Welcome! Today I introduce to my readers author Katie Ganshert! I have had the pleasure of meeting Katie through her blog where you can learn more about her, read some of her writing tips, and join her book club. I look forward to reading her book:
Tell me a little about yourself:
Why do you write?
Because I love the process of creating. I love what it teaches me about myself and God and life and humanity. It draws me to my knees more than anything else I’ve ever done. Plus, it’s just plain old fun!
Will you return to teaching someday?
That is a great question. I don’t know. I’m not sure yet if I miss the classroom enough to return. Perhaps as a sub. That way I wouldn’t have to make a year-long commitment and I would still get my teaching fix. I would absolutely love to teach creative writing.
What projects are you working on now?
Right now I am editing my sixth novel, which is yet to be titled. This story has given me more trouble than the previous five combined. But it’s been worth it (I think).
The premise goes something like this: A fiery train crash claims the lives of thirty people. Only one person survives, and she’s completely unharmed. Will her obsession with the dead teach her what it means to truly live?
That doesn’t sound like a romance, does it? I promise, it is. I’m also preparing to dive into content edits for my second contracted novel, Wishing on Willows.
So, what is your writing process? Do you brainstorm? Outline? Or “wing it”?
Winging it gives me major ulcers. I don’t know how those pantsers do it. I have nothing but admiration for them. Because I am a psychotic plotter. I usually start with an idea. Turn it into a back cover copy. Turn that into a synopsis. Then turn that into a scene-by-scene spread, complete with every scenes GMC (goal, motivation, conflict). Only then do I start the actual writing.
Why the romance genre?
Oh, for so many reasons! Because it makes me all swoony. I love falling in love with love. I love watching two people fall for each other. And ultimately, I love pointing to the ultimate romance – which is Christ’s sacrificial love for His broken, beloved bride. I pray that my stories can point to that truth, however subtly.
How have you taken advantage of social media to build a platform?
I’m a big fan of Twitter and Facebook. I don’t know how well I’m using them. I don’t feel like I have intentional plans. I just like meeting new people and chit-chatting online. It’s fun (and highly addicting). I also enjoy blogging. While I may not be intentional on FB and Twitter, I try to be with my blogging. I blog about topics my target audience would enjoy – which is faith and romance. Plus writing. Because that’s my passion. So on Mondays, I post about my journey as a debut novelist. On Wednesdays, I post reflections on faith. And on Fridays, I try to start conversations about romance. I’ve met a lot of great people through blogging. Like you!
What advice can you give those who are just starting out in the writing business?
First, persevere. That’s the hugest factor when it comes to making it in this business. Rejection is a part of the game. Waiting is a part of the game. I don’t know of any published author who didn’t have to endure both, multiple times. My agent, Rachelle Gardner, blogged recently about brick walls. Anytime we hit a brick wall, we have to ask ourselves how badly we want it. So my advice is to get back up, scale those walls. As many times as it takes. It will only make you grow.
Second, keep writing. Don’t get stuck on your first novel. Write it. Edit it. Send it out on submission. Then get to work on your second.
Which authors have inspired you the most on this journey and why?
Too many to count! I have met so many wonderful, supportive, inspiring writers as I travel this journey. But if I could only pick one, I’d probably have to say historical romance author, Erica Vetsch. Before I had a contract, before I had an agent, before I had a clue, she took me under her wing. With nothing to gain. She saw something in my writing and she offered to mentor me. Then she kindly tore apart my third novel and helped me put it back together again. It’s the same novel that caught my agent’s eye and landed me a book deal. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if Erica hadn’t helped me along.
Why is it important for you to add the Christian worldview into your stories?
I’ve tried writing books without a spiritual arc, but I just can’t seem to do it. Just like I’ve tried writing books without romance. It’s what I gravitate toward. It comes naturally to me. I guess it’s important to me because story is a powerful, powerful medium through which to speak truth. Maybe that’s why Jesus did most of his teaching in parables.
What Bible verse do you rely on the most in good or bad times?
Is it okay if I write three?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. –Proverbs 3:5-6
Be still and know that I am God. –Psalm 46:10
What has the Lord shown you throughout this writing journey that could inspire my readers to keep moving forward?
Publication isn’t the point. Drawing nearer to Him is. And if writing stories and seeking out ways to share those stories draws you into the lap of God, then you are right where you need to be. True joy didn’t cone when I got the book deal. It came when I was waiting, waiting, waiting for the book deal. Because during that time of not-knowing, I spent so much time on my knees, surrendering my dreams to Him. And through that process, God showed me that He is my reward. He is the ultimate prize. Not an agent. Not a book deal. But Him. So if you love telling stories, keep telling them. Keep writing. Don’t let rejections stop you. Let them draw you nearer to God. And trust that He is in control. That He’s given you these stories for a purpose. Whether that purpose is to touch one heart, or a million, doesn’t matter. What matters is your obedience and your trust.
Thank you so much, Katie, for joining me today on my blog! I wish you and your family nothing but the best!