Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Interview with Kristy Dykes
I’m pleased to have Kristy Dykes as the second of my “all-redhead, all-the-time” blog guests. Her last book was Kiss the Bride. Her latest book, The Heart of the Matter, is due out next month, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to get to know Kristy better.
RM: Newspaper columnist, speaker, author—which came first, and how did you get to this place in your career?
KD: They all kind of "hit" me as I walked in God's will. Oh, and add to that a call to the ministry. As far as writing, I felt a special calling from the Lord when I was in my 20s and wanted to get a degree in journalism but couldn't due to my busy schedule as a pastor's wife. So I studied armloads of books on how to get published, sat down and wrote articles, and started getting published. I stopped counting them at 600. They include sales to two New York Times' subsidiaries, Guideposts, and a weekly cooking column which made me gain weight! ☺ (Along the way, I got my heart's desire and earned a degree in mass communications/journalism.) Having always loved reading novels, that segued into wanting to write and publish them. So I hit the books again because nonfiction is a whole different ballgame from fiction. I studied both novels and craft books, and I attended scores of fiction writing classes (one was a weekly college fiction-writing class I consistently attended for four years which was taught by a multi-published author). Now, I have 10 titles sold, with many more in my heart that I believe are going to come forth.
RM: Your genre is Christian romance fiction. Why have you chosen that, as opposed to, say, suspense fiction?
KD: Everybody loves a love story, as the saying goes, including me. I'm a romantic nostalgist, or is that a nostalgic romanticist? My unpubbed books are women's fiction with strong romantic elements. My pubbed ones are in the romance genre except for one—my novella, "Reunited," in the 4-in-1 Wedded Bliss?, which won Third Place in the 2006 Book of the Year Contest (contemporary novella category), presented by American Christian Fiction Writers. "Reunited" could be put in the above classification: "women's fiction with strong romantic elements."
RM: Your husband, Milton, seems to be very supportive of your writing. Does having a pastor husband affect your work one way or another?
KD: All through our pastoral ministry at several churches, he's said things like, “We need someone to teach children's church. Will you do it?” Or, “We need a Sunday school teacher for the teenagers' class.” Or, “We need to start a young married couples' class.” Yes to playing the organ, serving as youth pastor, being the church secretary, directing women's ministries—I've worked in every area of church life except men's ministries, and I've cleaned enough church commodes and changed enough diapers to last a lifetime! I joke that instead of having 1.2 million books under my belt, I have 1.2 acts of kindness. ☺ When I started pursuing writing and publishing fiction, he said, "You've helped me so much in the ministry, that now I'm going to help you." He goes with me to writers' conferences, International Christian Retail Shows, Christy Awards banquets, book signings, and speaking engagements, and he cheerfully agrees to spend all the money these things entail. He encourages me when I doubt myself. Every one of my books has this dedication: "To my hero husband Milton who is my collaborator in the deepest sense of the word—he's believed in me, supported me, and cheered me on in my calling to inspirational writing."
RM: If you couldn’t live in Florida, where would you like to live, and why?
KD: There are more states in the U.S.? ☺ I'm a native Floridian and proud of it. Generations of my forbears are natives, and that's a rarity since we have so many transplants moving here to enjoy our gorgeous weather. We lived in Alabama for our pastoral ministry, plus my husband's from there, so that would be nice. Alabamians are wonderful people with gracious Southern hospitality.
RM: Tell us about your next book, The Heart of the Matter.
KD: It will be published April, 2007, by Heartsong Presents, a division of Barbour Publishing. It's a contemporary with a slight echoing of Pride and Prejudice because the hero and heroine are full of pride and prejudice. Blurb: "A woman with a problem...a man with a prejudice...a child with the answer." Scriptural theme: "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). First and second lines: “I want everybody to pray that God will give me a mommy,” little Brady said in a heart-tugging, grown-up way. Luke Moore took a deep gulp as he sat in the church pew and stared at his six-year-old son—the boy who'd just made the prayer request.
RM: And finally, any words of wisdom for fledgling, unpublished writers?
KD: Somebody said, "People don't fail; they quit." I made up my mind I was not going to quit. I would see my dream come true. I love to challenge people to strive for their dream, and I even have a dream talk and a dream article entitled, "Your Dream Is Doable—If You'll Pay Your Do's (Misspelling Intended)." It's been published a myriad of times. In a nutshell, it says: 1. Do everything you know to do and do it diligently (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Study, grow, glean from others. 2) Do rest in your call (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Remember, it is the Lord who called you, and He is the one who will bring it about—in His timing. 3) Do not want "it" above the Lord (Matthew 6:33). Don't get so caught up in your dream that you lose sight of the Dream Giver.
Thanks, Dr. Richard, for interviewing me. I'm honored. I loved your questions. They brought out a lot. I'd love to hear from your readers at my site, ChristianLoveStories.blogspot.com.
RM: Thank you, Kristy. I would encourage my readers to check out your site, including the "Dr. Richard Mabry" love story you've posted.
In two weeks, I'll be posting the next in my "all-redheads, all-the-time" series of interviews. Watch for it.