Week in Recap:
Our week started with an oh-so-fun topic-KISSING-as Pepper Basham shared about her time on a kissing panel (yeah, you really need to check out the post, Kissing Panel Notes: #smoochy#smoochy)
Laurie's post's Write That Story Anyway is a great reminder to hold our stories dear, even if they aren't on shelves yet. All you writers out there with a heart story that just might not fit the market mold...yet...(me!) should check out her post.
Now for our Author Spotlight:
I am so excited to welcome a fellow Midwesterner, Katie Ganshert to the Alley today! She has been such an encouragement to me at ACFW over the years. And this year, she won a Carol for her book, The Art of Losing Yourself! It was such an exciting moment, and her heartfelt acceptance speech resonated with me greatly.
Katie, tell us about your award-winning book, The Art of Losing Yourself. What inspired you to write it?
It’s a story about half-sisters, Carmen Hart and Gracie Fisher. From the outside looking in, Carmen has it all—the perfect marriage, the perfect image, the perfect job. But from the inside looking out, her world is falling apart. Her dear aunt has dementia, and that same aunt’s pride and joy—a beloved motel called The Treasure Chest—is in serious disrepair. Not to mention Carmen’s silent battle through infertility, and the toll it’s taking on her and her husband, Ben. This is Carmen’s world when 17-year old runaway, Gracie Fisher, enters the scene. Gracie is caught squatting at The Treasure Chest, and Carmen is left with no option but to take the troubled Gracie in.
It’s a story inspired by the passage in Ezekiel 37, when God shows the prophet a valley filled with dry bones and asks, “Son of man, can these bones live again?” God’s asking the same question here, only the dry bones are more metaphorical—a woman’s faith, a woman’s marriage.
It was impossibly hard to write at times, but I’m so glad God called me on the journey.
Such a powerful passage, and an amazing testimony to God's call to write. What are you reading right now?
I can never only read one book at a time. Right now, I’m finishing up Eleanor and Park on audio. I just started Joanne Bischoff’s The Lady and the Lionheart. I’m also reading Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer, and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
Love that you read more than one book at a time. I am the same way.
Ok, now for some fun questions, Alley-style...
What is the most random thing in your bag?
Three small Star Wars-inspired Angry Birds. I have a 7-year old son.
Your movie snack of choice?
Popcorn, of course! At least, when I’m at the theaters. If I’m at home watching a movie, I almost always get Culvers frozen custard.
What's your favorite recent discovery?
Jane.com! Oh. My. Word. It’s an app you can download on your phone and it’s dangerous as all get out. Basically, it’s the best (and worst) thing ever for people who like cute clothes and bargain deals but HATE shopping. Every day you will find new boutique clothing items (plus accessories), all super budget friendly. The problem is, the items go fast, so if you see something you love, then you have to be a quick decision maker. It’s maybe not the best thing for impulsive shoppers.
If you could go back in time to the beginning of your writing journey, what advice would you give yourself?
Enjoy the early part of the journey. You may think all your dreams will come true when you sign the contract, but really, it’s just a new type of challenging, with all the familiar insecurities and unknowns (granted, they may shape-shift a bit), but with more stress! As cliché as it sounds, it truly is about the journey, not the destination.
This is such wise advice for aspiring writers and newly-contracted authors too! :)
Thanks, Katie, for being a guest today! We are so excited about your Carol win!
Award-winning author, Katie Ganshert, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her family. When she’s not busy penning novels or spending time with her people, she enjoys drinking coffee with friends, reading great literature, and eating copious amounts of dark chocolate. You can learn more about Katie and her books by visiting her website or author Facebook page.