Book Giveaway:Stephanie is offering one copy of her novel THE THIEF to one randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, August 1st, between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks!
Here's a glimpse from THE THIEF: excerpt
Questions for Stephanie:
Tell us about your mindset as a contemporary author writing historical fiction. Do you go about your day, interacting with family and friends, running errands, preparing meals or snarling at the laundry mountain, in a constant how-would-they-have-done-it centuries ago?
I love this question because I’ve always done that. Even when I was a kid I was fascinated by how every day tasks were done centuries ago— and became even more so as I had children of my own. I remember one beautiful summer day when I had three little ones and was pregnant with my fourth. I threw in a load of clothes, put some dinner in the crockpot and turned on the dishwasher, then took them all out for a day at the park with friends. I remember thinking, “Wow. That never could have happened even 100 years ago.” On the other hand, I sometimes envy my historical characters for their slower-paced lives that seem more family oriented than what we have today.
Now a multi-published author of historical fiction set in Biblical times (with THE TOMB releasing in early 2015), how do you see your reading audience and their reading desires and interests?
I see my readers as my biggest inspiration. Their encouragement and comments on my books are what keeps me going. From what I’ve heard from them, I believe my readers want two things: a good story and to deepen their faith. First, readers love to be transported into the fictional world and imagine that they are ‘right there’ in the story. Second, they want to have new insight into their faith. I often hear that my stories inspire readers to go back to the Bible and read it with fresh eyes and new understanding. My hope with each book is to deliver both.
In hindsight, what would you advise the debut author Stephanie Landsem? And projecting ahead with what you’ve learned so far on this published author’s journey, what type of things are you on the lookout to avoid in the future?
I’d tell debut author Stephanie to take a deep breath and keep her eyes on the horizon. It’s so easy to see the mountain of tasks for each day—word count, editing, marketing—and forget to raise my eyes up and remember why I’m writing books. I want to always remember how truly blessed I am to share these stories with my readers.
Has researching your novels taught you any fascinating wonders you’d like to share?
Yes! More than I can write about here. As probably any historical novelist would tell you, the amount of research we do to make our stories accurate is far more than you ever see in our books. There is so much left in my head that when I have time, I blog about my historical research on my website in case any readers want to learn about the cool things I find that didn’t make it into the story.
Other than Jesus Himself, if you could step back into the time of your novels to interview one person for research for a novel, whom would you choose? What top 3 questions might you ask?
That is a hard question! I just finished edits on my third novel in the series, The Tomb, so I would have to say that the one person I’d most like to interview would be Lazarus. I’d love to ask him what it was like to die and how did he feel physically when he came back to life in the tomb. And then I’d like to know what he was thinking when he walked out of that tomb and saw Jesus and his sisters.
Do you have a reoccurring author’s theme in your novels?
The underlying theme of all the novels in The Living Water series is this: What does it mean to encounter Jesus, the Incarnation of God? Whether my characters are a poor Samaritan, a desperate thief, a Roman centurion, or lifelong friends of Jesus like Martha and Lazarus, each of them faces this fundamental question. In the end, I think it’s the ultimate question that we all must ask ourselves.
For fun: if you were gifted 3 weeks to reread 3 novels, which preteen novels would you gladly pick up again?
You really do ask some brutal questions, Elaine! Hmm. I’d go with the classics that bring back great memories of reading away the summer hours when I was a kid:
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott (my favorite by Louisa)
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (I know it isn’t a single novel but I’m a fast reader)
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley (I love horses and was sure I was going to be a jockey when I grew up)
Thanks for having me Elaine, it is always truly a pleasure to chat with you.
To view Stephanie's previous guest appearance on Everyone's Story, please see Illuminating History Through Fiction
Stephanie's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Get into the mindset of Biblical fiction characters with author Stephanie Landsem. (Tweet This)
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Stephanie Landsem writes historical fiction because she loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she’s explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats. When she’s not writing, she’s feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page.
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