Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature: Jane Kirkpatrick

Today I welcome an author who crafts unforgettable stories: 
Jane Kirkpatrick

Enter to win 
Jane's book

Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

Some of us receive the call to serve God in the most unusual places. Jane followed God's call to write, but wait until you hear the details!  I asked Jane to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:

God Lead Me

In 1979, my husband and I purchased 160 acres along a wild and scenic river in a remote part of Oregon. The land boasted 12 foot tall sage brush, a reptilian road that dropped 950 feet down a steep grade along a dirt one lane road with no guardrail,  rattlesnakes and the promise of a spring. I never thought we’d live there – just camp and hunt and fish – because it was so distant from the nearest town 25 miles away. (Our mail box was seven miles away). The property had no power to it, no water and no structures.

Three years went by. Then, following a women’s retreat, I felt compelled to go to his land as my husband had been hoping to move to! He’d always said he wanted to go badly enough for both of us, but I knew if I went without knowing why I  was going that when things got rough – I knew they’d get rough – I wouldn’t like the me that I would become. I'd blame him for our troubles. The retreat helped me see that I was being called to the land just as he was.

But what to do there?  One evening while I was working through the Navigator series about Finding God’s Purpose in your Life, this little word came to me: Write.

Hmmm, write, I thought. I’d written wretched little poems as a child and my teachers had complimented me through the years on my writing ability but all the writing I’d been doing as the director of a mental health program for several years was writing to state officials and legislators. It’s true they did call me back when they got one of my letters so I knew that words had power to influence people but I couldn’t image what sort of writing I’d do while we were living at the bottom of a deep canyon. But I listened and enrolled at a community college creative writing class.

I kept my head down sure that the instructor and other students would see quickly that I didn’t belong there, that they had a fraud among them. I couldn’t even read my own work out loud I was so embarrassed. But God is good, all the time and the instructor it turns out was/is a man of faith and he wrote on one of my assignments “I don’t know why you’re frightened. You have a gift.” Later he told me he thought I could likely publish some of my assignments and I did, before we moved to the ranch which was great confirmation of my writing journey.

I now teach classes with the wonderful writer Bob Welch and we’ve maintained a writing/family relationship through the years. Turns out, that was his first teaching class. He’s since gone on to win writing awards and publish many titles. I went on to write a memoir of our life along that river called Homestead, my first published book that has just been re-issued by Whitaker House (It might be of interest to you that C-Span was just here in March of 2014 Bend City Tour.  We did an interview and the segment that aired nationally is now available here. I also wrote 25 other books, many of them earning lovely awards, most based on the lives of actual historical women.

Earlier this year I self-published A Simple Gift of Comfort (non-fiction). When you don't know what to say, this book may say it for you. The prose pieces are drawn from reaching out to friends and acquaintances, neighbors and relatives in the course of everyday life. Sometimes I may not know what turmoil troubles a friend, colleague or neighbor; I only know I wish to share their burden. I can do it best by telling them that someone has noticed their distress and offer to walk beside them for as long as they'll allow.

My latest release is part of a novella collection called Sincerely Yours with authors Amanda Cabot, Laurie Alice Eakes and Ann Shorey. My title is “A Saving Grace” which involves a young music teacher who travels to a remote site (as I did!) in order to help release a friend from an unusual hospital in the wilderness of the Northwest. It has suspense, some insights about ways that grief can overwhelm us and it has a bit of romance. All three of those features occur in wilderness places, too, but I have confidence in God’s presence in all those places of the heart… and hearth.

~ ~

Jane is an award-winning and best-selling author whose fictional works based primarily on the lives of real people or events are meant to bring inspiration and to transform. Wisconsin native; graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison (BA) and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (MSSW). Author of more than twenty books including mainly being fiction novels & novellas, as well as 5 non-fiction titles.
Want to connect with Jane? Here's how:

Joining her husband in the fight to create a home out of a rugged stretch of sagebrush, rattlesnakes, and sand in Eastern Oregon, Jane Kirkpatrick uneasily relinquishes the security of a professional career; the convenience of electricity, running water, and a phone line; and, perhaps most daunting, the pleasures of sporting a professional manicure. But the pull of the land is irresistible, and the couple dreams of gathering their first harvest from a yet-to-be-planted vineyard. Rather than the simple life they had envisioned, Jane and Jerry find themselves confronting flood and fire, government bureaucracies, and runaway calves, among other disheartening setbacks. Jane frequently questions the sanity of pioneering in this remote area, known as Starvation Point, and she fights against panic with each trip they make down the seven-mile, boulder-strewn, rut-carved "driveway" she calls "the reptile road," which threatens to spill them into the ravine with every lurch of the truck. But as she learns to navigate her new life, this novice rancher discovers that disappointment, isolation, and danger can't compete with the generosity of their rural community, the strength of family bonds, and the faithfulness of the God who planted in their hearts the dream of carving a refuge out of an inhospitable land.

Jane's April 2014 release Sincerely Yours
In this collection of brand-new historical novellas from four outstanding storytellers, four young women find their lives altered after each receives a letter that sets her on a new path toward a changed life--and perhaps lifelong love. From a Hudson River steamboat to a lush drawing room, from a carousel carver's workshop to a remote and controversial hospital, readers will love being swept into the lives of four young women who are making their way in the world and finding love where they least expect it.

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of 
Jane Kirkpatrick's book: "Homestead":
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
if you aren't already.

Sorry  US  only

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Jane, for Joining us This Weekend!

Jane had to be taken to a quiet place before God called her to write stories.  We are called to do many different things during our life. It usually depends on the the moment. Sometimes we are stay at home moms, sometimes working to put hubby through college, sometimes teaching Sunday School.

Did God ever put you in an unexpected place to reveal a job He wanted you to do?


Unknown said...

Yes, I had always loved working handicap kids, but I just couldn't get the military time down so that I could do there medicin, and then one day when I came into work I had found out that I was no longer able too work there. But I am happy with job that I have now, Thank you Lord for providing me with the job that I have now.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

As a librarian, I have always worked with children in their reading programs and of course interacted with adult patrons. Almost 6 years ago, I was given the additional duty of Adult Programmer and that included going to the local nursing home and the Senior Citizen Center. That has been such a blessing to me and I think I have also blessed them, because I made it a priority to talk to each one after the program. Librarians aren't able to mention their religious beliefs but just taking the time to visit and chat was the perfect witness. I have treasured those friendships and I believe God made that added job description possible!

I have always enjoyed Jane's writing but i wasn't familiar with her journey. Thank you Mary for this interview and best wishes to both you and Jane!


squiresj said...

I am already a follower of this feed. Please enter me in contest. jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Learning military time is very difficult. Having grown up with two sets of twelve hours, it is difficult to adjust.

I am so thankful God provided you a new job that you enjoy. He saw the problem and sent a solution.

Thanks so much for joining our chat today, Danie!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Sometimes when God stretches us into a new area we are leery. But He know we will be fruitful. What a wonderful opportunity you have to work with the seniors. I find them so funny and very willing to share exciting stories.

Your willingness to give your heart to these seniors blesses them more than you could know. I am so thankful for your new endeavors.

Blessings on you, Connie.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Jane!
So nice to have you back. Thanks so much for joining us today. Be sure to grab some virtual pastries (they are calorie free and DE-LICIOUS!)

Jen Colson said...

I love Jane Kirkpatrick—she's one of my favorite authors and I'd love to read her story! I subscribed to your blog.

jcmichigan at gmail dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Jen!
I'm so glad you came. Which of her books that you've read did you like the best?

I look forward to seeing you again!

Jane said...

HI Danie, As Mary notes, God does provide and I'm grateful that you have found the job that brings you nurture. Thanks for stopping by!

Jane said...

Thanks, Jen! I love Michigan! I grew up just across the lake in Wisconsin. You're entered in to win and I'd love to hear which books of mine you like best.

Jane said...

Hi Connie. What a gift you are going to the Senior Center! Stories are so healing and listening to other people tell their stories is one of the greatest ways we can let them know we "see" them as part of the family of God. You're right: your presence is a great witness. Thanks for finding my stories!

Jane said...

I need those calorie free pastries! It's nice to be back. I hope you have a great couple of days hearing from readers about what living looks like...full of surprises, that's for sure!

Unknown said...

Thank you Jane and also Mary,
Yes I am thankful that The Lord took care of my needs.
I clean a model house and I also clean outside of apartment complexes and I love it.
I would love to read your book jane.

Emma said...

a follower of this site by facebook and email .I am looking forward to reading"Homestead":Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com..Have a wonderful weekend.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you so much for joining our chat today and for signing up for the emails. It's always encouraging to have readers of our guest author join us. You add so much to our conversation!
I look forward to chatting with you again!

Linda Glaz said...

Great post. Jane is an awesome author.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

While trying to decide what I should do as my children started school, I decided to go back to grad school myself. I was also the woman's co-or donator at church and knew I wanted to work with others with needs. After a couple of months, one of my friends brought me a newspaper article and said--" this is you!" Thus began my years as a CASA--Court Appointed Special Advocate--working with abused and neglected kids and their families. Very satisfying but very difficult lots of the time . Ronnalord( at) msn ( dot) com

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing about your writing. It is great to have such high quality, heartfelt reading.
Carolyn S.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Linda. I actually was just thinking about you while preparing my talk for the next meeting. I'm so glad you could stop by and chat with Jane and the rest of us for a bit. You bring such a fun spirit.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Welcome, Ronna!
What an exciting place you fill in your community. I'm trying to think of the many lives you have touched through your job and how you've been able to help them. May you sense God's presence each time you go to work. Blessings on you and thanks so much for sharing today.

I look forward to seeing you again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Welcome. So nice to see you this evening. Have you read any of Jane's books before?

I'm so glad you joined our discussion tonight and look forward to your next visit.

KayM said...

I suppose like all of us, God has led me down many paths to unexpected tasks and places. One of the most surprising was when my husband felt led to go into the ministry, after 7 years of marriage. Within a year we sold our home, quit his very good job, packed up our belongings and 3 children and moved 1100 miles away, so he could go to school. That was over 40 years ago. It's been quite an adventure!
I am a follower.

Karen said...

What a blessing you ladies are. I've already read Jane's memoir, and could hardly put it down. The strength and determination to live there... oh my, I could not have done Reptile Road! I'm sure the surrounding beauty made it all worth while. I have not read Sincerely Yours yet, but have read all of Jane's other books--my favorite author! Blessings to you both!!

sharon m said...

I enjoyed the story of how you started writing. You really stepped out on faith and God is honoring your faith and obedience. I would love to win and read your books. sharon from CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

I would call that the ultimate adventure! What dedication you showed to not only your husband, his calling, but God's calling of you to serve as a pastor's wife. You truly are a treasure. Thank you so much for sharing today.

Looking forward to seeing you again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Reptile Road? Sounds adventuresome all right. I think I'd need Indiana Jones' whip and fedora to survive. Sincerely Yours does sound like a very good read, doesn't it?

I'm so glad you stopped by to chat with us today. Our circle of friends is growing and the conversation is delightful.

Excited to see you again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Isn't it a delight to read the adventure stories of those who God calls into odd circumstances? I think of missionaries who go to the Amazon and China. I even think of stay at home moms who gave up a career to care for a family. There are so many people who have stepped out in faith and obedience. I think you probably have as well, in some way. And for this you, too, have honored a calling from God.

Thanks for stopping by to chat with us today. I and the other readers who are here enjoyed talking with you.

patti said...

I am here in Sunriver, Oregon because it's always been my husband's dream--who ever thought I'd live and drive in snow--that white, wet stuff! I became Rainbow Clown and Mrs. Claus and went place I never thought I'd go! I'm still taking care of my elderly mom in law who's lived with me for 30 years now--who ever woulda thunk it? I went to Sturgis as a motorcycle mama cuz I was too old 'n fat to be a biker chick--now that's just crazy Oh, where God leads us in life is quite an adventure. Who knows? Maybe one of these years I'll be able to be a "real" writer, like Jane! Thanks to both of you lovely ladies...

Anonymous said...

Jane is my favorite author. April 14, 2009 tragedy stuck our small town of Woodland, WA right behind Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens which inspired Jane's novel Where the Lilacs Bloom. 2 beautiful young 15 year old teens were struck and killed by a northbound Amtrak train as they stood between the tracks in the young man's back yard watching a southbound freight. I was very close to the two young teens. People young and old were calling me wanting answers. I am not a trained grief counselor. I asked God for the correct words to say to people. His answer came from the words of a 1st grade reading student of mine. He, just happens to have the name of Christian, sat at my reading table, we were reading the story of Koko the gorilla and his kitten that was hit by the car and died. Christian stated "Just like Katie and Eddy. God saw that he could not stop that train so He sent his angels to carry them to heaven before the train even hit them so they did not have to feel the pain". I use those exact words every time a tragedy occurs. Little did I ever know I would end up helping our grieving community and become an Operation Lifesaver presenter. God has given me the opportunity to educate rail safety and to share words of compassion to people in grief.

Jane said...

Hi Ronna, Being a CASA volunteer is a work the world needs doing! So pleased you had a friend who knew your story and interests and guided you to such important work. Blessings on that work and may God be with you as you serve the families under your care.

Jane said...

Nice to hear from you Carolyn, my computer isn't always telling me when there's a post so I'm a little slow but i appreciate your good words and that you have a connection to Mary Vee's good words too.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I look forward to hearing you've completed a book :)
What a fun life you've led! I'm so glad you stopped by and shared with us today.

Jane said...

Thanks, Karen, for reading my work. Yes, that reptile road did leave me breathless on more than one occasion. After we'd lived there maybe 20 years I realized one day that I drove out and didn't even think about the possibilities of sliding over the edge or meeting someone on the narrow road and who would have to back up. It was another example of a life journey, that things change along the road when we look to God to help make the way.

Jane said...

Ditto Mary Vee's comments. I think what matters is the commitment we make and keep whether it's getting up to fix lunches for kids or traveling to foreign lands or providing child care for a grandkid or writing a book, all because we felt God led us to that place. Thanks for visiting, Sharon.

Jane said...

Sounds to me like you've got a story all ready to go! Just write it, Patti. We are all "real" writers when we right and we discover things about ourselves we never would learn if we didn't take that time. I so hope you'll write about some of those adventures...caret-taking and biker chicks and you're right down the road from me in Sunriver! Very cool. I'll be there at the Community Bible Church tea next week. Maybe our paths will cross.

Mary Vee Writer said...

God has given you such a wonderful opportunity to meet an important need. I am so glad you were there to help so many.

God's blessings on you.
I hope you can come back and chat with us again.

Jane said...

Oh Patti. I was at Hulda's garden today and heard that train whistle so many times. I didn't know about the tragedy but I am so grateful that YOU heard God's words in that first grader of yours ad could offer strength and comfort to your community. What a precious gift you are giving and continue to give as an Operation Lifesaver presenter. Thank you so much for sharing your story and for being there for others.

Anonymous said...

My unexpected place was in Indonesia when I followed God's leading, with my husband, to a 6-month assignment in what was then called Irian Jaya (now Papua). I sadly left a good new job as a library tech--and what did I find to keep busy at the "ends of the earth"? A library at an MK school, full of books and supplies, but without a librarian who was away on furlough. What a "God thing" to match my skills and available time with the school's need! One of the highlights of my life, to serve in that unexpected way and know that God provided the opportunity especially for me.

KayM said...

Thank you, Mary, for your kind words. I've added your blog to my reader, so I'll be able to stop in more often.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh my goodness! Your eyes must have burst wide when you saw the library. This is the ultimate in blessing. God knew you needed something to make you feel comfortable and needed in Irian Jaya. Not only that, He knew the people needed you for that ministry. What a blessing. I'm so excited! Thank you for sharing this fabulous testimony.

Anonymous said...

I am a subscriber. Please enter me in the contest. My

Mary Vee Writer said...

Welcome My!
So nice to have you join us. I look forward to seeing you again. Each weekend we host authors.