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An author with The Wild Rose Press, I strive to bring authors and readers together with a touch of Heart, Soul, and Happily Ever After.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thankful Author - Stephanie Kepke

During this season of gratitude, I'm thankful for three things that are as essential to a book as air is to a living thing. First, I'm grateful that not one, but two publishers believed in my work enough to accept it for publication. It's getting increasingly harder for new voices to be heard (or in my case an older voice that took a decade off to raise her children...), but Booktrope and The Wild Rose Press both took a chance on this unknown author. Booktrope published my novel, Goddess of Suburbia, after I received more rejections than I care to count. My writing was never the reason for the rejection – in fact one editor even sought me out at an event to thank me for giving her the opportunity to read my work. She loved the writing, but it just didn't fit with what she was acquiring at the moment. That was a common refrain. Goddess of Suburbia was not an easily categorized book. But that didn't matter to Booktrope - all they saw was writing they believed in and gave it a chance. 
In contrast, The Wild Rose Press was the first and only publisher to which I submitted my short stories, A New Life and You & Me (coming out in February 2016). While You & Me was a response to a call for submissions and I signed a contract not long after it was written, it was not a quick road from creation to publication for A New Life. After writing it in an incredible workshop, A New Life sat in a file on my computer (or rather a few different computers – as I evolved from mammoth desktop to netbook to large laptop) for fifteen years before I finally sent it off into the world. I had written it before e-books and during a time when short stories in magazines became shorter and shorter – or sometimes disappeared altogether. Knowing it would finally be read by someone other than my amazing writing teachers, Jill McCorkle and Elizabeth Cox and my fellow workshop members was an indescribably incredible feeling.
Which brings me to the next thing I’m thankful for… my readers. Without readers, a writer may as well just be yelling into the wind, so to speak. My words on the page mean nothing, if no one is reading them. I’m so incredibly grateful for all of the readers who have been touched by my work. I’ve been told by readers that my words make them laugh out loud and even cry (especially my essays). I’ve read many reviews that have left me thinking, Wow – this reader just gets it. That is the best feeling. I love connecting with readers and I’m always so appreciative when a reader reaches out to me to let me know how much he or she enjoys my work. There is simply nothing more satisfying as an author.
                           And finally – I’m grateful that I took a chance on myself when my youngest son started kindergarten. I was determined to get back the career I had left behind when I had children. I gave myself a deadline – if I didn’t get something published by the time my son graduated kindergarten, I would get a real job. At that point, writing still felt more like a hobby than a career, even though it was the only thing I’d ever done and the only thing I’d ever wanted to do. And then… a month before my son graduated kindergarten – and twelve years after my last published article – my essay, Kicking Superwoman to the Curb, was published in Long Island Parents Magazine. That was all I needed to convince me that writing is indeed my real job and not just a hobby. It’s my career – and one that I’m forever grateful to have…     

Suburbia meets scandal in this hopeful and honest portrayal of that moment in every woman’s life when it's time to make a change, even if that means risking losing it all. Goddess of Suburbia by Stephanie Kepke is a must-read for women looking to reconnect with their passions, and live authentically.
When pillar of the community and PTA mom, Max, allowed her husband, Nick, to record a sex video of them on his cell phone, she thought of it as simply a way to keep Nick interested and entertained during his frequent business trips. But suddenly, Max is trending everywhere—her video lighting up the blogosphere and Twitter, thanks to the fact that she’s a genuine, imperfect woman. Now the paparazzi are chronicling her every move; her daughter wants to disown her; and her marriage has completely fallen apart. Just as things can't get any more chaotic, Max's college boyfriend, shows up two decades after he broke her heart. Now Max must learn to stop going through the motions of her life on auto-pilot and start living authentically, or risk forever being a suburban lemming running towards the cliff of old age.
Buy link for Goddess of Suburbia:

Does a baby turn your life upside down or right side up? New parents, Grace and Zach, find themselves drifting apart after months of no sleep and no sex, not to mention too many fights over the dishes, laundry and in-laws. Sometimes it seems as if they'll never find their way back together. Is the love they still feel for each other beneath the layers of frustration and unhappiness enough to reignite their forgotten passion?

Buy Link:

An award winning writer and blogger, Stephanie's second grade teacher told her she should be a writer and she hasn't wavered in her path since. In her past life - before kids - Stephanie was an arts reporter and music journalist. She spent her twenties listening to loud rock bands (including her drummer husband's) in bars all around Boston and New England. Stephanie lives in New York on Long Island with her husband, three boys and two slightly crazy rescue dogs (one of whom is three-legged). Stephanie lives right in between the Atlantic Ocean and the Long Island Sound – and loves to have her toes in the sand.


  1. Welcome to the blog, Stephanie, and back to the writing world. I'm finding, myself, that the life of a writing mom, is not always easy, but it's worth it.