Becca Kinzer works as a critical care nurse by day, but when she’s not taking care of sick patients or reminding her husband and two kids that frozen chicken nuggets is a gourmet meal, she enjoys making up lighthearted stories with serious laughs. Dear Henry, Love Edith is her debut novel.
A former ACFW First Impressions Contest winner, Genesis Contest winner, and Cascade Award winner, Becca lives in Springfield, Illinois with her family and their two pets.
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What sparked your writing journey?
Well, believe it or not, I have my gynecologist to thank for sparking my writing journey. (One of these days I should probably send her a thank-you card.) It seemed for a while that every time I had an appointment, she was always making concerned facial expressions and suggesting further testing, which would always send me into worst-case scenario mode. Which meant I was sending up panicked prayers along the lines of “Dear God, you can’t let me die. I’m about to get married!” or “Dear God, you can’t let me die. We’re about to try for another baby!” only to find out each time that everything was all good, no signs of death on the horizon, and she’d see me next year for this annual reminder of my own mortality.
So you can imagine how relieved I felt when I finally made it through an appointment without any signs of concern. Then how panicked I felt when I saw my doctor’s office calling me a few weeks later—after my doctor had specifically told me I would only get a phone call if something was wrong. Cue the panicked prayer. “Dear God, you can’t let me die. I haven’t written that novel!”
Wait . . . novel? What novel? After I called my doctor’s office back to find out that once again everything was all good and I wasn’t in fact dying, I couldn’t stop thinking about that novel. Writing was clearly more important to me than I’d realized. And while I’d always dreamed about writing a novel someday, thanks to that phone call, I realized I better sit down and start doing it now.
Have you ever experienced a real-life “plot twist” that made your life better?
I think becoming a nurse was a bit of a “plot twist” nobody in my family expected—including me. Growing up, I gravitated more toward English and literature classes than I did science and math. I always loved the idea of being a writer. But since I had a strong stomach and also loved the idea of helping people when they were especially vulnerable, I chose nursing. Part of the plot twist now, though, is seeing how my experiences as a nurse have helped enrich and shape my storytelling and how I’ve been able to circle back to pursuing that initial dream of becoming a writer.
Let’s talk about your debut novel, Dear Henry, Love Edith (January 2023, Tyndale). Please tell us about it.
Oh, I’d love to. This story is a lighthearted romantic comedy about two young strangers sharing a house for the summer, working different shifts, who are both under the same wrong impression that their housemate is elderly. So when they begin swapping notes back and forth on the kitchen table, sharing increasingly personal information about their lives, they have no idea they’re actually talking to the attractive stranger they keep bumping into around town.
It’s a great premise. What inspired it?
The idea for this story was planted in my mind several years ago when I was single and living in an apartment building that housed three other tenants. For a while I knew everybody who lived in the building. But eventually people started moving out, and a new guy moved into the apartment beneath mine. Even though the building was small, we never ran into each other. For months I never knew his name or what he looked like. But of course, that didn’t stop me from making assumptions about him based on the things I overheard coming from his apartment, like music or snippets of conversations. I thought I had a pretty good picture of him inside my head. Then one day he showed up at my door to let me know a moving truck might block the driveway for a bit because he was moving out. As he talked, I couldn’t help thinking how different he looked from the guy I’d been picturing. And apparently I wasn’t at all like the person he’d been picturing. Before he went down the stairs, he asked me, “How come all this time I thought you were a little old lady?” I never saw that guy again, but our interaction always amused me and eventually sparked the idea for this story.
A few fun questions . . .
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Well, there’s always coffee. Coffee coffee coffee. But when I’m looking for that extra special treat, my favorite comfort food for years has been fried cheese curds paired with a peanut butter shake.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the superheroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I’d probably have to go with the girl next door who is trying to walk in high heels all while pretending she’s the mysterious woman behind dark glasses. But definitely not the strong female lead or superheroine.
What Bible story or passage best describes your personal journey of faith?
Since I did a lot of track and cross-country while I was growing up, then a few marathons in my early twenties, passages about running have always been especially meaningful to me. So I would say Hebrews 12:1-3 is a great example of what I hope my personal journey of faith looks like. Running the race marked out for me with perseverance. Keeping my gaze fixed on Jesus. Not growing weary or losing heart.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets.
Nothing would bring me greater pleasure. I LOVE my pets—even when they drive me crazy. (Which tends to be quite often.) I have a cat named Tobias. He’s fifteen years old. I joke that he was my first significant other, but really, he kind of was. We’ve been through so many big life changes together. I’ve been warning my husband for years that it’s going to be a devastating loss when this cat goes. Somehow, using that line of reasoning, I was able to convince my husband we should get a dog now to start filling the void. So we now have a goldendoodle named Bonnie. She turns one in February, and we all love her to pieces. (Well, all of us except the cat. I think he would have rather I lived with the void.)
Thanks, Becca! It’s great to have you as a guest at Divine Detour.
Thank you for inviting me here!
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For more information about Becca, visit her website or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
To purchase Dear Henry, Love Edith, go to
I loved this book! So fun!!