Author Spotlight with Janet Grunst

Happy Saturday everyone. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Today I am featuring an Author Spotlight on Historical Romance author Janet Grunst. Check out her story below. Hope you enjoy.


Janet Grunst

Janet GrunstI live in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) so you might think that is what sparked my interest in reading and writing historical fiction. Reading historical fiction began as a child, but the motivation to write it didn’t come until much later and getting published was a thirty-one-year endeavor which makes me a poster child for perseverance.

In the 80’s I was a stay-at-home mom in northern Virginia, with columns in two local papers. It was fun but I began to think there was something more I should be doing with my writing efforts. A story kept forming in my mind, so I explored writing fiction. With two little boys at home and no knowledge of what writing for the fiction market entailed, my work was cut out for me. I asked God if He would give me two or three hours a day to write if I would faithfully put it aside to care for my family? Sensing His confirmation, I began researching and studying the craft of writing fiction.

The story germinating in my mind was set in the 18th century required extensive research. This was pre-internet days, so it meant visiting libraries. The more I researched, the more subplots developed. At times it was a challenge to quit studying and get down to writing. I asked for God’s direction and He faithfully furnished it and I kept my pledge to leave my writing den and care for my little ones. A girlfriend and my husband read each chapter after it was completed and their encouragement kept me on task to complete more chapters. When it was complete they encouraged me to seek publication.

Researching publishing companies, writing and submitting queries, synopsis’s, and proposals required a different skillset. Many submissions and rejections followed but I continued to send it out. Trilogies were popular in the early 90’s so in the fall of 1992 I started writing the sequel.

But in 1993, my husband left, requiring me to return to full-time employment to raise my sons. My writing was put aside for many years. I eventually remarried, retired, and relocated to Williamsburg, VA. My new husband encouraged me to keep writing and to again pursue publication.

The Christian publishing world had changed dramatically by 2010. I needed an agent and a social media platform, so I joined the American Christian Fiction Writers, attended conferences, became a contributor to Colonial Quills, got on Facebook and created a website. I still had a lot to learn about writing fiction so the editing continued.

The publishing world was evolving. Ebooks had gained in popularity and bookstores were closing. Publishers were also undergoing changes including closing fiction lines. It was getting harder for unpublished writers to get contracts. 

My agent submitted the manuscript to publishers but to no avail. I was discouraged. She mentioned Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC) was taking a chance on unpublished writers and enjoying some success.

In December of 2015, thirty years after writing that story, I received a contract for A Heart Set Free. It received the Selah Award for Historical Romance in 2017. The sequel, A Heart For Freedom, was published in 2018 and received the 2019 Christian Indie Award for Historical Fiction. I’ve just signed a contract for the third and final story in the series. I’m also thrilled to be part of an LPC novella collection called The Highlanders which will be released in early November.

I learned a lot about myself through this long journey to publication and despite discouragement, grateful I didn’t give up. Do you have a pursuit you long to accomplish? Take heart, our timing is often different than God’s timing. Keep pursuing your goal and see where it takes you.

Connect with Janet!

Website | FB | Twitter | Pinterest | Colonial Quills | Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub


Janet’s Books

A HEART SET FREE

A HEART FOR FREEDOM

THE HIGHLANDERS

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Author Spotlight with International Bestselling Author: Stephanie Ayers

StephStephanie Ayers is an international bestselling author who writes speculative fiction, where horror and fantasy collide. A self-proclaimed word whisperer, she is a unicorn disguised as a human living in southwestern Ohio and a member of the Ohio Writers Association. She mothers her children and avoids all things housework and zombies. When she isn’t doing any of these things, she can be found browsing thrift stores and flea markets with her husband, attending football games with her son, or binging on TV shows.
Her debut novella, Til Death Do Us Part, was published in 2013, and her work appears in several anthologies and collections, notably Absolution, Flash Fiction Addiction, and the upcoming Bending Time. She currently has two serials to her name, the stand-alone horror volumes of The 13 series and her new high fantasy, the Destiny Defined series, which debuted March 7, 2019.
Her favorite quote is:

“The blank page is a canvas on which the writer paints a story.”

~Stephanie Ayers

Connect with Stephanie:

Website | Email | Newsletter | FB Author Page | FB Group | FB Promo Group | FB Fantasy Page | FB Horror Page | Twitter | Instagram | MeWe | MeWe Page | LinkedIn | YouTube | All Author | Amazon | Bookbub | Goodreads | Deviant Art


10 Things About Stephanie

  1. I collect coffee mugs, especially ones with unicorns and fairies on them.
  2. I am almost completely deaf and require the use of hearing aids.
  3. I wrote my first story in 4th grade.
  4. I was once married to a Native American, a skinhead, and a cowboy all at the same time.
  5. My vivid imagination gets me in trouble often.
  6. I love all things New Orleans and Louisiana: Saints, LSU, Popeye’s, Mardi Gras…
  7. I wanted to be an Olympic downhill skier when I was a teenager.
  8. I own more books than I could possibly read in 3 lifetimes
  9. I am terrified of zombies, heights, roaches, and maggots, but my greatest fear is watching my children die violently.
  10. Whenever my friends see a unicorn they think of me. In fact, they say I am the only person they know who can turn a unicorn into something dark and twisted.

Stephanie’s Fantasy Books

Elven Games

Catching Dragons ebook cover

 

Author Spotlight with Cindy Ervin Huff

cindy huff 2016Cindy Ervin Huff is a multi-published writer. She has been featured in numerous periodicals over the last thirty years. Her historical romance Secrets & Charades won the Editor Choice, Maxwell Award and Serious Writer Medal. Her contemporary romance, New Duet released in 2018 placed second in the Serious Writer Awards and  a finalist in the 2019 Selah Awards.. Cindy is a member of ACFW, Mentor for Word Weavers. founding member of the Aurora, Illinois, chapter of Word Weavers and Christian Writer’s Guild alumni. She loves to encourage new writers on their journey. Cindy and her husband make their home in Aurora, Illinois. They have five children and eight grandchildren. Follow her on social media.

Connect with Cindy!

Website | FB | Twitter | Instagram


Cindy’s Books

NewDuet500

Secret & Charades front cover

TheCowboyCollection (2)

 

Pat Nichols’ Journey…

The end of the week is coming closer and closer. Today I am handing over my blog to Pat Nichols. She is going to talk about her books and her journey so far as a writer. Hope you enjoy the read :).


IMG_E0145During the spring, summer, and early autumn of my life this side of heaven, my high-school-sweetheart husband and I struggled and triumphed through life’s peaks and valleys. We raised two children, welcomed four grandchildren–one is with the angels–bought a Corvette, and checked off every item on our travel bucket list. When our kids were home, we always had one and sometimes two Black Labradors. Now our pets consist of squirrels scampering across our deck, deer traipsing through our back yard, and an occasional rabbit nibbling our shrubs.

One of my favorite positions during my twenty-seven-year career with an international beauty company, was public relations manager which tapped into my love of writing. Nine years after I retired, that love rekindled and compelled me to launch career number two as a novelist. Now I’m proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams.

My goal to become a serious writer led me to study the craft and connect with other authors. I joined American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International. I draw on everything I’ve learned as well as my corporate experience working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life, to create stories about women who face challenges in the pursuit of their dreams.

While writing my first two manuscripts—both now shelved—and attending conferences, an idea took root. A story about two women with different backgrounds, strangers whose lives were drawn together by tragedy and a long-held secret. My vision was to create an ongoing series centered in a southern town struggling to survive. Thus, Willow Falls emerged. While you can’t find it on Google Earth, a map of the town exists. On a flip chart. Drawn with a marker.

Three years after first typing “Chapter One”, I was blessed with a contract from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, Guiding Light imprint, for book one in the Willow Falls series. The Secret of Willow Inn released January 10, 2019. Book two The Trouble in Willow Falls releases November 4. Book three releases in 2020. By the way, lovable dogs appear in all three Willow Falls novels. A cat named Mittens arrives on the scene in the third.

One of the highlights of my new career is connecting with readers through personal appearances and the internet. I’m honored and humbled every time I read their comments on Amazon, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

Tim—my number one fan—and I continue to celebrate our fifty-plus-year marriage. We volunteer for church guest services, participate in two social organizations, and spend time with family and friends.

Connect with Pat!

Website | FB | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads | Bookbub


The Books

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