Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Interview and Giveaway with Erin Stevenson!!


Today we welcome Erin Stevenson to The Diamond Mine!! She will give one lucky winner a copy of her new book,  Sisters Ever After. It's Book One in the Canadian Meadows series! Just leave a comment by clicking the comment link at the end of the interview and include your email address so we can notify you if you're the winner!

Here's a little taste of Sisters Ever After:

Gianna Harper is living on borrowed time. Newly widowed, she’s struggling to hold things together at home and keep her business afloat while dealing with her late husband’s effects. But something’s not right and now Gianna is convinced that he was involved in something a lot more sinister than shady business dealings.

 Brock Hennessey fled California to make a fresh start in northwestern Montana. He hopes he’s put enough miles between him and danger, banking on a promised job to give his family a new start in a safe place.  

 Circumstances pit Gianna and Brock against one another, and neither one is willing to give an inch. As their professional dealings grow more acrimonious, their daughters become best friends and suddenly, the four of them are thrown into situations that have them acting, looking, and sounding like a real family.

Set against the stunning backdrop of northwestern Montana, Sisters Ever After is the first book in the Canadian Meadows series.

Sounds like an awesome read!! Hello Erin, and let's start the interview!!

When did you decide to be a writer?

I have an academic background and have penned a thesis, a dissertation, and published several articles. I turned my energies to fiction in 2014.

How interesting!
How do you get the ideas for your books?

Some of them come from real life! I always keep my eyes open for ideas. A few months ago after it had snowed about a foot, I was driving on a country road and pulled over to take a picture of the beautiful winter sunset. However, I didn’t realize that the “shoulder” was really a snowbank, and I was thoroughly stuck. While I waited for my son to come and rescue me, I wrote a scene in my head about a sweet young thing who gets stuck in a snowbank and gets rescued by a strong, handsome hero. But wait—maybe he gets stuck and she rescues him! I was also visiting relatives in south Texas in February when they lost power and water for four days. That was an adventure! I’ve already had several people ask if I’m going to work that into a book someday, and the answer is, “probably.” 😊

Oh, the mind of a writer! We see stories everywhere!

How long do you typically work on a book?

I have written a 43,000-word manuscript in 30 days, a 77,000-word manuscript in sixty days, and still have some that I started five or six years ago that are in various stages of completion. I’m usually working on at least two books at any given time.

You are so productive. And imaginative, too. Are any of the characters based on a real person?

Not completely, but yes, pieces of real people.

 Do any of the characters share traits with you?

I don’t think so, but a family member told me she thought the female lead in my first published book, Plan B, was based on me. I still don’t see it!

I always wonder if people I know will actually spot the traits I've borrowed from them!So, which character did you most enjoy writing?

That’s so hard to answer. It’s always the ones of whatever I’m currently working on, because I get as deep into their heads as I can. I really loved Morgan and Brandon from Home to You, and Ben and Vanessa from the book I just finished. I think it’s because they had more to overcome to find their happy ending.

Do you write from an outline, or wing it as you go?

I am a 100% wing-it gal! I tried to do an outline once and it was torture, LOL.

Me, too! What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?

How much time do you have? It completely feeds my soul. I love when the characters hijack the plot and take things in a different direction than I had planned—and it’s always better! I also enjoy setting books in diverse places and have had the opportunity to visit some of them for “research.”

I do so enjoy research! Is there any underlying theme in your books that you want the reader to take away?

Sometimes. In my St. Clair Family series, that wasn’t the case. I just wanted them to be clean, wholesome enjoyable reads. The main characters were believers, but there was no overt spiritual theme. For the Canadian Meadows series, I wanted a theme for each book, and prayed for God to help me define that. For Sisters, it’s learning to trust God’s timing. In my current work, Our Place of Forgiveness, well, that’s pretty obvious. That’s been quite a journey for me. Book three of the series is kind of a modern-day prodigal son story.

Sounds great! What are you working on now?

I just sent off the first completed draft of the second book in the Canadian Meadows series to my beta readers, titled Our Place of Forgiveness. It features two minor characters from Sisters Ever After, Ben and Vanessa. They and most of the characters from Sisters will continue into the third book—which is well underway, scheduled to release in early fall, 2021. I’m also finishing a fun little Christmas book set in Boston that I hope will come out later this year. And I have lots of ideas simmering…I literally have a file on my computer called “back burner ideas” and it’s chock-full!

Thanks for the interview, Erin!! It was a real pleasure to get to know you and your book! Okay, readers, here's a little more info about Erin:

Erin has been writing fiction since 2014. She has published independently and with Pelican Book Group and Winged Publications and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Writing is like breathing to Erin. Stories are running through her mind during most of her waking hours, and by the time she sits down at the computer, the words flow and time ceases to exist. 

Erin was raised in Illinois and has lived in many places in the U.S., including on both coasts, but is a Midwest girl at heart. She spent many years as an educator from pre-school through college levels, and currently works in training and internal communications for a global corporation.

When she’s not writing, Erin loves spending time with her children and grandchildren, and playing in the garden (which equates to mostly pulling weeds) at her central Iowa home. Her secret indulgence is plain M&Ms. 

To see Erin's books and purchase them:



Barbara Britton said...

Congratulations on your new release, Erin.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Wonderful interview, Ladies.
Wow, Erin, you ARE prolific! I'm hoping after I retire and wrap up my dad's estate I can work on more than one book at a time.

Your story sounds fabulous. Good luck and God's blessings with it.

Carol James said...

Great interview, Erin. I’m pretty much a pantser, too.