Welcome, Kathleen. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog,
This is a great question. In my first novella, The Pocket Watch, my heroine, Isabel Jones, lacks confidence and is hard on herself. I can relate to those struggles. I guess that there is some little—or big—part of me in each hero and heroine, whether it is a character trait or an understanding of what they’re going through on deeper level. I certainly haven’t based any of my characters on myself as a whole—just bits and pieces.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Lately? Last fall I was having a day during which I was feeling especially down and I was going to the mall for a computer class at the Apple store. While I was there, I guess wanted to do something fun and childlike too. I went to the Build-A-Bear Workshop and actually had a bunny stuffed animal made for me. I picked out a name and outfit for it also. On the way home, I buckled it into the passenger seat. Just for fun. Really.
When did you first discover you were a writer?
When I was around four or five, I learned how much I loved playing make-believe and the stories which I made up to go with the imaginary play. I also learned to love books and enjoyed when my mom read to me. I had it in my head from then on that I wanted to make up stories and someday write a real book.
I had a third-grade teacher, Mrs. Williams, who told me I was a good writer, and it seemed I would occasionally have people tell me that through the years since then. My brother, John, was also a great encouragement to me and took me to my first writers’ conference when I was around 20. I was lost in a sea of professionals and filled with dreams I was never sure would come true. Yet, I’d been bitten by the writing bug and through the years the desire wouldn’t let go of me.
And all your readers are glad that it didn’t. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy many different kinds of books. I love old classics, historical and contemporary women’s fiction and romance, cozy mysteries, suspense, speculative, and science fiction.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Like most writers, I’m an introvert, though I am usually a friendly introvert. But sometimes I need a day at home to recharge. It’s great to read or watch a favorite movie, and nice when my cat cooperates and sits on my lap, which is a comfort to me. I also like to go out for a relaxing lunch with a good friend to chat about the important things in life.
That being said, Jesus is the One I must cling to through the tough times. Even when I feel like I’m walking through the wilderness, and I have to focus on my head knowledge of God’s word. I might not feel it in my heart, but I must cling to His truth, knowing He will get me through it.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes they pop into my head. I look up the meaning and if it works, I keep it. Other times I pray and look up names and their meanings to find one I feel fits the character I’m creating. Then there are times I just really like a name for the way it sounds and I keep it.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I would say that by the grace of God my husband, Jack, and I are still married for more than 35 years. We only knew each other for five months when we got married and then realized we were polar opposites. After quite a few rocky years, God brought a healing to our marriage. He had a plan, knowing that Jack and I would become better people having to work together through our differences and trials. We are both committed to working hard and staying together. Our love and closeness has grown so much over the years. We are blessed to be happily married today!
In the long run, I think the best marriages are the ones where the two people are polar opposites. James and I are polar opposites and we’ll celebrate 53 years in November. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Definitely a cat. They are smart and adorable. I’m a little partial to my rescue cat Lilybits. I’ve sometimes thought if I wasn’t a human, I wouldn’t mind being a much-loved, spoiled cat like she is. After all, she gets to sleep much of the day, play when she wants to, snuggle with the people she loves, eat kibble on demand, and someone else cleans up after her. What a life!
What is your favorite food?
There are so many delicious foods in the world, it’s hard to choose. I’d probably say chocolate is my favorite sweet food and homemade spaghetti and meat sauce would be my favorite savory food.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Fear of failure and perfectionism go hand in hand. They both kept me from writing an entire manuscript for a long time. I’d have all kinds of ideas, but was afraid I wouldn’t be able to write perfectly enough. I still face those issues as I write, but I have to overcome them one day at a time, sometimes one sentence at a time. While I do turn to God for help in this I’ve also had to tell myself the truth. My writing will never be perfect, but if I never put anything down on paper, I won’t have anything to improve on. It’s a learning process.
Very wise words. Tell us about the featured book.
Here is a blurb of Rumors and Promises:
Sophie Biddle, an heiress on the run with a child in tow, considers herself abandoned by her family and God. Wary, self-reliant Sophie is caught off guard when meeting a kind, but meddling and handsome minister at the local mercantile.
In 1900, Reverend Ian McCormick is determined to start anew in
, believing he has failed God and
his former flock. He works harder than ever to forget his mistake, hoping to
prove himself a most pleasing servant to his new congregation and once again to
God. Stone Creek, Michigan
While Sophie seeks acceptance for the child and a measure of respect for herself, the rumors swirl about her sordid past. Should Ian show concern for Sophie plight, he could risk everything, including his position as pastor of Stone Creek.
Now the pair must choose to trust God and forgive those who slander and gossip, or run. Will the scandals of their pasts bind them together forever, or drive both deeper into despair?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Sophia Bidershem jerked awake as the train whistle blew. Her heart pounded a beat almost in cadence with the wheels upon the track. Prickles traveled up her arm so she wriggled her elbow into a different position around her two-year-old daughter, Caira, who had fallen asleep against her. Outside her passenger window, the pewter sky hung, cold and austere. Snowflakes glided downward, covering any dirt or tracks on the ground and blanketing the leafless trees with a pristine beauty. Could her new identity make her appear as clean?
A figure in a dark coat brushed against Sophia’s seat, the scent of sweet tobacco smoke from a pipe causing her breath to catch. Her eyes swept up toward the tall, masculine figure. His gray derby sat low while the brim hid his eyes. The glove he attempted to put in his pocket fell to the floor. As he bent to pick it up, the train wound around a curve, and he bumped Sophia.
She gasped, covering her mouth and stilling the shivering which threatened to overtake her.
“So sorry, miss.” The stranger tipped his hat, looking apologetic.
Sophia exhaled, leaning as far away as possible from the aisle. No scar slanted across his right cheek. She gave the stranger a slight nod and averted her gaze. Other passengers read, stared out the windows, or spoke to one another in low tones. Her daughter slept, oblivious to her mother’s fear. Sophia sat against the high-backed seat and closed her eyes, trying to reclaim the blissful peace of a catnap.
But the passing figure had reopened a scab on Sophia’s soul. Darkness surrounded her again in her mind’s eye. He appeared, and there was no place to run. She blinked; daylight flooded in.
Sophia held Caira tighter and focused outside the window.
Feeling a sheet of paper crinkle in the reticule on her lap, Sophia freed her other hand to fish it out. Unfolding the paper, she searched the information in the body of the letter sent to her by Mrs. Fairgrave.
And we all want to know what’s in that letter. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Facebook Author Page:https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/
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Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing this book with us. I'm eager to read it.
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