Chrys Howard, the mother of Duck Dynasty‘s Korie Robertson, holds a degree in elementary education and spent ten years teaching children with learning differences. The author of nine books, she has over 1,000,000 books in print, and recently co-authored a new kids devotional with Korie.
Chrys has spent over thirty years working with Christian youth camps, as well as speaking to women’s groups, teaching Bible classes to children, teens, and young adults, and traveling overseas for mission efforts.
She is married to John Howard, and has three grown children and eleven grandchildren. She lives next door to Korie and Willie in West Monroe, Louisiana.
What started you on your writing journey?
Although I always wrote poems for my family, I never considered writing as a life career. The poems I wrote were always funny, nothing serious. When we had our publishing company, Howard Books, we came out with a line of gift books called Hugs. We had several titles and used different authors. At the time, I had about four grandchildren so they asked me if I wanted to write Hugs for Grandmas. After I got over the shock of being asked, I wrote it and discovered I loved the journey.
Just as all good novels include a plot twist, the Author and Creator of our lives often includes a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
My whole life is a divine detour, as I think most believers might say. One of the first detours that happened to me was when I was thirteen. I was a very girly little girl when a young man came to our church to show our congregation about a new Christian camp that was being built about two hours from my hometown. I barely paid attention to him as camping was not my thing. On top of that, I was extremely shy and the thought of going away from home with strangers did not appeal to me. But it did to my parents. It was a time when parents rarely asked a child what they wanted to do. They made decisions based on what the child needed. And I did need to go to camp. My life changed dramatically from that one decision. I have been a part of that camp for over forty-five years now and have been the director for the past twenty-five years. I met my husband there and my daughter, Korie, met her husband, Willie, there. God and my parents knew more about me than I knew about myself and placed me right where I needed to be to grow.
Let’s talk about Duck Commander Devotions for Kids (Thomas Nelson, February 2015). It’s a beautiful book. What was the inspiration behind the project?
Korie and I have a heart for children. Korie was the children’s minister at our local church for many years and I have taught school and been a camp director for many years. We were, and are always looking, for good Bible material for our kids. So many fans tell us that they love Duck Dynasty because it’s a TV show the whole family can watch. We felt like we needed a product that the whole family could use to grow closer to God and each other. We are used to working with each other on just about everything, so writing this book together came naturally. I have always enjoyed turning life events into life lessons. That’s the heart of this book. It uses life adventures to teach Godly principles.
You and Korie are both busy and pulled in several directions … and writing takes time. How do the two of you find the time to work together on book projects?
We are blessed to live next door to each other, as that’s a huge plus when we’re trying to do a project like this book. Plus, we know each other so well that we don’t have to second guess what either of us writes. That makes the whole process go quicker and easier. My dad used to say everyone has the same twenty-four hours in a day, from the President of the United States on down, so what are you going to do with your twenty-four hours. When you take on a project like this, you just have to find the time. If it’s important, it will get done. (Maybe no one sleeps, but it gets done.)
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?
My family teases me that cereal is my comfort food because I love a bowl of cereal, but what I really grab when I need a writing boost is Goobers. I know, it’s crazy, but I love nuts!
What Bible passage or story best describes your journey of faith?
I love Ephesians 3:20 ”Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
God has always done more than I could ask or imagine with me. On the inside, I’m a skinny, shy little girl with brown, horn-rimmed glasses and braces, but on the outside, I’m a strong, defender of the faith capable of writing a book! Thank you God!
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
Wow! I love this question, especially after the last one. My true nature, the one I was born with, might be the girl next door watching the action out the window, but God has shown me that I can be the strong, female leader that I wanted to be. I asked a grandchild as he was walking through the room what he thought and he said, the strong, female lead. Either I have them fooled or God did a mighty work because I seriously never pictured myself that way.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I am sad to say this to a dog lover, but I am not a dog lover. However, I am surrounded by dogs. It’s funny because our house sits in the middle of a street full of dog lovers. All the dogs think my house, in the middle, is their country club. Even though I tell them it’s not! Ha. I’ve learned to tolerate my visiting dogs, but still refuse to throw the wet, slimy, tennis ball they offer me. They stand in front of me with the ball in their mouth convinced I’m going to change my mind. Not happening.
Thank you, Chrys! It’s a pleasure to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thanks for the opportunity!
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For more information about Duck Commander Devotions for Kids, visit the Thomas Nelson website.
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