Author Interview and Giveaway – In a Far-Off Land – Stephanie Landsem

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There’s something magnetic about a fresh retelling of a Biblical story. And you’ve never seen the story of The Prodigal like this before. Stephanie Landsem takes readers into the glitter and sparkle of 1930s film-making. Readers see Hollywood glam and heartache first-hand, through the eyes of Tinseltown’s newest darling, actress Minerva Sinclair. Welcome to the Index, Stephanie!

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In a Far-Off Land

A story about the price of fame, the truth sacrificed on its altar, and the love that brings a prodigal daughter home.

As the Great Depression hits the Midwest, Minerva Sinclaire runs away to Hollywood, determined to make it big and save the family farm. But beauty and moxie don’t pay the bills in Tinseltown, and she’s caught in a downward spiral of poverty, desperation, and compromise. Finally, she’s about to sign with a major studio and make up for it all. Instead, she wakes up next to a dead film star and is on the run for a murder she didn’t commit.

Only two unwilling men—Oscar, a Mexican gardener in danger of deportation, and Max, a too-handsome agent battling his own demons—can help Mina escape corrupt police on the take and the studio big shots trying to frame her. But even her quick thinking and grit can’t protect her from herself. Alone, penniless, and carrying a shameful secret, Mina faces the consequences of the heartbreaking choices that brought her to ruin . . . and just might bring her back to where she belongs.

Stephanie’s Website



Questions about Stephanie’s Story

Did any of the characters in this book “surprise” you?

Yes! In my first draft of In A Far-Off Land, Mina had an unscrupulous agent named Max who was taking advantage of her and was going to get his come-uppance. I’d written a few scenes with him when I realized . . . I like this man. He was worming his way into my heart and not becoming the villain I’d originally planned. I tried again with a new scene. Max surprised me again by being a stand-up kind of guy. I wasn’t sure what to do with him at that point.

Did any of your characters “fight” with you until you succumbed and changed their personality or the story choice you were forcing them into?

I decided I needed to give Max a chance, so I sat down and wrote his backstory. I discovered in him a character that bridged the divide between the poverty of the Mexican-Americans who were struggling in 1930s Los Angeles and the over-the-top riches of the Hollywood elite. Max had experienced both extremes. He knew the love of family and longed to return to it and had witnessed first-hand the destructive power of fame and money. He wanted to save Mina from what he knew would be a dangerous life. He turned from my villain into my hero.


Questions about Stephanie’s Reading

What was the last Christian Historical Novel that made you cry?

My last good book-cry was when I read Patti Callahan-Henry’s novel, Becoming Mrs. Lewis. I was surprised because I thought I knew Joy Davidman’s story and was ready for the tragic ending. But really, I wasn’t. It was so skillfully done, and so beautifully wrought with her spiritual journey and the amazing love that she had shared with Jack Lewis, that when the end came, I wasn’t ready for it and it broke my heart.

Which character in a Christian Historical Novel do you wish you could spend time with in the real world and why?

Again, that would be Joy Davidman. I’d love to sit in a comfy pub in Oxford with her (and C.S. Lewis if he wishes to join us) and talk about writing, faith, and marriage. Then we’d take a long ramble in the woods and talk some more. The Joy Davidman of Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a smart, real woman who has questioned God, sought answers to life’s most difficult questions, and found them in both her suffering and her joy.

Stephanie is giving away a paperback (Continental USA Only). Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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