Wall, Wilma 1926- (Wilma C. Wall)

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Wall, Wilma 1926- (Wilma C. Wall)


Born May 28, 1926, in Shanghang, China; daughter of John (a missionary) and Tina (a missionary and teacher) Dick; married David Wall (in tractor sales); January 2, 1948; children: Judi Wall Wilkinson, Jean Wall Reimer, Marjorie Wall Kuffel. Ethnicity: "Dutch/German." Education: Reedley College, A.A., 1944; attended Pacific Bible Institute, 1945-47; Fresno Pacific College, B.A., 1979. Politics: Republican. Religion: Protestant. Hobbies and other interests: Crossword puzzles, reading, volunteer work.


Home—CA. E-mail—[email protected]


Self-employed piano teacher in Reedley, CA, 1948-94. Schoolteacher in Madera, CA, 1955-56; preschool teacher in Parlier, CA, 1966-73. Church musician, 1947-94; church librarian and library chair 1985-98. Volunteer used-book manager at a thrift shop.


Mennonite Historical Society.


Award from Fresno County Music Teachers Association, 1994.


Forbidden (historical romance novel), Kregel Publications (Grand Rapids, MI), 2004.

The Jade Bracelet (historical novel), Kregel Publications (Grand Rapids, MI), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Woman's World, Angels on Earth, and Lifeglow.


Wilma Wall told CA: "I write because that is my passion. My family moved to an isolated village in Inner Mongolia when I was five, and books have always been my best friends. Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, Booth Tarkington, Mark Twain, Pearl Buck, and many more have given me the love of words, characters, and stories.

"My mother, an excellent teacher, enjoyed writing and instilled in me the desire to create my own stories. While teaching piano, I wrote poems and skits for recital performances. While raising our family, I devised puppet shows and plays for special occasions at church. As a mature adult, I immersed myself in creative writing classes and learned to give my characters their own lives and the conflict and motivation that drives them.

"My novels are built around a situation and two or three characters. I rarely know how the stories will end—and once my characters are developed, their personalities and desires form the plots. Forbidden grew from my interest and experience in World War II, as well as extensive research on the Japanese internment. I wrote the story to show today's young people what life was like in those days—the fears, the loyalties, the panic of suspicion. Due to my ‘missionary kid’ background, my knowledge of the Mennonite Brethren church and its tightly knit community and ethnicity of that era is both from an inside and an outside view. The Jade Bracelet is loosely based on some incidents occurring during my life in China, but the characters and what happened to them are entirely fiction. A mother and her daughter spend a lifetime without understanding each other; a trip back to China and a long-lost bracelet teach them a necessary lesson."

Wall later added: "I generally don't make outlines until the story is through the first draft. I'm a ‘seat-of-the-pants’ writer, and my stories are character driven. Once I decide on the characters, what they want and what prevents them from getting it, they make the plot themselves. I rarely know how the story will end until I'm nearly finished.

"I find it amazing that characters don't like their names changed. Once a personality is developed, the name takes on those traits. A name change will cause the character's personality to change. For instance, in The Jade Bracelet, I considered changing Elsa to Elsie, but that made her less independent and too sweet and vulnerable.

"I write best late at night, anywhere from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Sometimes while driving, I will think about a particular problem and how to fix it, but usually I think best with my fingers on the computer keyboard. I just start writing when the house is quiet and there are no distractions, and the story comes."