Monday, June 14, 2010

Stephanie Grace Whitson~author interview

Stephanie is an excellent author and a wonderful person. I've enjoyed getting to know her.
Read her books and you won't be disappointed.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

My husband of nearly 7 years and I and our soon-to-be-married son live in a late 1800s Victorian "hired man's house." We also have five grown & married children and two grand-children. We are a "blended family." Both our first spouses died of cancer. My husband's first wife was my best friend. My first husband was my current husband's dear friend and co-worker. Our children and our faith grew up together as we attended the same Bible-teaching church.

How long did you write before you were published?
I've always been a writer, but I didn't seek publication as a novelist until I was about 2/3 of the way finished with the manuscript that became my first book, Walks the Fire, published back in 1995 with Thomas Nelson.

Tell us about your featured book Sixteen Brides.
It was inspired by a 1902 newspaper article about Civil War widows filing on homesteads near a small Nebraska town. My widows aren't very happy about the "brides" part of the story at first.

Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your writing journey?
There are many. My first editor, Lonnie Hull Dupont, was an incredible encouragement. My current editor, Ann Parrish, has helped me continue to grow and develop.

What message(s) do you want to be clear to your readers?
That God is personally interested in their lives and that even when things don't seem to make sense. . . they do in light of eternity.

What are some of your likes and dislikes? Your hobbies, interests? Where do you like to vacation?
I like learning and experiencing new things and I dislike whiners. I'm passionate about pioneer women's real stories (working on my masters degree in history) and I love old quilts and quilting. Next year Kansas City Star books is releasing a co-authored book I've been working on for years about "quilts and the sod house experience." Vacations don't happen for me very often, but my dream vacations would involve Paris, Captain Cook, Hawaii, &/or Florence, Italy.

Tell us a little-known fact about yourself that readers may not know.
I'm an introvert.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Yes. Depending on my deadline date, I count back and try to create a per-day word count that maintains some semblance of sanity. (It hasn't worked yet, but I keep trying.) Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel? I like to have nine months, but I'd be pleased to write faster if more publishers were crying out for Whitson work.

What are you currently reading?
Dearest Marguerite, Letters from a Soldier to the Wife He Left Behind by Marguerite Swenson Young.
A mile-high stack of quilt history books.
And tomorrow I'll be in line at Barnes and Noble to buy Dean Koontz's newest Frankenstein novel and A Personal JourneyThrough the Clash of Civilizations by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
I'm nothing if not eclectic in my reading!

Do you grow flowers or vegetables? Both. Our back yard is very private and small with a little pond and waterfall and a large deck for lounging. No grass at all. We have lots of flowers and a tomato garden on wheels with seven huge plants growing in tubs. What are your favorite flowers? Butterfly Weed (the native prairie flower--it's orange), and Bleeding Heart (I plant one in every garden as a reminder of the grandmother I never knew).

What are you writing now?
A Most Unsuitable Match, my 2011 release with Bethany House. A banker's daughter heads for primitive Fort Benton, MT, by steamboat in search of her last living relative.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you so very much Stephanie.
May you have much success in your writing.
Can't wait to read your next book!


Caroline said...

Great interview, Stephanie & Trinity! Thanks for sharing!


Prolucker said...

I have been a fan of SGW since I read "Karin's Memory Box". Loved the interview! -Lex