It is my joy and pleasure today to get to introduce you to a debut author. Greta Picklesimer has written a historical romance titled Second Chance at Happiness that sounds like a sweet tale with one of my favorite tropes. You can find out more about her and her story below.
UPDATE: Greta is providing a special giveaway of her book Second Chance at Happiness AND a notebook with her cover on it. All you have to do is follow her Facebook page.
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Greta Picklesimer is Michigan born and raised by Kentucky-transplanted parents. She accepted Jesus as her Savior at age five and strives to live for him on a daily basis. Besides writing inspirational historical romance novels, Greta spends time working on her art journal, painting with watercolors and oil pastels. She is owned by one overly affectionate rescue cat by the name of Pearlie Blue who was named after one of her father’s favorite Bluegrass songs. By day, Greta works as an office assistant. At night, she writes.
Connect with her through:
Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Greta with rapid-fire.
CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?
GP: Milk chocolate every time, unless it isn’t available then dark.
CC: Print or E-book?
GP: Both I hoard books so it is best if I purchase books for my to-be-read pile in E-book format. If it is a non-fiction book used for research purposes, then I definitely want it in print.
CC: Cat or Dog Person?
GP: Cat person most definitely. I am owned by one rescued, love-starved cat by the name of Pearlie Blue. She loves to be cuddled, petted and fawned over. She loves to sleep in the crook of my left arm under the covers with me.
CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?
GP: Hmm. I’m usually chipper in the morning so morning person. I go to bed around 6 PM, take a nap and get up around 8 or 9 PM. Then it’s back to bed for me around 10. I sleep the night through from that point on.
CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?
GP: I like the milder temperatures of Spring and Fall. I don’t like Winter even though I enjoy a good snowfall as I watch from the warmth of my house with a cup of hot tea in hand.
Now for a couple of fun personal questions:
CC: What do you like to do when you aren’t reading or writing?
GP: I enjoy working on my art journal. I have two so far. I love painting the pages with acrylic paints and then decorating the pages to match what I am journaling about.
CC: Painting is such a relaxing thing to do. I used to love it in high school so I can understand why you keep art journals now.
CC: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
GP: I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was eight or nine-years-old. My eldest sister, Sandra Picklesimer Aldrich, brought over to my parent’s home a copy of a story she wrote for a magazine. I think it was called Grandfather’s Clock. I thought if she could do it, so could I. So, I started writing very short, one-act plays. They were poorly written, but first furrows into anything new usually is. I still have them. Later, I wrote stories about people who lived on the sun and about people who lived in sunbeams. In college I took journalism classes with photography and created my own program of photojournalism. I worked as a freelance photographer and writer (mostly photographer) for several small newspapers. When I landed my first full-time, staff reporter position, I found I loved to write feature stories over news stories. I decided to try my hand at a young-adult fantasy novel. It’s still on the shelf. I decided I wanted to write inspirational, historical romance novels after reading a contemporary romance taken from the community bookshelf at work. The book intrigued me. My thinking was if this author could do it, so could I. So, I did.
CC: Wow. That is quite the journey from journalism to ficiton novelist. I bet it was like learning a whole new skill set.
CC: What has been the biggest challenge for you on your writing journey?
GP: The biggest challenge on my writing journey is also my Kryptonite. If I start my writing time by saying, I’ll just check my email or Facebook or some other online platform I get lost in it. Writing time wanes. I get tired and go to bed instead of writing. But if I hop on the computer and tell myself I’ll write X amount of pages, words, etc. AND then check Facebook and email, I find I get a whole lot more accomplished. Recently, I participated in a Winter writing challenge through a writing group I belong to. I needed to write 20,000 words in one month. It surprised me how much I could accomplish when I set my mind to it. I wound up completing the first draft of the second book in the series. I was offered a contract for it today.
CC: Congratulations on the contract!!! That is so exciting. AND YES!! That is something I totally need to do better about too!
After Catherine Reed’s husband dies in a tragic logging accident, Catherine and her four-year-old daughter, Clair, move home with Catherine’s mother and brother in order to accept a new position as the teacher for the town’s one-room schoolhouse. But Catherine carries a dark secret that she hasn’t even shared with her mother. Will she ever find forgiveness?
Samuel Harris has suffered his own loss, losing his wife and unborn child over a year prior. Although he is the town’s preacher, he struggles to trust God, blaming God for allowing him to be absent when his wife died. The guilt has burdened him ever since. But when his old flame Catherine Reed comes back to town, he wonders if they can find healing together.
Catherine believes that anyone who wants to learn should be allowed to learn, but she is quick to find a town divided on that issue. As she and Samuel set out to change people’s minds in a post-Civil War era, they find themselves drawn to each other over and over again. As they join together for the same cause, could they also find a second chance at happiness?
CC: Which character was the most fun to create? What makes them fun?
GP: I loved creating the anti-heroes in the novel. They were the most fun to create. Their actions and reactions surprised me. I just let them take the reins of the story when they showed up. They were most obliging and their antics did not disappoint.
CC: Anti-heroes are so fun to create.
Who was the most challenging to create?
GP: Catherine Reed, the heroine, was the most difficult to create because she had lost her husband when the story opens. She was numb from the pain and loss. If you’ve ever lost someone close to you, you know the soul-sucking void that is created when they are gone. I found her distant at first, which is exactly how I react to losing someone dear.
CC: Losing someone close is definitely difficult and life-altering. I can only imagine how it would be to lose my husband, and I’d rather not.
GP: The names of the characters just came to me. I didn’t struggle to find them. The characters told me what their names should be. One character has an odd last name. He insisted that that was his name. I stopped arguing with him about it and put it in the book.
LOL. Our characters can really be demanding and sometimes it is best just not to fight them.
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
GP: My hope is that readers will understand that even though the characters were flawed that the Lord can forgive us and that he forgets our sin.
Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. As my final question, I have my usual “Fun Question”.
GP: I would choose a cat as my mascot because cats have slinky bodies can contort. They are smart, interesting and if they are like my Pearlie Blue, loving and in need of love and attention.
CC: Oh to have a slinky body. Sigh. Thanks so much for joining us, Greta!
Readers, you can purchase Greta Picklesimer’s book Second Chance at Happiness at Amazon.
If you could pick a mascot for yourself, what would it be?