I became a Christian on October 13, 1973 at a Key Witness Mission program at my church. This was the Methodist equivalent of a revival. I was 17 years old. In this program, ordinary lay-people volunteered to witness in other churches for a weekend, and we were organized into age groups. I, obviously, was in the youth group where people my age were telling us about Jesus and how their lives were changed. I had been singing in the choir for several months, but it wasn't until this weekend that I allowed His love into my heart. It was as if my eyes were open for the first time, and I fell madly, passionately in love with my Lord. Every love song I heard on the radio became a love song to Him. Karen Carpenter was popular then, and I found myself singing to Jesus, "Why do birds suddenly appear, Every time you are near? Just like me, they long to be close to you." Hokey, but true.
When did you begin writing?
Technically before I learned how to write. But professionally in 2002. You can read about my writing journey through my article titled, "Take Your Passion and Make It Happen" at the Grace Reign Blog, the June 11 post.
How was the feedback from family and friends when you told them you decided to write for publication?
I have a very supportive family. My dear husband allowed me to quit my job (which wasn't making much money anyway,) to pursue writing fulltime. My mother had to endure my overactive imagination for years, so knew I'd do something with it eventually. And the rest of the family knew I had this passion inside me, so it was no surprise at all.
What books have you published?
Merely Players is my first published novel. It's about a dolphin trainer who masks her feelings when her ex-boyfriend, now an A-list actor, reenters her life, and she makes him jump through hoops to win back her affection. Merely Players was published through Barbour Publishing's Heartsong Presents line, and is now bundled with two other stories under the title Florida Weddings, available in most book stores and online at Barbour Publishing.
My second book is Love Letters, a Barbour Publishing novella anthology. The story is "Cookie Schemes" where a traditional fortune cookie maker woos a thoroughly modern woman in 1955 with scriptural wisdom. It's available for only a limited time at Barbour Books.
What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Balancing my time with my everyday responsibilities. Back when I decided to quit my job and write fulltime, I didn't know that a few years later my son would move in with his three kids and two pets. There's a reason why I waited until I had an empty nest to pursue this as a career. Now, I find I must write in between diaper changes, sibling rivalry, meals, and walks to and from school.
What message do you hope readers gain from your books?
As a Christian author, my theme always relates back to the Word. So as a general message, I hope my readers learn to turn to the Bible, and to God, for answers to their problems.
What do you wish you’d known early in your career that might have saved you some time and/or frustration in writing? In publishing?
I'd like to be flip and say I wish I'd known how to write! Maybe how to plot so it wouldn't have taken me three years to write Merely Players. I'm slowly learning this process now, and trying to integrate my seat of the pants mentality (just sitting down and writing without a plan.) I don't know if I'll ever get it perfect, but with God's grace, I know I don't have to.
What are some of your tips and tricks on the writing life that you can share with other writers?
First and foremost, organize the business side of your writing. If you want to be taken seriously, especially by the IRS, log your writing time, keep your expenses, know how much money you're making with each project, no matter how small. Second, relax. So many new authors are so uptight, wanting to get every rule right. I can tell you from experience, it ain't gonna happen! I found that I could only learn in layers. I could understand POV, but Scene and Sequel still eludes me. Learn only what you can handle. When you get that right, learn something else. Remember when writing was fun? Back when you wrote poems to your friends and poured out your angst on crisp narrow ruled paper? Recapture that feeling.
What are you currently writing?
Well, I was working on a cozy mystery series, but Friday I received a post in my inbox from Heartsong Acquisitions Editor, JoAnne Simmons saying she is "very" interested in my contemporary Oregon series proposal. This will be three romances, the first taking place on an alpaca farm. I responded to her, but haven't heard back.
Kathleen, known as Kathy by her friends, believes that if they'd done an ultrasound on her mother while she was with child, they'd have found a writing instrument clutched in her tiny hand. After a lifetime of writing short stories, plays, and poems, God finally released Kathy to write as a career in 2002. This happened at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference where she won first place in the unpublished writers contest for her article "If Anyone Hears My Voice." She also met her editors, Jim and Tracie Peterson from Barbour's Heartsong Presents, who became intrigued with her heroine's profession, a dolphin trainer. By 2006, that novel, Merely Players, became published and went on to place second in the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest (IRCC) 2007. Then in May of this year it was bundled with two other stories by Lynn Coleman and Kristy Dykes under the title, Florida Weddings. In 2007, Kathy teamed up with Mary Davis, Sally Laity, and Jeri Odell for Love Letters, a Barbour novella collection about unique expressions of love, (hers takes place through fortune cookies.) Heartsong holds a readers poll every year, and in 2008, Kathy placed in the upper five of the Favorite New Author category.
After her contest win at CCWC, Kathy became leader of her local critique group, JOY Writers. She joined a local association, Colorado Writers Fellowship, and also a national organization, American Christian Fiction Writers, www.acfw.com. Her affiliation with ACFW eventually led to a position as the Colorado Coordinator, and she just recently moved up as the Rocky Mountain Zone Director.
Kathy lives in northeast Colorado (out where the buffalo roam) with her husband of 33 years. She has two sons, three grandchildren, and two grandpets - all of whom, at one point or another, have taken advantage of the revolving door on her empty nest.
Visit www.kathleenekovach.com to learn more about her. She also has two blogs: www.kathleenekovach.blogspot.com, is where she shares her personal and professional life. And for a unique approach to writing, go to www.craftcinema.blogspot.com as we explore the craft through movies.