Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Mary Ellis is Keith Butts! Please email email@example.com with your mailing address!
This week we are featuring Stephanie Reed! To win a copy of her new book, The Bargain (Kregel Publications, 2013) leave a comment on this post.
Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?
My husband and I have two kids, one married, one at home. I ‘retired’ from my Latchkey job when both our kids finished college.
And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest . . .
My first two books were YA novels about the Underground Railroad. My new novel The Bargain is what I call Amish/Historical Fiction for women. I’d love to write a cozy mystery, and I have another genre or two I’d like to explore.
How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?
I got started writing because I thought the proceeds would put the kids through college. I’ve always loved reading and wanted to write from a young age.
After you started writing seriously, how long was it before you were published?
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?
Coffee and I are not friends. I like tea. Crossword puzzles get me going. And am I the only one who gets good ideas in the shower?
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?
Mark 9:23, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” This verse keeps me going.
Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?
No. Just when I think I have a realistic view, I get a reality check, like extensive edits or being turned down for a book festival. The writer’s life can be humbling.
What are your biggest distractions?
What is the role and importance of an agent?
An agent is your ally in a world where you may not know all the rules. A good agent knows the rules.
What advice would you give to new writers?
Don’t edit while you write your first draft. I’m still working on this one myself.
Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.
What’s The Bargain about? An Amish girl helps an English boy, a shattered survivor of the Kent State Massacre, find real peace in the summer of 1971. Bonus: recipes for Potato Doughnuts and Banana Cream Pie included.
What’s on the book horizon for you?
Books two and three of the Plain City Peace series.
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?