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: email@example.com
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!
71 Comments / Add Your Comment →
I love being introduced to debut authors. It’s exciting to be with them from the very beginning.
Thank you so much, Jane! <3
thank you, Mary!
Ditto what Mary Preston said. I also like where the bio said there were special teachers growing up. I too had special teachers. I wish everyone did!
thank you so much!
I really enjoyed Denise’s book. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Thank you, Janine!
Congrats on your debut release, Denise.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Thank you so much, Jane!!!
Lovely interview! Fun getting your background, Denise. Best wishes on the new series you are planning.
Please don’t enter me for the giveaway, thanks, Jane!
Thank you, Sophia!
Love getting to know new authors and I had the pleasure of reading Denise’s story and it is great read! Congratulations my friend and I can’t wait to read more of your stories!
Thank you, Kimberly!
Wow! Awesome interview. And I didn’t know you were in two commercials–that’s cool! Congratulations on now being a published writer. Keep it up! It was a pleasure to work with you.
Thank you, Christina!
Cool interview! I like that you had fun touching the edges of Austen without being too tied to canon when you wrote your modern romance for the anthology, as I accidentally did something similar. Pants causes that, right? Good luck on future submissions!
Thank you, Suzan!
Jane – you are so good at introducing us to new authors. Now I’m excited to read Denise’s story. How cool that Denise was in 2 commercials. Like Denise, I have to have white noise in the background when I am working on something. It allows me to concentrate better. Always has, since I was a younge teen doing homework.
Thank you, Eileen!
Thank you, Jen!
congrats Denise. i love bracelets, too. and i love that you acquire your hearts with a purpose.
Thank you, GIRLFROMWV!
I LOVE winter romance stories! So cozy and fun!
Thank you, Raya!
Congrats on your debut release!!
Thank you, Kari!
Denise, I am just so excited for you. Congratulations!
Thank you, Gigi!
Congratulations Denise on your debut book!
Thank you, Jessica!
Congrats. Way awesome
Thank you, Gretchen!
I’m so excited for you, Denise! Congrats!!!
Thank you, Deb!
Congrats Denise! That is so exciting! It’s hard to find time tow rite when the kids are around. Looking forward to reading your work!
Thank you, Monica!
Congratulations on your release.. So excited for you.
Thank you, Kristeen!
Great interview. Do you get recognized from your commercials? 🙂
Thank you, Kirsten!
fun music inspiration
Thank you, BN100!
Congratulations Denise on your Debut.That’s just wonderful. I enjoyed your Q&A’s.
Thank you, Carol!
Sounds and looks like a good read, love that you collect hearts. It’s one of my favorite designs to put into sweaters I design. Good luck to you!
Thank you, Julie!
Congratulations to my old classmates k – 12th… I’m really looking forward to reading her story and everything else she will be releasing. Denise I am sending my love.
Thank you, Anni! Love you, too!
Then Comes Winter, looks great. Love that cover. And Congratulations on your debut.
Thank you, Elisabeth!
Congratulations Denise! I really enjoyed finding out more about you 🙂
Thank you, Jean!
Thanks for letting me know about one more thing to put on my reading wish list.
Thank you, Karla!
congrats on your debut release Denise. you are new to me so will look into your writings.
Thank you, Robyn!
Welcome Denise to the world of publishing, way to go! Hope you have much success. Thanks Jane for introducing us to Denise.
Thank you, Library Lady!
Congratulations and best wishes on your debut. I look forward to this book.
Thank you, Elaina!
Thank you, Ann!
Congrats on your release, love the cover and it sounds really good. Thanks for sharing with us today.
Thank you, Quilt Lady!
So great to be introduced to a new author congrats and good luck
Thank you, Linda!
Thanks, everyone, for helping to make Denise welcome on Janeblog! Our winner is #20 Monica Vanbeekum. Email me with your details, Monica! I have your package ready to go. 🙂
Thanks so much!!! I’m so excited the book arrived today! I feel bad that Lee had to email me because I didn’t check to see who won! LOL Thanks again Jane & Denise! <3