A “spotlight” is defined as “intense scrutiny or public attention.” “A lamp projecting a narrow, intense beam of light directly onto a place or person.” Or in my case, possibly a great author. Come back regularly to check out my latest Spotlight!
I recently interviewed author Stephenia McGee about her newest book, The Cedar Key.
Stephenia has become one of my favorite authors of historical fiction and I can’t recommend her books highly enough. This one is a bit different, as it’s contemporary. She still knocked it out of the park! So sit back and relax with your favorite drink, get to know Stephenia a bit, and then run to your favorite bookstore and get a copy of The Cedar Key!
Stephenia! Thanks for joining us. Let’s get right to it. Why did you choose this genre?
Honestly, I didn’t mean to. When my grandmother went into hospice last July, I took a break from writing. After she passed in October, I didn’t end up writing anything for several months. Then suddenly one day in January this entire story bloomed in my heart. I wrote the first few chapters and the plot immediately took shape. Since I usually write historical, I was a little surprised by this first person contemporary. But I adore this story and the heroine, and I’m hoping my readers will as well.
Where did you get the idea to write this book?
A lot of the family treasures in The Cedar Key come from my own ancestors. So I took the idea of the stories behind the objects special objects we have in our lives and used that concept in the book.
Are your characters ever named after people you know?
This time, yes. A wonderful lady in my husband’s hometown allowed me to use her name for my character, Nancy. Both the real Nancy and the fictional one are women of faith with a reputation for making the best bread you’ve ever tasted. She was even sweet enough to share some of her recipes with me. Those went into the companion recipe booklet for The Cedar Key, which will be a complimentary thank-you gift to the first 100 people who purchase the book.
Do you personally enjoy reading mysteries? I do, but I’m not very good at figuring out whodunit.
I love trying to puzzle out a good mystery. I don’t usually read murder stories, but when a character has to figure out a string of clues or outsmart a villain, you can count me in.
Is it important that you include faith in your stories? Why?
There’s no way to separate my faith and convictions from my work. Stories are such a huge part of my heart that faith naturally comes out on the page. Most of the time, whatever God is trying to teach me in my own life ends up being a trial for a character as well. I believe God times my books out that way so that I can learn something as I write. As my character has to figure out God’s promptings, so do I. We make the discoveries together.
What do you do for fun?
Read, play Saturday morning dominos with my husband and boys, watch funny movies, fishing, and going for rides on the trails behind our house with our two big dogs.
What’s your favorite dessert?
There’s a local Italian place here that serves pecan butter crunch cake topped with homemade vanilla ice cream and apple glaze. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.
Your favorite holiday? Why?
Thanksgiving. I love fall weather. I’m a huge fan of food, and I enjoy the family getting together. There’s a simplicity to Thanksgiving that’s often lost in the hustle and bustle of Christmas that I truly enjoy.
See, Stephenia. That’s another reason we’ve become “friends.” Fall is perfect and I love Thanksgiving!
Thanks for being with us! Readers, below is information about The Cedar Key and a bit more about Stephenia.
Thanks for having me over today, Vicky! It’s been fun!
The Cedar Key
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.
Stephenia H. McGee
Best-selling author of Christian novels, Stephenia H. McGee writes stories of faith, hope, and healing set in the Deep South. When she’s not twirling around in hoop skirts, reading, or sipping sweet tea on the front porch, she’s a homeschool mom of two boys, writer, dreamer, and husband spoiler. Visit her at www.StepheniaMcGee.com for books and updates.
You can also follow her on Facebook where we have lots of fun!