Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and thirty-eighth, is of non-fiction author and interviewee Karen Kilby. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Karen R. Kilby is a captivating international speaker on the Personalites as well as a recognized published author. God has allowed this ordinary woman to reveal his treasures in an extraordinary way through her writing and speaking presentations. Some of her celebrated credentials are over twenty years of corporate and administrative experience; over thirty years of Christian leadership with Stonecroft Ministries as a Bible study leader, club chairperson, regional representative, speaker and speaker trainer. She has served as a Stephens minister, elder and evangelism committee member for her church.
Karen has been blessed to have over thirty stories published in Chicken Soup for the Soul series and other faith-based books and publications. Her first accepted story, A Marriage Made in Heaven was published in God’s Way for Women and again in God’s Way for Couples, opening the door for more of her stories to be published in Soul Matters for Women and Soul Matters for Men. Some of her devotionals were published in Life on Purpose for Mothers Devotional, Hugs Bible Reflections for Women and One Year Life Verse Devotional. Her introduction into the Chicken Soup for the Soul series came with her story, My Butterfly Friend being published in Chicken Soup for the Girlfriend’s Soul with more of her heartwarming stories following in several of their books and other publications. Karen was especially pleased to have a couple of her stories included in The Blue Plate Special, co-authored by her mentors, Florence and Marita Littauer, as well as in their latest collaboration on the Personalities, Wired That Way.
Her acclaimed first book, Becoming a Woman of Purpose, a Thirty-one Day Devotional, has been enthusiastically received with book signings recently held in several states and Costa Rica where she was invited to a woman’s weekend retreat as the keynote speaker for her book and presenter of the Personalities.
Well known Christian authors on the Personalities, Florence and Marita Littauer have trained and mentored Karen, awarding her the Certified Personality Trainer designation through CLASServices, Inc. from which she provides the entertaining and educational Wired That Way personality seminars and workshops equipping participants to improve professional and personal relationships.
Karen’s book, Becoming a Woman of Purpose, a Thirty-one Day Devotional, is the result of being challenged by a statement from Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Life, where Rick states, “Life on earth is a test…God continually tests our character, faith, obedience, love, integrity and loyalty.” Karen realized her stories were examples of those tests and with encouragement from family and friends, felt compelled to share them with others. Karen’s book addresses relevant issues people struggle with every day and offers hope for a new outlook on life, shedding light on the need to look beyond the ordinary, encouraging readers to look for God’s involvement in the hum drum of every day existence. Each day’s devotional begins with a scripture with her story illustrating that truth and ends with a prayer and challenge for the reader to apply to their own life.
It’s been said, “Never judge a book by its cover,” but Karen has seen her book’s cover be the magnet drawing people to her book signing table as they are attracted by the beautiful colorful array of butterflies cascading down the front. Butterflies represent transformation as the caterpillar sheds its cocoon and Karen says, “they are a wonderful illustration of the scripture from 2 Corinthians 5:17 that tells us, “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He isn’t the same anymore. A new life has begun!” As Karen takes you on a journey through her life experiences, you are inspired by God’s unique ability to change a heart and life for his purpose.
Karen was recognized in 2010 as Woman of Achievement of the Arts for her writing by FamilyTime, a non-profit organization, and resides in Kingwood, Texas.
And now from the author herself:
Writing a book or even a story was definitely not my idea. It actually began with my good friend Carol suggesting I write down the stories I had shared that had given her so much encouragement. We had just moved from Wisconsin to Texas and Carol had come for a visit. With the move, we were sharing our home with our son and his new bride who just happened to be an English teacher and Carol thought I should take advantage of Erin’s ability to mentor me. I questioned what Carol was telling me and wondered who would want to read something I could write? Telling someone what God had done in my life was one thing, but writing it down was another. But Carol insisted and Erin agreed the stories I had begun to share with her needed to be told to others and was anxious to be of help.
With their prompting, I recalled a verse from the Bible that was the final nudge. “Be very careful never to forget what you have seen God doing for you. May his miracles have a deep and permanent effect upon your lives. Tell your children and grandchildren about the glorious miracles he did.” Deuteronomy 4:9 I admit I did like the idea of passing on the stories with my family and thought I could put a collection together for them in a notebook.
As I sat at the computer, one story after another seemed to spill out over the keyboard and with Erin’s corrections and suggestions, they soon became ready to be sent out to publishers. With Chicken Soup for the Soul books and other faith-based books becoming popular outlets for my stories, Carol then began to insist I focus on having my own book published. I was quite content with the success I was having and really thought her thinking was far fetched. Then my husband, David got excited about the idea of a devotional book telling how an ordinary woman was trusting an extraordinary God.
My manuscript had the typical rejection letters but one editor convinced me to keep submitting when she told me how one of my stories had been meant for her and could picture the book being small enough to fit into a woman’s purse to have on hand when she had a few spare minutes and needed a word of encouragement. The overwhelming positive response to Becoming a Woman of Purpose, A Thirty-one Day Devotional, has been beyond my expectations.
You can find more about Karen and her writing via her web site: www.karenkilby.tateauthor.com. Her book, Becoming a Woman of Purpose, a Thirty-one Day Devotional, can be purchased from her web site and is also available on-line in paperback or e-book format from www.tatepublishing.com/books or www.amazon.com.
And some of the heartwarming responses to her book are:
“Thank you for your book. After reading the first day’s devotional, I couldn’t put it down. I felt a connection to your stories immediately. Your book is more like a narrative, a compilation of life events that had me hanging on in anticipation for…”What was tomorrow going to bring?” Thank you for your ability to dig deep into your heart about the personal and spiritually draining issues of raising children with addictions, having financial struggles to issues we can all relate to. And your faith being strong enough to acknowledge how you believe God answers these major prayers requests down to the ones that some people would think too simple to ask his guidance or help. This ‘little devotional’ has had a Major impact on me.” Sue B.
“I’ve been re-reading your devotionals and I just had to write and tell you how meaningful they have been to me. Many times the devotional, the gem for the day and the prayer, are spot on. A few days ago I read the devotional, Tranquility Amid Turmoil and that had been the kind of day I was having. Your book has been such a blessing. Thank you for sharing your life and faith.” Esther S.
“Karen’s life stories within her book brought out the best of my thoughts and feelings. They were so intense at times I would be overwhelmed with tears at the end of each devotional. Simple tears of contentment. As the layers of her life unfolded and she encourages you to think of your life, I found myself gaining such a deep feeling of joy. Joy for life and all that it has to offer and what we have to offer it, even in difficult times. Reading her book gave me an even deeper desire to make continual progress toward my purpose, to be all that I am and ultimately have a stronger relationship with God while surrounding myself with uplifting relationships.” Tammy N.
“Your book speaks to me in a way that a dear friend would, straight forward, honest, from the heart, bare-bones, no holds barred, lay-it-on-the-line truthfulness. I hated to see it end. It is so refreshing to read something of someone’s life with all the good and bad combined and mixed together that says, this is my life.” Sara R.
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Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
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Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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