There were many challenges, much of which was learning what not to include as much as what got included. In a book scanning over a century a lot happens and to give the characters their due without going into too much story was a definite challenge.
On my nightstand is usually a novel, and a pad of paper to catch inspirations that may occur at any time.
The subjects of both my novels, and a third on the way, have all been complete surprises to me. I don’t go looking for them but apparently they come looking for me. My greatest flaw is that I let the story unfold and don’t exactly plot the story ahead of time. This can be both a flaw and an asset. What I hear most often from my readers is how personally and deeply touched they are by the writing.
The book was conceived in a dream where I literally saw the first scene. After that I was inspired as I did research for the book and realized how little I really understood the history of my own ancestral lineage.