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Interview With Kim Vogel Sawyer

Kim Vogel Sawyer has dreamed of being an author since her earliest memories. Seeing her books in print is sometimes still too good to be true. In addition to her writing ministry, Kim travels to women's groups to share her testimony of God's miraculous hand of healing in her life--both physically and emotionally. She sees a correlation between the writing of a good story and God's good plan for every life, and she hopes her stories encourage readers to seek God's will in their own personal lives.

"A Hopeful Heart" by Kim Vogel Sawyer
: What a fun premise for this book. A widow living on the plains of Kansas opens a "school" where Eastern women can come and learn everything they need to know about working on a farm or ranch and being what the single men around there need. The end result is that she will help the girls find a husband that will be able to provide for them. In the midst of the girls comes Tressa, but she is about as unconventional as possible for being a Kansas wife. She is delicate and definitely city born and bred. Can she adapt? Will anyone want someone like her for a wife in a place where it takes brawn to be a good wife?

I loved the characters in this book as well as the unique setting and situations. Another wonderful book from Kim Vogel Sawyer to sweep you to another time and place this summer. 

Kim, one of your newest books is, "A Hopeful Heart", and I really enjoyed this story. I love that many of your books seem to be set in Kansas on the prairie, is there a particular reason you come back to this setting so often?

I'm a Kansas girl, born and bred--I've lived all but one year of my life in small Kansas towns. I'm also fascinated by the late 1800s, when the prairie was open and so many dreams were born. I feel at home in that time and place.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication
At an ACFW conference in 2003, our keynote speaker held a "commissioning service." She asked any who were willing to write simply for the purpose of glorifying God to come forward. I made my way to the front with a new realization dawning in my heart: GOD had given me this desire and ability, and instead of using it to entertain myself, escape reality, or garner a publishing contract, I should be writing as way of gifting HIM. It wasn't about me; it was about God. It completely changed the way I viewed writing, and it turned my writing time in a time of worship and fellowship with God. That change led to spiritual growth that still amazes me. 

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other
Learning to multi-task. The older I get, the more challenging this becomes. *sigh* While I'm writing one story, I'm often brainstorming the next, working on edits for the previous, and marketing the current release. Then there's housework and cooking and spending time with hubby, my kids, and grandkids... Sometimes it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day (and enough brain cells in my head!) to keep everything going. Writers need to be good jugglers. I'm getting better. 

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect
your storytelling?
As simplistic as this might sound, God is a main character in my life. I've been His child since I was eight years old and asked Jesus to be my personal Lord and Savior. I can't leave Him out of my daily life, and I can't leave Him out of my stories. He will always be a main character in every story I pen--it's as natural as breathing to me.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing
I will never forget the day I went running down the elementary school hallway (in the middle of parent-teacher conference, I might add!) to call my dad and say, "Guess what, Daddy? I just got an email--and I sold a book!!!" My parents had always encouraged my writing endeavors, and the joy of sharing with them that the dream would become reality was more precious than the contract itself. A close second is discovering Janette Oke would endorse my first full-length historical. I think I kinda forgot to breathe when that email arrived. *smile*

Who/What spurs you to write?
I suppose deadlines are mighty motivator (lol), but mostly it's the realization that God gave me this ministry. I know without a doubt HE opened these doors, and it's so important to me to honor Him by writing the very best story I possibly can. 

Where do your story and character ideas come from?
Everywhere--cemetery headstones, abandoned farmsteads, a photograph in a book, the scent of sandstone cellar... I find stories in every direction I look. I believe it's the product of an over-active imagination. But it works for me.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
I really have no idea. Readers often tell me they enjoy my books because they feel as though they're in the center of the action. They also share they appreciate the "ahhh" factor. I simply write the story the way it plays in my head. If it works, God gets the credit.

Finish this question. What do you want to leave your readers thinking 
when they are done reading one of your books?
With every book, I pray readers will come to the end of the story with a new realization of how precious they are to our heavenly Father. I pray they close the book, sigh, and think, "What an awesome God I serve..." If the reader can find a spiritual tidbit to tuck into the corner of her heart that brings peace or comfort or joy, then I'm a very happy writer.

Any parting words?
If God has called you to the task of writing, then write. Even when it's hard and you feel like you're getting nowhere, write. There are no wasted steps in a God-directed journey, so forge on with what He's called you to do and write, write, write! 

Thanks for sharing with us, Kim!
Thank you!

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