Writers introducing themselves to other writers often sound like people in a group therapy session.
Me: Hello, I’m Kim Stokely and… I’m a writer.
Leader: Welcome. What do you write?
Me: I’m a regular contributor to Thriving Family’s on-line magazine and the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I’ve also had pieces in Vista and Writers’ Journal.
Leader: Wonderful. Anything else you’d like to share?
Me: Yes. I’m addicted…
Leader: It’s okay. We’re all writer’s here. What are you addicted to?
Me: (Eyes alight with excitement) Storytelling.
It’s true. My addiction started when I studied theater (I have a B.F.A. and Master’s degrees in drama) and performed throughout the states in a one person show about women in the Bible. My love for drama led me to create my own stories.
The writing process is both difficult and amazing. I once spent weeks trying to write the next pages in a novel, only to repeatedly throw them away. A friend suggested I sit back and describe what I saw in the scene. It was then I noticed a man watching my protagonist. I realized this character needed to be in my story; I just hadn’t met him yet. You should have seen my husband’s face when I told him.
“You made him up.” His eyes narrowed as if gauging my sanity. “Don’t you know who he is?”
I hadn’t planned on this character, but God had. I sat down with a notebook and a list of questions like “who are you?” and “what are you fighting for?” The next thing I knew, I’d been given a phenomenal new character who played a major role in my story.
Although I’ve been actively writing for the past 8 years, I’ve only recently admitted it to people outside of my immediate family, afraid others would judge me because I didn’t have a bestseller on the shelves. But God showed me that all my hours in front of my computer, all the classes and conferences I’ve attended, were ways in which I was pursuing the dream He’d given me. He has called me to write and that’s all that matters.
Over this past year, I’ve been exploring ebooks and self-publishing. Another Christian writer counseled me that perhaps we have been born, like Esther, for such a time as this. When have authors ever had the opportunity to reach such a wide market with work that might fall outside of the mainstream publishing mold?
I’m going to make my first jump into the proverbial waters this winter when I self-publish my novel Woman of Flames, a fictional account of the prophet Deborah. I’m in the final editing stage now, but until it’s released, you can sample my writing on my monthly humor column at www.theChristianPulse.com.
I’d also love you to visit my website www.kimstokely.com to read my short story Bingo (2010 Writers’ Journal Romance contest winner) or find dates for my upcoming dramatic and/or singing performances.
Kim lives outside of Omaha, NE. She used to live with a houseful of creatures, but the teenagers grew up and the bird died (her husband, two dogs and the legless lizard still keep her company.)