Welcome to the blog, Stephenia. I’m so excited to have you here today. Congratulations on your recent release, In His Eyes. I can’t wait to read it.
Thank you very much. I’m happy to be here!
What part of this story did you enjoy researching the most?
I love history, so I always enjoy digging around for interesting facts about the time period. For this book, we also had the model’s costume custom made, so I had to research into the clothing of the era to make sure it was period appropriate. The lady that made the dress specializes in the Civil War era, and she did a fabulous job. I know how hot it is down here in Mississippi, so it amazes me how they could wear eight layers like that!
That’s so neat! It’s a beautiful dress!
Do you have a favorite character from In His Eyes?
Ella has been one of my favorite characters to write. She deals with a lot of hardships, but manages to keep a quiet strength and determination. Ella is fiercely protective of the baby she rescues, and that’s something I love about her. My husband calls me “Momma Bear” because I am the same way about my little boys. Ella has a big heart, even if she sometimes struggles with controlling her tongue.
When did you first know you wanted to write historical fiction?
My first book was a contemporary suspense (no longer in print), and then after that I wrote a contemporary with a strong historical thread in it (Heir of Hope). It was while researching that portion of the book that I discovered how much I really loved writing in the 1800s. I enjoyed it so much that the historical portion of Heir of Hope could not be contained within one book, and so The Whistle Walk was born. Since then, I feel like I’ve found my niche.
Have you visited any of the historical sites from your book? If not, what places are at the top of your list to visit someday?
I visited Belmont Plantation prior to writing the book. That gave me the opportunity to walk around and really “feel” the house, and know what it would be like for my characters to live there. I did the same thing with Rosswood Plantation for The Liberator Series. I really enjoy going to real plantation homes and learning about the history and stories associated with each one. I think it gives more authenticity to the story, and my readers get the chance to walk around in the houses from my books. I think that’s pretty neat.
The Belmont is definitely on my list to visit someday! 🙂
Can you share with us a piece of writing advice that has made a difference in your career?
Learn all you can. Go to writer’s conferences, take classes, talk to authors, and read a lot. All of those things will sharpen your skills. Most importantly, never forget that as Christian writers, we have the joy of writing with God. Praying over the themes He wants in my books and going deep with Him (Ella isn’t the only one who had to learn some things during the writing of In His Eyes!) not only causes me to grow as a writer and a person, but it’s my hope that He uses my work to draw others to Him as well.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I’m currently working on a time travel novella that will tie back to The Liberator Series and researching my next full length book, which will be the third Ironwood novel.
Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Stephenia. I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing your book soon. 😉
Stephenia has graciously offered to give away an eBook copy of In His Eyes. Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest ends June 27, 2017. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!