Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
As a pastor, I feel personally called to preach, cast vision, and develop leaders. My writing, ultimately, has become an extension of my ministry. I felt called to write for about ten years, but I always managed to come up with some excuses for why “now” was not a good time. It finally hit me that wanting to write and actually writing were two very different things. So finally, in 2015, I committed to write out what God has been working on in my heart with the hopes that it might help others as well.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
Between having a family with two young boys, a full time ministry, and a full seminary workload, I had to schedule my writing times in order to make it happen. Most of my writing for this book came at either early in the morning (before my boys woke up) or later in the evening (when my boys went to bed).
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
I like writing on a laptop because I don’t like to stay in one place for too long. I like the atmosphere of coffee shops the most, but that is mainly a personal preference thing. Also, my handwriting is horrible, so I have to
type everything I write.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part of writing is expressing and sharing with others what God is doing in my own life. Everyone has a story in this life, and I hope that by sharing mine, others might be encouraged that God can work in their lives, too.
My least favorite part is the actual struggle of completing a work. I did not realize how much mental and emotional effort comes with publishing a book. It’s scary to put yourself out there. I felt like I could have looked over the work for weeks and even months more than I did, but I knew at some point I had to release what I had written. No one will ever read something you don’t publish. So I decided to persevere and complete what I felt God
was calling me to.
How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
My book idea came from feeling stuck spiritually about two years ago. I felt like a duck swimming on a pond. Above water everything looked fine, but under the water my legs were kicking like crazy. I realized that everyone has a negative inner voice. I started fighting my negative inner voice with the promises of God. I woke up each morning by sharing these five promises:
God is for me. God is with me. God is in me. God works through me.
God loves beyond me. At the end of reciting those promises,
I would ask God what He’s called me to do for that day. Over the course of time, my attitude started to change, and I slowly became unstuck in my spiritual life. I also started using these promises in my everyday personal and professional life. I found that God’s promises were helping people in marriage counseling, family struggles, students fighting addiction, and much much more. So after a year and a half of reflecting on the promises of God, I finally committed to writing down my story to share with others.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
I am early on in my writing career, so truthfully, I have much to grow in this area. Currently, I simply share my writings with family, friends, and the people connected with my ministry.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
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My first book, God Is For Us, focused on the power of God’s promises and then spent the remainder of pages breaking down the promise of God is for us.
In my next book, I hope to share the value and encouragement that comes from another promise of God, the fact that God is with us.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
Being a pastor and a preacher, my wife jokes with me that everything I see has the potential of turning into a sermon series or illustration. So I have many ideas that float around my head for a potential writing project… I think it’s just a matter of prayerfully considering what God is calling me to do and then finding the discipline to actually write it.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
I would encourage a young writer by saying that everyone has a story. Find your story, and share with honesty, humility, and openness. I just self- published my first work, and I have learned a lot in the process. Mainly, you can share what you don’t put down on paper. In writing, I think the best teacher is experience, so start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can. There’s always room for improvement. Our responsibility is to obey God’s promptings when we feel called to do something. The results are largely up to God. Trust in what God is calling you to do.
Question to Kathryn ‐
In all your interactions with authors, what is 1‐2 things that you find are common for most writers? Why do you think that is?
Great question! First, I think authors wonder if they're good enough to write a book. Part of the fear of writing is receiving criticism of their work, and so many would-be writers don't write a book - especially one that others may see - because they're afraid of what may come next. I tell them that they need to go for it anyway. Your fifth book will more than likely be better than the first one you put out, but you have to have a first book to have a fifth!
I also think that writers worry about marketing. Just because they have a book in print, doesn't mean that anyone is going to buy it, and that isn't because it's no good. It's because folks don't know they've written one. One of the reasons I created and published the book, "Marketing Your Book on a Budget" was to give writers some ideas on how to get their book out there. How many writers do you know of who make money right off the bat? How many authors do you know who make some money after they've done some marketing? I know plenty.
Thank you, Jon!