Good morning! Please give a warm welcome to author Stephanie A. Daniels.
Thank you for joining me, Stephanie. Tell us about yourself.
Who Am I
Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Gail. Your posts have been a real blessing to me.
I am a Christian, a wife to a former Chicago police officer, and homeschool mom to three almost grown boys. We make our home in Southwest Missouri now, but my husband is a native Chicagoan and all three of my sons were born there. I write Christian historical fiction (usually with romance) for young adults and the young at heart.
I love The Uncertainty of Fire. Where did you get the idea?
What’s My Story?
I’m so happy that you are enjoying this story.
The idea for The Uncertainty of Fire started over ten years ago. I used to be a counselor in our church youth group, and I was often surprised by how often Christian young ladies made life choices that contradicted the Bible. But when I reflect upon my own teen years, I realize I didn’t always make the best choices either. They weren’t always evil or sinful. But they weren’t Scripture or Spirit-led. They weren’t decisions I’d prayed about. God used those ponderings to create a main character who loves Him but doesn’t always trust Him as she should. She often makes decisions independent of His Word. And aren’t we all guilty of that from time to time?
What problems did you run into with the research?
Oh, research! It’s never-ending really, and I’m still finding out new things. One of the challenges of historical fiction is that you can’t hurry up a real event. You must work within those time constraints. When I first started this story so long ago, I’d read a lot about the Great Conflagration. But somewhere over time, I’d managed to muddle some of the timeline. That became a problem as I unraveled some plot points. Lots of things have had to change. I also had an interesting contradiction in my research concerning the Palmer House Hotel. But that might be a little lengthy to go into here. I do summarize my findings in the Author’s Note at the end of Episode 1.
Why did you become an indie author? Why Vella instead of a traditional paperback or e-book?
Becoming an indie author came as a complete surprise. It was never the path I saw for myself. I’d submitted this book for a publisher last year, received excellent feedback and was even invited to resubmit it after so many months. But critique from different circles became difficult to filter through. I was soon overwhelmed by how to get it ready to resubmit. Life became a bit of a spinning hamster wheel as I attempted to balance getting this story where it needed to be, with all my other responsibilities. It was exhausting. A few other details persuaded me that the traditional publishing path was no longer for me. At first, I’d argued with God about the traditional publishing door still being open, but God nudged me away and when I surrendered to go indie, I was (and still am) completely at peace. God allowed me to befriend many independent publishing friends over the past few years. I believe it’s what God had wanted for me all along, but He was preparing the working relationships I would need to be successful. And setting up the platform that would allow me to publish for the first time.
Which is what leads to why I chose (or why I felt led) to Kindle Vella. The length of this story made it a good candidate for episodic storytelling. Young people are more apt to read on their phones or in a browser and I think more people will be reading like this in the future. Also, Vella gives me the option of leaving the story on the site and publishing it as an e-book and paperback in the future. So, while I work on the next steps, I’m gaining visibility and maybe even reaching a wider audience.
Where to Find My Story
I’m hearing a lot about the new Kindle Vella Library. It’s a great way to meet new authors and read serialized stories. Tell us what you’ve learned about Vella, and how we can read your story?
I have really enjoyed meeting other authors who’ve published there, and I’m excited to see that there are at least 80 Christian stories already posted. Not everyone is interested in reading in piecemeal or waiting for the next episode to release (there are already completed stories available too). But it’s a great option for reluctant readers, or avid reading high schoolers, (and adults) who are involved in many different activities but don’t have time to read a whole book. We always have our phones with us now and since every story on Vella lets you read the first three episodes for free, it might be just enough time to sample a story and decide if it’s one you want to follow and read more of.
If so, in your browser go to Amazon.com/kindle-vella. Readers can search for The Uncertainty of Fire while there, but the search feature lately has been undependable. Amazon is still working out some of the bugs for this new platform. The direct link to my story is https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B096QYG2VX
Thanks again for sharing your story, Stephanie. Readers, join us next week when Stephanie will share more about Vella.
Stephanie Daniels is a Christian homeschool mom and author who writes faith-filled historical fiction for young adults and the young at heart. She lives in southwest Missouri with her husband and three sons. Her first published work, The Uncertainty of Fire, is available exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle Vella.
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