Since Kellie Coates Gilbert began her publishing journey three years ago, she has grown her career by leaps and bounds. Her first novel, Mother of Pearl, released from Abingdon Press the same day as my debut. I’m thankful for that opportunity because it gave me the chance to get to know Kellie — and to enjoy her books!
She writes hard-hitting stories dealing with life’s real and often difficult circumstances — women’s fiction from a Christian worldview. Her latest, A Reason to Stay, will release from Revell next month.
I’m thrilled to have Kellie with me today to talk about her writing journey and how it has changed her life, as well as the lives of her readers.
Taking a moment to reflect on the past three years, what has been the most surprising/amazing/rewarding experience in your writing career?
The answer would be two-fold, Kathy. The most surprising thing is how extensively the publishing industry has changed since you and I both had our first books debut on the market in the fall of 2012. There are so many more challenges …. and options now. The most amazing thing is my readers. I didn’t expect to have a little party going with women who love books. They write to me after reading my stories, invite me to their book clubs, show up at my events and just generally add such a rich dimension to this work.
As you know, Kathy, writing can be very isolating. Often we craft our stories never knowing if the characters and events will resonate with others as much as in our own hearts. I can’t tell you the joy I feel when I learn Barrie Graeber, Claire Massey, Dr. Juliet Ryan have come alive and exist inside readers’ heads. And I simply can’t wait to introduce Faith Marin to everyone out there!
What advice would you give to those just starting out as writers?
Don’t be an Eeyore! Always be a Tigger!
Yes, this business is hard! Anything worth doing is often difficult and publishing is a lot of hard work. Don’t grouse when decisions are made that you feel are contrary to your personal career goals. It’s business …. don’t forget that.
With that in mind, build YOUR BUSINESS the best you know how. Ultimately, YOU ALONE are responsible for your career.