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Advice from IR Approved Author Stefanie Van Steelandt: “In order to write, you need to read.” 

Lady of the Army: The Life of Mrs. George S. Patton received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Stefanie Van Steelandt.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Lady of the Army: The Life of Mrs. George S. Patton was published on November 11, 2022, to coincide with Veteran’s Day and General Patton’s 137th birthday.


What’s the book’s first line?

Nine hundred and fifty-eight days.


What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

Lady of the Army tells the story of General Patton’s greatest champion in life and fiercest defender in death. Beatrice Ayer Patton was a good soldier who fought the war on the home front three times, but she would not have hesitated a second had she been offered the chance to stand beside her husband on the battlefield.


What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

Upon watching the movie Patton with George C. Scott in the title role, I decided to read a biography on this peculiar general who believed in reincarnation and wrote poetry. I quickly realized his wife Beatrice was instrumental in his reaching his destiny, yet she was treated as a mere footnote in the books I read.


What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

First and foremost, one should read Lady of the Army to learn about Beatrice Ayer Patton, a fascinating woman who deserves her moment in the spotlight. In doing so, you will gain a fresh perspective on General Patton, you will learn about the history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and you will be immersed in a world full of adventure.


When did you first decide to become an author? 

I have always known I wanted to write, but I was at a loss about what. Since I mainly read biography and history—and have a curious mind that loves engaging in research—it was natural that all I needed was a subject. I had just finished most of my research before the pandemic hit, making Mrs. Patton a perfect companion during the lockdown.


Is this the first book you’ve written? 

Lady of the Army is my first book, but I just started researching book number two. Step one: visit the graveside of my next subject.


How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

Writing is my vocation and avocation, so technically I could spend all day writing. However, now that my first book has been published, I have to divide my time between marketing my first and writing my second book.


What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie? 

I relish the autonomy of being an indie author, the freedom to decide on anything from content to formatting. The hardest part is overcoming the stigma of being an independent/indie writer—especially in the non fiction category—and the doors which remain closed because of that.


What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

In order to write, you need to read. 


Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why? 

Without any hesitation: No. I made a conscious decision to self-publish—including hiring my own editor and cover designer—and never even queried agents or publishing houses; it was the best decision I ever made. 


Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?) 

Sharing knowledge, and in doing so hoping to inspire others.


Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire? 

John Steinbeck for fiction and David McCullough for non fiction.

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