New release:The Cedar Key Contemporary Christian FictionOctober 6, 2020

Could the key to Casey’s future be hidden in someone else’s past?

Casey Adams unexpectedly inherits an old Victorian house full of other people’s memories. Stuck in a quirky little Mississippi town, Casey’s hope for a fresh start died as soon she had to lay the grandmother she’d just met to rest.

But Grandma Ida carried secrets beyond the grave.

Before her death Ida carefully planned a trail of clues to help Casey unlock the Macintyre family secrets and finally explain why they abandoned her. But each of Ida’s letters will only come from Casey’s handsome—and often frustrating—new neighbor. As Casey pieces together the stories behind the objects filling her grandmother’s house, she embarks on a heart-stirring journey that rattles her foundations, ignites her faith, and leads her to a startling discovery that will reshape her future. But only if she can face the lies that have been slowly tearing her apart.  

Tell us a little about yourself (short bio).

I write stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. When I’m not reading or sipping sweet tea on the front porch, I’m a homeschool mom of two boys, a writer, a dreamer, and a husband spoiler. 

When and why did you begin writing?

In many ways, I have always been a writer. My mother has a copy of a story I wrote in the first grade using my spelling list. I found writing the story far more interesting than studying the words! I didn’t seriously begin thinking of writing a book until college (though I have a degree in Animal and Dairy Sciences). And then it wasn’t until after graduation that I started attending conferences, taking writing classes, and developing my craft. I believe stories have a way of teaching us, connecting us, and completing us. That’s why I write. For the power of story.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After the monumental task of completing an entire 80,000 word manuscript for the first time. It was an awful mess, but I’d completed an entire book. That’s when I knew I would be a real writer. Because I loved the exhilaration of finishing a book. 

What inspires you to write? What made you finally sit down and decide to write longer formats?

I’ve always written in longer formats. In fact, it was several years into my career before I started writing novellas and I’m still not great at short stories. I found them extremely challenging. Today, I’m enjoying writing several shorter works for a time travel collection. Each of these adventures is about 45,000 words. I’m most often inspired by historical accounts of bravery or interesting places. Research inspires both my historical and time travel books. 

Do you have a specific writing style or genre? How did you target that area?

My target audience is Christian women who enjoy historical fiction with Southern settings, a touch of adventure or mystery, and a subtle message of faith. By focusing on my target reader, I can strive to produce books I know she would enjoy. 

My writing style lends itself well to the historical periods, as painting vivid descriptions is one of my primary strengths. I also write heroines who face their inner insecurities and learn to break down the lies that women so often believe. By placing my heroines in turbulent times and difficult situations, I give them the opportunities to grow and discover their strengths. I believe many of my readers can see themselves in those heroines. 

Is there a message or theme in any of your writing that you want readers to share?

The overarching theme in all of my books is redemption and freedom. I hope that my stories will point readers to the healing power that God produces in their lives. I don’t focus on a salvation aspect, but rather hope to show Christian women their value and worth in God’s eyes. 

Are your writings based on someone you know or events in your own life?

Sometimes I use people I know, family stories, and my own experience as inspiration in my work. Most often the circumstances are different, but I draw on the underlying emotions of my own experiences to fuel the emotions of the character. If a character is feeling a sense of loss, I think back on a time where I experienced a loss and use those emotions to add authenticity and depth to the character’s own situation. I believe that is part of why writing can be so emotionally draining. 

What books or type of books have most influenced your life or your writing?

I read a wide variety of books. From fantasy to suspense to historical. I most enjoy books where the author is able to build a world that is so engaging I feel as though I’ve stepped right into the pages. Regardless of the genre, those are the kinds of books that make you forget you’re reading and make you feel as though you’re living the story. Those are the kinds of books I strive to write myself.

Do you have a mentor or writing group? How does that impact your work?

At this point in my career I mostly interact with author groups online. We talk about marketing strategies, share when we are feeling overwhelmed, and bounce ideas off one another. I find this to be more beneficial right now, whereas in the past a writing group would help more with writing development. I also have a couple of trusted critique partners who read my chapters as I write them to help me hone my craft and iron out any plot problems. 

What book or books are you reading now or have read recently that provoke your interest?

I’m usually reading one book and listening to another on audio. I’ve discovered how much I really love audiobooks. It takes six hours to cut the grass at my house, and you can’t beat having an audiobook to “read” while working. But in the evenings I still enjoy sitting down with an ebook or paperback. 

I’m especially interested in books that introduce me to something new through the power of story. I love different cultures and enjoy books that can immerse me in traditions, foods, and lifestyles of a variety of people groups. 

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Links to me:website: www.stepheniamcgee.comFB: