“I did what?”
Twenty-eight year old Gabriella Bessu is St. Therese’s meticulous wedding ceremony coordinator. So the fact that she has mistakenly signed her newest couple up for an annulment, rather than a wedding, sends her Catholic guilt into overdrive.
But who can blame her? The groom is gorgeous and his two kids tug at Gabriella’s heart in a way that overcomes all her best intentions. Before long she’s in over her head, fixing her mixed-up plans and helping the children and dad come to terms with their haunting grief for the mother and wife they lost years earlier.
With an English teacher for a mom, DEANNE WILSTED, grew up reciting conjugation instead of nursery rhymes. Now, forty years later, she’s sharing that special skill through her writing and her mothering. Her first book, a contemporary romance called BETTING JESSICA, was released October 2011. Her second Novel, UNTANGLING THE KNOT, is due out in February 2013 from Soul Mate Publishing. She is currently marketing her third book for publication and writing her fourth, fifth and sixth while blogging about the crazy stuff she overheard while writing.
Interview with Deanne Wilsted
I want to sincerely thank Author Deanne Wilsted for taking her time to do an interview with me! I hope that you enjoy her answers as much as I have.
Tell us a little bit about your book and have you published before?
Hi Amanda. Thank you so much for inviting me to be on your blog; which, by the way, is right up my alley and a new favorite!
UNTANGLING THE KNOT is my second published novel. Like my first book, BETTING JESSICA, which I self-published in October 2011, it has a lot of humor and is a sweet romance. Unlike BETTING JESSICA, though, it deals with some heavier topics such as parenting, death and God.
In the book, Gabriella, a conscientious and careful wedding ceremony coordinator for a church, finds herself falling for the groom-to-be, Ryan, and his two children.
It’s like a cross between The Parent Trap and The Wedding Planner movies. The kids play a starring role, especially the eldest, Chloe, who because of the wedding is thrust into having to reconcile her feelings about God and death. Meanwhile Gabriella ends up making hilarious mistakes while as she subconsciously sabotages the ceremony plans. Ryan is confused by his growing feelings for Gabriella and his commitment to his engagement. All of it is a perfect set-up for a great romance.
Will this be the only book in the series?
Yes, this is a stand-alone novel. I have, however, written a free short story about Ryan’s proposal to Mandy, the fiancé.
What inspired you to become an author?
I still laugh when I think about the answer to this question. In third grade I wrote a very eight year old type poem about the sky. It won an honorable mention in my county fair. The pride I felt stayed with me over many years, so that even after an undergraduate and graduate degree in business, and many years working in banking, I was still convinced I would one day become an author. I have to thank my husband, Jeff, for pushing me to take the time off from work to actually write. It took ten years, more or less, to finish my first novel. Fortunately the process on the others has been much easier.
Do you have a routine when you write? Can you tell us about it?
Yes! And don’t try to mess with it. <grin> Seriously, though, it’s turned out to be quite an expensive routine.
It started when we had just moved from England to Boston. We were living in a tiny, freezing cold apartment in the suburbs, with a neighbor below us who hated any kind of noise. The only way I could get work done was to go to Starbucks.
Since then, on almost any day, you can find me doing my most creative work at my local Starbucks. In fact, when we moved to Portland my main criteria for our house was that it needed to be near a Starbucks. The only time I have trouble working there is when my PMS aligns with writing a sad scene. This happened once when I was writing UNTANGLING THE KNOT, during the part where Ryan gets a message from his late wife. As I wrote I found myself sobbing in the middle of Starbucks. It was terribly embarrassing. People kept coming over and asking if I was okay. But I had to finish the scene so I just kept writing. I am much more careful now during that time of the month.
What is the most satisfying aspect of being an author?
I absolutely love the creative process. After I have written a scene that I didn’t even know existed in my imagination I feel like I have been given the most amazing gift.
That said, although the creative process is fun, the editing process is really rewarding. I especially enjoyed working with my editor at Soul Mate Publishing, Debby Gilbert, on this book. The collaborative process brought such energy to my writing and made me feel like I was sharing the journey in a special way.
Finally, it is wonderful to be applying my marketing and business background again. So, I guess you could say I love every aspect of being a writer.
What are some of your hobbies outside of writing?
Well, it isn’t really a hobby, per se, but I have an eight year old daughter who I spend a lot of time caring for and having fun with. I love to read, though I find this very difficult to do when I am in the middle of a writing project. And I love to cook, especially Italian food.
Probably, though, my biggest hobby would be travelling, mostly by armchair and web-surfing, but sometimes live. My husband and I are constantly talking about where we want to go next and how we will get there.
Next trip on my horizon, you wonder? Italy, definitely; New Orleans; England to visit friends and research a new novel I am working on; and, for my daughter, someday Egypt.
What are you working on next?
Oh my gosh… the third book I wrote, MOLTO MAYHEM, is so much fun. It is set in Italy, has a very comical cast of characters, and needs a complete revision of the plot. Sigh. I compare this to a doctor replacing the bones in the body of a beautiful model without affecting her outward appearance; very tricky!
Aside from that, I have three other novels which I have begun then put aside for one reason or another. Once I have revised Molto Mayhem, I need to get back into at least one of these and finish it. I am pretty sure I know which one it will be too. I hinted at it above. It is the one set in England and tells the story of a trip taken by a mother and daughter… with a little love thrown in, of course. My author tagline sort of says it all I think: Journeys Inspired by Love.
Thank you so much for having me. I hope you and your readers enjoy my journey!
Thanks Deanne for being such a great sport with my interview questions! I cannot wait to see what you have in store for your readers next. For more tour stops along this tour, please visit Promotional Book Tours for the entire lineup!