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Interview with Katie Powner

Katie Powner joins us to celebrate her debut release from Bethany House, The Sowing Season. Yet, Katie's writing began many years ago. There was a time, when she was about ten years old, when she composed a multi-page epic poem for her mom in celebration of Mother's Day. The poem included several verses for each of the four seasons and something about a frolicking deer. Her mother pretended with all her heart to love that poem, and Katie will always be thankful for that, because she likely wouldn’t be doing this book writing today if her mother had thrown the poem in the garbage.

Welcome, Katie! What message do you hope readers take away from your debut release?
At its heart, The Sowing Season is about second chances and reconciliation. My hope is that it will make readers think about the cost of holding on to bitterness and the freedom found in forgiveness.

What literary pilgrimages or research trips have you taken? What was your favorite and what did you discover or learn?
I have not taken any pilgrimages or research trips so far. I did spend an inordinate amount of time online researching a specific tractor for The Sowing Season and owe a debt to a man named Robert Sybrandy who was able to provide me with pictures of the tractor manual I needed to get a small but important plot point correct.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? How?
This is a hard question to answer…I’m not sure I try to do either of those things honestly. I think when I’m approaching a story, at least at first, I’m really only thinking about what I find interesting. I also don’t think being original or delivering what readers want need to be mutually exclusive things, because readers want original stories!

What have you learned from writing this debut novel? Will The Sowing Season be a standalone or become part of a series?
I think one of the main things I learned from writing The Sowing Season was that when a story wants to be told, it’s going to find a way to be told. It really made no sense for me to write this book. I’d already had four previous books rejected and no one was looking for or asking for a book like this. But the story wouldn’t leave me alone, and now here we are!

The Sowing Season was written as a standalone, although I’ve had a lot of people ask if it might get a sequel someday. As of right now, I am not planning a follow-up, but I know better than to say “never.”

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
All the money I have spent on conferences and resource books and online workshops has all been money very well spent, but the best money I ever spent was the first time I ever entered a contest. It was the Genesis contest, and I entered the first book I’d ever completed. Though the book never ended up going anywhere, that entry became a semi-finalist that year, which gave me the push I needed to keep going. I really don’t think I would’ve written my second or third or fourth books (which were all rejected, by the way), if not for the encouragement of that contest.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I do a lot of random online research, trying to get random details right, but usually not before I begin a book. The research happens as I’m going along and run into questions I can’t answer on my own.

What did you edit OUT of this book?
The only thing I edited out of The Sowing Season were some minor questionable language choices by one of the characters.

Is writing part-time or full-time for you? If you didn’t write, what would you do for work or fun to replace that?
My full-time gig is stay-at-home mom, homeschool teacher, and foster parent. Writing is something I squeeze into the spare moments. If I didn’t write, that time would probably be replaced by naps.

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I would go back and read more diverse books as I was growing up, if I could do something differently. I was a voracious reader but never thought, at the time, to specifically look for books that would expose me to other cultures and perspectives.

How do your faith and spiritual walk play out in your novels?
When your faith influences what you think and do and how you see the world, it inevitably also influences what you write. I think this is why my stories always have hope. Hope is everything. Hope is the reason to write in the first place.

Finish this statement: In the future, I will…
…try to keep all my story notes in one place and write them legibly so I can actually use them.

Any parting words?
I want to say thank you to the writing community for being so wonderful and supportive. All the encouragement I’ve received has blessed my heart and motivated me to be more encouraging to others.


Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having an active imagination and a flair for the dramatic. Today, she has honed those skills to become an award-winning author and speaker who works as a homeschool mom and independent contractor, helping others become their best from the inside out. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Colorado. They have a daughter and son, 2 dogs and 2 cats. She has sold over 25 books so far, three of which have won annual reader's choice awards. She is represented by Tamela Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. (

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