Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
I was born and raised in the Midwest, but moved to Southern California shortly after my first child was born. I raised two sons here, and they both moved out of state when they became adults. But SoCal is definitely my home now. And I’m loving my empty nest!
In 1988, I helped a friend put together a Christian writers’ conference at Biola University. Afterward, she asked if I’d like to attend the conference for free. I didn’t have anything better to do, so I said, “Sure, why not?”
That conference opened up a whole new world to me. I learned that the names on the books I had at home represented real people, normal folks who weren’t all that different from me. They sat on the grass and ate hot dogs and potato chips, just like the rest of us!
I was working as an administrative assistant and graphic designer at the time. But before work, during lunch, after work, and on occasional weekends, I wrote magazine articles, play scripts, devotionals, short stories, and Sunday school curriculum, and actually got several items published. I attended other writers’ conferences and joined a critique group. I just knew, someday, I would have a novel published. Whenever I went to bookstores, I gazed at where my spot on the shelf would be—right between Angela Hunt and Jerry Jenkins!
When I got tendonitis in both thumbs and both wrists, I was told I had to find a job that didn’t require using a computer keyboard or any other type of repetitive motion. Not an easy task! I got a professional-edition voice-recognition software program. But I couldn’t find an office job that would allow me to sit around and talk to my computer all day.
After a few months of wondering what God had in mind for me, my husband asked me what I would do for a living if I could do anything. “Write!” I answered without a moment’s hesitation. “But I can’t make a living at it … not yet, anyway.” He asked what my second choice would be. I told him I enjoyed helping the people in my critique group improve their writing. He suggested I see if I could build that into a career.
So I did. I now work at home full time, editing and critiquing manuscripts, and writing my own books as well. And I have never been happier! Still don’t have a novel on the bookshelf between Hunt and Jenkins. But I’ve found that I actually enjoy editing even more than writing. So that’s just fine with me!
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
When I was sixteen, I spent the summer babysitting for a Christian family. Their well-behaved kids constantly surprised me. After they went to bed one night, I listened to one of the parents’ records. I heard “The Chaplain of Bourbon Street” talk about having a personal relationship with God through Jesus. When I got home that night, I accepted Christ as my Savior.
Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?
Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors came out in January 2014. It gives aspiring writers, established authors, proofreaders, editors, and publishers a quick-reference tool to proofread manuscripts to minimize typos, inconsistencies, and errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling. This book is the first in a series of Secrets of Best-Selling Authors books.
This summer, the first book in my new Fiction-Lover’s Devotionals series comes out. 21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love is a compilation of short fiction stories followed by brief Life Applications that encourage readers to consider how each story applies to their lives. Every chapter is written by a different author. The first book’s contributors include such amazing authors as Angela Hunt, Deborah Raney, and Cecil Murphey. Book 2, 21 Days of Christmas: Stories that Celebrate God’s Greatest Gift, comes out in October. Book 3, 21 Days of Love: Stories that Celebrate Treasured Relationships, will come out next Valentine’s Day. Book 4, 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Motherhood, will release in time for Mother’s Day 2016.
Readers who love novels will enjoy having short stories with Life Applications to read during their quiet times with the Lord. They may buy the book because they recognize some of the well-known best-selling authors in it, but they’ll discover new authors as well. After reading snippets of their writing, they can get other books written by those authors. In addition to being very inspirational for readers, it’s a terrific cross-promotional tool for the contributing authors.
How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?
I blog once a week (every Monday) with tips, helps, info, and encouragement for writers, editors, and other professionals in the publishing industry.
Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?
Well, the Bible, of course. I’ve read it from cover to cover several times, but I still read from it every morning. The Holy Spirit always reveals amazing insights that fit situations I’m going through at the time.
Aside from that … I loved Francine Rivers’s Redeeming Love. When I neared the last few pages, I read as slowly as I could to savor the experience. When I’d read the last line, I held the book to my chest and sighed in total contentment. But then I nearly threw it across the room because I was so upset that my experience with those characters was over!
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?
I have had several of those experiences! One example is when I got tendonitis and lost my day job. When the physical therapist told me I had to stop typing in order to heal, I thought that would be the end of my writing journey. But instead, I learned how to do it without affecting my tendons. And God used that “loss” to get me into editing Christian manuscripts, speaking at Christian writers’ conferences, in addition to writing Christian books. I love what I do so much, I’m extremely grateful for that tendonitis experience!
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
I love Ephesians 3:20-21, which says that God can do exceedingly abundantly beyond all we could ask or think or dream or imagine (depending on which version you’re reading). Being a writer, I have a pretty big imagination! It’s awesome to know that God is way bigger than anything I could come up with.
Where can we find you on the web?
Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?
I am currently accepting submissions for my Fiction-Lover’s Devotionals series. Guidelines, details, and deadlines are on my website, www.KathyIde.com, under the Devo tab. Anyone who can write a really good fictional short story is welcome to send something!
That sounds like something I need to check out 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing with my readers. We love hearing about writers journeys and how God has worked in their lives.