Meet author Kathleen Rouser
Kathleen Rouser is the award-winning author of Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and a multi-published author of historical Christian romance. She has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She’s in the grip of God’s grace and is a fan of the three Cs—cats, coffee, and chocolate.
Tell us about your newest book.
In Flying Into Love, her great-grandmother’s journal holds the key to the past–and maybe her future. Unable to say no when others need her, Talia Sampson took on her deceased aunt’s advice column and the care of her special needs niece. Then new veteran, Ben Tanner, shows up unexpected on her doorstep. Hurt many times, he wonders where home is. Talia isn’t happy finding a hot-air balloon with him, but she treasures the old journal with it. Ben hopes restoring her family’s antique will please her, until he discovers a secret that shatters his trust. And Talia hates flying. Will she trust God—and Ben—enough to go airborne?
What genre do you focus on and why?
Most often I’ve written Christian historical romance, because of my faith in Christ to start. I also enjoy a romance with a happy ending with two people who accept each other’s faults and quirks while falling in love. In a sense romance is the story of God pursuing us while we were yet sinners and still loved us! How everyday people lived in the past has intrigued me as well. Their lives made a difference. Perhaps because of my enjoyment of history I was comfortable making Flying Into Love a split time novel with an historical sub-plot.
Why do you write?
I’m pretty sure God is the one who set the idea in my heart, especially since I was so intrigued with the stories my mom read to me when I was four that I wanted to write books someday. I started out wanting to illustrate them as well, but in time realized my aptitude was more towards writing than drawing. The desire was always simmering in the back of my mind and after I gave my life to Christ, I wanted to use my talent for Him
It was easy to get busy raising my family, but I felt convicted one day after hearing sermon on the parable of the talents and questioned how much I had used mine. It’s hard sometimes, but I try to write uplifting stories that show people who are very human and learning to trust in God just as you or I might be.
Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?
Talia Sampson is my main character. It’s a pretty name and when I looked it up, I found out it meant “dew of God” in Hebrew and in Arabic it means “sheep.” I thought both meanings were lovely.
Talia is someone who cares deeply about others, protective about those she loves, but she also gives to the point that her needs and concerns are lost. She is seeking the purpose God has for her life and whom she is meant to be. Through reading her great-grandmother’s journal she is surprised to learn the truth about long held beliefs about her family and finds guidance for herself.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
Like many other authors I find marketing a real challenge. Being an introvert and a very private person, for me social media feels like a task rather than something fun to which I look forward.
And I struggle knowing how to promote my work and connect better with readers. And then there’s the time factor. Every minute I’m promoting is time I’m not writing.
What’s the best part of your author’s life?
Creating stories with the Lord! It’s fun to be able to make up different kinds of stories, especially when they have a Christian message. He wired me to look for stories, to think about stories, and when I ask him for help, even though sometimes I must wait, He always comes through.
Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
Yes! The first two books of my Stone Creek trilogy, Rumors and Promises and Secrets and Wishes. I hope to eventually publish a third, which is written. The working title is Scandals and Mercies. My novella, The Last Memory is part of Barbour’s Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides anthology. My first novella was published in the anthology Brave New Century and is called The Pocket Watch.
What are you working on now?
A middle grade novel about a disillusioned dragon who is prompted to care for dragon foundlings by two children she’s befriended. I’m also doing research for a novel about the tragedy of the sinking of the Eastland in Chicago in 1915.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?
Depending on the day of the week, I usually write in the late morning or early afternoon. I work toward a word count, depending on my deadline. Some days I may shoot for 500, others it may be 1000 or 1500. If I start with a lower word count goal and I find I’m in the “zone” I will keep going.
What is your favorite pastime?
I suppose it sounds cliché but probably spending time with my husband. We knew each other for only five months when we got married, so our first fourteen years were rather rocky. And after homeschooling for more than twenty years I had a horrible time adjusting to the empty nest. Now I cherish the time that Jack and I have together, whether it’s getting a cup of coffee to take on a stroll on the boardwalk at our town’s mill pond or just watching a whodunnit together in the evening, I am very grateful that by God’s grace we are still together. I also enjoy reading (of course), making jewelry, and baking.
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