I’m excited to introduce my new friend, Stephanie Landsem. Her journey is an encouragement to all of us aspiring authors.
What are some memories you have of that area? Gray skies, lots of green grass, and always wishing for snow.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be an explorer or a jockey (the kind that rides horses in the Kentucky Derby.)
What do you love about living in Minnesota? What are you not particularly fond of living here? I moved to Minnesota to go to college and never left. My family now lives in the Lake Elmo area. I love the hot summers, the blue sky, and the snow. Also, the friendly people. Not too fond of mosquitoes and ticks.
Tell us about your writing journey. I started writing about 6 years ago, finaled in the ACFW Genesis contest 3 years ago, signed with an agent and got a publishing contract 2 years ago. I’ll see the publication of my debut novel, The Well, on June 4th. It’s been a roller coaster!
What an amazing ride. Congratulations! What’s a lesson you’ve learned during that journey? I’ve learned that a book doesn’t get to publication on the efforts of just one person. Family support, good critiquers, a great agent, and a fantastic editor and publisher are absolutely essential before you see your book in print.
Tell us about your book that’s about to be released. The Well is the first in a three book series of Biblical fiction called The Living Water Series. It’s about a girl named Mara who lives in the Samaritan town of Sychar with her disgraced mother (Nava) and crippled little brother. Because of her mother’s many sins, Mara struggles against the constant threats of starvation or exile.
Mara and Nava’s lives are forever changed with the arrival of two men: Shem, a mysterious young man from Caesarea, and Jesus, a Jewish teacher. Nava is transformed by Jesus, but his teachings come too late and she is stoned by the unforgiving villagers. Desperate to save her dying mother, Mara and Shem embark on a journey to seek Jesus’ help—a journey that brings unexpected love and unimaginable heartbreak.
Sounds like a fabulous story, Stephanie.And I love the giveaway you’re having on your website to celebrate the book’s release. Can you share the details?
The Well will release on June 4th and I’m giving away some goodies on my website:
1 First prize: a signed copy of The Well and a basket of gourmet Middle Eastern delights (basket includes pita chips, pistachios, Turkish Delight, chocolate covered figs, olive spread, hibiscus tea, anise tea, and assorted Middle Eastern candies)
2 Second prizes: A signed copy of The Well and chocolate covered figs.
Enter in as many of the following ways as you wish, just make sure to do it before midnight on June 4th!
What are your future plans and goals around writing? Right now, I’d like to keep my head above water! With The Well releasing, The Thief on my editor’s desk, and the third book in the series (tentatively titled The Tomb) due in less than 9 months, I’m pretty overwhelmed.
I’ll bet you are. Thanks for taking time out of that crazy schedule to be here. So when you can finally breathe again, what’s something you’d like to experience in Minnesota that you haven’t yet? I’ve never been to the Boundary Waters. I love camping and canoeing, but my husband and children aren’t very keen on it. I have to admit, what I’ve heard of the mosquitoes up there does scare me a little.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? I like scary movies. Zombie movies, in particular. They give me awful nightmares, but I watch them anyway.
Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie. And congratulations on the release of your debut novel! If you’d like to continue the conversation with Stephanie (or share zombie stories), you can reach her through any of the sites below.
Be sure to stop by her website TODAY (the contest closes tomorrow) for a chance to win that fabulous gift basket and an autographed copy of The Well.