I recently was interviewed for a writers conference where I’ll be teaching in Southern California in June. Check out the SoCal Christian Writers Conference website. I’d love to see you there.
I thought you’d like to find out more about my writing journey. Here is the interview.
Kathy, why did you choose to devote yourself to writing?
Even as editor of my high school newspaper, I had a love for writing but didn’t know what being a “writer” entailed. Then after God delivered me from being a child abuser toward our two-year-old daughter, I wanted to share what God had done. My husband, Larry, saw an announcement in our town’s newspaper about a community class on writing. I attended and learned about something called a “query letter.” I sent off a query to Moody Magazine in 1978 suggesting I write my story. They accepted my personal experience article and I was hooked! I still didn’t consider myself a writer but whatever happened, I dedicated myself to following where God led in a writing ministry. Now, many years later, I still am amazed at God’s work that I have over 50 books published. God truly works far beyond what we can think or imagine.
Can you tell us about what you are currently working on and what inspired it?
I’m currently working on the next expanded version of a women’s Bible study book called At the Heart of Friendship. This is one of the twelve books in my Daughters of the King Bible Study series published by Elk Lake Publishing. That series first came out in the 1990’s with David C. Cook Publishing. Interestingly, early in my writing career, I’d always wanted to write Bible studies but didn’t feel qualified, although I had taught them for years. I hadn’t even graduated from college much less studied theology. At one point I sent off a book proposal to Mary Nelson at Accent Publications (later bought by David C. Cook). Mary replied and said, “We aren’t looking for this particular topic but we are interested in developing a women’s Bible study series. Would you be willing to submit some ideas for that?” Would I!!!! Yes! I sent off some ideas and that became the twelve women’s Bible study books in my series. God again worked beyond what I could have thought or imagined. In this series, Choices of the Heart and Whispers of My Heart are already available as women’s studies for individuals or groups.
What is your writing process like?
I’m a non-fiction writer. My projects are most often based upon what God is teaching me in my personal life. I have the blessing that I don’t have to make myself be at my desk. I have to make myself do other things. My process is to gather material over a period of time when I sense a particular idea might be a future project. I look for ideas from magazine articles, sermons, books, and my own journal. I’m always jotting things down and filing them away, either as a piece of paper or into a computer file. Then what it’s time to work on the project, I use a 10 step process for organizing the research I’ve done and then preparing an outline to follow for each chapter. If you want to hear the 10 step process, come to the conference and I’ll be sharing it in my continuing sessions on Beginning Non-Fiction.
What do you want your readers to gain from your writing?
I am passionate about helping my readers develop a greater trust in God because they know the truth about Him and His character. I think we don’t trust God because we believe lies about Him, like He’s not loving, trustworthy, kind, etc. If we truly know His nature, we will be strengthened to put ourselves in His loving hand. In our book, “Never Ever Be the Same” co-authored with my husband, Larry, we help the reader discover where their distrust of God came from–usually from hurtful experiences in childhood. From those experiences, we form ideas about God that aren’t true. Those ideas become “strategies” for not feeling the emotional pain we felt in that experience. Our book helps readers to correct the lies, turn from their sinful strategies, and put themselves trustingly into God’s loving and capable hands. It’s a thrill to hear from readers who share they are set free of their distrust of God through our book.
What is the most rewarding part of teaching at the conference?
Seeing the light bulbs come on in the minds of those attending and being able to connect personally with those looking for help. I remember being at my first writers conference in 1980 and seeing “real” writers and editors reach out to me. I’m privileged to be able to pass it along.
What session at SoCal CWC 2017 are you most looking forward to?
Having the joy of extended time with those attending my Beginning Non-Fiction continuing class. I love having several days to interact with them and answering questions, along with hearing their passions. I’m truly given a gift that is priceless. Sometimes the classroom feels like a sacred place as I see God working.
What do you hope attendees will get out of this conference?
Power, Hope and Desire. Power by knowing that if God is calling them to serve Him as a writer, He will provide everything they need. And Hope that He can open any door He desires for them–but also can sovereignly close any door that isn’t good for them and the Kingdom. And ultimately a desire to bring God glory regardless of the cost. One of my new books which will be released this Spring (2017) by Elk Lake Publishing is “Pure Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory.” God has been giving me a passion to see God glorified regardless of the cost. And then I’m truly blessed.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re planning to present and share at the conference?
My plan is to present every aspect of what a beginning non-fiction writer will need to fulfill God’s calling: research, preparation, organization, editing, marketing, and promotion. Along with encouragement for having a submitted, humble, trusting heart that if God is truly calling that person, there is nothing that will prevent God’s glory from using that writer.