Welcome, Katie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t have a lot in common with my characters, but I do always try to start with a seed of truth. For example, in Wildflowers from Winter, my main character is very confused about and angry with God. I’ve never been as confused as her or as angry, but there have been times that I have felt confused about God or upset about something. So I start with those feelings and blow them up with what-if questions.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
In high school, all four walls of my bedroom were covered in pictures. I didn’t use photo albums. I took pictures all the time. I’d get them developed and cover my walls with them. When I ran out of space, I started covering my ceiling. Our house was the hangout house in high school, so when people would come in my room, they would literally spend an hour looking at all the pictures.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When my third grade teacher picked my story about Mr. and Mrs. Leaf to read out loud to the class.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read a lot of different books. You can find me reading mainstream fiction, literary fiction, young adult, women’s fiction, and of course, romance! Contemporary, historical, even paranormal. As long as it’s an engaging storyline with sympathetic characters, then I’m in.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Get up early and ground myself in God’s presence. I like to wake up when it’s still nice and dark, go on a prayer walk, then dig into God’s Word. After that, I get some writing done before my son wakes up and the day begins.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
The best is when they just come to me with the character, like a bundled package. That happened with
Bethany. She was always Bethany. She couldn’t be anyone but Bethany. Sometimes,
though, a name doesn’t come and that’s when I usually get on a baby name
website and start browsing.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Probably getting a book deal. It’s been a dream of mine for a really long time and it’s something I had to work very hard for.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A shark. But I’d be a nice shark. And a smart shark. Something without many predators. I’d love to explore the depths and the mysteries of the ocean.
What is your favorite food?
Ice cream! Ice cream with lots of chocolate and a brownie.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Anytime I have to fix something really big in my story, but I have no idea how to fix it. This always freaks me out. I’m fine with big rewrites. Those don’t scare me. What scares me is when I don’t know where to start. The best way to overcome this is to find a writing friend who’s willing to brainstorm. Brainstorming works wonders!
Tell us about the featured book.
A young architect at a prestigious
Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life
far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her
estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a
reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay
her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay
long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events
in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.
Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when
Bethany is left the land,
he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees
vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked
Bethany, making peace
with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to
freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love, and a peace she’s not
even sure exists?
Please give us the first page of the book.
The summer I turned twelve, I tried to kill myself. At least that’s what the lifeguard told the paramedics and the paramedics told the doctors and the doctors told my mother. I don’t deny I swam to the bottom of the public swimming pool. I don’t even deny I decided to stay there. I only defend my motives. My decision was much less about escaping this world and much more about joining another.
I think that should count for something.
When I regained consciousness, I opened my eyes to a pair of blurry faces. My mother with her perpetually pinched eyebrows, raking her teeth over swollen lips. And Grandpa Dan—with my father’s face, only twenty years older. His callused grip pressed through the shoulder of my hospital gown, anchoring my body to a reality I didn’t want to face, awakening my senses until I noticed stiff sheets rubbing against my toes, beeping monitors, the smell of antiseptic, and a man I didn’t recognize.
He studied me over a pair of bifocals and clicked his pen against a clipboard, jotting mysterious notes whenever I talked or sighed or breathed funny. His name was Dr. Nowels, and he had a mustache the exact same shade as the dead mouse I found behind our trailer home the previous Easter.
After I was released from the hospital, my mom insisted I sit with him for an hour every Tuesday after school. I tried to convince her that I didn’t need to see a shrink. That she was wasting her money. Or actually, Uncle Phil’s money. But I sort of lost all credibility after the swimming pool fiasco.
How can readers find you on the Internet?Readers can find me on my website: www.katieganshert.com I love mailing out free welcome packets. All you have to do is scroll down, look left, and click on the sign-up button. From there, you can find my blog, where I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday about writing, faith, and romance. I’m also on Twitter: @KatieGanshert, and I have a Facebook page where I like to interact with readers: www.facebook.com/AuthorKatieGanshert
Thank you, Katie, for the interesting interview.
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Wildflowers from Winter: A Novel - paperback
Wildflowers from Winter: A Novel - Kindle
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