Author Spotlight: Kellie Coates Gilbert


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 the last Author Spotlight giveaway is VICKI MARNEY! Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com with your mailing address to claim your prize.

This week we are featuring Kellie Coates Gilbert, author of A Woman of Fortune (Revell)! To enter to win a copy of A Woman of Fortune, 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?

Gilbert_KellieFirst, let me thank you for inviting me on your blog, Suzanne. While I’ve admired your writing career for a number of years, we’ve never had the chance to meet. I so hope we get to connect in person soon.

To answer your questions, I’m a former legal investigator and trial paralegal who spent more than a little time juggling the roles of wife and mother while working outside the home. During those years I wrote magazine articles here and there. In 2008, my husband made a career move that brought us to Dallas allowing me the freedom to transition to full-time novelist. I still own a contract paralegal business and a legal marketing business too, so my waking hours are pretty full!

On a more personal note, I grew up on a sheep ranch near Sun Valley, Idaho. I married my skydive instructor who drove a green Chevy van (yup, my daddy was a little worried!) and we raised our family in Boise, Idaho. Turns out Dad had little to worry about. We’ve been married nearly thirty-five years. Now, we live near both of our adult sons and I spend every possible minute I can with an adorable three-year-old grandson who places his little dimpled hands on either side of my face and says, “I wub you Dammy!” (I know! Melts your heart, huh?)

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest . . . 

I write (and mostly read) contemporary women’s fiction.

I spent a lot of time in courtrooms working on high profile cases, including the Jack-in-the-Box e-coli litigation in the mid-nineties and the largest cattle fraud case in the United States. People are often at their most vulnerable in these tense situations where much is at stake, and I gained a unique perspective on the human psyche. Early in my writing career, I recognized there could be value in telling stories about women facing relationship fractures, betrayal, and loss and what it looks like to exhibit strength and dignity in these journeys.

I am meant to write stories for women that focus on relationships, and the deep places in life. People have many layers, and never more than in family dynamics and hard times. I’m intrigued with the coping mechanisms we employ to fill our empty places—that space inside of us designed to be inhabited by God. These are the stories of my heart.

After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?

Following the advice of nearly every publishing conference speaker I heard while learning the craft, I waited and didn’t submit until I knew I could write a story well enough to warrant a reader laying down the price of a book. With every novel, I want to earn and retain the trust of my readers and do the best job I possibly can to take their minds and hearts on a journey worth their time and money.

For me, that process was eight years. Partly, because I was working at a demanding career while I was studying the craft and learning the industry. When I finally believed it was time and I submitted my work to a publisher, the house wanted to contract me.

I believe there is tremendous value in quality and not pushing to be published too early.

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?

What fires my creative story-telling ability more than anything else is to read a great novel by a talented author. Often, I underline and make notes in the margins. This process sparks ideas for scenes and characters and plot devises.

When I sit down to write (and I write every weekday from nine am to three pm) I pull from these notes and ideas whirling inside my head.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?

I am an avid reader, and by far that has helped me more than anything. The other day, I was reading Bambi to my grandson and had to stop and make some notes. There’s some great plot devises in that story . . . especially the bleakest moment scenes!

Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be? 

Oh, yes! This entire profession is every bit as much fun as I expected. I get to be creative, work from home and control my own schedule, collaborate with one of the smartest agents in the industry (Natasha Kern) and a publishing team at Revell who are hard-working and supportive people who think outside the box and care about delivering quality stories to readers.

Sometimes I get to work outside by the pool. Can life get any better?

What was one of the best moments in your career?

Opening and reading my very first email from a reader:

“Hi Kellie, I was in Barnes and Noble last Friday evening around 6:00 pm on the 7th. You signed your book for me, I just wanted to say your book was touching, gut wrenching and truly amazing at the same time and made me cry a lot. This book made me feel like I knew this family just by reading your book. You’re an amazing writer! It’s very hard for me to find the “Right” book to where once I start to read I can’t put it down. I finished it and just wanted to let you know I can’t wait to read the next one!”

Readers, you have no idea what your emails and reviews mean to an author! Thank you for taking the time to give feedback when you read a novel.

What advice would you give to new writers?9780800722722

Work hard. Don’t publish until you are ready. Read.

And, what I tell everybody . . . BUY BOOKS!

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.

A Woman of Fortune (a Texas Gold novel):

Texas socialite Claire Massey is living the dream—designer clothes, luxury cars, stunning homes. But her Neiman Marcus lifestyle comes crashing down when her charming cattle broker husband is arrested for fraud. Suddenly she finds herself facing attorneys, a media frenzy, and a trail of broken hearts. Betrayed and humiliated, Claire must start over against incredible odds to save her family—and discover a life worth living.

What’s on the book horizon for you?

The Texas Gold novels are all contemporary women’s fiction stories featuring women in life-changing circumstances. The stories are set in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and Austin and incorporate elements of the legal cases I’ve worked on or situations you may have seen on the nightly news. Early reviews have been great and I’m really hoping readers enjoy following the collection.

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

I hope readers will visit my website at and will follow links to my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads accounts. My events and appearances are also available on the website. Most importantly, I’d love if readers would sign up for Readers Club so they are notified of future releases and promotions.


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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Sunnie says:

    Kellie, I would love to read your book! I am sure I would enjoy it. Sometimes we all have to “start over” and get our lives on the right course!

    • Sunnie – Isn’t that the truth? Life often deals the unexpected. Thank you for commenting. Suzanne is such a lovely host…..I could certainly hang out here more often!

  2. Donna Bayar Repsher says:

    Thanks for introducing me to another new (to me) novelist. I love novels about Texas and have many cyber-friends there. It’s on my list of places to visit, and this series appeals to me on so many levels.

    • Donna – You would love visiting Texas. The people are so warm and friendly. I’m having so much fun setting the four books in this collection in the major metro areas….and I’m learning a lot. I’ve lived in Dallas nearly four years and had never been to the Adolphus Hotel downtown. The hotel is rich in history and GORGEOUS. The staff was extraordinarily gracious and allowed me to peek all around. I finally settled on placing a key scene in the grand ballroom and the entire drama just came alive in my mind as I stood at those massive double doors looking in.

  3. Wilani Wahl says:

    I would love an opportunity to win a copy of kellie’s book.

  4. Cindi Altman says:

    Great interview! I love how you allowed the Lord to lead you into the type of writing that He wants you to do.

    I’m looking forward to reading A Woman of Fortune. It sounds great.


    • Thank you, Cindi! I am such an avid reader of contemporary women’s fiction, I can barely imagine writing in another genre. (although some of my books have a little romance thread)

  5. Cyndi Wilson says:

    Great interview! I’d be spending as much time as possible with that adorable 3-yr-old, too! 🙂 I’ve been hearing lots of good things about this book… lookin’ forward to reading it! Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Cindi – That little boy has my heart. And, two weeks before the book released his little baby sister was born. Almost more joy than I can bear! (PS – I posted a photo of her on my Facebook this week, if you care to coo over her abundance adorableness!) *grins*

  6. Vivian Vereeke says:

    I loved this interview! Now I’m really excited to read this book. I’d love to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity to enter to win.

  7. sharon says:

    A captivating book which I would enjoy. Your interview was fascinating. Many thanks.

  8. Janice Clark says:

    I would love to win and read this book… Thanks

    • Hi, Janice. I love that there are so many avid readers out there. (I am one, too!) Hope this summer provides a lot of relaxing time for you to enjoy great stories! Good luck in the contest.

  9. Pam H says:

    Have enjoyed reading ever since I was a young girl. I too have been married to my husband for 36 years and we have two sons that are married and two grandsons…..and yes the grandchildren melt my heart. Reading is my way of relaxing…..My husband also changed jobs 6 1/2 years ago and we have moved four times during those 6 1/2 years. Enjoying coming across new authors that are supported by authors that I have read their work and enjoy what they have written!!!

  10. Sharon Holweger says:

    I would love to win this book, it sounds very interesting.
    I have had to start over several times in my life. at age 74 I hope I don’t have to again , but then you never know what will happen.

    • Oh, Sharon – I hope you don’t either. When I became a Christian years back, a very wise woman told me this: “If you get bored, it ain’t with Jesus. If you let him, he’ll take you on the ride of your life!”

      I wish you a fabulous ride, my friend.

  11. Patty H says:

    How interesting to take stories from real life headlines/trials. What an interesting career that would have been!

    Can’t wait to read this series.

    • Patty – I loved my legal work and all the people and situations I encountered. I met John and Patsy Ramsey after the murder of their precious Jon Benet….won’t forget that one ever.

  12. Kelly says:

    I look forward to reading this book! I think you are right that tense situations bring out a part of a person that doesn’t typically show. Thanks for a great interview and giveaway!

    • Kelly – I so admired the legal expertise of the attorneys I worked with over the years. But frankly, I think I had the best job…..I got to support the clients and witnesses and often developed personal connections. I still receive Christmas cards from some!

  13. Renee says:

    Great interview! Sounds like yet another great read. Looking forward to reading it.

  14. Kathie from CA says:

    Sounds like a great book Kellie and different from what I usually read. Would love to receive it. Here’s hopping.

  15. Connie Saunders says:

    Thank you Suzanne for this chance to know Kellie. It is obvious that she has developed her craft by hard work and determination. I look forward to reading this book.
    Thanks for another great giveaway!

  16. June Armstrong says:

    I would appreciate a copy of A Woman of Fortune as it would be an early copy as it’s not published in Scotland yet.

    Kind Regards
    June Armstrong

  17. Hi Kellie! Loved learning more about you. Your comment about the “layers of people” stuck with me! Great insight. Blessings to you! Warmly, Suzanne

  18. Hello Suzanne. Thanks for having Lellie he4e. I loved this interview. Very innnteresting career you have had Kellie. Sounds like you are busy most all of the time. Interesting when I read a book about something I have seen in the news on TV… I would love to have my namr in for a chance to win your book. Thanks to you both for this give-away. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com

  19. Sue W says:

    Love the cover of this book and would love to win a copy.

    • Sue – Didn’t Revell do a FABULOUS job with that cover? I teared up when I first saw the mock-up. Here’s a little inside scoop: my editor purchased the dress in navy blue and then the designers photoshopped it RED…MY FAVORITE COLOR.

  20. Susan Johnson says:

    This sounds like a great book. I am a Texas girl and I love reading stories set in Texas.

    • Susan – You are among many readers who tell me the same. There’s just something about Texas. The other evening, I watched Lonesome Dove again on television. Wasn’t that an incredible series? I had nightmares for weeks after that water moccasin scene in the river. I get a little squeamish just thinking about it now.

  21. Ann M says:

    Sounds like something I’d be interested in reading. 🙂

    • Hi, Ann. I’m glad the story sounds interesting. I wish i could take everyone here on a tour down Preston Road…..the mansions are amazing. I’d never seen anything like all that. Fun to imagine what that lifestyle must be like, as I wrote about the Masseys.

  22. Connie R. says:

    Sounds like a great book. I’d love to read a copy and winning would be icing on the cake!

    • Connie – Thank you for your sweet comment. I have to admit, these characters wedged themselves pretty deeply inside my heart. I have compassion for people who have lost their way, and don’t even know it.

  23. Donna says:

    Would love to win this book!

  24. Ola Norman says:

    Great interview! Sounds like a good book. Can’t wait to read it.

  25. Ola Norman says:

    Great interview! Sounds like a good book. Can’t wait to read it. Would love to win it.

  26. What fun to read an interview with one of my favorite people on the website of another of my favorite people! Great insights, Kellie, about reading and writing. Can’t wait to read this one. Love to you both. Judy

  27. Lynn Grier says:

    The cover is beautiful. Sure would like the chance to read.

  28. I love to read about the Amish. It would be so nice to win this book.

    • Hi Shirley! So nice to connect with another book lover! Hope your summer is filled with plenty of time in the shade with a glass of lemonade nearby and a book in your hand!

  29. Kim Ray says:

    Suzanne, thank you fir this informative interview. I am adding Kellie’s book to my future read list!

  30. Sierra Faith says:

    Your book looks really neat! I saw it once on FB and thought it looked really good!