Tuesday, July 14, 2020

2020 Interview: Daisy Townsend

Daisy Townsend: I'm a blessed wife, mom and grandma living in Greenville, Pennsylvania. I grew up in Grantsville, Maryland, in a Mennonite family with three sisters and two brothers. My husband, Donn, and I met when I was 13 at a Music Day in his uncle's church (where I attended) and were married fifty years ago when I was not quite 19. Our twins, Angelyn Ruth and Robert Donn, were born in 1973 while Donn was in graduate school at Purdue University. Jennifer joined our family when she was 18. We have six grandchildren, three girls and three boys, ages three to almost thirty! Donn and I had a Christian Nursery School and sang full time, using music we composed, for a year and then continued to sing part-time when he started working at Shenango Valley Campus of Penn State, where he ultimately taught for 24 years. Beginning in 1991, we were foster parents with Mercer County Children and Youth, and eventually, with Keystone Adolescent Center. I did Christian Counseling under the National Christian Counselors Assn. for many years. We also served as missionaries in Japan with One Mission Society for a total of four years. 

Do you have any hobbies?

I love to read, sing, watch the Pittsburgh Pirates play baseball, do jigsaw puzzles with my husband, take care of my outdoor flowers and spend time with my grandchildren. 

What is your favorite vacation spot?

My favorite vacation spot is anywhere in the South with a beach! I also love Deep Creek Lake in Maryland, near where I grew up. 

If you were given a ticket to anywhere and spending money to indulge, where would you go?

I would go back to Japan to visit our dear friends there.

Do you have pets?

No pets. I'm allergic to cats and dogs.

What is your favorite color and what do you love about it?

My favorite color is yellow, the color of sunshine and the color of the center of daisies! It makes me happy.

What was your favorite book as a child?

Big Susan

What is one thing about yourself you’d like to change or are trying to work on?

I'd like to lose about ten pounds and keep it off! I'm working on it--again!

What music genre/singer/band is your go-to for a bad day? For working?

I love many Christian music groups including Casting Crowns and Anthem Lights. Right now my favorite song is "There Was Jesus" by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton. I listen to it every day, good or bad :)! 

Do you re-read books? If so, is there one in particular? 

Sometimes. I'm more likely to reread a spiritual book that has helped me a lot such as "Seeking the Face of God" by Gary L. Thomas, which I've read many times. However, recently I had a desire to reread B. J. Hoff's various fiction series so I'm in the process of reading them again. Set in the U.S. and Ireland.

Are you an introvert, extravert, or ambivert?

I am an introvert who loves people! I didn't understand myself until I had a temperament profile done as part of my training in counseling. I am melancholy  in how I think, but a sanguine in how I relate to people. All my life has been balancing these two parts!

Does pineapple go on pizza?


How many places have you lived?

It depends if you're counting homes or states! I've lived in Maryland, Goshen, IN; West Lafayette, IN; Franklin, PA; Sandy Lake, PA (four different houses); Stoneboro, PA; Penn Hills, PA; Higashimurayama, Tokyo, Japan; and now Greenville PA. My husband grew up in Pennsylvania and his first job after graduate school brought us to western PA 

What was your first job?

My first job was as a waitress in a Mennonite-run restaurant, Penn Alps, which still exists.

What is your favorite down time activity?


Are you an outdoor type? Have a green thumb?

I love being outdoors and I have an outdoor green thumb--indoor plants, not so much! 

If you could live inside a movie, which would you choose and which character would you be?

The Sound of Music. I'd be Maria!

Are you the type to take a dare?

Not if it's dangerous or foolhardy

Do you have a favorite motto or quote that applies to your own life?

Make of your body a living sacrifice, being willing to do, or go, or be whatever God asks of you. (Romans 12:1-2) What could be worse than reaching the end of life and not having fulfilled the purpose for which you were created?

What is one thing you’ve learned through experience that you’d love to pass along to others?

Only Jesus can satisfy your soul. "Earth stuff" will never do it.

What books, other than your own, would you highly recommend?

The Mitford series by Jan Karon,  Sarah Young's Jesus Calling, etc, Stormie Omarian's books on prayer. 

On to writing: what inspired you to start creating stories/non-fiction? How long ago? 

Growing up, I had published writers on both sides of my family and I don't remember ever having any ambition than to be a wife, mother, and a writer. My oldest sister also became a published writer. I have a story I printed when I was a child, but serious writing didn't start until 1977. I lived up the road from a writer who invited me to go to a Christian Writer's group. She said I had to write something so I'd have something to read at the meeting! I did and that was the beginning. That story was eventually published in a Mennonite children's Sunday School paper, and I went on to write many devotionals and Christian articles. Later, researching the history of our house, built in the 1800's, prompted me to begin writing historical fiction based on the lives of some of the people who lived in our house.

How do you choose your settings (fiction) or topics (non-fiction)?

Setting of my historical fiction is Sandy Lake because that's where our house is. Nonfiction, I wrote devotionals for years based on experiences I'd had that I thought could be helpful to others.

Can you tell us a bit about your path to publication?

I did marketing using a book with many Christian markets for years when I was writing non-ficition. Some markets came to recognize my name and I published many devotionals in those magazines. Deciding I didn't want someone telling me when the next book in the series needed to be done prompted me to learn to do the publishing process myself with my husband's help for fiction.

Finally, please tell us about your books and add your website so we can find you:

Homespun Faith is an autobiographical devotional book that tells the story of my life. The Sarah's Legacy series is historical fiction set in Sandy Lake, PA, with many of my characters being based on people who lived in our house from 1870's to mid-1900's. (Sarah's Legacy, Sarah's Legacy Shared, Sarah's Legacy Tested. I'm in the process of writing Sarah's Legacy Lived.)

My website is www.homespunfaith.com 

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