Local author publishes first book – Montevideo American News

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson Editor jstolen-jacobson@cherryroad.com

Katie Stearns has been writing since she was a small child, never imagining that she would eventually make a career from her hobby. After she and her husband de ella moved from Duluth to a farm between Clarkfield and Montevideo with their two young children a year and a half ago, Stearns began seriously working on publishing her first novel de ella. “I never really thought that I would let anybody read anything that I wrote,” she says. “It was always a very private thing.” Stearns recalls in childhood, having her first experience of her with positive feedback from something she wrote from a sixth-grade teacher. “It was like oh I’m actually good at that. Ever since then I was always writing something – even if it was just in my head,” she says.

After letting a close friend read the books he was working on recently, that friend encouraged her to finish, wanting to know how the story ended. “She helped me make it better, and then I let my mom read it and a couple of other friends, and they had feedback too. I decided, well, what the heck – why not just give it a try?” she says. “Writing is really the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, and it just always seemed so far out of the normal nine to five kind of thing, so I never really thought about doing it.” Because she is a stay-at-home mom, Stearns says she had the ability to spend time exploring the book’s potential. Stearns’s book falls under the romance genre, which she says is what she generally tends to write. “I’ve always just been hook, line and sinker for love stories – even as an adolescent. It’s always fascinated me how people find each other and why a relationship works, why it doesn’t, and what people are willing to do to stay in a good relationship,” she says.

Her current book, titled On the Dotted Line, was published in May. Stearns describes the characters as a grumpy hero and a sunshine heroine. “It’s a marriage of convenience. She’s sort of down on her luck and he needs somebody to marry in order to get access to a trust fund. They sort of team up and it’s totally platonic, and then all of that starts to change as they get to know each other. They each have their own secrets that come up in their own ways, and they have to figure out what they’re willing to do to stay together and make it work,” she says.

With this book complete, Stearns is now working on a new one, with just a small portion of the writing left to do before the editing process begins. She hopes to have that one published by June to have it available at Farmer’s Markets and summer craft shows. “I’m not used to writing to deadlines, but that’s the goal,” she adds.

In this venture, Stearns says the rewards have come from family and friends. “I never thought I would do this. Just the fact that I really did it, because I’m not a risk-taker. I don’t really color outside the lines or go all-in on stuff, so I’m just proud of myself for doing it wholeheartedly. It’s also led to a lot of things I didn’t think about, like a tax ID number, things like that so it’s made me a little bit more of a competent person, doing things I wouldn’t have normally done,” she says .

On the Dotted Line is available for purchase on Amazon in paperback and eBook, as well as by order at Barnes and Noble, and at Java River in Montevideo, Ink Spot in Clarkfield, Livintage Boutique in Montevideo. The book will also be available this summer at the Makers Market in Granite Falls. More information about her books by Ella can be found on her author’s website at authorkatiestearns. com.

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