WHO? Who are you besides a writer?
I’m a wife, daughter, sister, friend, and a stay-at-home mom of a toddler little girl, and I’ve got her little sister on the way. So, outside the world of books, I’m busy exploring the world through the eyes of a child. We “cook” in her miniature kitchen, read her two favorite books out of her stash of two hundred, pick flowers, or take walks with our akita, Kashi. I’ve found that in the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s nice to set an hour aside and focus on what really matters.
WHAT? What do you enjoy doing other than writing in your spare time?
I love to travel, but I haven’t been overseas since my daughter’s birth two years ago. In March, my best friend, her sister, my daughter, and I went to Florida (the first time I traveled “alone” with a toddler!), and my husband and I are planning to go to Montana again this summer. I love to try new food and experiment with recipes. I enjoy thrift-store shopping, since I’m a penny-pincher (except, of course, when it comes to jewelry and shoes), and I am addicted to books. My To-Be-Read Pile has no end.
WHEN? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Because of my father’s weekly songwriting sessions (he used to jot down lyrics on 2 x 4’s with his carpenter’s pencil), I tried to make up songs before I could even read or write. Once I started to read (especially the Anne of Green Gables series!), I knew I wanted to be an author one day, like Anne. I have received some incredible support through my parents, teachers, friends, and husband, which was significant in making this dream come true. I’m so very grateful to each and every one of them!
WHERE? Where do you write?
During the editorial process, which is what I’m doing now, I don’t go anywhere but the kitchen table—where I spread out two laptops and edit one document while looking at the suggestions on the other, which are given to me by my husband, who’s always my first reader. However, the first and second drafts are a little more romantic. In the winter, I write on a chair in the living room that has an ottoman for my feet. Sometimes, if cajoled, my husband will build a fire for me in the fireplace (I am dangerous with matches). In the spring and summer, I write on the front porch with the hummingbirds zinging over my head and the fans stirring the breeze. We have a field in front of us, woods behind us, and not a neighbor in sight. I love living in the boonies, though—because of this—our internet connection is rather lousy.
WHY? Why do you write?
I write to better understand our world and my place in it—something I’ve done since I was six years old and kept a diary with a tiny gold locket. I write because I’m always listening for stories, and I often feel compelled to write these stories down, though I change the names to protect the innocent . . . and the guilty. I write because I want to offer others hope as they search for fragments of beauty in their life’s ashes.
How? Has your writing success changed your life?
I can’t really say that it has: I still clean my own house, fold my own laundry, do my own grocery shopping, and fish items out of the trash can that my toddler has thrown while helping me “clean up.” Then again, I’m not exactly J.K. Rowling. I’ve come to the conclusion that, even if I was J.K. Rowling, there would always be something else to achieve . . . another goal to reach or award to conquer. So, I’m just trying to enjoy this writing process and the stories that are created through it instead of wondering where this process is going to take me. For now, I just know that I’m blessed to get to work from home and be with my daughter and with my unborn daughter who will be joining our family in the fall.
Jolina Petersheim is the award-winning author of The Midwife and The Outcast, which Library Journal gave a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. The Outcast also became an ECPA, CBA, and Amazon bestseller, and was featured in Huffington Post’s Fall Picks, World Magazine's Notable Books, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and The Tennessean. Jolina and her husband’s unique Amish and Mennonite heritage originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They now live in the mountains of Tennessee with their young daughter. Whenever she's not busy chasing this adorable toddler, Jolina is hard at work on her next novel.
by Jolina Petersheim
The Past — Graduate student Beth Winslow was sure she was ready to navigate the challenges of becoming a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities with the baby, Beth is unprepared for the parents’ decision to end the pregnancy — and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen Haus, a home for unwed mothers deep in a Tennessee Mennonite community.
The Present — As head midwife of Hopen Haus, Rhoda Mummau delivers babies with a confident though stoic ease. Except in rare moments, not even those who work alongside her would guess that each newborn cry, each starry-eyed glance from mother to child, nearly renders a fault through Rhoda’s heart, reminding her of a past she has carefully concealed. Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives in the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia’s due date draws near, Rhoda must face her regrets and those she left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.
"Jolina's lyrical storytelling absolutely sings--but it's her quick-paced plot, complex characters, and insights into the Plain world that made it impossible for me to put The Midwife down." ~Leslie Gould, #1 bestselling author of The Amish Midwife
To hear from Jolina on her go-to caffeine boost, stop by www.crazy4fiction.com.
What about you, readers? What drink of choice kick-starts your creativity and helps you keep moving?
Now for the giveaway!!!