The Best List

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Today, Kathy Nickerson, author of Rose Hill Cottage joins us to share about her writing journey.

Kathy Nickerson

Once, at a book signing, my table sat directly beneath a huge sign advertising the store’s Best Sellers from other publishers. That is probably the closest I will ever come to such a list. If you don’t count the forty-eight hours on Amazon where my Kindle version ranked #24 in its sub-genre. (I have the screen shot if you want to see it.)

But, mostly, I don’t expect my quiet novels to ever reach New York Times status. That hasn’t been my mission as a writer. I’m not against that kind of success. I just don’t expect it from my desk in the middle of a cornfield. What I do expect is that my stories will make other lists. Lists you may not find on Goodreads or Amazon. Lists that will last longer than a few hours. Lists like these:

Books that taught me How to Pray: On my list is a novel about Quakers by Daisy Newman. It still reminds me to “center down” every morning and has shaped my prayer life for more than three decades. One reader told me after she and her sisters read my novel, Thirty Days to Glory, they stopped gossiping about a wayward niece. Instead, they put aside their own theological differences and started praying for the girl.

Books that Made me Laugh: Patrick F. McManus. I know that doesn’t make me cool or literary. But my husband and I spent one summer laughing one another off the sofa while we read his camping and fishing stories. It was a tough summer for us, and I’m forever grateful for the humor that softened our days.

I keep hearing from adult readers who laughed all the way through a specific scene in my recent novel, The Secret of Serendipity. The book is written for middle-schoolers, and I almost cut that scene. Which proves I don’t know much more about my reading audience than I do about baiting a hook.

Books that Made me Better: Catherine Marshall’s The Helper introduced me to the power of the Holy Spirit and lifted me out of debilitating depression. But other books had equally dramatic impact in smaller ways. I still bathe in the order described by the efficiency expert father in Cheaper by the Dozen. It has probably saved me hours of writing time over the years!

One reader finished Thirty Days to Glory and then opened the door to her alcoholic brother for the first time. She had always refused to help him before, but this time he reminded her of the character Elmer Grigsby.

Books that Shocked my Theology: I say shocked instead of shaped because some writers have taken my breath away with their clarity on issues I thought I already understood. C.S. Lewis on just about everything, for instance. Or Francis Chan telling us the prodigal in the story is actually God instead of the son because “prodigal” means “giving something on a lavish scale.”

In my next novel, Rose Hill Cottage, one character glimpses Heaven through Randy Alcorn’s amazing book by that name. I don’t have to agree with every position these authors take, but I do have to examine everything I believe when I read their stories.

One high school student told me she was shocked by a brief scene in Thirty Days to Glory. It forced her to reexamine everything she had been told about the Nativity and the Bible in general. “Now I’m going to have to read the whole Bible for myself,” she said.

Mission accomplished.

Meet KathyKathy Nickerson

Kathy Nickerson’s most recent novel is Rose Hill Cottage. You can learn more about her writing and her reputation as an Eternal Optimist at her website. Sign up for her free newsletter and get a copy of Three Secrets to a Happy Life at

Connect with Kathy: Website  Facebook   Twitter   Amazon



Rose Hill Cottage

Rose Hill Cottage by Kathy NickersonAfter the death of her young husband, best-selling novelist Nora Kimble escapes New York for a summer cottage in the Ozarks. She hopes to leave behind her nagging mother, her ambitious literary agent, and her own pressing sorrow. But her private retreat is soon crowded by a strange visitor and a community that refuses to let her grieve alone.

If you are already a fan of the Glory Circle Sisters, you will enjoy this summer vacation with Bess Caldwell, who lost her driving privileges and watched the neighbors stealing her electricity in Thirty Days to Glory. That little setback hasn’t                                                                            stopped her, though, as Nora Kimball is about to learn.

Order your copy at CrossRiver Media

3 thoughts on “The Best List

  1. Thanks for inviting me over to the blog today. I’m grateful for the work WordSowers is doing in the Omaha area and beyond. You are a wonderful group of writers, and I’m especially happy to be on your list!

  2. Kathy, you were up earlier than this Wordsower! Beat me to the keyboard. LOL! We are so glad to have you today, Kathy. Thank you for reminding us that the best list to have our book on is not the NYT best sellers list! May the Lord bless the words you are sending out into the world with the release of your newest book!

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