Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Stephanie Guerrero. I am a Southern girl who married a tall, handsome mid-western turned pastor! We have lived a thousand adventures in our twenty-three years of married “happily ever after” and have four amazing children. I’m a former middle school reading teacher & curriculum writer; but traded 150 students a year to stay home with four of my own. I co-founded Sister2Sister Ministries, love music, travel, flowers, Mexican food and dark chocolate!
Originally, I was a middle school reading teacher who taught the elements of a story. When I made the decision to stay home with my growing family, I needed to do something for my overactive brain! While my little ones would nap, I decompressed by writing. I promised myself that I would finish my book, and if no one else liked it at least I had the joy of writing. It took seven years to complete and three more years to publish. I nearly lost the manuscript twice due to computer viruses and mother board crashes! There were times God would tell me to set my writing aside and focus on my family. Other times, He would tell me to pick it up again. It has truly been a joy and an adventure! I will also add that writing each book is an adventure in itself. What God is teaching me at that moment in life usually shines through My Novel Adventures! My latest novella: Cocoa Christmas Bride is no exception.
I LOVE adventure, and I am fascinated by the way God brings couples together in love. Each one has a different story to tell. He is the ultimate matchmaker. I especially delight in the power of weaving His story into a grand adventure romance.
Love that, Stephanie!
While writing Cocoa Christmas Bride, I was wearing many hats. J In addition to writing, I teach my four children (two high schoolers, a middle schooler and an elementary student) at home, am a Children’s Minister, co-founder of Sister2SisterMinistries and other crazy things. I aspire to write for about an hour and a half to two hours each morning from around 10am-noon while my children do online classroom videos. (I am not an early bird!) Mondays are dedicated to marketing during that time. Summer is a gift!
I usually drag a spiral notebook along on our family adventures to get ideas started! We are surrounded by mountains and love to take day trips to go hiking/camping. I use my downtime in the car to brainstorm.
If you are familiar with writers you may know that there are generally two types: the plotters and the (by the seat of the) pantsers. I am a bit of both. I love to start with a basic plot and character or two, and then start writing. Along the way, I will stop and research, use a chart to develop my character’s quirks, etc; but I love to let the story lead.
During the planning of Cocoa Christmas Bride, I had a family member message me with a list of my husband’s family tree. I knew I had married a “prince among men”, but the number of kings and queens, dukes and earls in his line is shocking! The man is related to virtually every royal line in Europe! I decided to research one of his ggggreat-grandfather kings for fun and came away with amazing inspiration from the life of a truly magnificient yet humble man. The inspiration for a reluctant king being forced to take a queen was born!
In Cocoa Christmas Bride, my female character Silvia Diamante chooses to be a person of strength yet vulnerability, of candor mixed with grace. I discovered personally that all these qualities can coexist in the life of a self-disciplined, Spirit-led individual. It is a tough balance to maintain, and writing my character challenged me higher. I had a moment of real soul-searching when writing certain scene in the book.
I usually have adventures or plots that I am saving for the future! Though I didn’t know it would revolve around cocoa or Christmas, Cocoa Christmas Bride began this way! I toss the plot around in my head and daydream about it for a while. Eventually, a character takes it and runs with it!
I have an antique, Singer sewing machine, the kind that looks like a piece of furniture until you magically reveal the machine inside. It sits in front of a giant picture window with my laptop ready and waiting. I live on a desert mesa overlooking a river valley. From my window, I can see the cactus and Spanish courtyard of my front yard along with lights of my town in the river valley. Even now as I type, train whistles are blowing. I am blessed.
Chocolate in any variety, I recently discovered cocoa nibs, the chocolate equivalent of a coffee bean! Writing a book about cocoa was a real treat! I also love hummus with either tortilla chips or snack peppers!
Cocoa nibs! I want some! :)
If we are referring to one of my own, J it would be Shades of the Orient. It is a multi-layered plot with lots of twists and turns; it also has a lot of me in it. There are masks, intrigue and romance all wrapped around the themes of betrayal and grace.
If we are referring to a personal favorite read… Embrace the Dawn by Kathleen Morgan. It is a very adventurous, well-written historical about Scotland. The characters and setting drew me in and I even learned a few pointers on being a loving spouse!
It’s an oldie, but really encouraged me to get started… How to be a Christian Fiction Writer ~ by Gilbert Morris. The man has published dozens of books, but described how he still receives rejections from publishers. He reminded me that sometimes a certain publisher isn’t publishing your genre, or may have different editors who like different styles. The point is… never quit.
He also keeps pictures of an eye, ear, mouth, nose and hand above his computer as a reminder to let the reader see, hear, taste, smell and touch the story.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Nothing helps an author more than positive reviews!!! If you are interested in reviewing or influencing for one of my books, please check out my amazon author page at: http://amazon.com/author/stephanieguerrero then contact me via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shadesoftheorient/ or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d love to hear from you! Questions? Leave a comment below.
Two lucky posts will be selected to win the ebook: Love Found in a Christmas Village!
Thank you for joining us, today, Stephanie!
And readers, leave a comment with your email address! You want to win this book!