There’s Always a First…

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So…since this is my first night with my new author blog, I figured I should go ahead and say something. Christen it, if you will.

I have been writing (seriously) since 2006, and I feel simultaneously prideful and humble to state that my writing itself has improved dramatically in that span of time. My first novel, A War Worth Fighting, ended at 578 pages. It may not sound like much to an avid reader, but translated into an actual paperback format, that would be OVER A THOUSAND PAGES. I go back and read the original draft and cringe at my monotonous attempts at good descriptions. (I considered posting a sample, but after reading over it, I decided not to, because I just waterboarded myself in the process). Anyway, though I adored the characters, it was such a behemoth of a manuscript, I pretty much archived it, deciding it would be for my own personal reading pleasure, never to torture an unsuspecting victim again…besides my closest friends and family.

While researching for its sequel, I read Nazi Prisoners of War In America by Arnold Krammer (an excellent read). It was in the midst of learning about the life of a Nazi POW that I was inspired to write A Captive Heart (which you can find on Amazon here: (http://www.amazon.com/A-Captive-Heart-Stephanie-Baumgartner/dp/1934449334/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370061117&sr=8-1&keywords=a+captive+heart+stephanie+baumgartner) (There’s more to the development of that series, which I’ll touch on later, but this is the first recollection I have of it materializing in my mind). It kind of snowballed into something I never expected after that, becoming a trilogy. Honestly, I fell in love with Cassie and Friedrich so much that I still go back every once in a while to skim through their most pivotal scenes and relationships in the series just to hold on to some part of them now that their story is over.

So, by the time I finished the trilogy, I had written 5 novels in my unnoticed writing career, and immediately went on a hiatus that only I was aware of, because I had been working straight for 4 years on research and writing (in between getting married, working, moving, etc.), and my brain had become unbelievably muddled and burned out. I decided then to focus only on getting A Captive Heart picked up and published (which I succeeded at…sort of…not really…I’m still hoping to find someone who will love it as much as I do). Anyway, soon, Taylor Swift (one of my biggest muses–I know we would totally be best friends if we ever met 😉 ) came out with her third album, and the moment I heard Enchanted (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3yHJ5YzvfY), I was struck with another idea–a story about an English fighter pilot and an American diplomat’s daughter who meet during the Battle of Britain and fall in love. So I decided it was time to get back to researching yet another facet of the war–the air battles over Britain. I am still continuing to research for this novel, because I feel like there is so much to learn about the culture as well as the history of the period. Anyway, when I was this close ([—-]) to writing it, I felt as if God was leading me to write yet another idea that had been simmering in my mind for years. I just finished His Strength is Made Perfect a few months ago (a story about a 16-year-old who gets pregnant, and the way her church and the town react to the news). I was hoping, after having researched and prepared to write The Diplomat’s Daughter (title will be changing), that I would finally be able to write it, however….

It was then that I realized publishing my first novel(s), the gargantuan A War Worth Fighting and its sequel could help provide me with a platform and a following, especially if I broke it up into a series of smaller novels…which is what I’m in the process of doing now. The first two books of Sophia’s War will be published on Amazon soon as an ebook and traditional paperback, and I couldn’t be more excited!! This is a novel/series that I never expected to see the light of day, but after more editing than I could even describe to you, I feel that it is finally ready to be shared with the world. Thankfully, I’ve had the help of my wonderful editor friend, Lindsey, who has helped mold it into a better read as well.

So that’s where I am now. Six novels later, with one idea still being researched and another being dissected and broken up, I’m preparing to publish once again. I can’t wait to share a new adventure with those who have been keeping up with me and my progress!

Anyway, here’s my end for the night, and here’s to the future! Ultimately, I DREAM of seeing my characters on the big screen some day…but in the meantime, creating them for the rest of your enjoyment will suffice 🙂

BBL, buckaroos…

Steph**

PS: Check out my friend Heather’s Facebook photography page!! She very kindly did a photo shoot inspired by my characters in A Captive Heart! http://www.facebook.com/neverthereyetphotography

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