Stories for Children interviews Shirley Kufeldt

MEET AUTHOR SHIRLEY KUFELDT

Stories for Children

Being the fourth daughter of five girls and having an identical twin left me with bottled up emotions when my father died when I was 12 years old. I married my husband when we were 25; we built our suburban house and had two daughters. When my daughters were youngsters, I accepted Christ.

Once codependent issues were visited through the lens of recovery at a church support group, I learned that childhood events effected personality development and impact family and marital relationships.  Over the years, I worked temp jobs and developed my admin skills. Like millions of other Americans, I was affected by economic conditions so I turned to God asking what I could do for retirement income:  Develop a series of small topical journals called  BIBLE BITES.

What are some of the things that have influenced / inspired your writing?

I developed the BIBLE BITES series because I felt a need that wasn’t being met elsewhere. And if I had this problem of not comprehending my past in light of God’s Word, it was probably a problem for others as well.  I attended a codependent support group for a number of years and too many attendees would not do the homework which, in many cases, was a twelve-step program focused on the Bible. Incomplete homework resulted in an inadequate comprehension of God’s love and His desire for reconciliation of sinners to Himself. The abandonment women felt prior to the support group continued and many women gave up on discovering God’s best for their lives.

So BIBLE BITES are just that—topical books with short Scripture passages to pray God’s Word and  enhance a relationship with Christ.

Can you share some writing experiences with us?

For the most part, I read my Bible and circle those verses that I want to add to future titles of BIBLE BITES. I like the New Living Translation and copy and paste verses with the software program Bible Explorer to select Scripture for BIBLE BITES. I categorize verses according to topic, and choose specific verses per title, arranging those verses in a logical sequence with a beginning, a body and then a conclusion that I would like a targeted audience to reach.

Tell us briefly about your recently published book and what you feel is the most important topic / sub-message you share.

The title BIBLE BITES is on the front cover of each book to imply an on-going series of devotionals. Each small devotional includes several pages for prayer requests.  Most of the booklets are pages for journaling as the reader responds to topical verses. Because most people have never written down their prayer requests, they learn to turn a wish into a prayer request and give it to God.

The back cover of each book includes a good introduction to that book’s topic. When you consider that all of your actions are based on what you believe, BIBLE BITES describe a loving God who will intervene for an outcome that glorifies Him while bringing believers into a more intimate and personal relationship with Him.

Like all authors, you have had your fair share of rejection letters. You obviously did not let the letters deter you. How did you keep your determination without getting discouraged?

A long time ago, I heard that when you’re down to nothing at all, you’ll find God is all you need. With the current economy, I have very few options here in northern Wisconsin for any type of a decent retirement income. So confirmation from God is a good night’s sleep, which I enjoy after completing different activities for BIBLE BITES. That confirmation from God propels me forward.

It has been my experience, some things come quite easily (like creating the setting) and other things aren’t so easy (like deciding on a title). What comes easily to you and what do you find more difficult?

I’ve always done admin work in offices and discovered that I’m good at certain aspects on computers, a good organizer, proofreader, and can edit my own work to my personal satisfaction. So putting together BIBLE BITES wasn’t hard at all. There was a bit of a learning curve—entering verses into Bible Explorer, copy and pasting. I’ve learned to streamline my process—I want to be as efficient as possible. Marketing and promoting BIBLE BITES is my biggest challenge as this is all very new to me, but I will learn product promotion.

Please describe to us your relationship between you and your editor. What makes an author/editor relationship a success?

I’m less of a writer and more of an organizer. Once the contract was finalized, Halo Publishing pushed me to finalize my end because I needed books by a certain date. E-mails with attachments were promptly reviewed; edits and changes were quickly made. Halo Publishing delivered on time.

When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your books and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?

I loved my family very much and am eternally grateful to Christ for the salvation He offers. One specific verse changed my life for eternity as I learned about God’s love for me and fell in love with His blessings.  I developed the habit of reading my Bible to select Scripture for journaling, to make it easy for others to understand God’s unconditional love and the great value He places on each of us because we are His highest creation.

Is there any particular book when you read it, you thought, “I wish I had written that!”?

No, but because I am an excellent proofreader and have learned to edit to a specific word count, I will make this statement:

Three things are certain in life—death, taxes and the desire to edit someone else’s work.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If yes, how did you ‘cure’ it?

I keep my Word documents open on my computer for days on end—I don’t turn off my computer; I select ‘hibernate.’ Each time I return to my computer, my work is still there, patiently waiting for me. The documents remain ‘open’ till completion.

What type of books do you mostly write?

I’ll continue to work on new titles for the BIBLE BITES Devotional Series. I think it’s important for future generations to have a devotional record of their family member’s hopes, dreams and prayers, and how God responded. There may be some revelations, but honesty in your relationship with God may bring clarity to issues that have plagued a family for generations.

Tell us about your writing space.

In my small computer room, I use two computers, a desktop and a laptop, each with two screens for efficiency. On occasion, both are on at the same time. My husband commented I now need eight eyeballs. I pulled a chair from the lower level kitchen table because it rocks.

Is there anything you’d go back and do differently now that you have been published, in regards to your writing career?

I think God used delays in finding a printer/publisher to firmly solidify my desire to publish BIBLE BITES.  Due to shyness, I hesitated asking others for  advice. But because this was God’s idea from the beginning, I really didn’t have other options. Keep on moving forward, with a firm desire to glorify God in your efforts.

Do you do first drafts on a computer or by hand?

I started to collect verses in a small notebook, but I can’t sort verses on paper. Now everything is on my computer and flash drives.

What happens before sitting down to write? (Explain your creative process.)

My original audience for BIBLE BITES is obviously seekers and families. But now I can read an article or hear something on the radio or TV that will generate the idea for a new audience, topic or title for BIBLE BITES.  For instance, I read an article about training  offered to Christian lawyers by Alliance Defending Freedom and it occurred to me to  compile verses from a legal and justice point of view. Another time, while reading the New  Testament, I was excited to find many verses  targeting prayer for missionaries.

Do you do a lot of research for your books?

As I read my Bible, I circle those verses that can be added to Bible Bites. I have about a dozen books that categorize Scripture by topic.

Use this space to tell us more about your books.

The Bible, beginning in Genesis, is God’s record of sin, faith and eternal reconciliation. Because there is nothing new under the sun, each book’s characters represent God’s pursuit and the reconciliation of sinners to Himself. Every repentant sinner seeking redemption finds mercy (pardon for sins) and grace (the undeserved gift of eternal salvation).

My father died when I was 12 years old and the big lesson I learned after his death is that life goes on. I learned a different lesson when in my 40’s when my mother died. It’s all just stuff. As executor of her living trust, it was my responsibility to dispose of her assets. Items were passed on to family members, sold, given away, but the old photos were the real family treasure. BIBLE BITES, the written journal of a walk of faith, is a similar family treasure.

BIBLE BITES booklets are small pocket-sized monthly journals that include current prayer requests and focused daily Scripture for journaling and reflection. This is a simple solution to a situation many would like to resolve. Through BIBLE BITES people can easily learn, memorize or meditate on Scripture as they journal regularly with direction and purpose.

 Learn, memorize and meditate on Bible verses

 List current prayer requests

 Respond and react to God’s Word “where you are each day”

 Quickly journal each day in a small topical booklet with a daily Scripture verse

 Introduce God as the One who loves you unconditionally

 Use BIBLE BITES as an easy gift idea in place of a greeting card

 Carry BIBLE BITES in pocket, purse, briefcase, backpack

 BIBLE BITES is inexpensive, sold over the internet

Because it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Bible Bites firmly establishes the habit of spending five minutes each day with God’s Word.

Book Titles:

MEET GOD AND HIS SON

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61244-099-6

GOALS THAT LEAD TO SUCCESS

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61244-100-9

AMERICA, LAND THAT I LOVE

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61244-101-6

THE WOW FACTOR

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61244-102-3

Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.

Places where your book(s) are available for sale:  www.halopublishing.com

(Verses come from the New Living Translation)

Copyright © 2012 Stories for Children Magazine

http://sfcmagazine.com

BIBLE BITES are available for purchase through Halo Publishing, www.halopublishing.com

My blog spot is www.Biblebites.net

The World of Ink Network will be touring my  personal devotions book series, Bible Bites published by Halo Publishing International throughout November 2012. However, you can visit my tour page and the blogs I’ve visited any time. You can find out more about my World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/bb3ofxd

http://storiesforchildren.tripod.com/webonmediacontents/FG%20magazine%20Shirley%20Kufeldt.pdf

To learn more about other World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com

About SHIRLEY KUFELDT

Everyone says that a Christian should journal their prayer requests. Several years ago I finally found a system that works for me and have been journaling my prayer requests ever since. I became a Christian in my 30’s but wonder how I ever missed the invitation to accept Christ prior to that time. Bible Bites makes it easy to be exposed to, and respond to, one Scripture each day. It’s like a having a conversation with God!