with Kay Marshall Strom

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Welcome to Patterings, Kay!
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

My ever present nagging fear that one of these days everyone will discover that I’m a big fake who can’t really write at all. I have a reoccurring nightmare that this humiliating unveiling happens in the middle of a huge book signing. Sigh~!

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
I love all my characters, and I hate to offend any of them, but I guess I would have to say Grace is my favorite. Why? Because I identify with her. The daughter of a slave ship captain and an African princess (that’s not the part I identify with), she has one foot in each of two worlds yet belongs in neither. The time comes that she is forced to choose: will she be slave or slaver? Either way, she must bear the consequences of her choice. As Christians who are in this world but not of it, we often feel this same way.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Well, the field is wide open here. Maybe I’d say spending two hours climbing under parked vehicles on a runway at the Detroit International Airport calling, “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty!” The runway had been shut down because my two cats escaped from their carrier and I was called off the plane to catch them.

Oh my goodness! Your poor cats...and poor you!
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

Everything that has to do with marketing. I’d much rather write than sell! When ever I have a speaking engagement, I insist that someone else man (woman?) the book table. If I did it, I’d end up giving away half the books!

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?

Chocolate. Dark chocolate. Bittersweet dark chocolate. Ummmmmm….!

I couldn't agree more! Chocolate is the bestest! ;-)
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?

“What does the Lord require of you but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
Both my fiction and my non-fiction revolve around themes of justice and mercy, and what it means to work together as a global body of Christ. I have seen quite a bit of non-fiction writing in this area, but I think we tend to underestimate the power of a good fiction story to illustrate the problems and to challenge us toward a better way. Not that employing fiction for such an end is anything new. Look at how successful such writers as Charles Dickens, Upton Sinclair, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn were at using fiction to spur reform.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Since The Call of Zulina is Book 1 of the Grace in Africa series, the other two books in the trilogy will be coming out within the next year and a half. But I do have two more books due out this year.

The Second-Half Adventure: Don’t Just Retire-Use Your Time, Resources & Skills to Change the World (Moody Press, October 2009) is mainly aimed at baby boomers who want to make the second half of their lives count for Kingdom purposes.

Forgotten Girls: Stories of Hope and Courage (InterVarsity Press, November 2009) tells the stories of girls who struggle in the hardest places of the world and what we can do to give them a hope and a future.

Thank you so much for being with us this week, Kay!
You can purchase The Call of Zulina at Amazon and CBD.

Kay is giving away a copy of The Call of Zulina. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Thursday, September 10th to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. OR you could sign up to have Patterings updates delivered to your inbox. If you do, it will give you a bonus entry in the giveaway, otherwise you can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :^)

Don't forget to check out the other two giveaways still going on:
Shirley Kiger Connolly and Dana Mentink


  1. I'm still being amazed about your airport/cat story. Wow!!! Please sign me up!

  2. Sounds like a great book! Enter me!

  3. I love the themes you work with in your books. It gives substance and help to those who read your books. It's the reason I read Christian novels. Thanks.
    Please enter me. Thank you.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  4. Oh, that cat story has me laughing too. What an adventure!

  5. I'm glad to see a book set in this time period and dealing with the uncomfortable topic of slavery. Thank you for the interview and chance to win a copy.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  6. please enter me into the drawing for this book, I love to read and enjoy reaing these interviews on the internet.


  7. The Call of Zulina looks awesome! Great interview too! Your poor kitties, are they little Houdini's? :-P

    XOXO~ Renee

  8. Anonymous3:03 AM

    I'd love to win this book!



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