Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Q & A with Katie Ganshert / Giveaway!!!!

Leave a comment and answer Katie's question to be entered to win a copy of this book. Include contact information.

What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading a nonfiction book, which isn’t like me at all. Usually I stick to fiction. This year, I challenged myself to read three nonfiction books. Right now I’m about a quarter of the way through Bonhoeffer’s biography, which is pretty thick, but super interesting.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
At first, I stuck with what I knew, which is why my first two books are set in small-town Iowa. Once I got some more experience under my belt, I decided to branch out a bit. I don’t remember what prompted me to choose a southern setting for A Broken Kind of Beautiful. I do know for my newest novel, The Art of Losing Yourself, I needed an ocean and I love the gulf. Plus, there were some cool old-school mom and pop motels on the panhandle of Florida, so that’s where I landed.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Perseverance is everything! Truly. The most common attribute among published authors is not level of talent or connections, but the dogged determination to keep going in the face of rejection. Because rejection happens. If you’re an author, it’s just comes with the territory.
Tell us about The Art of Losing Yourself:

Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed.

Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They’re the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together.  But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore.

Until Carmen’s sister—seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher—steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no other option but to take Gracie in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman’s faith and marriage back to life? Can two half-sisters make each other whole?

Is there one particular message or “moral of the story” you hope readers walk away with?
I hope readers will walk away knowing that God orchestrates even the most mundane events in our lives for our good and His glory. I also hope readers will have a renewed confidence that the God we worship is in the business of resurrection. Nothing—no relationship, no circumstance, no faith—is too dead for him to bring back to life.

Tell us about your research process.
I had to do quite a bit of research for this novel. I knew next to nothing about the panhandle of Florida, meteorology, or motel renovation. The first thing I do is find a professional in the field. I sat down with a chief meteorologist in my area and asked him all sorts of questions. I found some people who live near Pensacola and asked them questions. As far as motel renovations, I couldn’t find an expert, so I watched reality TV. There’s this show called Hotel Impossible, all about hotel/motel/inn renovation that I watched. I also read a lot of books. I have several meteorology, mom and pop motel, and Florida panhandle books lining my shelves.

Both of your lead characters have “baggage” that keeps them from wanting to pursue a new relationship. Do you think sometimes we let our past get in the way of what God has planned for our futures?
Oh, yes! I think we do that too often. In fact, I have a quote in this book from Ben, Carmen’s husband. He’s talking to Gracie, Carmen’s younger sister. “You shouldn’t let something that happened in the past stop you from having something that could be great in the present.”

 Has there been a time in your own life where you could really sense God was putting you in a situation for a reason?
Yes! Adoption. Everything—saying yes to the call, the long impossible wait, the fight to bring her home—all of it. God’s fingerprints have been everywhere. He’s used the entire process to reveal the idols in my heart, and to strip me of all the things I think I need for abundant life, and give me the only thing I really  need for abundant life—which is His presence. While there have been plenty of moment of discomfort and pain, I see His goodness shining through at every step.

What’s on the horizon for you?  What will you be writing next? 

I’m venturing into young adult, writing under the nom de plume, K.E. Gansher to avoid confusion with the different genres! The Gifting series will release this summer. I’m very excited about it. Then in the fall, I have two novellas coming out. After that, I’m not sure!

Where can readers find you online?

What one question would you like us to ask your readers?  Would you rather lose yourself or find yourself? Tell me why.

Tell us about the giveaway you’re offering. I’m giving away an autographed copy of The Art of Losing Yourself to one lucky commenter!

Christy Award finalist and Carol Award winner, 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 and their goofy black lab, Bubba. 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.


Caryl Kane said...

I would rather lose myself in order for Christ be gloried in me. I can't wait to read THE ART OF LOSING YOURSELF.


Carolyn Astfalk said...

Lose myself. Pretty sure you can't be too humble.

Carolyn Astfalk said...

Oops. Forgot contact info: castfalk at verizon dot net.

Abby B said...

I've found the last few months that losing myself in the sense of letting go of what I want is finding myself in Him, who He wants me to be. So I guess I want both, less of me and more of Him

Pam said...

I've read one of Katie's earlier books and liked it very much. Her other books are on my extensive "want to read" list. I enjoyed this interview with her and appreciate the chance to win her new book, The Art of Losing Yourself. As for the question, I think I have to lose myself to Christ to really find myself. I'm really nothing without Christ.


karenk said...

i would rather lose myself...while giving myself to Christ.

Thanks for the opportunity to read your latest novel, Katie.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jennifer Rumberger said...

I think I would rather find myself and live truly for what is important for my faith and family. Thanks for the giveaway!
jenberger75 at yahoo dot com

Nancee said...

To be perfectly honest, in the past I would have rather lost myself in the confines of my home. Depressed and anxious, I didn't want to venture out where I was vulnerable. At this stage of my life I have happily overcome those feelings of poor self esteem, and have found God has taken control of my life and has connected me with numerous Christians who have walked me through the darkness to the light. I'm grateful to those people and to God who directs my daily path.

Thank you for a wonderful interview and the opportunity to win a copy of "The Art of Losing Yourself!"

Mama Cat said...

Nancee, that is awesome! I used to lose myself in work - also low self esteem, and now am thrilled to spend so much time at home in spite of the little challenge of not being able to work very much (health). There are days I want to lose myself at home, but work just enough half days that the Lord lets me / makes me go out and see someone else.
I would rather lose myself in Christ and be found only in Him, but that surrender is SO hard!
Thank you for the great interview and discussion of the book, and thank you also for the opportunity to win this book!! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

I'd rather lose myself, I think. Whether it's in a beautiful day or in a good book, I'm all for getting immersed in life. :)


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