Interview with Kathleen E. Stauffer
What genre do you write and why?
After thirty pages into my first book, writer’s block raised its gutsy head, and I somewhat facetiously said a prayer, Dear God, if I am to write a book, I’m going to need some help. “Help” came in interesting and unpredictable ways, and my genre was established: inspiration fiction--with a mix of suspense, psychological intrigue, a little humor, a little romance, and scripture.
Tell us about your latest book.
Do Not Be Deceived is the story of Cassandra Walwyn, a young child, who awakens in the middle of the night to watch her mother and older sister escape in an unfamiliar car. She is left a shattered soul, living with her abusive father in a dilapidated house at the edge of a small town where everyone seems to know everyone’s business. She awaits for their return as days stretch into weeks, then months, then years. Driven by loneliness, she grabs at every lifeline and eventually visits the only two buildings in her rural neighbourhood—the tumbledown shack across the road and a little country church beyond the brambles and bushes. Clinging fiercely to the God she barely knows, she weathers the storms of adolescence and struggles to sort out the good from the bad. As she enters adulthood, she begins to realize that her shame because of abandonment and abuse can be turned into something good for God.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
Marketing and promoting are difficult for most authors, it seems, whether one publishes with a traditional company or publishes independently. I write a bi-weekly blog called Stauffer Thoughts and post it to facebook.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Most writers are pulled to write; it’s like a calling. I would also speculate that most good writers don’t necessarily choose their subject manner. Sometimes, this “message” is more radical than one they would personally choose it to be. Writing requires transparency whether the writer is telling his or her own story, someone else’s story, or making it all up. And even with the “making it all up,” a person needs a starting point, in that, there is always a cross between fiction and what is real.
So my point is, if you’re called to write, write! And, don’t give up when others criticize or question what you’re doing or why you’re doing it. It will take a while, but eventually, you will be comfortable telling people, “I’m a writer.”
What's the best thing about being a writer?
If you have a lap top, you can write; if you have a pencil and paper, you can write. If you’re awake at night, you can run story starters through your head. And, on the really lucky nights when you cannot sleep, the plot you’ve been waiting to evolve, pops into your head. Eureka can happen at any time.
The best think about writing for me is that it fills the empty spaces during my retirement years. Can’t sleep? Write. Don’t want to clean the house? Write. And, also, and more importantly for me, because I write inspiration fiction, it enables me to be a witness for my faith in an Almighty God.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I write a bi-weekly blog (http://tinyurl.com/staufferthoughts) with links to amazon.com and barnes and noble sites where my books will pop up. Tate Publishing is establishing a website for me this month.
Who is you favourite character in your book and why?
Cassandra Walwyn, protagonist in Do Not Be Deceived, is my favorite character because in spite of everything that happened, she refused to give up. What happened to her (abuse and abandonment) didn’t kill her. Nor, did it allow her to be bitter or filled with hatred. Instead, it turned her into someone who rose above it all, someone who chose to forgive and love.
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
I’ve received these comments about my book: “intense,” “I couldn’t put it down,” “it was hard for me to read it,” “…one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.” If a reader likes suspense and psychological intrigue, she will like this book. I’ve also been told, “When I finished it. I started to read it, again.”
Who inspires you?
I read God’s Holy Scripture every morning. I could study His Word for the rest of my life and never get to the bottom of it. Depending on my circumstances, my attitude, and the fact that they vary on a daily basis, God’s Word speaks to me. There are hidden treasures, and if it is in scripture, it has something to say to me.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
My husband and I are fortunate, in that, during retirement we can spend more time with children and grandchildren and are able to travel as we choose. I enjoy the usual routines of a day without having to be rushed—whether it is baking a pie, taking care of outdoor flowers, biking, exercising, or reading a good book.