What is your writing process? Is there anything strange or unique about your process?
I never use an outline, and I almost always write my chapters in chronological order. Most of my ideas come from a single thought or scene that takes place toward the middle or end of the book. It’s then up to me to figure out how to get to that point, resolve the issue, and bring the story to a satisfactory conclusion.
When I first started writing, it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend 8 to10 hours a day on my computer. Even when I went back to work as a substitute teacher I was never without a notebook of some sorts. As my job morphed into a regular teaching position, the desire to write never left. Of course it didn’t hurt that my job was that of a drama teacher. When I wasn’t squeezing in a chapter or so of my current WIP, I was writing skits and plays for my students.
I retired from teaching after the first semester of the school year, and now find myself back on my computer for 8 to 10 hours a day.
What are you passionate about?
My family is my number one passion. I’ve been married to the same man for thirty-five years and have two grown children who love and serve the lord.
God has surely gifted the Ulrich household in a unique way. In all the years I’ve know my husband, I’ve rarely seen him without a camera within easy reach. He started taking pictures as a teen and hasn’t stopped. My son (a cartoonist and graphic artist) displayed his talent as an artist at a very young age. He was, and still is, fascinated with airplanes. I knew there was something there the day he showed us the Etch-a-Sketch drawing on a passenger plane, complete with passengers in the window. He even included the Continental Airlines logo on the tail of the aircraft. The boy hadn’t turned 5 yet. My daughter didn’t take her first real dancing lesson until she was 15. I can still remember her telling me “I have to dance, Mom.” Fifteen years later, she teaches dance at a studio, recently gave up a teaching position at a school in order to be involved with a fledgling dance company, and has travelled to Guatemala, Africa and Puerto Rico on dance mission trips.
My gift and greatest passion, next to my family, is writing. I love that I get to share God’s love, grace and forgiveness through stories that he inspires me to write. For years I enjoyed sharing my passion with my students, allowing them to take what I’d written to the stage. What a blessing! I look forward to what God has in store next.
What made you want to write Broken Vessels? Why this topic?
I had a deep desire to write a story about a male/female friendship. I knew the friendship would turn into love, but it was the building process and struggles that I looked forward to most. The world is full of hurting people, and my goal was to show how God can work in any situation. Forgiveness was the key point I chose to focus on for this book.
What else would you like to tell us about yourself?
One of the reasons I retired was to be able to spend more time with my aging parents. My mother suffers with dementia and was placed in a full-time care facility five months ago. I cherish the rare moments when she gives me a smile of recognition. My father moved into an independent living apartment in the same facility so that he could be close to her. I’m the second of five daughters and the only one living in the same city as my folks. Though a difficult time, I have to say that my relationship with my father has only grown stronger.
My husband and I enjoyed traveling overseas when we were younger, but remained within the States after we had our children. We’ve visited or driven through forty-eight of the fifty states (including Alaska and Hawaii). We plan to travel the country in a few years when he retires. I’m already imagining the writing inspiration I’ll come away with.