Wednesday, March 2, 2011


As a homeschooling mom, her aim is to surprise and entertain readers while she tells stories about imperfect people searching for hope and faith to overcome their struggles. What better could you ask for?
Naomi Musch loves stories rich in American history, but writes in several other genres as well. She also enjoys sharing true accounts of changed lives for the Midwestern Christian newspaper, Living Stones News, and encouraging homeschooling families and young writers in other non-fiction venues.

Together, she and husband Jeff are celebrating thirty years of romance, and they continue to enjoy epic adventures around their home in the Wisconsin woods with their five young adults. She invites readers to say hello and find out more about her stories, passions, and other writing venues at or look her up on Facebook and Twitter (NMusch).

SDC: Welcome to A Pen for Your Thoughts, Naomi. Three or four things about you interested me before we even made plans to do this interview. The type of books you write; How you were given your lovely name; Your favorite scripture and why it is that; And what exactly makes you tick.

Naomi: Thank you so much! I can't take any credit for my name. I was three days old before my parents made that choice. Apparently they were pretty stumped when my mom began reading Ruth's story in a hospital Bible and they picked Naomi. (I guess that means stories of great romance have been with me since birth. Hey, I like that idea!)

My passion is historical fiction. As a kid, I didn't like history until some historical novelists and biographers made it come alive for me. I've lately been enjoying some contemporary romance as well -- women's fiction mostly.

What makes me tick? Annoying things. Oh -- wait a minute -- wrong kind of tick... No, really, I am passionate about the family with which God has blessed me, and about faith. Everything that comes our way in life, I believe, is designed to draw us closer to Christ or to introduce Him for the first time if we don't know Him. My family trains me and daily helps me see His great love.

I'm also passionate about homeschooling and encouraging individuals to develop their gifts and talents as extensions of the ministries God intends for us individually.

My favorite Scripture is a reflection of God's work in my life and of the changes that take place in some of my stories. It's Psalm 40. It begins by saying, "I waited patiently for the LORD, he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock."

SDC: Tell us about the influence your books and witness have been on your readers.

Naomi: One reader once commented, "I appreciate the way it addressed the fact that human relationships won't satisfy. We need Christ."
I've also been told that some of my stories (The Green Veil in particular) made a reader think about something in a way they never had before. If a story can do that without being preachy or patronizing -- and be entertaining -- then that, to me, is a story that has holding power. That's the kind of story I want to write, one that clings to thoughts and moves hearts.

SDC: That's great. How do you make faith, love, and hope work together in your stories, Naomi?

Naomi: My aim is to surprise and entertain readers while telling stories about imperfect people who are finding hope and faith to overcome their struggles, whether the setting is past, contemporary, or even fantastic. Love is always a factor. The Bible is a magnificent love story, don't you think? Romantic love, too, is a gift from God.

SDC: I sure do believe that, Naomi. And God is the best author of romance, no doubt.  If you have more than one publisher, tell us about that and who you work with now. How has your publisher helped you with your writing experience?

Naomi: In December 2010, my contemporary novella "Heart Not Taken" was released from Black Lyon Publishing. In the story, high school teacher Sean Heart is haunted by a lapse in judgment from his past as well as his mentor's betrayal. Faith is slipping fast. Then he meets Jordyn Delaney. A beautiful, talented landscaper, Jordyn has been hired to improve the Heart family property, but soon discovers a renovation of the heart and spirit might be the most complicated job of all.

At present, I'm still reeling with excitement over my January 2011 release of "The Green Veil" book one of the Empire in Pine historical romance series published by Desert Breeze Publishing. Book 2, The Red Fury will release in October, and Book 3, The Black Rose, is coming in 2012.

"The Green Veil" tells the story of Colette Palmer who falls in love with Manason Kade as a young girl. But moving away with her family to Wisconsin's virgin pine country where lumber barons rule private empires, she makes her vow is to his enemy. Then one day Manason and Colette meet again. Now, she will have to choose between her first love and her commitment to her marriage vows, while her faith and an empire in pine hang in the balance.

I've been blessed with a wonderful publishing family at Desert Breeze. The editors are sticklers in the best sense -- and have you looked at the beautiful cover designs? Wow! I'm thrilled with the advent of e-books as a whole. E-publishing has thrown the door wide open to talent which may otherwise languish for years in slush piles on the floor behind editors' desks.

SDC: It sure has. Besides your scripture about the strength you receive from Christ, what else would you say sustains you each day?

Naomi: My husband and children are my encouragers. They always give me space, time, and the pats on the back I need when the going gets tough. Prayers sustain me. And I have had a group of church friends who cheer me on.

SDC: To be an encourager makes for a very special character trait for all of us to strive for.When you are not writing, where is your favorite place to go and why? Does it often play any part in your later story writing?

Naomi: That's actually a really tough question. Libraries are my happy place, but I love to be outdoors, just meandering. I live on a ramshackle farm with great strolls and views. There are lots of lakes in my area, including Lake Superior, and so much woodland beauty too that I can't help but be inspired. And in the winter, I get on a basketball court whenever I can. My bones complain later.

SDC: Have you ever considered writing about a character who leaves the United States and goes elsewhere to find his or her loved one? (Or do you already have a book like that that I have missed?)

Naomi: I have a novel idea brewing which will take my characters into the fringes of Canada. I hope to write a romance series involving the Great Lakes Voyageurs and fur trading posts of the early 1700s.

SDC: Now, that sounds interesting! When I am not writing, I am usually preparing for a Bible Study I teach to women each week, or else I’m working back and forth with critique partners, along with other things. Do you attend women’s bible studies of any kind? And does your interaction with others give you creativity with your writing imagination? And also what books do you read that have helped you that you would suggest for others?

Naomi: At the moment I'm not involved in a Bible study with anyone, though I'm going through the MONVEE program along with a large contingent of my church family to find the studying means, methods, and materials that work best for my learning and growing curve. It's pretty cool. I do miss being part of a small group right now, and hope to get into another soon.

I'm part of that vast online writing world that finds support and encouragement through one another. I've built some great relationships with writers at Christian Writers dot com. One of them turned into my editorial position at Port Yonder Press.

As far as books, for those who long to develop their writing talents further, I suggest "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" by Renni Browne and Dave King, "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maass, "The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction" by Jeff Gerke, and for enduring pleasure, a subscription to "The Writer" magazine.
SDC: Thanks for the details, even when my questions don't always make the best sense. (smile) You let me know that you would like to share with one of our readers. That’s awesome. Please tell us it, Naomi. And then we would like you to think of a question that the readers can reflect upon to answer. It could be about writing, reading, the Lord, or whatever.

Naomi: I would love to give away a copy of one of my books to a blog participant, either the historical The Green Veil, or my contemporary novella Heart Not Taken -- winner's choice! The descriptions are up there under question number 4, but you can read more about them and sample an excerpt on my site (below). But first, here's a question to ponder:

I believe that God gives us our passions, whether for writing, art, cooking, nurturing, or even cleaning! He longs to see us develop those passions and gifts for His larger purpose and to bring us joy and fulfillment. What is the longing of your heart -- what is something that you are gifted in or have longing to learn about? I'd love to hear about it.

SDC: Thank you so much for being with us here at A Pen for Your Thoughts, Naomi. By the way, I love your blog. Be sure to include your URLs for the readers, if you will.

Naomi:  or stop by the home page and learn more:  

READERS: Be sure to answer Naomi's thoughtful question above to try to win a copy of her books! We will be selecting the winner in a few days. Here is a reminder of what she's asking you to respond to. What is the longing of your heart -- what is something that you are gifted in or have longing to learn about?



  1. Hi Ladies,
    thanks for the informative post.

    Shirley, I love the background on this page. Very nostalgic looking.

    Naomi, I am certain that God didn't call me to a cleaner... I can do it, but I have no great love or desire to be at it long hours of the day. But put a pen and paper in my hands and let my mind wander free and I have my niche. Writing is like breath to me. I have other things I love to do, but that is one of my passions.



  2. I love coming over to this blog. Just love the look of it.

    A longing that I have is to be available to help women who are hurting and to be an encourager to them.


  3. Thank you Shirley for interviewing Naomi...I really like getting to know a bit about writers. I love music, I play the piano/organ/ this time I play the organ part on the keyboard for our orchestra at church. It's so much fun. And like Jo...I also have a longing to help hurting women. Our family has been through several very hurtful and difficult things in the past few years, and I pray for the Lord to lead other hurting ladies my way so I can help them in some way. And he is doing that very thing. Its only through Him that I can help others.
    Thanks again for the wonderful interview....both of your books sound like wonderful reads!
    In Him,

  4. Since I got a kindle for V-day (wahoo!),I bought The Green Veil. Am %80 through and really enjoying it. I'm to insecure to say I'm "gifted" in anything, but I do enjoy to be creative in a multitude of ways. Thanks for a great read, Naomi, and thanks, Shirley for the interview!

  5. Enjoyed this interview very much. As for God-given gifts, for me it's music. I've been blessed to be a church organist/pianist since I was 13 years old (and that was *ahem* awhile ago!). It's hard to give in to anger or despair with a song in your heart! Keep up the great work, Ladies!

    Sophie Cuffe, DBP

  6. NAOMI AND SHIRLEY--wonderful interview, and your question is a thoughtful one. Probably I could write a book based on it!
    Your book cover is gorgeous, and I wish you well and hope you sell tons of books.
    The longing of my heart? To write a book that would touch the hearts and minds of THOUSANDS of readers. Isn't that the longing of every author?
    I enjoyed getting to know you a little...Celia

  7. I love Naomi's question too, but I have to keep thinking about how I would answer. I sure am like you, Celia. I want any book I write to touch those readers' hearts in a special way too. We all have something deep from within us to say. Always hope others will grasp the message that's written between the lines.

    And Sopie, you are so right about the music. It's so true how music touches the heart.

    April, when you spoke of gifted, I immediately thought of your gift with writing. You know how to say it so well.

    Don't Naomi's books sound wonderful, Joy? I can't wait to read them too.

    Jo, If anyone was an encourager you would be on the list. You are always faithful to come and respond when I post authors' interviews. I know it means so much too them.

    And Tina... THANKS SO MUCH for the compliment on my blog. I try to make it look inviting for someone who loves nostalgia, romance, old-style, whatever. Anything that might make them feel comfortable when being here.

    As you all keep writing in, I suspect we will be hearing from Naomi soon (in between her revisions). You know how busy that time is.
    Love you all, Shirley

  8. It lifts my heart to hear how God inspires each of you (and me)! I always feel a bit sad when someone tells me that they don't feel that they are "good at anything", or they don't think that the things that interest them are valuable. As missionary/olympian Eric Liddell said in Chariots of Fire, "I feel God's pleasure when I run." He gives us every good gift to enjoy!

  9. Of course my passion is books and gardening, which are selfish passions, perhaps. My unselfish passion is to show Christ's love to everyone I meet, by way of encouragement, a smile, or an "I love you" as the case may be. I know God has given me the gift of encouragement, I just want to grow in that gift. He has told me things to say to people at times when I didn't know what they were even going through at the time. I love uplifting people, that truly is my passion. That being said, I have read Naomi's interviews on another blog as well, and Christ shines through them and also on her countenance. I just loved her instantly as a precious sister in Christ. I couldn't help but do that. She has such a sweet spirit.

  10. I didn't put my email for above comment, didn't know if we were supposed to. Just in case its:

  11. I'm so glad I stopped over. That was one of the best interviews I read in awhile. I loved the thought provoking questions and Naomi's answers.

    I'm looking forward to digging into your book next week.

    Blessings on your writing~

  12. You asked What is the longing of your heart. I think that I would be pleasing to others as a Christian, Naomi.
    what is something that you are gifted in or have longing to learn about? And the gifted one, I think is that I am not afraid of my llife as a Christian even though I work in an area that has many who are not. People say I am bold.
    I loved your interview. I'll bet you really write well.
    thanks for this.
    Betty F
    Windsor, CA

  13. Hi Naomi! Hm, well other than writing which is pretty much the passion of my heart, I've had this longing to begin a small home based sewing business on Etsy. I have always loved to sew and it would give me some added income.

    I'm reading "The Green Veil!" It's wonderful, very vivid chacters and Ilove the setting.

  14. For some strange reason I thought giveaway was over and I kept checking the blog to see who won. Talk about jumping the gun! lol Guess I just got over excited!

  15. I give lotsa time for lotsa readers and viewers. I'm a generous sorta blog mama.

  16. Love mama.:) Now, blog mama, how do I subcribe to your blog via email? Already did the gfc thing, but I don't want to miss your blog and would love to get it along with other blogs in my email.

  17. Donna, I so admire people who can sew well. I have no patience for doing it well, a lot like my poor heroine in The Green Veil. (In fact, it isn't until book 3 that there's finally a descendent of Colette's who likes to sew!)
    Betty, boldness is such a wonderful gift, used wisely. I don't always have that boldness face to face with folks. I think that's one of the reasons I view writing as a ministry. It allows for speaking out on the page. Thanks for the comments!

  18. Hi Naomi! The greatest desire of my heart? At the moment, it's still hoping to get my plot and characters down on paper in some form of story!!! So my greatest desire is to be a better writer.
    Emily J.

  19. Hi Em! Keep at it; you'll do it! Thanks for dropping by.