Thursday, August 30, 2012

An Interview with Author Katie Ganshert

She's friendly, witty, and has a HUGE heart for her readers. Today I'm very privileged to feature an interview with debut novelist, Katie Ganshert! I knew she was a special author when I spent time on her website. Here's what Katie's all about: "There are all kinds of reasons why being a published author excites me, but the biggest reason is you! I cherish every single one of my readers. I lift you up in prayer each morning. And I hope this website and my books leave you blessed, encouraged, and entertained." 

Talk about encouraging. Join me in welcoming this special lady!  

Maria: Thanks for stopping by, Katie! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Katie: I'm a slightly-frazzled, ever-inquisitive Midwest gal who's passionate about Jesus, my family, writing, and all things romance, which is exactly what I write. Stories about flawed, broken characters who find faith and fall in love. When I'm not plotting ways to get my hero and heroine to cross paths, I enjoy watching movies with my hunk of a husband, playing make-believe with my wild-child of a son, hanging out with the crazy but lovable junior high students at my church, and chatting with my girlfriends at Panera. I could talk books all day and am often spotted around town pushing a stroller, walking my dog, and reading - all at the same time. My husband and I are also in the process of adopting a young boy or girl from the Congo.

Maria: Oh wow! What an exciting time in your life. You'll have to keep us posted on the adoption process. As far as writing goes, give us a sneak peek into your debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter:

Katie: Wildflowers from Winter is a coming-home love story set in small town Iowa that explores the bonds of friendship and God's ability to bring beauty out of the barren seasons in our lives. 

Here's the back cover blurb: A young architect at a prestigious Chicago Firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan. 

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany's vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away. 

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn't seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she's not even sure exists?

Maria: I must say your book was a real page-turner for me! I couldn't put it down until I finished it! Which character in your book can you most easily identify with? And why?

Katie: That’s a hard one. I can identify a lot with Bethany because I’m a natural doubter. Faith doesn’t come easily to Bethany and there are times when faith doesn’t come easily to me either. But I also really identify with Robin, an important secondary character. She’s pretty consumed by grief in this novel, but beneath that grief, Robin is a warm personality. She opens up to people easily and loves easily, while Bethany is much more reserved. I’m a lot more like Robin in this way. I’ll be your best friend right away if you want. J

Maria: That's an invitation I can't refuse! Speaking of friendships, I found the interplay between Bethany and Robin very believable in spite of their differences. Great job! What do you hope your readers glean from your novel?

Katie: I hope readers come away with a sense that we worship a God of redemption. He’s in the business of making all things new. Even a hardened, cold heart. I hope readers see that God can take what seems lifeless and dead and bring about something breathtakingly beautiful. Like a field of wildflowers after a very long winter.

Maria: You definitely succeeded! And what a fitting title for your novel. I really liked your main characters, will we get to meet up with Bethany and Evan again in a future release?

Katie: You bet! My next novel, Wishing on Willows, releases March 19, 2013 and this is Robin’s story. Robin gets to be the main character and have her journey. But readers will get to meet up with Bethany and Evan again.

Here's the back cover blurb in case anybody's interested!

A three-year old son, a struggling cafe, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her husband, and she's determined to keep them alive. She is doing just fine, until a savvy and unnervingly handsome businessman sweeps into town and flips her carefully-constructed world upside down.

A project manager for his father's development company, Ian McKay has his eye on the valuable downtown riverfront. But when Robin refuses to sell, his simple plans turn into an all-out battle - one that rips the town's loyalty in two. As attraction ignites and old wounds break open, will Ian and Robin cling to the familiar or surrender their trust to the God of second chances?

Maria: I know what will be on my reading list in March! How has your relationship with Jesus Christ impacted your writing?

Katie: Completely. I don’t just write to entertain, I try to write stories that will draw hearts closer to Him. Not every Christian writer strives for this, nor should they. But this is my personal goal. Jesus used the medium of story all the time to reveal truths about God. I pray every morning that God would use my stories to speak truth, to encourage readers, and to turn hearts toward praise. We worship an amazing God.

Maria: I can't think of a better way to use your skills as a writer, Katie! God IS amazing, and what a fantastic opportunity to point others to Him. What goals do you have for the future?

Katie: To continue writing novels that I can share with readers. I’d love to get another book contract and it’s something I can strive toward, but only God knows what’s in store. I’d also like to learn a thing or two about public speaking. I wouldn’t mind having a couple speaking engagements throughout the year. But right now, I don’t have the experience or qualifications for it!

Maria: I look forward to reading your future novels! And I can't help but think that God will give you the desire of your heart where speaking is concerned. I love the fact that it's the Lord who gives us something to say, "Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say," (Exodus 4:12; KJV). Share some lessons you've learned on your journey as a writer:

Katie: Oh, boy. There have been so many. So, so many. I’ve learned what it means to really surrender. God’s really taught me some lessons in humility (these haven’t been easy). I’ve learned that I am a giant worrier and that it truly is like rocking in a rocking chair—it gives us something to do but it gets us nowhere. There is so much in this life that is outside of our control, so why do I cling to these things as if I have any? There is so much freedom in letting go. I’ve also learned that the most common factor among published authors is not talent or connections, but their tenacious determination to get back up again. Perseverance is key.

Maria: Thanks for your transparency! What important lessons! Are there any words of wisdom you'd like to leave with our readers?

Katie: God is good. Always. In the midst of pain. In the midst of celebration. In the midst of silence and waiting. He’s good and He’s there.

And this isn’t wisdom, it’s more like a plug. But I LOVE connecting with readers - I have a welcome packet designed just for you! To sign up, please visit my website and click on the Welcome Packet button. I’d also love to connect with you on my blog, or Twitter, or Facebook. I’m even a little obsessed with Pinterest these days.  

Maria: Love the truths you mentioned about our Heavenly Father! Thank you so much for joining me today, Katie, and I look forward to seeing how the Lord continues to use you in the days ahead!

Good news! Katie has graciously agreed to give away a signed copy of her debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter:

 *Leave a comment to this post, include your email address in the following format: morgan(dot)maria(dot)i(at)gmail(dot)com. Entries without an email address are not eligible.

*Receive an extra entry by becoming a follower, or by reminding me that you're already a follower.

*Receive a bonus entry by posting about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, and/or Twitter.
 Please be sure and let me know you did so in your comment.

*This is open to US residents only. My sincere apology to those followers outside the US.

*Deadline to enter is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday, September 4, 2012. Winner to be announced in Thursday's post. The winner will be notified via email.

More good news! Congratulations to Barb Snyder, winner of Jeanette Levellie's, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top


  1. Oh, an author interview... and such a pretty lady! Thanks Maria for hosting this. I find Katie's last name interesting. Ganshert means so much as whole heart. I am sure she is a wholehearted lady ;)

    1. Hi Marja! Thanks so much for the kind words! Maria has been such a gracious, fun host!

      Question for you: How do you find out the meaning of last names?

  2. Thank you for hosting this interview. I have never read this book, but I have put it on my TBR list. Thanks for such an inspiring Q and A post!


    I'm a follower:)

    1. I hope you enjoy the story when you get around to reading it!

  3. Fun learning more about you, Katie - Love where your heart is at.

    (Don't put me in the drawing - I own Wildflowers...)

    I truly enjoyed Wildflowers from Winter and look forward to Wishing on Willows. Congrats on your success!

    1. Thanks Loree! I hope you enjoy Robin's story in March!

  4. Thanks so much for having me, Maria!

  5. I already have this book and loved it! Great interview, ladies. :)

  6. I already have Katie's book on my TBR pile. :)

    Thanks for the thorough interview.

  7. I accept your apology as I am Canadian and cannot enter the contest.:) But thank you for featuring Katie. Her faith in Jesus is inspiring.

    1. In the words of my son, "That's a bummer." Thanks for the encouraging words, Lynn!

  8. Love your heart Katie. It's why I write too...the line that runs through my mind whenever I type is Parables for today. I love that Jesus was a storyteller:) Cannot wait for your next book!