Oh, friends: you are in for a TREAT. It’s author week here on the ol’ blog – I’ve got SEVEN authors (or co-authors) for you over the next SEVEN days, with SEVEN opportunities for you to win copies of their books. I can’t wait to introduce you to these women and their projects, so be sure to pay us a visit everyday this week and get to know these phenomenal authors. Spread the word!
We’ve got Kristen Kludt, author of A Good Way Through and a friend from the Internets. I’m so glad you’re here with us today! Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? A Wisconsin native, I’ve been in California for a decade, and I still miss snow. I live in San Francisco’s East Bay, and my current favorite pastime is exploring the area’s many hiking trails. I spend the majority of my days caring for my two boys (1 and 4), which means lots of playing cars and trains, plus life’s thousand tiny tasks (most of which are again undone at the end of the day). I also squeeze in time to write and ponder ways to help people connect with God through spiritual practice. This week, for me, connecting with God looks like getting outside and spending time with my journal and colored pencils.
Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? A Good Way Through is about finding God in hardship through spiritual practice. The first part of the book is a memoir, diving into the darkness of depression, infertility, the lostness I experienced upon becoming a mother, and my longing to move closer to my family. The final portion of the book is a guide, leading readers through creative spiritual practices for finding God in hardship.
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? I awoke at 4AM on the morning of February 18, 2014, with the sudden knowledge that I needed to write a book. I had never considered becoming an author before, though I had always written just for myself (journaling and poetry). At the time, I was leading a few other women through a discipleship process. I had been given so much in the hard years I had recently come through: gifts of insight and comfort, both of which came through wise and wonderful people in my life. I realized that morning that I wanted to pass that insight and comfort on to others, and to a wider circle than I would be able to get to know personally. So, I started to write!
How do you hope readers will be changed by reading your words? My greatest hope is that readers will come away from the book with a deepening knowledge of their belovedness. I hope they will be inspired to find their own good ways through whatever they are experiencing by diving into spiritual practices that make room for God to work in their lives.
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? Writing this book greatly deepened my understanding of what God was up to during a dark period of my life. I knew when I first sat down to write that I had been given many gifts of insight during that dark season, but I didn’t realize how much more insight would come with the writing and revising of the book. In essence, I have found my soapbox. In the writing of this story I discovered that spiritual practice was the key to my transformation, and now that is a theme in all I write and speak about faith.
Finally, a lot of my blog readers are also writers; since you just finished writing (and publishing!) a book, what encouragement or tips would you offer those who are just dipping their toes into the water, so to speak? Keep writing, and be willing to work hard. Don’t let yourself believe that you don’t have time, because you do—you just have to decide what your priorities are. Also, if any readers are considering self-publishing, know that it can be a great option for publication. I started down the traditional publishing route, and after a period of discernment decided to let go of that and pursue self-publishing, mostly because it felt like the right next step (though I didn’t know why at the time). I am so grateful that I did. It has been an enormous amount of work (and, yes, a financial investment), but I have learned a great deal about what it means to make a book. I loved being involved in every step of the process and getting to shape everything about the final product (with the help of talented friends and professionals!).
Yup. It’s as good as it sounds. Head over to Kristen’s website and cheer her on – otherwise, go straight to your favorite bookseller and pick up a copy of A Good Way Through. Otherwise, leave a comment answering how YOU’VE found a good way through in your life. Winner will be drawn on Wednesday, March 15th.
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