Sunday, April 02, 2006
AUTHOR INTRO - Keri Wyatt Kent
See Ya On The Net: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.
Keri Wyatt Kent: I'm a mom of two great kids: Melanie, 12, and Aaron, 10. I've been married to Scot for 15 years. I am a working mom, I do freelance writing for magazines and businesses, and write my books. I also do quite a bit of speaking. Fortunately, I can work from home so I can be around for the kids. As a writer, my background is journalism--I was a newspaper reporter for about 10 years before having kids and going into freelancing. Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life is my fourth book. I also have a couple of books where I was an editor or co-writer. You can check them out on amazon.com, or on my website, www.keriwyattkent.com
SYOTN: Tell us about your current book?
KENT: It's called Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life. It's a book on how we can really pay attention to God's voice. The book has three parts: the first is about how God speaks to us through our lives, through the struggles and joys. The second part is about how God speaks to us through others, and how we can grow spiritually by offering the gift of listening to others. The final part looks at spiritual practices that are transformed by listening, such as prayer or mediation on Scripture. For example, you can just pray and throw words at the ceiling and hope God hears you, or you can incorporate listening into your prayer life (by being silent, waiting on God, listening to his word in Scripture) and then, it moves from being just talking to conversation. Listening transforms the practice, which in turn, transforms you.
SYOTN: Writing this book, what did you learn about yourself and God?
KENT: I learned that I've often limited the ways that I'm able to hear from God. Writing this book opened me up to noticing how God has spoken, not just through "leadings" or bringing ideas or people to mind, but through the circumstances of my life. My life--its joys, its struggles--has been a way for God to communicate with me. He also speaks through other people--and not just preachers. He speaks through you children, through people you don't expect to provide wisdom. God got bigger for me as I wrote this book--I realized he is always speaking. I learned this about myself--that I need to tune into his voice and pay attention.
SYOTN: What aspect of God do you most hope readers will take away after reading your book?
KENT: I hope readers' spiritual lives will be transformed. That may seem like a pretty grand expectation, but really, learning to listen to God is transformational. So many of us just go through the motions, or feel like we are living life disconnected from God. But when we begin to pay attention to what God wants to say through our circumstances (even the difficult ones) and other people (again, even the difficult ones)--we'll discover that God desires communication and communion with us--and that means our relationship must be one where we both speak and listen--two way communication. I hope readers will realize that is indeed possible--and that can be a transforming truth. If you could live your life in on-going conversation with God, that would be transforming, right? I hope so.
SYOTN: How do you feel about critique groups?
KENT: I've been in one before, and just recently joined an on-line one, but we're a bit slow getting started. I find them helpful if people are willing to be honest. But sometimes they're not. I find that having a group of two works better, if you can find someone who's willing to be brutally honest. I'm lucky--I have a friend who reads my stuff and is willing to actually help me improve it.
SYOTN: What one thing about writing do you wish other writers would understand?
KENT: Well, if you want to write, you have to be willing to re-write. I do several drafts of everything I write. You will not get it right the first time through. So good writing depends on re-writing. I think the willingness to revise, edit, improve--that's what separates good writers from wanna-be's.
SYOTN: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
KENT: That writing is a job. I often go and speak, and have my four books spread out on the book table, and have just given a well-prepared presentation, and people will come up to me and say, "So, Keri, do you work?" Other author friends say they've experienced the same thing. Um, my writing/speaking/teaching is a JOB. I may not make a lot of money, I may do it from the spare bedroom (typically in my pajamas) but it is my job, it is work.
SYOTN: Do you have any promotional tips for writers?
KENT: Write about what you love, because it's a lot easier to get excited about promoting something you are passionate about. If you write a book you don't really care about, you're not going to do the marketing. And marketing is part of an author's WORK. (see above)
SYOTN: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?
KENT: I'm a working mom--very few books keep me up, because by the end of the day I am tired! I read all the time. Most recently, I enjoyed "A Year by the Sea--Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman" by Joan Anderson. I also love Donald Miller's work--Blue Like Jazz was amazing, and I also really enjoyed his Searching for God Knows What.
SYOTN: What resources do you use on the net?
KENT: I don't fully utilize the net as much as I should. My kids are much more computer savvy than I am. I Google anything I am trying to learn more about. I am in just one writers group on-line--it's helpful but also takes a lot of time away from actually writing. biblegateway.com is a great way to look up Bible verses or other bible info --you can search all versions of the bible, in different languages. I also am always checking amazon--I love bookstores and that's a way I can sort of spend a few minutes in a bookstore without leaving the house!
SYOTN: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
KENT: My website, www.keriwyattkent.com, has a place to contact me, get info about having me come and speak, and also a way to sign up for my monthly e-zine, which is called Connecting with Keri Wyatt Kent.