Before we get to today’s special guest, I have just a couple of notes.
Firstly, for July and August, I’m hosting a Blog Swap to help share the love for my upcoming novella collection, Wild Blue Wonder Press’s debut anthology, Springtime in Surrey. You’ll find the dates and links for the articles in the swap in every article here on Writing to Inspire through this time.
Secondly, I’ll be adding Fridays to my blogging schedule for just these two months. I love my guests and appreciate their time and energy of writing the articles for you, the reader, to enjoy. (Thank you ever so much, dear guests!) However, I still have some things I’d like to share with you this summer. So my guests will be featured in the normal Monday slots, while I’ll be taking Fridays and the odd Monday when there is no guest.
Thirdly, starting on the Fourth of July (Happy Independence Day, folks!), I will be hosting an interview of all eight authors (myself included) over on my Twitter account. This will span all the way through the first few days of September, so be sure to check that out daily for the latest tidbit.
There will be other fun things coming up later in July and August, so stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information.
Without further delay, please welcome Kellyn Roth, the woman behind new publishing house Wild Blue Wonder Press.
Hello, folks! My name is Kellyn Roth, though you can call me Kell. I’m so honored to come on here today!
As you may or may not know, Andrea recently published a novella in an anthology collection called Springtime in Surrey. This is the first multi-author venture of Wild Blue Wonder Press, a publisher I founded to launch my historical fiction stories. Since Andrea has long been my editor for my series The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, it was great getting to work with her in a slightly different capacity.
Today I’m going to talk a little about three things that have become inseparable in my life: my life, my fiction, & my faith in God.
Because here’s the thing: it can be tempting as an author, who spends most of her time in a fictional world, to separate these elements.
Yet that’s not realistic, is it?
At first it seems like it might be. Your Christianity will bleed into your writing, of course, but you can write without actually experiencing things (“write what you know” is somewhat of a myth, though it has some roots in truth), so why should your life and faith have a huge influence on your writing? You can write even when you don’t feel the things you’re writing, after all. It just takes a certain level of skill.
That’s long been my perspective. Why? Because I have often written things people have called “good,” and I have not felt “good,” nor close to God. I’m no perfect Christian—for years, I doubted if I were even worthy to be a Christian at all.
There seemed to be so little in me, except words, and as I became more aware of God’s influences in my life, I assumed that the way God worked was to take a small scoop of Kell, mostly including said words, and mix in His grace … and it was only His grace that made the words godly.
And I do think that happens sometimes. In some ways, that may have been remarkably similar to the process I endured for years, if only because there was such hardness in me that I could not feel much of the process—just see the results and wonder.
Yet I’ve also seen a change in me as a writer as I’ve risen beyond my sin and the resulting depression and anxiety. Now my feelings are closer to the surface, so it makes sense that other things would be less numb, like my relationship with God.
The way I live influences my writing greatly, and inevitably, as a Christian, the way I live is influenced by God.
Though I’m grateful for His sustaining me even when I barely looked His way but in my darkest moments, I can’t help but feel this is better!
So are you living a life that will grow you toward Christ and therefore grow your writing, or are you living a life that will keep you in the same place or even let you slip into a worst place?
Really, there are three main things you need to check in on if you’re not sure:
- Your relationship with God (praying & praising Him, reading the Bible, obeying whatever He asks)
- Your relationship with others (encouraging & loving them, mentoring and being mentored)
- Your other actions (writing, other work, taking care of yourself, etc.)
The most vital of these is of course your relationship with God. Getting in regular time with Him is vital! And then acting on that is just as vital. Though God has grace for our lack of obedience, that doesn’t mean we get a free pass to stop trying. We’ll never be perfect—but that’s because we’re still running a race. Don’t stop running!
Your relationships with others is another good marker. Are you showing good fruit in your relationships? Are you maturing as a person in these relationships? And are you acting as the iron that sharpens iron?
Theoretically, again due to God’s grace, we could live a life completely isolated from all humanity and still learn and grow as Christians, as people, and as writers. But I know now that that’s not the best way. The ideal way. Yes, we could all be hermits and be sustained by God—and some people are stuck in that situation through illnesses or other tragedies—but just because some people can’t doesn’t make the fact that they can’t good.
And last, how are you living? Are you attending to your needs in a healthy way? Prioritizing taking care of the body God gave you? Are you always working to improve your knowledge and intellect along with your character? How about your work, whatever that may be? Do you do everything you do HEARTILY as to the Lord and not to men? Is there a lazy bone in your body that needs amputated?
In the context of this post, this applies most greatly to writing. If we are seeking and serving God, we are writing well. We are continually seeking to better ourselves. We are doing our best to serve Him with said writing. We are putting in our utmost, our very best effort, and never slacking.
Then how does this bleed into your writing?
Well, it’s hard to count the ways, but here’s what I’ve seen in my life.
- I’m becoming a little more gracious with my mistakes.
- I’m feeling less need to overstate or over-explain myself to prove a point. Truth speaks for itself.
- I’m less argumentative and judgmental in my interactions about my own and others’ books because there’s nothing standing between me and the reality of my own mistakes.
- I can get to the point a lot quicker because I don’t have to feel my way to the point. I know what it is.
- I can focus and get a lot done in a short amount of time (when at my best); I’m less ruled by impulse.
- In general, I’m writing more relaxed characters these days, which is fun.
Of course there’s a lot more than that, things I can’t even discern, but those are the biggest points I’ve seen, and I hope that I’ll begin to see even more as I continue to develop my relationship with God.
Mostly, I think we have to remember that living well is directly related to how we do everything. There’s no isolating one area and expecting it to never bleed into another. After all, you’re one person—not many. You have one soul, one spirit, and one body.
There’s no “writing Kell” and “work Kell” and “resting Kell.” They’re all the same person.
So, basic as this may seem to some, this has been something I’ve been thinking about a lot as I consider the way Christianity pairs with everything else I do in life as a sinner saved by grace.
Thank you for featuring me!
(From Andrea: It’s been a pleasure, Kellyn. Thank you for being our fearless leader for Springtime in Surrey.)
About the Author
Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy. When not building her author career or her indie-author-helping business, Wild Blue Wonder Press, Kell is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.
You can find her online at https://kellynrothauthor.com/
About Springtime in Surrey
This collection of novellas, set in County Surrey, England, features both historical and contemporary stories by new and old authors!
Springtime in Surrey contains the follow eight novellas:
Jesus, I Am Resting by Faith Blum
An orphaned young woman must fight to survive after WWI breaks out, praying her beau doesn’t die on a foreign battlefield like her father did years ago.
The Cottage on the Hill by Andrea Renee Cox
A former ballerina seeks hope amongst her lost dreams, as a sheep farmer tries to bring her joy.
If I Knew You Were Coming by Bailey Gaines
An exhausted mother balances her duties to both her biological and evacuee children with preparation for an unexpected visit from her soldier husband.
Her Heart’s Home by Grace A. Johnson
A destitute woman is pursued by an unexpected suitor and finds blessings from God in the way she least expected.
The Tussie-Mussie by Katja H. Labonté
A disgraced debutante flees to the country, only to meet a reclusive writer who may change her life forever.
The Odd Duck Society by Rachel Leitch
An insecure university student returns to a tea shop after a mysterious letter summons her there.
Fear Not Tomorrows by Erika Mathews
A hard-working sister-of-seven struggles with contentment as her marriage is postponed by her fiancé’s absence.
Courage to Stay by Kellyn Roth
A young bride chases her husband into the forest to rescue him from himself, which goes about as well as one would expect.
About the Authors
Faith Blum is a wife, mom, author, and entrepreneur. She’s published over 30 books, most of them in the Christian Historical Fiction genre. She loves stories because they can teach history, but in a fun way. It is also her way to have a creative outlet while taking care of a household and toddler.
She’s been a proud small town resident her whole life and wouldn’t have it any other way. She lives in Central Wisconsin with her husband, son, and cat, Smokey. She’s blessed to write as a part time career. You can find her books on books on most eBook retailers.
When not writing, you can find her cooking from scratch, reading, figuring out social media content, or spending time with her family. She also loves playing piano for church and being part of the Author Conservatory.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Faith-Blum/e/B00GSPBHW6
Born and raised in north Texas, Andrea Renee Cox is a born-again child of God who enjoys writing stories that inspire, copyediting fiction manuscripts, tutoring middle school students, and going on road trips with her family. Whether she’s working on historical or contemporary, women’s fiction or romance, she uses her skills in research and writing techniques—as well as a large dose of prayer and guidance from God—at every turn in the journey to produce the best story of her ability every single time. Her books may be found on her website, and readers are welcome to follow her blog for the latest updates in her journey.
Bailey Gaines is a Georgia girl who loves history. Through her writing, she hopes to show how God works in all periods of history, bringing healing and helping people know they have value because of their identity as a human created in God’s image. Her stories range from King Richard the Lionheart’s England to 1930s Appalachia to 18th century England to 19th century America.
Bailey is a student of the Author Conservatory, and has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When she’s not writing, she’s helping homeschoolers with their writing or working at an escape room. Her hobbies include playing the piano, sewing, and exploring the world of vintage fashion.
Grace A. Johnson is a Christian fiction authoress, book reviewer, and avid reader. She lives in beautiful (but humid) South Georgia, surrounded by farmland and forestry, with her parents and six younger siblings. She has indie-published the first three novels in a Christian historical romance series, the Daughters of the Seven Seas, and a smattering of short stories and novellas, as well as a devotional. She’s also a marketer and editor who loves helping young authors through her editing business S&J Editors and her small publishing company Sky’s the Limit Press. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook @graceajohnsonauthor or blogging on her website at www.graceajohnson.com. Join her for a virtual cup of tea and a free preview of her debut novel when you sign up for her e-newsletter!
Katja H. Labonté is a Christian, an extreme bibliophile who devours over 365 books in a year, and an exuberant writer with a talent for starting short stories that explode into book series. She is a bilingual French-Canadian and has about a dozen topics she’s excessively passionate about (hint: that’s why she writes). Katja writes both contemporary and historical fiction, as well as non-magical historical and contemporary kingdom fiction, and covers themes of worth, love, peace, and Christian growth. She spends her days enjoying little things, growing in faith, learning life, and loving people. You can follow her life journey, find free books, browse her services, and more on her website and blog.
Rachel Leitch discovered the book of writing when she was seven. She’s been turning pages ever since! She lives her own adventure in northern Indiana, with her parents, three sisters, two brothers, and a dog who thinks he’s the hero of her story. She writes young adult historical fiction with a dash of adventure or a spark of magic. When she’s not hidden away writing, she’s trying to fit all her reads on her shelf in a somewhat organized manner, obsessing over character arcs, drinking chai, daydreaming at the piano, or teaching students to be just as bookish as she is. In all her adventures, she learns how to shine brighter for the Father of Lights. For more bookish ramblings (and a free digital short story involving a magical violin) follow her adventure journal at https://racheljleitch.com/!
Erika Mathews is an author and editor who writes family-friendly Christian living books, both fiction and non-fiction, that demonstrate the power of God through ordinary people, transforming daily life into His resting life. Her works include Truth from Taerna, a kingdom adventure fiction series with deep spiritual themes, Resting Life, a Christian living nonfiction book about finding rest in Jesus in modern life, and a variety of historical fiction and poetry.
Erika lives in the farm country of Minnesota with her husband and children. She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. When she’s not working with books, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, piano and violin, organizing, and using the Oxford comma.
Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century.
Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory and a writing coach. When not building her author career or her indie-author-helping business, Wild Blue Wonder Press, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.
Blog Swap Schedule
Please visit any or all of the following articles on the dates given or after. Feel free to share them with your friends, too.
Note: There was an issue with some of the links being broken recently. I have corrected those now, so all the links should take you to the appropriate articles. Please let me know if you come upon an issue. I am still waiting on some of the links, so please hang in there. They are coming.
Kellyn Roth on Resting Life
Erika Mathews on Prose Worthy
Andrea Renee Cox on Resting Life
Erika Mathews on Writing to Inspire
Launch Team and Blog Tour Sign-Ups
The Launch Team and Blog Tour sign-ups are still open. Would you like to help us celebrate the release of our new collection Springtime in Surrey?
Books to Read
Want to read one of my books? Explore my books page.
Purchasing one of my books directly supports my writing career.
Posting an honest review of one of my books on Goodreads or your favorite retail site helps other readers know whether or not they’d also like to read my books.
Want to read free short stories? Explore my short stories page.