Early in my life—which incidentally started on December 13, 1942 in a tiny town, called Chester, nestled in the northwestern corner of Oklahoma—I acquired an insatiable appetite for reading. As a result, I began to nurture a dream of one day becoming an author.
That dream, however, was pushed into the background during my high school and college years while I attended Friends Bible Academy and Friends Bible College in Haviland, Kansas. It was there I met my future husband, Charles Mendenhall. After getting married in July of 1962, I found myself the wife of a rancher and farmer. In those days, there was no extra time to pursue dreams as one after the other of three children came into the picture. The years following were spent experiencing the joys and challenges of rearing Quentin, Brad, and Kim and carrying out the duties of ranch life.
In 1975, my life took an unexpected turn when we left ranch life behind, loaded up our belongings along with three children, our cat, Cocoa, and moved to Tulsa to prepare for the ministry.
At the close of that preparation time, we wound up in Guymon, Oklahoma where in 1977 we pioneered Victory Center Church. During the next thirty-some years the dream of writing never really left, but with the duties of being a wife and mother, along with all that is required when you have a growing congregation, there never seemed to be time for anything extra.
Finally, after teaching in the local church, in Ladies Conferences, and traveling with my husband to minister in several foreign countries for many years, that dream rose up and demanded attention. Even though I had always dreamed of writing books, I wasn’t totally convinced that was God’s plan for me. I began to pray fervently about it. Then one day I heard Him speak to my heart, “You are a writer; so write!”
So I pulled my dream off the shelf and began my writing career. I published my first book, Unlocking the Secret to Healthy Relationships, in 2008. After my husband read excerpts of that book, he made the statement, “With your imagination and knack for description, you should be writing fiction.”
Because I had always been a teacher in the body of Christ, I had never entertained the thought of writing anything except teaching books. Writing fiction was a new thought. It didn’t take long for that seed to take root and not long afterward my newly-launched writing career took a new turn. A year later, Fall Like Lightning from Heaven became my first novel.