Bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer believes in the power of second chances and restoration, both themes she has experienced in personal life. Her own “second chance” came after health problems forced her into retirement from teaching, giving her the opportunity to write.
Other personal themes have emerged in Kim’s books, from growing up with family who lived “Plain” to running a bed-and-breakfast. Her novels have won the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.
A wife and mom, Kim lives in Central Kansas.
What started you on your writing journey?
I think I was born with the “writing bug,” because my parents tell me I spun stories about everything when I started to talk. They weren’t sure if I was terribly imaginative or was destined to be a pathological liar! I always wanted to write and began actively seeking publication in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, a series of rejections discouraged me. I gave up the dream until my health fell apart, and I couldn’t continue teaching. So, in 2000, I started writing again. In 2003 I captured the attention of an agent, in 2005 I signed my first contract (as well as my second-ninth!), and I’ve been writing full-time ever since. Funny how what I perceived as a negative set me on the pathway I’d dreamed of since I was a little girl. God does amazing things.
So I’m guessing you would say that you have experienced a “Divine Detour”?
Absolutely! I was very happy teaching ten-year-olds and would have done it forever. But the deterioration of my health resulted in me sitting at a desk in my house and writing. The writing led me to attend conferences. The conferences brought me in contact with a wonderful woman named Ruth who insisted her daughter Brandilyn should pray for my health. The prayer led to complete healing of six different chronic illnesses (and the underlying emotional issue that had brought about the physical illnesses). My healing opened the door to a writing and speaking ministry beyond my wildest imaginings. That’s what I call a “divine detour”!
Let’s talk about When Grace Sings (WaterBrook Press, March 2015). Please tell us about it.
When Grace Sings is Book 2 in the Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy (When Mercy Rains is Book 1), and it really should be read second. It chronicles the lives of four young people: Alexa Zimmerman, who is finding her “fit” in the Old Order community of her family; Briley Forrester, a Chicago reporter seeking to tell the truth about living “Plain”; Anna-Grace Braun, a recently published (engaged) young woman struggling with a recently revealed secret; and Steven Brungardt, Anna-Grace’s intended, who harbors a secret desire that goes against his sect’s traditions.
What led you to write this particular story?
I love writing about the Mennonites because it’s like visiting my own family heritage, which is Mennonite Brethren. I also like writing about family relationships — there is no shortage of drama on which to draw! And when I take a fictional family through the steps of restoration, I pray that if there is a member of a real-life family among my readers who needs the same kind of restoration, the story will encourage them to take the necessary steps.
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?
Chocolate. Dark chocolate. Chocolate with almonds, chocolate with coconut, chocolate with chocolate. Chocolate — especially dark chocolate — is full of antioxidants, so I can convince myself I’m eating something comforting but also good for me.
What Bible passage or story best describes your journey of faith?
Absolutely! The very brief passage about the woman suffering from a blood disorder who, in faith, touched the hem of his robe and found healing. I am so grateful that when I stretched out my fingers in hope, Jesus granted healing.
This website features musicians as well as writers. If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
Hm, I’m torn between choosing a raucous praise song (because I tend to be a Pollyanna) and a ballad (because I’m a pretty laid-back person). So I guess I’ll list them both!
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?
Up until my mid-forties, I was the little girl trying to walk in high heels (and always falling). Now in my mid-fifties, I’m the strong female lead. But not because from my own strength — only because I’ve learned from where my true strength comes: God.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I am currently owned by four cats (yes, cats own you, not the other way around). Three of the four are rescue kitties, and the fourth — Maizie-Grace — was chosen from a friend’s litter of kittens. She seems to understand her beginnings were not as humble as the others and reigns as princess of the household. Our oldest boy, Sam, is a twenty-pound lover. Our beautiful calico, Frances, is every kitty’s mother — none of our cats have dirty ears thanks to Frances. The youngest of the group, Clyde Whiskers Sawyer, is my personal writing “mews,” and he has his own Facebook page where he often bemoans the misbehavior of “Crazy Maizie,” his purrsonal nemesis.
Thank you, Kim! It’s been fun having you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thank you for the opportunity! Blessings to you and your readers.
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For more information about Kim, visit her website.
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