Keli Gwyn
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Welcome Author Katie Ganshert

Fun. Friendly. Often found wearing a mega-watt smile. That’s Katie Ganshert for you.

A former elementary school teacher, Katie is now a stay-at-home mom attempting to keep up with her three-year-old “wild-child” of a son. Katie, her handsome husband, their active young fellow, and a black lab named Bubba live in the Midwest. The Ganshert family is slated to grow soon, though. Katie and her husband are in the process of adopting a child from the Congo. You can read more about that in this post on Katie’s awesome blog.

Katie is a talented author who wrote a moving story, one I raced through. Her debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, is due to be released in May. But one lucky visitor doesn’t have to wait that long to get a copy. I’m giving away an ARC I won from Katie’s publisher, so be sure to leave a comment if you’d like a chance to get the book early. I loved this book. You can read my rave review of Wildflowers from Winter on Goodreads.

Let’s Learn a Little More about Katie

You’re a beautiful young woman, both inside and out. No. Don’t deny it. It’s true. You had professional author photos taken last year, which are stunning. When you look at pictures of yourself, what feature do you consider to be your best? Since you have so many, I know this will be a tough question. Humor me, though, and limit it to one feature, but tell us why you chose it.

Oh, Keli, if I could reach through the computer and hug you. You are so sweet. As women, I think we have a hard time seeing ourselves clearly. When I was younger, I struggled with this. I’d often look at another woman and think, I wish I could look like her. It’s taken awhile to break out of this habit.

When I find myself wishing for thicker hair or a smaller nose, I have to stop and remind myself that God fashioned me. I am His masterpiece. We all are. It’s a truth that inspired me to write this short story several months ago.

Anyway, do you like how I’m avoiding your question? Okay, fine. My favorite physical feature would probably be my eyelashes. I have very long, thick eyelashes and I love giving my son butterfly kisses with them.

You share some of your son’s antics on Twitter and Facebook, which often make me laugh. If social media had been around when you were young, what is one of the funniest stories your mom or dad could have shared about you?

Oh goodness. Where do I start? Perhaps they would Tweet about the time I ate an entire jar of olives on Christmas Eve and proceeded to throw them up. Or maybe they would Tweet about the time I thought it would be a great idea to throw crab apples over our fence as hard as I could until the neighbor came over and asked my dad why his daughter was pelting his house with fruit. (Whoops!) Or when I kept referring to Hostess Ding Dongs as donkeys. “Dad, can I eat a donkey now?”

I guess when I was really little, I used to sit in the corner and talk to myself. I like to think I was creating characters and just didn’t have the ability to write them down yet.

When I interviewed you on my former blog back in 2009, just two days before our awesome agent, Rachelle Gardner, offered you representation, you mentioned that you’re a sugar addict. What delectable treats do the best job of satisfying your cravings for something sweet?

Mint Oreos dipped in milk. Frozen chocolate chips—handfuls and handfuls. And my all time favorite: a brownie with two scoops of Whitey’s mint chocolate chip ice cream and lots and lots of Hershey’s Syrup. It’s like heaven in a bowl.

Suppose your hubby came home one day and announced that he’d gotten a nice bonus at work, had arranged to leave your son with trusted relatives, and was whisking you away for a week at a destination of your choice. (Being a wise husband, he knew not to spring such a surprise on you when deadlines loomed.) Where would you choose to have your guy take you?

A week. Hmmm….I’d love to go to Ireland. There’s a lot of Irish blood running through these veins. It would be cool to see where my ancestors lived. I’ve heard it’s a gorgeous country and I could probably sit in a pub all day and listen to people’s accents.

However, if I’m being honest, the first place that popped into mind was Colorado. I’ve been. Hubby has not. Colorado is a great state. I love hiking. I love mountains. I love snowboarding. And I’d love to meet everyone at my publishing house! Waterbrook Multnomah is located in Colorado Springs.

If we took a peek inside your clothes closet, what would we learn about you?

That I hate shopping and I wear shirts I wore ten years ago. Seriously. Shopping is the bane of my existence. The only time I ever go is before the ACFW conference. I’m being totally serious. I have a pair of boots that I have worn since my junior year in high school. And as an odd side note, they are ridiculously heavy. Sometimes I wear them around the house as a form of exercise.

To learn more about Katie, visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

• • •

Katie’s Question for You

What is your favorite feature about yourself and why?

• • •

A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built a life far removed from her trailer park teen years. Until an interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa. Determined to pay her respects while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. So when Bethany is left the land, he must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace she’s not even sure exists?

• • •

Drawing for a Copy of Wildflowers from Winter

To enter the drawing, leave a comment by Tuesday, March 27. (Be sure to provide your email address in the appropriate field so I can contact you if you win.)

I’ll select the winner on Wednesday, March 28 and post the name here and in a comment.

Congratulations to the winner: ramblingsfromtheleft!

No purchase necessary.
Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to number of entrants.
Keli Gwyn

46 Comments

  • beautiful post. beautiful people. beautiful book. everyone should be eager to get their hands on that free ARC! thanks for sharing the fun interview. i now know what to send katie as a congrats gift when her book hits the bestseller list….a box of donkeys!

  • Sherrinda says:

    Oh, I loved this interview! Katie is so open on her blog, I felt like I already knew her, so it is so fun to learn even MORE! And thanks for the opportunity to get a copy of her book in my hands!!!!

    Now, favorite feature? Bleh…if I have to say something, I guess it would be my smile. I got braces in my 30’s, so the straight teeth are something I can appreciate! 😉 It used to be my eyes, but the older I get, the more my eyelashes shrink and thin!!! lol…I’m sure that won’t happen to YOU, Katie!

  • gillian says:

    I have thick hair, so I guess that. I could live without all the natural gray highlights, however. 🙂

    What a great interview! I love books with farms and farmers. I’ll be looking for your release in May.

  • Thanks for having me, Keli! You are always such a gracious host!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      I’m thrilled to have you as my guest, Katie, and to let others know about your great book. I wish I were rich so I could buy copies for all your visitors. Wildflowers from Winter is an awesome story.

  • jessicarpatch says:

    Great interview. I cracked up reading about how you chunked apples at your neighbors’ house. Kids do the weirdest stuff! I’m excited about getting your ARC this week! Keli, you do the best interviews! I just love reading them.

    A best feature? Sigh. I guess I’ll copy Sherrinda and say my smile. Ten years ago I’d have said my eyes, but now they’re surrounded by Crow’s feet. LOL

  • Lindsay Harrel says:

    Yay for learning more about Katie! 🙂 Loved her book as well (you don’t need to enter me in the contest, by the way, since I have a copy). Expecting great things from her and for her!

    I like my hair. It’s thick and my hair dresser always used to tease me that if she only had 1/4 of my hair, she’d be happy. I like my hair best when I actually take the time to curl it…which doesn’t happen as often as it should…

  • Melissa Tagg says:

    Yay, fun interview! I LOVE Katie’s debut novel. (Please do exclude me from the contest since I’ve got the book.) I’m excited for others to read it!!

    Ummm…I guess I like my eyes. A guy at the Starbucks drive-through once told me they’re beautiful and it was pretty much my favorite drive-through experience ever. Sooo…yup, going with that.

  • Fun interview, Keli and Katie! I just read the sample of Wildflowers from Winter and I was hooked from the first page!

    I would probably have to say that I like my eyes, too. They’re green/gray so those tend to be my favorite colors to wear. Of course I was blessed with a rather defined Greek nose (that’s an understatement ;] ), so I’m with you Katie. It’s not my favorite, but I love the reminder about God’s design 🙂

  • wendypainemiller says:

    Oh it makes me so happy you two together here today. Well, not actually together. Anyhoo! Love the crab apple chucking. Love that you hate to shop (I do too. Get in and get out.) Love both of your personalities like cra-zy!
    ~ Wendy

  • heatherdaygilbert says:

    Love this interview w/Katie. And I’m entering every way I can to win her book!

    I totally get Katie on the clothes-buying thing. Though I follow some French fashion blogs, going shopping for those outfits (or pulling them off) is just beyond the scope of my imagination.

    Ireland, eh? I want to hit Norway and Iceland…

    And best feature? I’m with Katie, it’s not my forte to think of how I look. But I will say that my husband loves my (overly pale!) skin. He also likes my sense of humor, that I can laugh at myself (and frequently do!).

    GREAT INTERVIEW, Keli!

  • Camille Eide says:

    Thanks for giving us a peek into Katie, Keli.Please enter me! Can’t wait to read Katie’s book!

    I am glad to hear someone else hates shopping too! I’m a little mall-o-phobic. Try pairing that with a 20 yr old shopping daughter – who’s getting married. Yes, it’s a stretch.

    My favorite feature? Transparency (I know you meant physical, but I’m nearing 50, give me a break?). Which is both endearing and dangerous for a sensitive soul. I am learning to balance transparency, and just in time, because if I sell my novels and become uber famous, I’ll need to appear somewhat balanced. 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      I love your response to Katie’s question, Camille. As one on the other side of 50, I can relate. I had professional author photos taken recently, and I’m smitten with Photoshop. Thanks to that program and my photographer’s expertise, I don’t cringe too badly when I look at the pics.

    • And uber famous you shall become!!

      I know what you mean about transparency being a balance. We can’t bare everything. That might weird out our readers.

  • Glenda says:

    Katie’s book sounds interesting and fascinating and I enjoy reading debut novels. I wish her all the best!

    Oh the humble crabapple, I’ve thrown a few of those too! Thanks for the laugh.

    My smile and laugh are a good combination.

  • Katie and Keli, I’ve loved reading your blogs and watching your journey to publication unfold. I’ve been excited for both of you over the past couple of weeks – what a great time in your lives, although I imagine it brings with it uncertainties and added stress. I am praying God’s favor for both of you. I can’t wait to read your debut novels.

    Since you asked, Keli, I will tell you: my favorite feature is my smile. I love smiling and I love when others smile back at me, especially my children and my husband.

  • candidkerry says:

    What a fun interview, Keli and Katie! Thanks for the Monday giggle. 🙂 So excited to read both your books!

    Katie, I appreciate your answer to Keli’s first question – we’re all God’s masterpiece, and what a boring world it would be if we all looked alike. That said, having long, thick eyelashes is a definitely a plus! 🙂

    We have good friends starting the adoption process and we’re so excited for them. Will be praying for a smooth road to holding your sweetheart in your arms. 🙂

    Oh, my best feature (is it okay if it’s not on my face?:) is my hands. I’ve always liked them and as a writer, they’re the best tool for accomplishing what God lays on my heart to do for Him.

    • Thanks for your prayers, Kerry! They are so much appreciated! This adoption journey is definitely a crazy one!

      I love that your best feature is your hands. I happen to hate my hands! I have major man hands. 🙂

  • Erica Vetsch says:

    Mega-watt smile describes Katie perfectly! 🙂

    So great to see you here on Keli’s blog! I can’t wait for WfW to release. 🙂

  • Darlene says:

    What a great interview! Loved the questions, not run of the mill. I would love to win a copy of Katie’s book. Coming from a farming background myself, it would be a good read.

  • Teri Metts says:

    Love this post! Mint Oreo cookies – Dairy Queen (do you have those where you live?) has a Mint Oreo Blizzard. I saw it advertised the other day and thought, Yum! Favorite physical feature: my hair. I’m in my mid-50’s and have never colored it, which is unusual these days. I wear it a little long, and it’s a pretty salt and pepper now. I’m constantly getting compliments.

    I’m already getting an ARC of Katie’s book (can’t wait to read it!), so I don’t need to be entered in drawing for the book giveaway.

  • Wish there was a “love” button on all these comments. I’m enjoying reading about your beautiful features and getting to know more about everyone!

  • Loree Huebner says:

    Fun interview, ladies. Fun to learn more about you, Katie. I flew over Ireland, but did not visit. I would love to go there someday. Mint Oreos are the bomb!

    I would love to win a copy of Katie’s book! Please enter me.

  • Nice meeting you today, Katie. You are my kind of person – shopping is painful for me. I hate shopping and have worn the same pair of shoes almost daily for four and a half years. Don’t understand the draw…

    I suppose my green eyes are what I consider a good feature. Definitely not the frizz ball that used to be called hair.

    I’d love to be in your drawing mlurso@comcast.net

    Waving Keli!

  • […] Gwyn asks me some fun questions on her blog today. Hop on over for a chance to win a copy of my book!  Congrats to Jeanette Levellie, the winner […]

  • Mark S. says:

    Katie, your book is a genre I don’t see myself reading, but I enjoy your posts on Facebook and your blog, especially thankful Thursday (or something similar that you call it). This was a good interview! My grandma used to have to get 2 cans of olives at Thanksgiving, if anyone else was going to get any! If I win this drawing, I’d give the book to a friend and probably borrow it back to read it at some point! 😉 The friend I would give it to also hates shopping, except for books.

    My favorite feature? Unlike you, I don’t have so many to choose from. But being an image bearer of God, I should see that differently. Probably my hair? I’m not crazy about how straight it is, but thankful to have a full head of hair; plus, since it’s prematurely gray, at least the grayness is uniform and not a big white streak like Cruella de Ville (or Pepé Le Pew).

    My e-mail (for telling me I won only — Please don’t use that for anything else, nor sell it or share it. I try to keep it uncluttered as much as I can.): mtnsmith@gmail.com.

    • I’ve loved reading your comments on my FB page, Mark. Especially Thankful Thursdays.

      Thanks for bringing back great memories of the cartoon days. I forgot all about Pepe Le Pew!

  • Donna Pyle says:

    What a wonderful, warm, down-to-earth interview, Keli! Katie, you’re just too cute for words. I love how you give your son butterfly kisses with your eyelashes. Awww… I’ve heard so much about your debut novel and simply can’t wait to read it. Hugs!

  • What a lovely interview. Congrats on your debut novels releasing this year – that is a true blessing for you (and your readers)!

    Favorite feature? I would have to say my eyes. I have been a writer/trainer in corporate America for over 13 years. In that time, I’ve learned how to to a follower of Christ in an environment where you usually *can’t* say “I follow Jesus”. The stand-out moment? I once had a learner in class approach me before leaving for the day and said: “You’re a Christian, aren’t you?” My response – “Why yes, I am.” (And delighted that because I was approached by someone else that was asking, I was therefore given the green light to talk about it.) And she then said – with a warm smile and a hand that grasped mine: “I knew you were. I can see Jesus in your eyes.” I think I will live on that compliment for the remainder of my days. : )

    Blessings for you as your family expands! (Keep us posted, please!)

  • Aw, I love Keli and Katie! And I especially love Katie’s love of mint and chocolate. (Whew, that’s a lot of love!)

    As for favorite features? Ugh, you would ask this question… This will sound really testosterone-ish, but lately I’d say my favorite feature is my biceps, LOL. They’re stronger and more defined now than they’ve ever been. Weird, I know, but to me it’s a representation of how much my health has improved (Praise God!).

  • Thanks so much Keli for introducing us to yet another wonderful writer. Hello, Katie. It is so nice to meet someone who is so down to earth. I might steal the idea of using heavy boots to trim and get the legs fit. I love the tenor of your book and I love you passion for Orerio cookies and milk. Real cold milk and I use the over-stuffed variety. I also break up brownies with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and marchino cherries 🙂

  • I’m laughing because I know exactly the kind of boots your talking about, Katie. I had a pair of those combat boots. 🙂
    Favorite feature. I’ve always like my lips because they’re the same shape as my grandmother’s. We have a picture of her taken in the early 1920’s and I always thought she looked so beautiful. And then my mom pointed out we had the same mouth. I was thrilled.

  • Julie Nilson says:

    Favorite feature: Hmm, I guess I’d say my eyes. Partly because I like the color–they’re a bright blue, just like my dad’s and my grandpa’s, and people always compliment me on them, which is nice. No matter how gray my hair gets or how many crows’ feet I earn, my eyes will always be the same color. 🙂 But I also like them because of how well they work: At almost 42, I still have better than 20/20 vision. No reading glasses, nothing–another great genetic legacy from my grandpa, who, at 97, only needs glasses when he reads the newspaper, and that wasn’t until his 70s!

  • itsalibrarything says:

    I’d love to read Katie’s book!

  • Rel Mollet says:

    Love, love, love Katie! Also, thoroughly recommend her beautiful book – it made me cry!!

    Mmmmm…favourite feature. You know how to ask HARD questions, Keli! I’m going to wimp out and say my accent – apparently it’s fascinating to all you Americans 😉

  • Brianna Soloski says:

    My favorite feature is definitely my eyes, even though I wear glasses. I’m looking forward to your book, Katie.

  • I wish I was really rich too, Keli! I would also buy lots of copies of my book and send them to everyone! I’ve had so much fun being a guest on your blog today and reading each and every one of the comments.

    Thanks for jumping into the conversation everyone!

  • jeanniecampbell says:

    loved this interview, keli! and of course you know how i feel about katie’s debut. 🙂

    my favorite feature about myself is my smile. i went through braces twice and still wear a retainer to keep my pearly whites straight. my retainer–no joke–says 1995 on it. i wonder if that’s a record for wearing a retainer?

  • Wow, we have a lot in common!! lol I LOVE mint chocolate (anything), I HATE shopping and wear clothes until they get holes in them, shoes too, lol, and I consider my nose too big and not altogether attractive. *grin*
    I can’t wait to read your book!! My fave feature? That’s a hard one. Either my chin because it has this hereditary dimple from my dad or my lips because once my mom told me I had pretty lips and it stuck with me. 🙂
    Great interview, ladies!

  • Eliza says:

    Hopping over here from Katie’s blog. What a fun interview! Ditto the shopping thing completely. My favorite feature would probably be my eyes because they will randomly shift color slightly and I guess that makes me feel a bit mysterious. I would love to get a copy of Wildflowers from Winter and I’m looking forward to reading your blog!

  • Gin says:

    Wow. A new site, a new voice. Bookmarked!

  • Susan Mason says:

    Great interview, Keli. Katie, I agree with Keli. I thought maybe you’d been a model in your single days. You sure look like one!

    Your book looks amazing. Can’t wait to get a copy. Wishing you much success with your debut sales!

    Cheers,
    Sue

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    I’ve held the drawing for the ARC of Katie’s book, and the winner is ramblingsfromtheleft.

    Congratulations, Florence! As soon as I receive the book from the publisher, I’ll get it on it’s way to you. Katie’s book is great. You’re in for a treat.

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