Romance author Katie Ganshert answers our questions about
Wishing on Willows (WaterBrook Press): There’s an epic battle of wills brewing in the small town of Peaks, Iowa—but are they really fighting each other, or are they fighting their feelings for each other?
Q: WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION DRIVING THE STORY IN WISHING ON WILLOWS?
When I wrote my debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, one of the secondary characters was passing through something quite emotional and kept stealing the limelight from my main character. I was having a hard time pinning down the story, unsure who it was really about. Once I figured out I could just give Robin her own story, I was able to give Robin her proper place in Wildflowers. Wishing on Willows takes place four years later and is Robin’s story of healing and second chances.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES FROM THE STORY WHERE YOU DREW ELEMENTS FROM REAL LIFE?
My main character, Robin, has an almost four year old son and besides his physical appearance, he is the literary replica of my son. It was so much fun bringing my little man’s personality to life on the page. Also, the emotional journey Robin travels throughout this novel is almost identical to the emotional journey I went through when it came to saying yes to adoption.
Q: IN WISHING ON WILLOWS, WHICH CHARACTER SURPRISED YOU MOST?
Probably the hero – Ian McKay. He went through such a transformation from the rough draft to the final draft that he’s almost unrecognizable. The way he took shape, the way his back story changed, and the journey he went through is not at all how I thought it would be. But I’m very happy with the outcome!
Q: WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
I have two completed novels I’m hoping to see in print someday and I have a couple other story ideas brewing that I’d love to write. At the moment, I’m editing a novel I wrote for fun that is very much outside my genre. It’s a YA supernatural romance with a dystopian-esqe feel. Not sure what, if anything, I’ll do with it. But it’s been fun to change it up a bit!
Q: WHAT DO YOU HOPE READERS GET OUT OF YOUR WORK?
My prayer for my work is always that readers would be captivated, encouraged, and uplifted in their faith. I hope that my stories would draw hearts closer to Jesus. For this particular novel, I hope that readers are challenged to step past their fear and what is familiar toward whatever “best” God is calling them to. It’s a scary step, but always a worthwhile one.