May 2, 2012

Getting to Know Author Katie Ganshert (and a Book Giveaway)


I’m so excited to have author Katie Ganshert on my blog today! Katie was the first online writing friend I made. I found her blog back in October and thought, “Wow, this girl and I are a lot alike (except she’s way cooler than me)! And look, she’s got a book coming out soon!”

Katie’s debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, releases Tuesday (May 8) and let me tell you—it is simply amazing. Katie has such a way with words, and the story and truths you’ll find there will make you think and warm your heart.

Katie agreed to answer some questions for me, so here we go:

Tell me about the first story you ever wrote, no matter how old you were! How old were you, what was it about, and what was your inspiration for it?
Oh goodness, I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. Let me see. The first story I remember writing was either: Mr. and Mrs. Leaf or Best Friends. Mr. and Mrs. Leaf was a very moving and poignant tale of two leaves who get married and live happily ever after in a leaf pile. My teacher read it out loud to the class.

Best Friends was about me and my best friend, only I kept crossing out the name and writing in a different one. My mom still has it. Apparently, I couldn’t decide who my best friend was.

I also wrote a very popular story in 5th grade titled Maybe, Kind of, No, Not Really. The main character’s name was Peewee. He had a dog named Oodles and the first chapter was called “What’s so Gross about Picking your Nose”?

Ha! That’s amazing. I’d love to read that one! So the title of your debut novel is Wildflowers From Winter. What’s your favorite kind of flower? Any special meaning behind why it’s your favorite?
Any flower that does not require maintenance. Is it horrible that the title of my book involves flowers, but I’m not at all a flower person?

Nah, it can be our secret…um, well, ours and whoever is reading this! Speaking of flowers, are you an indoor or outdoor person? What’s your favorite activity to do inside and favorite to do outside?
Inside, it’s definitely curling up with a good book and a hot cup of tea. Outside, it would have to be running around with bare feet in the backyard with my son. Squirt guns are always a plus.

Oh, I definitely agree. OK, since you write romance, I have to ask you this: What’s your idea of a perfect date?
Oh, this is easy. Because I have one once a month. My husband and I are obsessed with The River House. We go there, order the fried pickles (to die for!), and we sit by the window and we talk and talk and talk about anything and everything. Afterward, we go to Coldstone Creamery to get ice cream and end up at home watching a movie. Preferably a romantic one, if Ryan is feel generous. Sounds pretty cliché – dinner and a movie. But I love it.

That’s so sweet…and now I must try fried pickles! Is it a Midwest thing? 'Cuz I’ve never seen it on the menu here in Arizona! OK, moving on…I saw you did a reader’s voting contest in March to determine the hero’s name for your next book, Wishing on Willows. What a cool idea! What is your normal process for choosing your main characters’ names?
Most of the time, the name comes attached with the character. That’s what happened with Bethany and Evan and Robin in Wildflowers. They were always and forever Bethany and Evan and Robin. But if a name isn’t coming to me, I usually get out my thick Baby Names book on my bookshelf. Or, run a fun contest and let the reader choose!

That’s awesome! What is your hope for WFW, and your books in general? In other words, why do you write?
My specific hope for Wildflowers from Winter would be that readers would see that we worship a God who is in the business of redemption. We worship a God who is able, no matter how barren of a season we might be going through, to bring about beautiful things in our lives.

My general hope for all my books is that they would entertain and bless readers and glorify God. That is always one of my daily prayers.

Amen, girl. You definitely achieved all of that and more in WFW. OK, we’ll end with a fun question: You’re locked in a room for a week and only allowed 3 items (no people allowed!). What are they?
I’m assuming food is not an item and I’m going to forgo the practical stuff like a toothbrush and toothpaste and a pillow. Who needs those, right? Okay….definitely my Bible, my laptop, and my cell phone so I can talk to the people I can’t bring. Or is that cheating? If I couldn’t bring my cell phone, I would bring a camera to catalogue my exciting weeklong stay in a room.


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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?
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Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys going on romantic dates with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels and coffee.
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Katie has generously agreed to give away a copy of Wildflowers from Winter to a random commenter! Only U.S. residents, please. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments to be entered. Comments should be posted by Sunday at 11:59 pm PST to qualify.

Your Turn: What’s your favorite kind of flower? Any special meaning behind why it’s your favorite?

*I'm guest posting and hanging out over at Melissa Tagg's blog today. Come say hi! 
 

41 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me, Linsday! You sure know how to ask some fun questions!

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    1. Thanks so much for agreeing to be my guest, even in the midst of all your craziness! You had fun answers. :)

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  2. Looking forward to reading it, ladies:)

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    1. Fun to see you here, Larissa! I always enjoy hoping over to your blog every now and then to see you little ones!

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Larissa! It's a great read, that's for sure.

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  3. I love sunflowers. When my grandma was alive, we'd stop to look at them on the side of the road. And they remind me of her because they are bright and beatiful. I am an author and often use sunflowers in my stories.

    Can't wait to read Wfw!

    Kadi

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    1. What a great memory you have with your grandma, Kadi!

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    2. Hi, Kadi! Thanks for visiting. That's so cool how you tie in a memory to your writing like that.

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    3. Yes, she is still alive through all my books. She taught me so much and gave me so many gifts.

      And I forgot to leave my email address. authorkadidillon@aol.com

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    4. No problem! Thanks, Kadi. :)

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  4. I'm with Katie, flowers that don't need maintenance. And when it comes to bouquets...love the daisies and wildflowers that last for weeks not days!

    Really looking forward to reading this book!
    brendon8@bellsouth.net

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    1. Yep - I'm all about the ones that last for a long time and don't require much upkeep. I like looking at them. I'm horrible at taking care of them!

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    2. Ooo, bouquets are so awesome. Then you get a variety! Thanks for stopping by, Brenda.

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  5. Awesome, awesome interview! I, too, loved WFW. :) I also love fried pickles. Hehehe...

    And I had to laugh about your leaf story, Katie, because when my mom was a teenager and my dad, her high school sweetheart, moved away to Indiana, she wrote a song called "Two Leaves." It's legendary in my family. :)

    Hmm, my favorite flower. Well, I love seeing fields of wildflowers. I loved the purple heather in Scotland (although I hear it's actually a weed...??). And I pretty much love any flower anybody gives to me. :)

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    1. I've heard people say wildflowers are weeds too. If they are, then bring on the weeds!

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    2. Oh yes, the purple heather in Scotland = lovely!

      And man, I really need to try these fried pickles! I'm tellin' ya...

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  6. I forsee a strong sales projection for Mr. & Mrs. Leaf. And what a pile it was. :D

    Fun interview! Both of you ladies rock! I'm partial to peonies and hydrangeas and anything that grows outside (also not needing my help).
    ~ Wendy

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    1. I should totally submit the story to Rachelle, shouldn't I? I could be sitting on the next best-seller.

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  7. Hello, Lindsay! Great interview with Katie. I'm excited for her debut!! I love all flowers, but I suppose miniature roses are my favorite. Preferably orange or yellow ones! Roses smell so so good. I can't ever walk by a rose without sticking my nose near it and breathing in deep!

    Have a wonderful week!!

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    1. I'm partial to roses myself, especially pink ones. Thanks so much for your comment, Laura!

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  8. Great interview between two great ladies! Fried pickles are all over down here and super yummy!

    My favorite flower is a Lily. Because Jesus calls us the lily among the thorns. :) It smells wonderful too.

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    1. I had lilies in my wedding bouquet. And yay for fried pickles!

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    2. Aw, what an awesome reason to love lilies! Do calla lilies count as lilies (one would think so with the name...)? Cuz I love those!

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  9. Congrats Katie! Great interview!

    I look forward to reading your book.

    Favorite flower to receive is the carnation because they smell so good and last so long. But the Coral Rose is another fave because they dry nicely.

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    1. Ooo, I've never received a Coral Rose. Sounds beautiful! And you'll love Katie's book, Ruth. It's a keeper. ;)

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  10. My favorite flower is Lily of the Valley. I love their fragrance and their delicate little bells. The day before my wedding I went and raided anyone and everyone who had Lily of the Valley growing in their yards and I had the flowers everywhere I could get them in our wedding - including my bridal bouquet.

    I just won a copy of Katie's book on Facebook last night, so I don't need to be entered into the contest! Looking forward to reading it. :)

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    1. Did you literally go sneaking into people's yards, cutting and stealing their Lily of the Valley? Because that makes a pretty funny mental picture in my mind. ;)

      Awesome that already won a copy of Katie's book. It's great.

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    2. For the most part, I knew everyone and had been given permission ahead of time...but, I might have snuck over to my mother-in-law's neighbor's yard and took a few that were on the property line... I think we've moved past the statutes of limitation time. :)

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  11. Great interview Lindsay and Katie.
    <>
    You definitely entertained and blessed me with Wildflowers :)
    My favorite flower is a lily.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Dani! Seems lilies are the favorite of many!

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  12. Flowers and pickles in the same conversation. Hmmm. Pickles are, well, pickled cucumbers, right? And cucumber plants produce flowers before they become cucumbers. Pickle flowers. Ha! :) But, that is not my favorite flower. No, it is the tulip. I once saw a rainbow assortment, bouquets wrapped in paper and filling flower carts as far as the eye could see on an Amersterdam cobblestone street. It was breathtaking in the early spring morning. Tulips trump pickle flowers in my book. :)

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    1. Pickle flowers! Love it!

      And the scene you described sounds absolutely beautiful.

      See you Saturday! :)

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  13. Ooo...can't pick just one! I grow my own roses, adore Oriental Lilies and you can't go past one of our native flowers, Kangaroo Paw :) Lindsay - that comment should let you know not to include me in the draw!

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    1. LOL, thanks, Rel! Duly noted. ;)

      That last flower sounds awesome! Thanks for visiting!

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  14. Great interview Lindsay and Katie! We have fried pickles here in the South along with fried almost anything. lol. My favorite flower grows on a tree--Magnolia. Would love to win Katie's book...pat at ptbradley dot com

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    1. Man, apparently there are fried pickles everywhere but Arizona! :) Ooo, magnolias are beautiful. Thanks for stopping by, Pat!

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  15. What a fun interview. I loved the questions, Lindsay, and Katie's great answers.

    My favorite wildflower is the California poppy. I'm a California native, so my choice comes as no surprise, I'm sure. =)

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    1. I'm not sure I've ever seen one of those! They sound pretty, though. :)

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