Congratulations to the winner of last week’s Author Spotlight giveaway of Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon, HEIDI ROBBINS. Please email info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com to claim your prize.

Welcome Kellie Coates Gilbert, author of What Matters Most, to Author Spotlight! Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win a copy.

Gilbert_KellieIntroduce us to you as an author: When did you get bit with the writing bug? How would you describe your writing style?

Hi, Suzanne! So nice to be back with you and your readers. I was first bit by the reading bug before ever considering writing. While I was a fairly obedient child, I’d break my parents’ rules and hide a flashlight in my bed for late night adventures with swashbuckling pirates and horses and brave females who were women to be reckoned with.

Once, I was hiding out in the grainery shed on our family’s ranch. I could hear my mother calling me to do chores, but I ignored her. I simply couldn’t bear to leave Scarlett… not when Charleston was burning!

So, I guess it was a natural that I would leave a legal profession and become a full-time novelist who writes emotionally-driven stories about the lives and loves of strong women. I have the best job ever!

Tell us about your new release:

Suzanne, I can’t wait until this next book gets in the hands of readers! It’s called What Matters Most and features a strong romance woven into a plot of political intrigue. Lots of surprises you won’t see coming!

How can readers connect with you online?

The easiest way to find me is on my website, where readers can find links to all my social media accounts and my newsletter sign-up.

My website is: www.kelliecoatesgilbert.com

Anything new for you on the book horizon?

Oh, yes! A project I’m so excited about with stories that romantic women’s fiction readers will love. While I can’t release all the details just yet, I strongly urge readers to sign up for my newsletter (from my website) to get all the early details before anyone else. (pssst… you won’t want to miss hearing about this unique project with all the fun reader opportunities coming, including some travel *winks*)

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well?

The answer to this is simple… I read! Nothing revs my creative side more than a great story crafted by a talented author.

Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I’m up early… usually about 5:30. Typically, I spend time with my husband, then my quiet time with God, and then I get busy in front of my computer no later than 9:00. I write until lunchtime, break for a bite to eat. I check social media and I write again until three, sometimes four.

My routine is about to be challenged a bit as my husband just transitioned to a new company and will be working from a home office as well. Girls, I don’t know about yours, but my husband likes to ask me where stuff is at least twenty times a day. Ha… not sure how that’s going to work if I’m in the middle of a scene and the movie is playing in my head and he asks me where the batteries are for his watch. Pray for us… huh? (smiles)

Do you prefer reading physical books or e-readers?

I’ve always been a physical book girl… especially since I write all over in my copies (these become my writing textbooks). That said, I have a tremendous e-book library on my phone and love sinking into a good book while waiting for the dentist etc. Recently, the new Kindle Oasis caught my eye. I think I’m going to buy one very soon!

What are you best known for … writing or otherwise?

My reader mail clearly suggests my fans adore how my stories take them on an emotional ride, with twists and turns they never see coming. Sometimes, readers need a Kleenex nearby. They fall in love, and at times they get mad at injustice and betrayal… all of them say they close the last page with that “aw” moment we all love at the end of a great book.

Right this moment, what does your office look like?

9780800722753I’m a neat freak. My bookcases are filled with books in alphabetical order according to genre. My files are neatly tucked inside a filing cabinet. My office supplies are organized in the drawer and I have a vase of fresh hydrangeas I bought at Albertson’s yesterday on top of my desk.

The funny thing is I no longer write in my office. I nestle up on our sofa in the living room with my Mac on my lap. It’s far more comfortable when I’m writing so many hours a day. Of course, here in Texas, writing out by the pool is always a nice alternative “office.”

How do you solve a grammar dilemma?

If I run into a grammar question, I always email my fellow author LENA NELSON DOOLEY. Not only does she thrill fans with her historical novels, nobody knows grammar like Lena!

Can a person make a living as a writer?

Oh, absolutely! I left a very lucrative legal career and have never looked back. If an author crafts excellent stories and finds their readership, there is no ceiling to what is possible.

Who’s your favorite character you’ve written so far? Explain:

Lainie in A Woman of Fortune is the one character I most identify with.

She makes very bad choices and gets in a romantic relationship that nearly takes her to the pit. Her pride almost wrecks her, but God’s grace intercepts her foolish actions and everything changes.

Anyone else out there relate?

Describe yourself in one word:

TIGGER! No Eeyore thoughts allowed in my head.

If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?

My MAC computer and my iPhone! My Bible. (sorry that’s three… but they are all right there together and I have long arms for scooping up my valuables!)

If I could go anywhere, it would be…

I’d pack up our motorhome and tour the United States to meet with book retailers, librarians and readers! Email from my website and tell me what city I simply should not miss and why (www.kelliecoatesgilbert.com) Because, never know… this might actually be on the horizon.

Best indulgence:

I grew up on a sheep ranch in southern Idaho. I’d just about die for my mother’s lamb shanks served over hot and buttery mashed potatoes. Sadly, she graduated to heaven years ago and my hips don’t often allow high calorie foods. (just between you and me? I still sneak this dish from time to time. Not as good as Mom’s, but close.)

In closing, thank you Suzanne. I so appreciate your support of these Texas Gold novels and was so sorry we did not get to personally meet at RT Booklovers Convention last year as planned. Soon, I hope?

And thank you, readers. I never take lightly the fact that you plunk down your hard-earned cash to buy my books. I work hard to create stories that will thrill your hearts and minister to your souls. I hope I get to meet you all in person someday as well!

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