Their journey to the Taheb brings them burgeoning faith, unexpected love, and unimaginable heartbreak. The Well. Valley Bookseller. About the Book. Endorsements Mara is an unforgettable character, and the writing is sharp. Davis Bunn.
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An excellent first outing by a promising writer. Library Journal. Even rarer is a story that compels you to set it aside, reflect and pray before you can go any further.
Stephanie Landsem takes a tale you think you know and leaves you breathless with unexpected discoveries. I found myself stunned by The Well and humbled and inspired by the faith journey of her characters. This is a masterpiece. Wisler, author of Rain Song Christy Finalist and other southern fiction.
The Well (The Living Water, #1) by Stephanie Landsem
Under her skilled pen, the characters, the setting, the history of ancient Samaria spring to life. When Howard Books purchased The Well and contracted me for two more books, I knew those books would also explore personal encounters with Jesus in the Gospel of John.
Beth: Novels set in Biblical and ancient times require a lot of research. What has been the most rewarding experience during your research thus far? What has been the most exasperating?
- Sonatina, Op 8, No 1.
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The most surprising? Stephanie: I love research and probably spend far too much time on it.
The most rewarding experience is finding those bits of historical facts that make your story come alive. I especially love studying archeological finds from Israel. When you see these bits and pieces of everyday life of ancient times, you can more easily imagine how people lived, worked, and raised their families. The most exasperating part of research into biblical times is that so much is unknown. There are conflicting accounts and opposing theories among historians, archeologists, and biblical scholars.
How do you prepare for these types of scenes? Stephanie: I start by reading the biblical account very carefully. Then I read commentary by trusted biblical scholars. The most important step is prayer—I ask for wisdom and guidance to present this story in the way God desires and pray to the Holy Spirit for inspiration. Which character stands out as your favorite? Stephanie: Picking a favorite character is like being asked to choose your favorite child! I love Nissa as well. She was an atypical Jewish woman who was forced into actions she knew were wrong to save her beloved brother.
Despite their difference, I can relate to both of them. Beth: What made you want to become a writer? Which writers have inspired you? I read pretty broadly—historical, fantasy, mysteries, thrillers and occasionally horror novels. Beth: What does your writing process look like?
Do you write freehand first, do outlines, character sketches, etc? Stephanie: I start with research.
I order stacks of books from the library, watch documentaries, and scour the internet for information on the time period. That usually gives me plenty of ideas for plot and characters. I keep my notes on research and characters in a binder. Then I map out my story on a big piece of tagboard using post-it notes for each scene. I go through a lot of post-it notes!
I move the scenes around and make changes as I write but the structure helps me stay on track.
If you did write in another genre, which one would it be? Stephanie: I love biblical fiction and have plenty of ideas for new stories in that genre. But the history buff in me wants to explore some new time periods. Beth: What projects do you have coming up?
- BLACKMAILED (Blacked in Barbados Book 2).
- Gooney Bird.
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At least a hint of what the future holds for your readers that you can share with us?