Today I want to welcome Eleanor Gustafson to the blog! I know I mention covers all the time, but come on, you all know we love them!! You can’t go wrong with flowers.
On to the interview!!! I was a little nosy with my questions today.
Do you travel to locations to get a personal view of the scenery for your books?
Yes, my settings have been as close as our family tree farm in Chester VT, to Israel for my novel on King David (The Stones). Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and North Dakota are sort of in between. Each place has its own taste and feel. My one fantasy book (Middle Night) required totally new geography, which was fun in the doing but a real challenge.
Do you have a writer’s group that you like to participate in? If so, have you found it helpful to have other authors you can bounce ideas around with?
Years ago, I was part of a writer’s group, but that folded, and I was on my own. For all of my books, though, I have solicited advance, beta readers, who give their opinions and criticisms. I plead for honesty—and get it. That has been enormously helpful, and I take good care of my beta stable.
How did things change for you after you published your first book?
My first novel was published in the 1980s, and aside from the excitement of having it out and being sold, not much changed in my life. In those days, the publisher did all the heavy market-lifting. Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter didn’t exist, but Christian bookstores could be found almost anywhere. I did a few store signings, which were great fun, but today, the few stores that still exist won’t even respond to requests—unless, of course, you are a big name. I’m not.
I noticed you love horses (me too!). Do animals make an appearance in all of your books?
Horses do appear in four of my novels, though only one by design. The others just seemed appropriate. For Dynamo, I had the advantage of growing up in a small town that hosted the annual, week-long, Sussex County Farm and Horse Show. A Big Deal! Fine horses came from great distances to compete in this highly rated show, and I drank it in. I even rode in a few local, amateur classes but ranked low in the ribbon awards. My greatest satisfaction was driving a pony to a second prize—this pony having stated earlier and emphatically that he wanted no part in this driving business! He also had definite ideas in the riding department, and I found myself on the ground three different times. So yes, I wrote from experience in describing Dynamo!
Was there a specific moment or event where you realized you were meant to be an author?
When I was four or five, the definition of author was sketchy, but I was already authoring—far-fetched as my stories were. That continued into my adult life. Nothing actually got published until 1978, when articles and short stories started coming out, but I remember sitting on our back deck and pondering the pros and cons of trying a novel. Well, why not? God ratified that decision with the unexpected acceptance of Appalachian Spring by Zondervan. It’s been a huge learning curve since then, and I still have much to learn. My clock is running down, however, and I will probably do more reading than writing in my latter years. It’s been a good run, however, and I appreciate all my readers, especially those who take time to tell me, via review or email, whether they liked the book or not. Hearing the latter—not— is definitely okay with me!
Thank you for being here today, Ellie. I can’t wait to read some of your books, and I’m certain I will be in the former (like it) category.
A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, Ellie Gustafson has been actively involved in church life as a minister’s wife, teacher, musician, writer, and encourager. Additional experiences include gardening, house construction, tree farming, and parenting—all of which have helped bring color and humor to her fiction. One of her major writing goals has been to make scriptural principles understandable and relevant for today’s readers through the undeniable power of story.
An Unpresentable Glory https://tinyurl.com/y9lpft6a
The Stones http://tinyurl.com/nf5o63d
Blog www.eleanorgustafson.com/ HOME, scroll down
Amazon Page: www.amazon.com/author/eleanorgustafson
Facebook: Ellie Gustafson. https://www.facebook.com/ellie.gustafson.7
Facebook Party, April 11, https://cwwriters.com/readers/2019-spring-literary-lighthouse-awards/
An Unpresentable Glory—A noted gardener from snobbish Westchester County in New York, finds a stranger, obviously ill, sprawled near her delphiniums. She takes him into her house and cares for him an entire week and only later learns who he really is. An investigative reporter uncovers the secret week, and both Linda and her guest become a spectacle in the eyes of the world.