PM: In your humble opinion, what do you think is missing in Christian Fiction today, or at least what would you like to see more of in Christian Fiction?
SM: I’d like to see Christian Fiction continue to expand into different molds, so to speak. I think we are seeing that more lately, with stories that break outside of what was once a somewhat formulaic and predictable story structure. There have been some crossover genres, speculative, and hard-issue books come out in recent years and I think that’s great. I would also like to see character diversity continue to grow.
PM: If you couldn’t be a writer, what career path do you think you’d choose to be on?
SM: I have a degree in Animal Science. I once wanted to be a veterinarian, and then chose to be a horse trainer. I enjoyed both, but my true passion bloomed with writing. If I didn’t write, however, I think the coolest job in the world would be an international food critic. I would love to travel around trying different foods.
PM: I love your details in the historical novels, how much research do you think you have to put into a single book, in terms of hours, just for those details?
SM: Wow. I’m not sure. A lot. I spend a couple of weeks in deep research for the general time period, then I narrow down specific elements I’ll need for the story. Even after all of that, I am constantly pausing in a draft to look things up. All in all, I would say that each book probably takes at least 50+ hours of research.
PM: What was your favorite subject in school?
SM: History. Are you surprised?
SM: That’s super hard. I was the girl who went to the library, came home with a paper grocery bag full of books, and then took all those back for new ones the next week. I do remember as a child loving Gilbert Morris books. I read every one of the House of Winslow series.
PM: If you could have dinner with anyone from history (other than Jesus), who would it be, and why?
SM: Well, since you took away the best answer… ha! I would like to have a chat with Mrs. Lincoln. I’ve written several Civil War stories, and I’d really like to know the real couple behind what the history books teach.
PM: I am sure you get asked this all the time, but people want to know – what inspires your writing and characters?
SM: It comes from different places. The Whistle Walk was inspired by Cedarwyck and the writing I saw on the walls in the rooms above the kitchen. In His Eyes came from some very vivid dreams I had. The story for The Heart of Home is based on an article I’d read about a soldier who asked to die on a family’s front porch. The characters themselves are often based on people or events I read about during my research. Evelyn from Eternity Between Us is inspired by Civil War spy Belle Boyd. There are so many great stories from the past and I love being able to weave them into my own tales.
PM: What was the last movie you went to see/favorite movie/favorite song?
SM: The last movie I went to see was Toy Story 4. My favorite movie of all time is The Princess Bride.
PM: How can readers keep up with you and your new releases?
SM: The best way to get the inside scoop is to join my newsletter. Every month I have behind the scenes information, talk about what’s happening in my world, and have monthly giveaways. Newsletter subscribers are also the first to see new covers and get updates on new books. You can join on my website www.StepheniaMcGee.com and as my thank you for being a part of the fun, I’ll send you a free book.
I’m also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StepheniaHMcGee/
And Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stepheniahmcgee/
PM: Finally, coffee or tea? Cream, sugar?
SM: Both. Coffee with vanilla creamer, and iced tea with plenty of sugar.
Now, for a HUGE giveaway:
One winner will receive the Blog tour giveaway(US mailing address only): Signed paperback copies of The Whistle Walk and Heir of Hope (Ironwood Plantation Family Saga books one and two), Mississippi made cheese straws, handmade leather Jer. 28:11 bookmark, handcrafted specialty soaps, Southern Sisters mandarin orange pepper spread, and Thomas Jefferson quote “I cannot live without books” spiral earrings.
Enslaved by culture, liberated by courage.
A Mississippi Plantation: Civil War pits countrymen against one another and tears a nation asunder. Life and death are held in the balance where everyone is a slave to something.
One is born free, yet lives as a soul in bondage…
Lydia Harper never intended to purchase a slave. But when she witnesses a woman being beaten in the street, all her pretenses begin to unravel. A bride to a man she barely knows and bound by her secrets, Lydia will risk everything to save a stranger. Amid the War Between the States, the mistress of Ironwood faces the battles in her own heart and discovers strength in a way she never imagined.
The other is born to serve, yet holds the spirit of freedom…
Ruth, standing on the threshold of desperation, has lost everything she holds dear. After being pulled from the dirt, she is no longer a field hand but the personal maid to the lady of Ironwood. Ruth soon realizes adversity pays no mind to the color of skin. When propriety slips, she discovers they have more in common than she dreamed possible. In a time when fear brings the South to its knees, two women will forge a friendship in the fires of redemption and thrust Ironwood into a new future – where the battle for freedom has merely begun.
You come to me in my dreams and we talk of things that cannot be explained in this life. How we have been brought together is a great mystery, but I wish to someday see you again….
Emily Burns grew up an orphan, so she never expected to inherit a southern plantation. When she discovers an old diary hidden in the attic, her life becomes strangely entwined with her Civil War ancestor and she soon begins to wonder how a woman long dead can keep showing up in her dreams.
Torn between her strange desire to honor Lydia’s wishes and practicality, Emily cannot decide if she will keep Ironwood. Yet the house calls to her like a melancholy siren, and Emily cannot resist its tune. Resolving to stay only for a little while, and telling herself her decision has nothing at all to do with the handsome handyman helping with restorations, Emily begins to unravel the history of Ironwood – A tale of love and loss, hope and redemption. When the story seeps into her heart, Emily finds that two women separated by centuries can share the unique bonds of family ties, and that both her past and her future reside in the soul of Ironwood.