Today I’m introducing you to a rather special guest who has been one of my long-term readers, and through our shared loved of books and stories, we’ve also become friends. It thrills me to share that Denise Stout is now also a debut author! Denise’s story, Christmas Miracle on Oyster Bay is one of the stories featured in the Then Comes Winter anthology and I couldn’t be happier for her.
Please join in giving a warm welcome to Denise Stout!
- You came to publishing in a non-traditional path by entering a writing contest, what made you decide to enter?
I’ve been writing for several years. A friend suggested entering judged writing contests would give me good feedback on my writing strengths and weaknesses and point me in the right direction toward a better finished story. I saw a contest on a book blog, and it had several things which interested me: it was a judged contest, they wanted the story to be an Austenesque romance, and there was a chance to be published if I placed high enough.
“Then comes Winter with bluster and snow,
that brings to our cheeks the ruddy glow…”
—Gertrude Tooley Buckingham
If you long for a toasty snuggle on a cold winter’s night, this compilation of original short stories inspired by the magic of the holiday season—and more than a nod to Jane Austen—is fancied as a sublime wintertime treat.
On the heels of the summer anthology, Sun-kissed: Effusions of Summer, and in concert with some of Meryton Press’s most popular authors, this romantic anthology introduces more promising writers.
With a robust mix of contemporary and Regency musings, Then Comes Winter rekindles passionate fires with equal wonder, wit, and romance.
- Are you a fan of Jane Austen?
I do consider myself to be a Janeite, though I read all romance–contemporary, regency, cozy mysteries, etc… I write contemporary romance. I love all of the works by Austen and felt there was a good chance I could pull it off without making it fanfiction. It has a subtle feel of Pride and Predjudice, but it’s a contemporary romance–someone not familiar with Austen would still enjoy it because it’s a standalone romance.
- Do you have future writing plans?
I have a few stories fighting to get out. I’m working on the characters and plotting a little, but I’m more of a pantser when it comes to writing. I’m looking forward to possibly writing a series based in the town setting from my story.
- Share something most people don’t know about you.
I’ve appeared in two different commercials for cleaning products. I earned my SAG credentials on the first one which ran nationally on cable. I bought my dining room furniture with that money. The second commercial was on HGTV, and I appeared with the star of one of their shows. It was filmed in my kitchen. I received a lot of free product for that commercial.
- Do you have a special place or time to write?
I write when the kids are at school, because I’m usually too busy after school. My dining room table has become my desk. When my husband found out I was writing–I kept it a secret for a while–he bought me a laptop. I left the office for the dining room. It’s less distracting, but it still has a window.
- What do you use for inspiration?
I love to listen to music when I write or mentally plot. Top 40, Country, sometimes Hard Rock or Old School Rap. 80s music. While I like quietude, I can’t stand complete silence. I need something in the background, even if it’s just white noise. Music is a great solace.
- Do you collect anything odd?
I love hearts. When I was a kid, if my brothers and I had something alike, my mom marked each item with a unique symbol–mine was a heart. You’ll probably find at least one heart in most of the rooms in my house, except for my boys’ rooms. A wooden bowl, a heart shaped stone, milagros, nothing too 80s cheesy or kitschy (I got rid of those), some are subtle like the iron scroll on the light above my kitchen sink or obvious like a pillow made from a vintage quilt. I buy them with purpose now.
- Favorite thing to wear?
Bracelets. So easy to change out, different styles to dress up or down, fun way to accessorize, easy on the budget, and because they’re fluid, I have less problems with allergic reactions to unknown materials.
Denise Stout dreamed about writing from a very early age, guided along the way by some special teachers who took interest in her writing and encouraged her to pursue her words in print. She loves to write stories about strong women who strive for the best in life, sometimes faltering, but who always have the fortitude to pick themselves back up again while finding love along the way.
A frequent contributor to FindSubscriptionBoxes.com, she also reviews books, movies, and products. When not driving carpools, watching her boys play sports from the sidelines, volunteering or other activities, she loves to read. And write. Or watch Jane Austen adaptations. Denise lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and three sons.
Find Denise on Twitter: @denisestoutauth or Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Denise for sharing with us and huge congrats on your debut release!
I’m so excited for you and readers, I hope you’ll show Denise some love too and get your copy of Then Comes Winter soon. And I’m always happy to share some love with you, too, so here’s a fun giveaway for you! Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win a box of holiday reads and festive treats, including a signed copy of my Kidnapped Christmas Bride, and Denise’s story anthology, Then Comes Winter. The giveaway closes Friday and the winner will be announced Saturday. Good luck!