The past two days have been extremely warm, so I am so glad this week’s featured author loves ice cream. I also enjoy the fact that she’s from the Quad Cities, where I used to live as a child. I show her around the old familiar places before we transport up to Madison, and order the largest bowls of Babcok ice cream at the Memorial union, feeling the sun and he cool breeze coming off Lake Mendota. It’s just a very nice day with some pleasant complany.
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
I’m Katie Ganshert, Christian, wife, mother, debut author, dog-lover (especially of the goofy lab variety), chocolate and diet coke addict. I don’t think I’m the most fascinating person in my city, but I do think I tend to hang out in the skinny slices of the pie charts. I’ve published a book. I’ve run a marathon. I’m left handed. I’ve gone bungee jumping. We’re adopting. I’ve been hit by a golf ball (which resulted in a wired jaw and forty stitches). I have a red-headed child. I have there grandma Betty’s. I don’t think any of those are statistically common.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
Maybe that I have three grandma Betty’s. Or that I once had a big crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas. What ever happened to that guy?
3. What interested you to be become a writer rather than something else such as Broadway star?
I cannot sing and I definitely can’t dance (unless the running man counts). I’m not too shabby with words, so I though, why not? In all seriousness, I’ve always loved writing. My mom has crates of notebooks filled with penciled stories tucked away in her basement. I write because I love it and I love being able to touch other people with my words.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
Maybe Karen Kingsbury. I’d love to figure out how she’s so ridiculously prolific and to learn more about each of her adoptions.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island (or suffering a four hour layover at the airport), why would your book(s) be great company?
I’ve heard from a lot of readers that the story sucked them in right away, that the characters felt incredibly real, the emotions raw, and the faith journey touching. Never mind that you might garner some odd looks if you’re caught crying while reading a cover that is a tad bit feminine.
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: idea and character development, story outline, research (do you Google, visit places/people or make it up on the spot?), writing schedule, editing, and number of rewrites.
The idea is almost always a snapshot of a character and a scene. A scene and a character I usually know nothing about. From there, I ask what if questions until I have a solid GMC (goal, motivation, conflict). Then I flesh out the characters by doing interviews and journals and figuring out their back stories and biggest fears. After that, I figure out the major plot points—disturbance, doorway one, doorway two, climax, black moment, epiphany, resolution. Then I start jotting down any and every scene I can think of on note cards and start putting them in an order that results in an engaging story. Once the story is all plotted, I try to pound out the rough draft as quickly as possible (2-3 months). I let it sit for a week or two. Print out a hard copy. Read through looking for BIG story edits. Edit. Read again for line edits. Let it rest and read one more time before sending it to critique partners.
As you can see, I’m a psychotic plotter.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
Get thee to Amazon or Barnes and Noble or the library or any other book store and look up “writing craft books”. Of the thousands out there, there is bound to be one that offers a system that will work for you. If that fails, just write. Don’t worry about making the first draft pretty. Write it. Embrace the ugly. Knowing you’re going to delete half of it anyway during rewrites. And that’s okay!
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read ‘Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
Chase after the things that draw me closer to God.
Right now, that includes writing and adoption.
Basically, anything that terrifies me and forces me to rely completely and one hundred percent on His strength and provision.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
Not in the foreseeable future! Wishing on Willows, which is somewhat of a sequel to Wildflowers from Winter, comes out in March. Right now, I’m gearing up for the revision letter from my editor.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
On my website: katieganshert.com
Or on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AuthorKatieGanshert