Just a note before we continue our interview with author Stephanie Guerrero:
Welcome back, Stephanie. If you’re anything like I am, one favorite book is hard to pick! Do you have two or three top picks among the historical genre that you would care to recommend?
#1- Though it’s been out a while, Linda Windsor’s "Fires of Gleanmara Series" is my all-time favorite. There are three books: Maire, Riona, Dierdre. These books are about Ireland dating from about 400A.D to 600A.D. if I’m not mistaken.
If you live close to the place you are writing about, by all means visit it with pad and paper. Take notes about descriptions.
If you are writing about faraway places like I did, make certain you get your info from reliable sources. One of mine was the U.S. Naval logs. Your readers will be looking for accuracy. I had a reader question me about a scene in Shades of the Orient where my character is able to have a warm shower at a Spanish garrison in the jungle in 1898. They didn’t think the technology would be available. I had researched it, and was able to answer them back with details. It always pays to be prepared.
I am an avid reader and a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. To be able to take one passion and combine it with the call on my life to be a light for Jesus makes writing a huge blessing for me. There is definitely some tedium that comes in editing or getting the story started, but the desire to see the finished product and see others enjoy or be ministered to by the story keeps me writing. The sense of accomplishment in putting the words on paper and seeing the characters come to life is another joy for me.
What helps you maintain productivity as a writer, especially with being the homeschooling mother of four? And what do you find most challenging about the business of being an author?
Writing is something I do for myself outside of being a wife and mom. I am so blessed to have a supportive husband the opportunity to teach my children at home. They come first, so some days I grab my writing time in snatches, and other days it just has to take a back seat and I make it up later.
The most challenging thing about the business of being an author is learning to brand and market myself. It takes time, and depending upon the publisher, money to keep a supply of my own books on hand for sales, giveaways, and signings. The key when getting overwhelmed with all the areas I need to learn is simply to take one step at a time and never give up.
Do you feel you are more of a character driven or plot driven writer? How do you think it comes across in your writing?
I love to see characters come alive. That comes relatively easy. Consequently, plot becomes very important to me. I want even my husband and sons to be able to read what I’ve written and enjoy it, so I work very hard to keep an action filled plot. I want my readers to be hooked from the first sentence to the last.
Would you like to share about what you are working on now?
I currently have four projects I’m working on or are on the backburner:
Never give up. A friend of mine published the year we first met at a writing group. I published eight years later because my children were so little that I did not have a lot of time. Sometimes there were months between writing sessions. I had numerous rejections from publishing houses. But… I love to write, and kept coming back to it.
Author Susan May Warren once told me that if God had placed in my heart the desire to write that He didn’t do it to torment me. It was there for a reason. I shouldn’t get discouraged by delays or roadblocks. (By the way, she homeschooled four children. I so appreciated her encouragement to keep going.)
That would be my message to aspiring authors. Put God first, your family next and don’t quit! If it takes one year or twenty… keep going, keep learning, keep connecting with others. Learn to blog, interview and get your name out there one step at a time.
Thank you, Stephanie, for joining us at Novel PASTimes. It has been a privilege to interview you. It has been a blessing for me to have this opportunity. Thank you so much.