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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Meet The Author Dr. Wyveta Kirk


Please join me in welcoming Dr. Wyveta Kirck to the Church of Christ Women Authors Blog! She has an incredible story that I think you will find a compelling read. Make sure to check out her books!

Susan

Meet the Author Dr. Wyveta Kirk

When did you decide you wanted to be an author? 
Years ago in college, I made an A in creative writing, and I think that instilled a desire to write. After my first submission to Christian Bible Teacher was published, I was hooked. I wrote for them until they stopped publishing. Later I began writing for Christian Woman Magazine, and have done so off and on for about ten years. While teaching university students, I published in professional journals, a requirement for promotions and wrote the text book for a class I taught.

Last year I had heart surgery that did not go well. I awoke on the operating table screaming with pain. Throughout the night, my husband and doctor feared I was dying. Four weeks later, I developed large blood clots in both lungs. The physicians quarantined me for five months and prescribed steroids which do not let you sleep. I went to bed at 9:00 each evening and was up at midnight until nine the following evening.  That’s when I began to take writing seriously. I couldn’t leave the house or let others visit so I decided to write what I had learned in my school work, experience counseling couples, and what God’s Word says about marriage. What else could I do to be quiet and not interrupt my husband’s sleep and still work for the Lord? The result was Women Talk Men Walk (Have the marriage you crave: God tells how, hormones explain why).

Once this book was completed, I sent query letters to 15 agents and received a rejection slip from eight, five never responded, and two answered with a request to read the manuscript. I quickly eliminated one agent, and the remaining one taught me a lot. He said the major thing a publisher wanted was a solid marketing plan. He explained that publishers used to do extensive marketing for you, but now there are too many authors. He said that publishers help a little for four to six months and then some new author replaces you. Meanwhile, I worked to meet the agent’s requirement of describing the book in one sentence, in three sentences, in a long paragraph, and a focused marketing plan. He asked for 15% of sales and 12 months to find a publisher and another year and half for the publisher to turn my words into print and 45% of sales.  After the heart trauma I had experienced, I wasn’t sure I had three years to live. I just could not sign his contract. Besides, if I was required to do all the marketing, why would I pay an agent and publisher more than I would make?

I then contacted a publisher who prints books written by members of the church of Christ but they also required 18 months. After all my time writing, I wanted to ensure that I saw it in print. I thanked them for their interest and spend the next few weeks researching how to self-publish so my book was not only listed by Amazon but was available through Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million. Since then all my books are self-published, and I have not regretted this decision.

I advertise Women Talk Men Walk at my book promotions by posting:  “When you say, Honey, we need to talk,” does your husband say, “Oh, good. I’ve been dying to talk too?”  If not, you need to read Women Talk Men Walk.

How long does it take you to write a book?  
My writing of Women Talk Men Walk took about ten months. I contacted a book club to learn whom they recommended to edit their books. The woman they suggested was available, and I emailed her a copy while I hunted someone to do my cover. I Googled book cover design awards and the winning covers that I found especially attractive were by a woman in Sydney, Australia. I spent the next two weeks trying to locate her and was thrilled when she agreed to do my cover.

While waiting on the editor to finish, I wrote a short Christian novella called Little Rock Secret about a politician whose wife dies and the struggles his second wife faces as she tries to compete as a less noted wife of a politician.  I found I enjoyed writing fiction. After the stress of writing nonfiction, it was fun to be able to let the main characters be good one time and bad the next.

I immediately wrote another fiction, called Ashamed, about young, single twin daughters of a minister. When one became pregnant, the struggles she encountered caused her sister serious distress and her hurt turned to anger to rage to revenge. It’s how she finally resolved her sinfulness. This book took me approximately five weeks to write.


About six months ago, I met a woman on Facebook who posted that she had two to four months to live, was a member of church of Christ, and was terrified of dying and meeting the Lord. When I told her I would pray for her, she asked if I thought she needed to be baptized again. Answering that, she asked another and another question. This continued until she died. Upon her death, I realized how dramatically my faith had grown and especially how my prayer life had changed. I decided to put her questions and my changes in a book, thinking another might be facing the same fear of death. This book has been out three weeks, and is called, God Wants to Say YES.

What do you do when you are not writing?  
Travel with my husband. My prayers during our recent trip to the Holy Land is covered in chapter one of God Wants to Say YES.  In it, I admit praying about things I would not have considered had I not met the dying woman on Facebook.

What do you like to do other than writing? 
I LOVE doing retreats and programs for churches. It is my passion. I am doing one for Las Vegas church of Christ October 23 and 24.  My topics are:   anger management, marriage, and parenting in that order. I will tie these topics together in each session because who do we become the most upset with?  Our husbands and kids.  So I cover how to manage anger, how to avoid doing the things that cause our husbands the most hurt, and what helps ensure our children feel loved and remain faithful to the Lord.  My parenting seminar is based on extensive research I did with multiple grandmothers, mothers, and children of the same families in three states to learn how often mothers model their mothers parenting styles or how they change the way they parent and why.  My husband travels with me and does the set up and advance preparations for my programs.

Which if your favorite book?
God Wants to Say YES has changed me so very much, I would have to say it is my favorite, but Women Talk Men Walk seems to get me more programs to conduct, which I like.  However, writing fiction is fun. Nonfiction references and research need to be perfect, and that requires hours of study while fiction is just a flow of words on the screen with no way to be wrong.

What would you tell others who want to write?
(1) Write what you know and have experienced. Put some of yourself into your stories.  If doing nonfiction, do quality research and be accurate.

(2) Find an editor – always!  Editors are expensive but worth every dollar. If readers find that your grammar reeks of errors, you need not bother writing another. I am blessed with a husband who reads my rough drafts before I send then to an editor. Then he reads the proof copy before I give the okay to print, and we still find errors in the proof copy after all the editing.

(3) Definitely buy your own ISBN numbers to ensure your book is listed in the government’s Books in Print and to ensure there is never a question of who owns your work. I have read of lawsuits over publishers owning the book while authors own only the words on their paper. I have a friend who cannot use the same words any other paper bound pages. That’s a huge blunder after all her hours of writing. For a couple of hundred dollars she could own it all.  It is cheaper to buy 10 numbers if you plan to write more than two books or if you plan on having a print copy and an e-copy of the same title. You must have a different number for each. Self-publishers will supply you a free ISBN, but why take that risk? Someday you may want to take it from them and go with another and you want to ensure you can.

(4) Consider self-publishing and make Google your best friend. You can find any information you need through them. I learned a lot from the agent but used Goggle to learn how to self-publish and to find help I needed.

(5) Before you are ready to download your manuscript for print, read, read, read the requirements so you aren’t frustrated and eventually give up. They demand very specific margins and type, etc. and must be followed, but it is all detailed on their websites.

(6) Above all, decide to whom you plan to sell, and how. When you write, you are the salesperson of your finished product. How will others know you have a book? After your mother, who will pay for a copy?

As a child, what did you plan to be when you grew up?
I was definitely going to be a cowgirl. I guess I saw too many Roy Roger movies. My heroine was Dale Evans, but I quickly learned there is no longer a demand for cowgirls. Besides I don’t know how to ride a horse. So I became a professional student and eventually taught college, a licensed psychologist and did counseling, had a seminar company, and I retired to care for my mother as she was dying.  Now I spend some time writing Monday through Friday when we aren’t traveling. Saturday is hubby and wife fun day, and without fail, Sunday is time for worshiping the Lord with others.

I expect to have a children’s book by Christmas about Santa, an elf, and a puppy. The theme is keeping promises. My illustrator is a young girl from Italy who does beautiful drawings, another discovered helper on Goggle. Once it is published, my next book is for older children that I call Turn the Other Cheek. The rough draft of my managing anger book should be polished for publication in February or March.  I want it dated 2016 so it can wait. I welcome creative ideas for titles for the anger book. Usually I know the title when I begin writing, but not for this one.