Wildflowers from WinterWildflowers from Winter
Katie Ganshert
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Architect Bethany Quinn reluctantly returns to her Iowa hometown for an "in and out" visit---but then her grandfather dies and leaves her his farm. She wants to sell the place, but even that gets complicated with manager Evan Price watching her every move. Can Bethany make peace with her trailer park past---and find love?
     

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katie ganshertKatie 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 watching romantic movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels and coffee. She could talk books all day and is often spotted around town pushing a stroller, walking a dog, and reading—all at the same time.

Favorite Bible verse:  Psalm 32:7 (New Living Translation) - For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. –This verse speaks to something deep in my heart. I love that when the world gets overwhelming and things feel chaotic, we have a hiding place in the Lord. Not only does He protect us, He surrounds us with songs of victory. It’s such a beautiful image.


 

 Our Interview with Katie Ganshert


 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

 

I’ve been a Christian for eleven years, a wife for almost eight, and a mommy for three and a half. I fell in love with writing in third grade when my teacher read my story about Mr. and Mrs. Leaf out loud to the class. But I didn’t write my first novel until I travelled to Nairobi, Kenya seven year ago. I was born and raised in the Midwest, met my hubby in Madison, Wisconsin, taught 5th grade for four years, and am very passionate about chocolate and adoption. In fact, at this very moment, my husband and I are in the process of adopting from the Congo.
 
What is your favorite Bible verse?  (Translation too, please) Why?

 

Psalm 32:7 (New Living Translation) For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. –This verse speaks to something deep in my heart. I love that when the world gets overwhelming and things feel chaotic, we have a hiding place in the Lord. Not only does He protect us, He surrounds us with songs of victory. It’s such a beautiful image.
 
What was your inspiration to write Wildflowers from Winter?

 

The voice of this twelve year old girl came into my head in the wee hours of the night while I was nursing my son. And as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get it out. So I sat down and wrote the prologue. Or actually, the prologue wrote itself. That would be the more accurate statement. Once that was down, I did a lot of brainstorming to find a story to go with it.

 

How much of Wildflowers from Winter comes from personal experience?

 

Thankfully, not much. The main character, Bethany, has a very skewed understanding of God because of her childhood pastor. I’m very blessed to have a great pastor who is nothing at all like Pastor Fenton. The one thing that is a bit biographical is the friendship between Bethany and Robin Price, who is a secondary character in the book. The back story of that friendship is very similar to a friendship I had growing up.


 

How much research did Wildflowers from Winter take?

A lot more than I thought it would. I’m fortunate to have a brother-in-law who lives on a farm, so he and his wife gave me a tour and answered a lot of my questions. There are a couple scenes that required the expertise of an equestrian vet and a person who knows a lot about calving. I also had to do extensive research on grief. Richard Mabry’s The Tender Scar was a huge resource.

Is this a series?

Yes. The second book, Wishing on Willows, comes out in the spring of 2013. It’s the story of Robin Price, a secondary character in Wildflowers. There are a lot of familiar faces and places, which will hopefully be fun for readers. Even though you don’t have to read my debut to follow book 2, I do think it will be more meaningful to those who’ve read Wildflowers.

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Wildflowers from Winter?

The title itself was intriguing to me. When we were trying to come up with a title, it was brought to my attention that the more snow we get in the winter, the more abundant the wildflowers are in the spring. I love how God reveals truth through creation. God is the master at taking what is barren and making it into something beautiful. This is a theme I explore in my novel and it’s a theme I see every day in the world around me.
 
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Fitting everything in! Being a debut novelist is time-consuming. There’s lots to do. And on top of all the marketing and editing and writing tasks, I’m in a busy season in life. Not only do I have a rambunctious three-year old at home, my husband and I are in the process of adopting, which is also time-consuming.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

There’s so much! Telling stories. Discovering new ideas. Getting to know my characters. The satisfaction that comes with adding words to a manuscript. The awe that comes when I experience God’s provision. And then there’s the relational stuff – like all the wonderful people I’ve met on social media networks. Getting to work with such an amazing, supportive staff at Waterbrook Press. There is so much I love about being a writer.

What other new writing projects do you have on the horizon?

Readers can look for Wishing on Willows in the spring of 2013, which continues in Peaks, Iowa and tells Robin’s story. I have ideas for another story that would fit well with this series, if the opportunity presents itself in the future. Other than that, I have a few irons in the fire and a few other manuscripts that are ready to go. Hopefully they will be available to readers some day!

 

What message would you like your readers to take from reading Wildflowers from Winter?
 
I want readers to see that we worship a God who’s in the business of redemption. We worship a God who can take the ugliness in our life, the sadness and the pain and the barren places, and make them into something beautiful. It takes a lot of trust and it might not be an easy journey. But if we surrender to Him, He truly is a God who makes all things new.

What were your favorite books as a child?
 
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I read it in sixth grade and I can still remember lying in bed, but somehow not, because that story transported me to a different world. It was the first time reading felt truly magical. I was also a fan of anything by Shel Silverstein. I can still recite at least ten of his poems from memory.
 
What do you do to get away from it all?

Lose myself in a book. There is nothing better than curling up in bed in my comfy sweats with a cup of hot chocolate and an engrossing story. The more romantic, the better!
 
Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just a giant thank you! To everyone who is making this writing journey such an amazing one. And an extra special thank you to my readers. I would absolutely love to send you a welcome packet (you can sign up on my website) and connect with you, so please don’t hesitate to say hi on Twitter or Facebook or my blog!

 


 
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