Kelly not only writes non-fiction, she writes for TV and plays.
Read on to meet this multi-talented writer.
Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Kelly. Tell us, what inspired you to write your book, Everything to God in Prayer: A Writer’s Weekly Devotional?
Hi L.A., thanks for hosting me on your blog. I started to write this book when it seemed as though EVERYTHING had gone wrong in my life. My health was spiraling out of control, my work life (income!) was uncertain and my church was undergoing tumultuous changes, including significant financial problems and a revolving door of ministers.
More specifically about my health: I was hospitalized with colon disease and underwent nine surgeries in just 14 months, four of them major and one of them an emergency. Right before my emergency surgery, I’d been told that, without a colostomy, I might not survive the night. With a colostomy, my bodily waste went into an external bag and it was a challenging way for to me to live during the eight months before the colostomy could be safely reversed.
So, like a broken record, these thoughts kept running through my mind: Why me, God? Why does this all need to happen at once? Why now?”
The answers that I wrote were, in fact, devotions, and I decided to publish them to share my experiences in a way that I hope encourages other people to reach out to God in faith and to trust that there is a beautiful and loving plan for their lives. Each one also contains writing exercises, for people who would benefit from them.
What people helped you the most in getting this book published?
I belong to a writer’s group (International Writers Association) where a small press publisher also belongs: James O. Barnes of Loconeal Publishing. As I was working on the manuscript, our older son, Ryan, kept encouraging me to submit a query to James – and so I did. I’m grateful to both of them, as well as to the Reverend Lou Will, who read my manuscript and offered support, encouragement and theological insights – and who wrote the foreword to the book. Plus, John Burroughs of Crisis Chronicles also read the manuscript, both from a copyediting perspective and from a conceptual perspective, offering great suggestions and making key edits. Everyone involved made this a better book.
Are you planning on writing other stories, books? If so what kind?
Always! I write full time for a living, so I am always juggling multiple projects. Exciting news! I just discovered that a documentary where I have writing credits (Trail Magic: The Grandma Gatewood Story) is appearing on public television for the first time: on WOUB on June 14th, 2016. This film has been appearing in independent film festivals and will now be shown to a broader audience.
Among other projects, I’m writing my fourth commissioned historical fiction play. I am also writing a guide to help churches start spiritual writing programs in their communities (something that I do in NE Ohio) and I am a co-chair of the annual Northeast Ohio Christian Writer’s Conference.
I am waiting to hear if I have the green light on a local history book proposal. I also ghost blog and write web copy for numerous companies.
Where would you have someone start looking for help with the crisis you've faced?
Well, if the crisis is being defined as colostomy challenges, then I’d suggest the United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. as a place to find resources and support. They publish The Phoenix Magazine with articles specifically for people with ostomies. In fact, I’ve published a couple of articles with them. Overall, I encourage people to reach out to loved ones for support, including their faith communities. And, here is an article that I wrote about the unexpected blessings I encountered during the time I had a colostomy.
Would you share some words of inspiration that you've used to help you through each day?
Every morning, I say to myself: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” On joyful days, this is fun to say. Other mornings, this verse is more of a reminder to trust in God, that he’ll get me through the day. Or, if I realize that I haven’t been focusing enough on gratitude, this verse could be an admonishment to get my attitude and act together. Same words, different nuances.
Give us a brief summary of Everything to God in Prayer:
“Filled with anecdotes from her own faith journey in the midst of trials, Everything to God in Prayer by Kelly Boyer Sagert is a unique devotional for Christian writers. You will love Kelly’s warm style, grace-filled prayers, and insightful exercises designed to recharge your motivation to write. I highly recommend it!” --Jeanette Levellie, author of Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top, The Heart of Humor, and Shock the Clock: Time Management Strategies for Writers
Buy: You can buy autographed copies of the book (hardback or paperback) from me directly at http://www.everythingtogodinprayer.com/. There, you can also order a Christian poetry magnet set, something I created after not being able to find them anywhere. At Amazon you can order the books as hardback or paperback – and also for Kindle.
Bio: Kelly Boyer Sagert is a member of the prestigious American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and she has a BA degree in psychology. She has extensive experience in book publishing, and her book Trail Magic was made into a PBS documentary. She has been commissioned to write four historical plays and she has also sold thousands of pieces of her writing to magazines, newspapers, online sites, encyclopedias and literary journals.
A former magazine editor, she speaks at writer’s conferences and other venues, including at the American Society of Journalists and Authors Writers Conference, held in New York City, plus those held at The Ohio State University, Youngstown State, Kent State University, Bowling Green State University and Lorain County Community College. She has spoken at Progressive Field (the Cleveland Indians stadium) and the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and she appeared on an ESPN2 program called 'The Top Five Reasons You Can't Blame the Black Sox.'