Monday, March 3, 2014

Featured Debut Novelist: Stephanie Landsem

Stephanie Landsem writes historical fiction because she loves adventure in far-off times and places.

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When Stephanie can’t travel, she reads. She loves fiction, of course, but she's often found behind a stack of history books or searching the web for historical tidbits.

Stephanie makes her home in Minnesota with her husband of more than 20 years, four children, three fat cats, and a tortoise named Moe. When she's not writing Biblical fiction, she's feeding the ravenous horde of kids and their friends, volunteering at church and school, battling dandelions, and dreaming about her next adventure – whether it be in person or on the page.


The following is a February 2014 interview with Stephanie.

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
AT THE END OF THE INTERVIEW


Be in to win a copy of
The Thief
by Stephanie Landsem


One copy to be won

Contest open to entrants worldwide.

Contest runs from 28 February - 15 March NZDT


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Tell us a little about yourself. 

I’m a mom of four kids, ages 12 to 20. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, feeding my kids and their friends, traveling, or avoiding housework. I’m very good at avoiding housework.


What inspired you to become a novelist, and did you always want to write? 
I’ve always thought that writing books would be amazing, but never thought I could do it. My oldest daughter inspired me to give it a try one day after we talked about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I told her I’d love to write historical fiction, but didn’t know how. She said, “Figure it out, Mom.” So I did.


What do you think is significant about Christian fiction? 

Any good fiction is an emotional experience. Christian fiction takes that same experience and uses it to bring us closer to God. I think good Christian fiction doesn’t preach, but encourages the reader to think more deeply about their faith life.


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

I want readers to feel completely immersed in the time and place of my novels. My favorite reaction is when a reader says to me, “I felt like I was right there!”

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What has been the most surprising aspect to becoming a published novelist?
It’s hard work! Plotting, writing, editing, and marketing can be exhausting, but it’s so worth it and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.


How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

I’ve been working hard at giving over all my anxiety and worries to Him. He’s got this. I just have to remember that and ask for what I need each day. I’ll get it—and sometimes more than I ever expected.


Other than being a novelist, what other goals do you have for your life?

To see my kids find out what God has planned for them. I know it’s something big.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

I tend to be pretty sedentary. I love to read, watch movies with my kids, and take naps with my cats. I can also sometimes drum up the energy to cook, take walks, and garden during our short Minnesota summers.

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What can you tell us about your debut novel? 

The Well, the first book in the Living Water series, is about a desperate Samaritan girl named Mara. Shunned for the many sins of her mother, Nava, Mara struggles to save her family from starvation and exile.

Mara’s life is 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 teaching comes 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.


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

The next book in the Living Water series, The Thief, is set in Jerusalem and is about Nissa, the sister of the man born blind, and a Roman centurion named Longinus that we met in The Well. Finally, The Tomb will release next year and is a surprising story of Martha, Mary and Lazarus.


What would you like to say to your upcoming fans in New Zealand and around the world?

I love to hear from you! Nothing makes my day like hearing that someone is reading or enjoyed one of my books. And, being an avid traveler, I love it the most when I hear from fans halfway around the world.


Do you have any parting words?

Thank you for inviting me to your blog and into your lives for a short time. May your day be filled with blessings!


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The Well

Could he be the One we’ve been waiting for?

For the women of the Samaritan village of Sychar, the well is a place of blessing—the place where they gather to draw their water and share their lives—but not for Mara. Shunned for the many sins of her mother, Nava, 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.


Purchase The Well
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]


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The Thief

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Nissa is a Jewish woman with a sharp tongue and no hope of marriage. Abandoned by the God she once loved, her only recourse is to depend upon Mouse, the best thief in Jerusalem, to keep her blind brother, Cedron, fed and the landlord satisfied.

Longinus is a Roman centurion haunted by death and failure and is desperate to escape the accursed Judean province. Accepting a wager that will get him away from the aggravating Jews and their threats of revolt, he sets out to catch the thieves harassing the marketplace.

When a controversial teacher miraculously heals Cedron, Nissa hopes for freedom from her life of lies. But the supposed miracle brings only more misfortune, and Longinus, seeking to learn more about the mysterious healer, finds himself drawn instead to Nissa, whose secret will determine the course of both their futures.

Cedron, Longinus, and Nissa are unexpectedly caught up in the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus. As danger closes in on them from every side, they must decide if the love and redemption Jesus offers is true or just another false promise. How can the so-called Messiah save them from their shackles, when he cannot even save himself?



Purchase The Thief
[Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle | 
The Book Depository]



Buy Stephanie'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
The Thief
by Stephanie Landsem


One copy to be won
Contest open to entrants worldwide.
Contest runs from 

28 February - 15 March NZDT


Please comment about the interview, or leave a message for Stephanie Landsem 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. Winning entries drawn will have their entry options validated before being accepted - if incomplete another entry will be drawn.


Previous Featured Author Interviews


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