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.

This week Kathleen Fuller is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of Kathleen’s latest book, Treasuring Emma, 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? 

I’ve been married to James for 18 years. We have three children, Matt (17), Sydney (15) and Zoie (13). I’m a full-time writer. Recently I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer; I’m currently undergoing treatment for it.

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

Currently I write Amish fiction, but I’ve written in several different genres—historical, contemporary, and some non-fiction.

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

I started writing in 2000, but I never had grand dreams of being a published writer. I mainly tried it because I was such an avid reader. I was terrible at first, but I enjoyed it. I joined writers groups, studied craft books, and learned how to write. God gave me a passion for writing, but it wasn’t until then that I discovered it.

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

My first novella was published in 2003.

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? 

Due to health issues my schedule has changed (of course) but I find inspiration in reading, riding the lawn mower (not even kidding about that), and making sure I get plenty of sleep. I love to brainstorm and dream about the characters and plot. I’ve never had a consistent routine, so I don’t count hours as much as word count. Even then it varies.

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

Definitely writers groups. The connections, support, education—you can’t get that anywhere else.

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

No. It’s more rewarding and more stressful than I thought. God has really stretched me spiritually, emotionally, and professionally. That stretching hasn’t always been easy or painless, but it’s necessary and beneficial.

What are your biggest distractions? 

Internet, hands down!

What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst? 

One of the best moments was getting my first reader email. That was a blessing. The worst are bad reviews—I have a thick skin but they still sting a bit. I usually learn something from them, though.

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like? 

Least is writing the first draft. I’m a terrible first drafter, I have to yank each word out of me. I most like the editing process. Its fun to see the story come together.

What advice would you give to new writers? 

Be open to instruction and always be ready to learn. Writers never stop learning about their craft.

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. 

Treasuring Emma is a romance, yet it’s also more—a family saga, a story of forgiveness, and a peek into the tight knit community of the Amish.

What’s on the book horizon for you? 

Treasuring Emma, book one in the A Middlefield Family series, comes out in August. Also releasing is Hide and Secret, the third book in my YA series, Mysteries of Middlefield.

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

www.kathleenfuller.com, www.amishhearts.com, www.amishliving.com, and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kathleen-Fuller/81836200502

Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)

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