised there. I’m missing the mountains (and friends and family) in Northern California!
If I weren’t a writer, I’d be a professional traveler. There’s nothing I love more than planning our family’s next trip or adventure!
If I had an extra 2 hours in the day, I’d write more 🙂