Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday Fun and Author Spotlight: Katie Ganshert

Angie here! Another fabulous week at the Alley has come and gone. I am so thankful to have such great support from our Alley Pals, and to always learn from my dear Alley Cats as they share pieces of their journey on this road to publication.

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?! 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.


Karen Schravemade said...

Wow, Katie. Your last paragraph really socked me between the eyeballs! I've heard a similar statement from published authors many times before, but I have to admit I've never entirely believed it. It's just been too tempting to imagine that all those insecurities will magically fade away when I sign my first book contract and finally gain that authorly validation. For some reason I'm really hearing the truth of the statement this time. You got me!! Must be your gift with words. I'm taking it to heart. Big congratulations again on your amazing Carol win, and thanks so much for sharing with us, friend! xo

Casey said...

Katie, I'm so glad that you're here with us today! Always love hugging your neck--especially after your fantastic Carol win! And thanks (but maybe no thanks) for that app tip--that might not be a good thing for me either. ;-)

Krista Phillips said...

I haven't gotten a chance to read your newest one but am even more excited to now!!

And oh Karen. Katie is so totally right. SO VERY VERY RIGHT!!!

Laurie Tomlinson said...

Ahhhh! Love this advice and that you stopped by the Alley today, Katie! <3

Pepper said...

I LOVE this advice. Wow!
And I was so glad to hear your acceptance speech during the Carols! You have such an amazing heart!

Katie Ganshert said...

Oh girl - it for really is true. I wish it weren't! Just goes to show the fallacy of "WHEN THIS HAPPENS, life will be grand!" We live in a broken world. PMS is the proof. It happens with or without a book deal. Eyes up, no matter where we are in the journey, and joy abounds! <3

Katie Ganshert said...

Oh my gosh Casey, are you talking about!? Is that the app? Because it is DANGEROUS! So loved seeing you at ACFW, sweet friend!

Katie Ganshert said...

Hope you enjoy, Krista! So very excited about your news with Barbour!

Katie Ganshert said...

It was a pleasure! I feel bad that life got crazy and I forgot to come back and check comments!! 12 days late is better than never, right!?

Katie Ganshert said...

Aw, thank you friend! <3 I think your heart is pretty amazing too!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hopping on board late with yah, Katie. I too really appreciated your acceptance talk. The Ezekiel passage that touched you, touched all of us who heard you speak. Thanks!
Like a teen, those of us not yet published hear what you say about the journey, but are sadly blinded to the struggles you face by our desires to be in your shoes. We need to slow down and breathe, enjoy the view where God has us. Thanks for your encouraging words.