2023 Author Showcase
Theresa Schimmel

Published: 11/14/2023


Welcome to the 2023 ARIA Author Showcase and Giveaway Event! 



How to enter – Comment on the daily showcases to enter the daily giveaway. Comments close one week after the initial Showcase post. GRAND PRIZE drawn on Dec 8th (1 -$250, 1 -$100, or a 1 -$50 Amazon gift card. One grand prize pp) – For every showcase you post on, you automatically gain one entry to the grand prize. 30 Authors = 30 entries.    


On to the Showcase! 


What name do you like to write under?  Theresa Schimmel 

Where do you call home? South Kingstown, RI 

What genre(s) do you write? fiction, both adult and children's 

What genre(s) were you drawn to when you were younger? fiction 

What were some of your favorite books growing up? Why? I loved the Walter Farley Black Stallion series and Lois Lenski books featuring young girls from various locations in the past 

What are some of your favorite books today? The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, Lunch with Buddha by Roland Merullo, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and A for Owen Meany by John Irving 

What inspired you to become a writer?  I've written stories ever since I was a girl and then when I took a sabbatical from my job and took a college creative writing course, the professor was extremely affirming- saying I was a gifted writer and it triggered me to write more and get my books and stories read. 


Yankee Girl in Dixie 

Long before Confederate symbols made front page news, they triggered racial strife in the deep South. Yankee Girl in Dixie, a historical novel, is based on actual events that took place in Pensacola, Florida in the 1970's. Newlyweds, Cassie and Jack, are excited to move to Pensacola, Florida, to start their new life together. But it is 1972. There is a war in Vietnam and civil unrest at home. Both will change their lives forever. When Jack’s helicopter crashes in Vietnam, Cassie struggles to move on. But grief isn’t her only challenge. As a new teacher in the south, she is naïve and ignorant of the pattern of racism and extreme poverty. Confronted with situations that both shock and disturb her, she remains determined to make a difference in the lives of her students. Her allies in this effort are Reina, the African-American social worker in the school, and Grant, a high school history teacher, who has his own challenges, as the high school erupts in racial turmoil over the use of Confederate symbols. The story is told through the eyes of both Cassie and Grant, whose budding romance is thwarted both by Cassie’s grief for her lost husband and the unfolding traumatic events in Pensacola. Cassie is initially resistant to Grant's romantic overtures, but life-threatening events and an unexpected messenger help her to embrace new love and purpose. 

Tell us a little about how "Yankee Girl in Dixie” came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else? This is an historical fiction book largely based on personal experience of teaching poor children in the deep South and events occurring there at the time. 

Which scene, character or plotline changed the most from first draft to published book? After the first major editing I chose to change the opening of my book. 

Which character was the most challenging to create. Why? Most of the characters came to me fairly easily but perhaps Grant, the main male character, was more challenging as I wanted to make sure that he was a rounded character, someone who wasn't perfect. 

What do you like best about being a writer? It is a source of personal satisfaction to me. I get very immersed in my stories, my characters, so much so that it is a stress reliever. 

If you could collaborate with any author past or present, who would it be? What would the title of the book be? (If possible) - Give us a one sentence blurb. Kristin Hannah: One More Chance 

You can follow Theresa Schimmel here - 




Theresa is giving away a copy of “Yankee Girl in Dixie.” To enter comment below --> Growing up, did you have a favorite teacher? Who were they and what made them special?

(Comments are open for one week)