Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Warm Welcome to Stephanie Landsem!

Is there a story behind your book The Well?
I knew I wanted to write historical fiction, but I’d never considered Biblical. Then, one Sunday I heard the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. I’d heard it many times before, but this time I couldn’t help but wonder about the rest of her story. What was it like to encounter Jesus, the Incarnation? What happened after she did and how did the people around her react? When I started filling in the details, there was the story I wanted to write.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
My kids. Motherhood is my vocation and my first priority, so it’s hard for me to know when it’s OK to shut my door and write. Now that it’s summer, that is even more difficult. Most days, I get up around 6:00 and tell them not to disturb me before 11 unless someone is bleeding. Sometimes, it works.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
I loved Shem. Without giving away a spoiler, I’ll say that Shem started out as one character, but as I got to know him and researched more about Samaritans, he turned into a completely different man. You’ll know what I mean when you read the book!

If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why? I absolutely love the Italian painter, Caravaggio (you might guess that from my
Pinterest boards). His Biblical pieces show an amazing grasp of dark and light. His work is realistic but always hopeful, just as I like to be in my writing.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Any type of housework that doesn’t last: dishes, laundry, dusting. You do it, and as soon as you turn around, it needs to be done again. I don’t mind bigger projects that give you a sense of accomplishment. I especially love cleaning out drawers and closets and hauling a truckload of ‘superfluous’ stuff to the nearest Goodwill.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
I love travel and now that my kids are older we try to plan some fun vacations. Last year, we went to Germany which is one of my favorite countries. Not only do I speak the language (kind of) but Germany has it all: castles, churches, ancient Roman ruins, beautiful modern cities, and plenty of pristine forests and mountains. The kids and my husband loved it and I’d go back there in a heartbeat.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends? (and feel free to share a recipe with us!)
I do love cooking for family and friends. My favorite meal would be a summer evening on the deck with my husband, the kids, and a few close friends. We’d have grilled lamb with herbs, asparagus, a tasty summer salad with plenty of black olives and feta cheese, some good bread, and a glass of wine. Of course, the kids would do the dishes without complaint and there would be no mosquitoes!

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
I’m a very distracted person. In fact, you could call me Martha. Four kids, a husband, housework, yardwork — the list is endless and it is hard for me to really pray when I’m surrounded by so much to do. But my church has a beautiful small chapel that’s always open and always silent, with beautiful stained glass windows. When I go there, I feel like I can leave everything else behind and just be with Jesus, no distractions. Sometimes I pray for family and friends, many times I just sit and breathe. I try to go every day and I really miss it when I can’t be there.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book, The Thief, just went to my editor at Howard Books and is scheduled to release in Spring, 2014. Set in Jerusalem, The Thief is about a Roman centurion looking for peace and a Jewish woman hiding a terrible secret. When a miracle at the Pool of Siloam brings them together, her secret will keep them apart and ultimately lead them both to the foot of a cross on Calvary.

 

Back Cover Blurb
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 to 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.



 
 
To buy her book, go here:
Barnes and Noble
Amazon
Simonandschuster
BooksaMillion
Christianbook.com



About Stephanie:
Stephanie Landsem writes historical fiction because she loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she’s explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats. When she’s not writing, she’s feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page.


To connect with Stephanie, go here:
stephanielandsem.com
https://www.facebook.com/stephanielandsem
https://twitter.com/#!/stephlandsem
http://pinterest.com/slandsem/


Stephanie is giving away a copy of The Well. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown

12 comments:

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful novel.

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Patsy said...

I love Biblical fiction. Looking forward to reading this book.
plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Patricia Bradley said...

Love the theme for this story. Your chapel sounds special. We have a prayer room at my church and when I step into it, surrounded by a Menorah and shofar and tallit, and the Holy Bible, I experience such peace.
pat at ptbradley dot com

Amy C said...

Love the interview!
Thanks!

apple blossom said...

nice interview thanks for chance to win

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Judy said...

Wow, the excerpt from The Well sounds so good. I need to put this book on my list of books to read.

Blessings!
Judy B
judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

Library Lady said...

I would love to win this book to give to my church library.
Thanks!
Janet E.
von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

KayM said...

Your church's chapel sounds like a wonderful place to reconnect with God and get things in perspective.
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

Stephanie Landsem said...

Thanks for having me at the Barn Door Book Loft and good luck to all of you in the contest.

squiresj said...

Would love to win, read your book, review it and pass it on.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

beckie said...

This book sounds so interesting. And I love the cover.
rebeccalyn73@hotmail.com

Joy Hannabass said...

I would love to read The Well....it sounds awesome!
Thanks ladies!
Blessings...Joy
ibjoy1953[at]yahoo.com

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