Liz Tolsma’s novella, Under His Wings, was included in A Log Cabin Christmas, a collection which hit the New York Times Bestseller list in September 2011. Now, two years later, her debut novel, Snow on the Tulips, is releasing from Thomas Nelson.
When not writing, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family. An almost lifelong resident of Wisconsin, she and her husband reside in rural Wisconsin with their son and two daughters, all of whom were adopted internationally.
What sparked your writing journey?
My fifth grade teacher. She loved the tall tale I wrote and I loved writing it. It took a few many years, but I have finally realized my dream.
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
Yes. Though I always wanted to be a mother, God didn’t see fit to give us biological children. I was crushed. It wasn’t what I’d had planned since I was a little girl. We wanted a baby so badly.
My husband was always more eager about adoption, but the Lord helped me to see that He had something better in store for me. And He did. We have three beautiful children who joined our family through adoption. His plan for our family was perfect.
How does your faith play into your writing?
The obvious is that I write Christian fiction. Either my characters are wresting with their need for God or else their faith is being put to the test. God is stretching and growing them.
The not so obvious way is how it affects me and my Christian walk. As I struggle along with these characters, I find myself growing. I spend time in the Word as I develop them and find my faith strengthened.
It’s set in the Netherlands in the closing months of WWII. Cornelia de Vries is a war widow who only wants to live an uncomplicated, safe life. And then Gerrit Laning, a Dutch Resistance worker, arrives at her doorstep, wounded when the Germans tried to execute him. She has to decide if saving his life would be worth risking hers.
What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?
I really identified with Cornelia. There are many things I’m afraid of. Yet Cornelia learns that courage isn’t a feeling—it’s an action. You need to step out in faith, trusting the Lord to be with you. No matter what may happen, He is faithful. I’ve learned to put aside some of my fears and rely on the Lord, not caring so much what men might do to me.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Um, chocolate ; ) Because it’s sweet and creamy and oh, so yummy!
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I wouldn’t say I have much talent, but I do play the piano and the clarinet—both just enough to be dangerous LOL! I enjoy music, though, and love to listen to it. I will play my clarinet in church from time to time.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
I guess I’d have to be a love song because I’m a helpless romantic at heart.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
The girl next door. I’m your average Jane. Sometimes, despite the fact that I have a grown son, I still feel like a little girl. I can’t quite believe that I’m all grown up, married, and have kids. Bizarre, isn’t it?
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I never had a pet has a child, but my husband and I are dog lovers. We’ve had a basset hound who was a hoot, and a gorgeous and lovable lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix. Right now, we have a black lab we got from a rescue organization. She’s neurotic, but a real sweetheart who really just wants to be loved.
Our son always wanted a cat. Go figure. After several years of begging for one, he wore us down and we adopted one from a shelter. If we had to have a cat, this is the one to have. He’s quite friendly and frankly, thinks he’s a dog.
Thanks, Liz! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thank you so much for having me. I enjoyed it!
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For more information about Liz, visit her website.
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