Today I welcome an author who discovered her gift for writing after an illness. She is a Christ-like lady who can warm your heart:
Not By Sight
Five Books will be awarded!
Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.
The Discovered Gift
I had never aspired to be a writer. But at age fifty, I had to retire from our family-owned Christian book store due to joint problems and decided to take a stab at writing a children’s book. I had managed the children's department at our store, read every book I put on the shelves, and thought for sure I could write them. But after two weeks of staring at the blank screen on my laptop, I was sorely discouraged.
My husband, Paul, told me to write something—anything—it didn’t have to be a children’s book. So I wrote a scene: a detective sitting on a park bench, a lake in front of him and a quaint little town behind him. He was waiting for something to surface in the lake…I had no idea what it was and was intrigued that I didn’t!
The next day I wrote the prologue to Tested By Fire, which was my first suspense novel. When it was finished, I let my former coworkers read it, and they got really excited. I honestly thought it was a fluke, and that I could never do it again. But then I started on Day of Reckoning, and ten weeks later, it was finished. Same enthusiastic reaction. So I wrote Vital Signs—they loved that too. I finally conceded that it wasn't a fluke, and perhaps it was time to seek a publisher.
Paul called someone we knew at Multnomah Publishers simply to find out about the process and accidentally got the voice mail for the president, Don Jacobson. Because we had prayed about it, Paul decided to leave a message. Don actually called back. And after Paul explained our situation, Don indicated that he was interested. He asked us to come to the Christian Booksellers convention, which was just two months away, and he would give us an hour-long interview with their publishing board. That just never happens, and we eagerly accepted the invitation. Paul created a clever marketing kit, and we kept our meeting with the pub board.
Two weeks later, we got a call from Bill Jensen, the VP of Editorial, who sounded very excited about the "series," and said they were offering me a contract for all three books. Paul said (I remember wanting to wring his neck at the time), “Oh, Kathy’s got at least two more in her.” Bill replied, “Then we’ll give her a contract for five.”
My reaction? Tears, joy, sheer disbelief‑‑and fear. I had expected to be rejected. Instead, it felt as though I had just been drafted off the sandlot into the major leagues. I wasn't sure I could write another novel, let alone two. But I believed God had answered our prayers and opened a door. So I walked through it in total and utter dependence on Him.
And that ongoing dependence on God has resulted in twenty published novels, and a contract for five more. My writing method (known to authors and publishers as "seat of the pants) is such that I don't outline or know much of the story ahead of time. So I have to trust that what God has gifted me to do, He will give me the grace to finish. Every time.
Rev. Michael Beckwith is credited with saying, "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called." That pretty much describes my writing journey. I'm not sure if I was born talented or if God gifted me at fifty years old when I could no longer work at the bookstore. I suppose a part of me enjoys believing the latter.
Kathy Herman is no stranger to the Christian book industry. Before becoming a bestselling author, she worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association in Colorado Springs. She also worked for eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler as a children’s products specialist, and drew on that expertise to conduct related seminars in the U.S. and Canada.
Kathy quickly rose to the rank of bestselling author when her first book, Tested by Fire became a CBA bestseller. Since then, eight more of her twenty suspense novels have claimed bestseller status, including her latest release, Not by Sight.
Kathy and her husband Paul live in Tyler and have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, and an adorable cat named Samantha. Her hobbies include world travel, photography, bird watching—and an ongoing fascination with hummingbirds.
To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Kathy's book: "Not By Sight":
leave a comment (and email address)
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U.S. residents only.
Winner announced on my facebook page.
Thank you, Kathy, for Joining us This Weekend!
Wow! I feel blessed just having read this story, Kathy. Reader, how about you? Have you witnessed God qualifying your calling, whatever it may be for?