Monday, September 30, 2013

Featured Author Interview: Anne Mateer

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Anne Mateer is a three-time Genesis Contest finalist who has long had a passion for history and historical fiction. 

While she has been writing for what feels like her whole life, she began seriously studying the craft in 2000. Since then she has completed five novels, had several pieces published in local periodicals, attended six writing conferences and managed to final in ACFW's Genesis contest in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Her first historical novel, Wings of a Dream, released in September 2011.

Anne Mateer lives in Texas with her equally history-obsessed husband. They are the parents of three young adults,  who have spent many a family vacation touring historical sites.

The following is a September 2013 interview with Anne.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY 
AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW


Be in to win a copy of 
A Home for My Heart 
by Anne Mateer

One copy to be won

Contest open to entrants in the USA and Canada only.

Contest runs from 27 September - 10 October NZDT


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Tell us a little about yourself.               

            I am a Texas girl, through and through. I grew up in Ft. Worth and have lived in the Dallas area since I married 26 years ago. My husband and I have three young adult children who are currently in college in three different states!


How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?
            I have wanted to be a writer since elementary school and an author of historical fiction since middle school! Of course it wasn’t until my 40s that the dream became reality. However, I’d been preparing for that in all the years between. I majored in history with the goal of being a novelist. After a few years “off” while I had my babies, I returned to writing in 2000, taking classes, learning the craft and practicing on several novels of various genres. I entered contests, as well as saw a few short non-fiction pieces published. In 2009 I submitted the beginning of a historical novel to the ACFW Genesis contest, reached the final round, and received a request for the full manuscript from Bethany House. After almost a year of revisions, they offered me a contract and the crazy life of publication began.


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What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

            For me, story is a powerful teacher. I love that Christian fiction uses story to show us a picture of living Biblical truths rather than just telling us how to live. In fact, several novels have been instrumental in fostering my own spiritual growth.


How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write?

            I want my stories to cause readers to think, to examine their own motivations and attitudes and relationship with God. That is what good fiction does for me, so I hope my books can do that for others. I think that seeing issues in a character’s life can be quite revealing of our own hearts if we read with an openness to hear the Holy Spirit.


What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why?
            When a reader writes to tell me that the message of a book was exactly what she needed to hear at that moment in her life, it humbles me like nothing else. To know that God has used the words I labored over to spark change in another person is, to me, the whole reason I write.


How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

            I often tell people that my writing journey has been less about my writing and more about my faith. I can truly say that all the ups and downs and difficulties and joys in writing and seeking publication as well as in the fickle business of publication itself have driven me closer to the Lord and forced me to examine the depth of my faith in Him. I have come to know even more intimately His love for me and His desire to see me change to become a reflection of His character. I wouldn’t be the person I am today and my relationship with the Lord wouldn’t be what it is had I not persevered with the writing as well as used it to process all that the Lord whispers to my heart.


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Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life? 
            As a brand new empty nester, this is something that is changing for me. My goals before (besides writing) focused on mothering my children well, something that didn’t come naturally or easily to me. Now that my days don’t center around my children anymore, the Lord and I are having conversations about what, besides writing, will fill my days. I want to be available for whatever God wants, so I guess I’d say my goal is to live a life completely surrendered to His will.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

            Read! And watch movies. Or historical documentaries. Or travel to historic locations. I’m so grateful that my husband enjoys all those things, too!


What can you tell us about your latest novels?             

            My current release, A Home for My Heart, is the story of a young woman who is given the opportunity to run a 1910 orphanage in central Pennsylvania. Just as she accepts the position, she receives a proposal from her long time beau. But the matron of the orphanage cannot be married. Sadie's heart is torn. Should she give up her plans for a life with Blaine in order to continue serving these children who have no one else? Does she, a young woman who was once an orphan herself, have what it takes to succeed in such a challenging career? And when the future of the Home begins to look bleak, can Sadie turn things around before the place is forced to close forever?


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A Home for My Heart

A sweet story of hope and love set against the poignant backdrop of a 1910 orphanage
Sadie Sillsby works as the assistant to the matron at the Raystown Home for Orphan and Friendless Children, pouring all her energy into caring for the boys and girls who live there and dreaming of the day she'll marry her beau, Blaine, and have children of her own. 


But when the matron surprises everyone by announcing her own engagement, Sadie is suddenly next in line for the esteemed job of running the orphanage. There's one glitch. The matron cannot be married. She must focus her attention on the financial, legal, and logistical matters of the Home. 


Sadie's heart is torn. Should she give up her plans for a life with Blaine in order to continue serving these children who have no one else? Does she, a young woman who was once an orphan herself, have what it takes to succeed in such a challenging career? And when the future of the Home begins to look bleak, can Sadie turn things around before the place is forced to close forever?

"Full of characters who will touch your heart." --RT Book Reviews


Wings of a Dream
[Purchase:  Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | The Book Depository]



At Every Turn
[Purchase:  Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle The Book Depository]



A Home for My Heart
[Purchase:  Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | The Book Depository]

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What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead?

            My next release, set for fall of 2014, involves a reluctant high school girls basket ball coach--in 1917! Lula Bowman sets aside her own plans of a master’s degree in mathematics to care for her sister’s family. But doing so means taking the only job available--teaching music and coaching girls basket ball, two things she deems incongruous with her academic desires. But love for her sister wins out and she determines to do her best and stick out the school year, never imagining that a bigger obstacle to her plans is about to invade her heart.


What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

            I appreciate you! As a reader first and a writer second, I feel such a kinship with those who read not only my books but any books! Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep leaning on Jesus.


Do you have any parting words?

            Thank you for taking the time to read a bit more about me. If you’d like to connect further, you can follow my blog or find social media links at www.annemateer.com


Buy Anne's Books at The Book Depository

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Be in to win a copy of 
A Home for My Heart 
by Anne Mateer


One copy to be won

Contest open to entrants 
in the USA and Canada only.

Contest runs from 27 September - 10 October NZDT

Please comment about the interview or leave a message for Anne when making a blog post comment - simply commenting about entering the draw or wanting to win the books does not qualify for valid entry into the draw. All entries must be made using the Rafflecopter contest to be eligible for drawing.


Read Previous Featured Author Interviews


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