AKA - My special guest today is Shirley Kiger Connolly. A graduate of
’s Literature, Shirley loves to wear different hats and use both sides of her brain. With her creative mind she pens historical fiction romances laced with nuggets of inspiration, and when wearing her thinking cap, she writes nonfiction devotional books full of creativity, adding a third trusty hat she hopes contains a bit of wisdom. Institute of Children
Shirley also teaches Koinonia women’s bible studies or speaks at retreats and ladies luncheons. Outside her writing and speaking time, Shirley’s an active mom and grandma who loves searching for different ways she can rearrange her furniture, if she’s not cross-stitching, or doing needlework, or watching old movies on TCM with her husband. As a part-time farm woman, Shirley spends some of her moments out with her chickens (all named, thank you), her dogs, and her cats. She stays active in American Christian Fiction Writers; Hearts through History Chapter of Romance Writers of America; and last but not least Faith-Hope-Love, RWA. At present, she lives on the Southern coast of
AKA - Thanks for dropping by today, Shirley. I'll ask later about the names of your chickens! Tell us, when did you first realize you were destined to be an author?
SKC - I was in second grade, Anne. I might've even known it before by the old papers I got from my mom and all the little things I wrote, thinking I knew what I was doing. Since my dad was a mystery writer in the forties and wrote for some of those old forties magazines, I guess I was born with it in my blood to do the same thing.
AKA - What inspired you to choose that path?
SKC - You mean to write inspirationally, I'm thinking. Probably because when my husband was called to the ministry, he said to me, "Are you willing to count the cost?" and I said "Yes." In doing that, both as a pastor's wife and as a writer, I knew whatever I wrote had to come from deep in my heart and be dedicated to the glory of God first. I also knew I'd probably never make a lot of money, which turned out to be the truth, but for me, it did not matter. I just loved and still love doing what I do. It's part of me.
AKA - I understand, completely. While is the title of your most recent release?
SKC - Today we are talking about my fourth devotional book, which is the third in my I SEE GOD series. I SEE GOD ON THE
AKA - Tell us about it.
SKC - When you think of the path you've chosen to walk, what kind of influence do you have on people today? Sometimes it’s too easy to make decisions you think will be right only to discover later how wrong you were. And every man did that which was right in his own eyes from Judges 21:25 speaks to any who’ve done their own thing, in spite of what God may have guided through the counsel of His Word. Has that ever been you?
We’re responsible for the actions we take, for the choices we make every day. We can sadly lose our vision, when we open ourselves up to passageways that lead us astray from our focus.
In a simple creative way, I See God on the Narrow Road gives the readers an opportunity to draw attention to the character of their lives – to discover through personal choices and experiences how a single decision can become a positive or negative influence on not just one but many.
AKA - Is there a message in your books you want readers to grasp?
SKC - Always. In my I SEE GOD series, (IN THE SIMPLE THINGS, IN THE THORNS~N~THISTLES, and now ON THE NARROW ROAD) that message is to be able to find God in any situation. Come to realize how He is with us, whether life is easy or tough, and how He wants us to keep our focus. It is the best way we can come to realize He is the one who wants to be in total control of our lives but not just some of the time. Every day.
In my fiction books, CLIFF ROCK, FLAME FROM WITHIN, and the one I have coming out in August of this year, SAY GOODYE TO YESTERDAY, my message is for the readers to see a message of God's love for anyone, regardless of the stubborn attitudes, rebelliousness, and lack of common sense, among other things.
AKA - Where can we get a copy of your books?
SKC - My devotional books are available at all the online stores and in e-book as well. The best way to find any of my books, is to write my name, Shirley Kiger Connolly, and they will all come up. You can also order them in any bookstore, but I've been learning they cost more that way. (I like to find the best deals. LOL)
AKA - How long does it take you to write a book?
SKC - I am a very slow writer. Maybe it's because I have a physical disorder. I don’t know. But I think it takes over a year to get a book written, and that's not counting the rewrites. (Isn't that awful? I've seen how others can whip up stuff in no time.)
AKA - Do you belong to any writer’s organizations?
SKC - Oh yes, ACFW, FHL, Hearts thru History Romance Writers, FINISH THE BOOK, and any others that pop up that might be good for what I write.
AKA - Are you a member of a critique group, have a critique partner or depend on beta reader(s)?
SKC - I love critique groups. I'm in one over at ACFW, and at FHL I am the Critique-Database Coordinator. I think they are great and recommend them to all.
AKA - How long did your journey from wannabe writer to published author take?
SKC - In the 80s I pursued it unsuccessfully. Then I filed everything. I decided again in 2005 to try again, and sold my first fiction book that year and my first devotional book the following year. There has been a book sold just about every year since. I say praise the Lord for that. He is the One who orders my steps. My prayer is that it will continue to be His will to lead me forth.
AKA - How many rejections did you acquire along the way? What kept you going?
SKC - Lots and lots and lots. The Lord keeps me going. He knows I love to write.
AKA - How many books have you written to date? Are you most proud of one in particular? If so, why?
SKC - I wrote before all the books I have out. I still consider myself green. The one I think I am most proud of is the one that is coming out through Desert Breeze next August, SAY GOODBYE TO YESTERDAY. Do be watching for it.
AKA - We will! Complete this sentence. “I’m happiest when….”
SKC - When I am in the will of God and not in the will of Shirley. Difficult or easy, I get through life a lot better that way.
AKA - Any words of advice for unpubbed writers?
SKC - If you believe in your talent or gift, stay at it. Don't get too discouraged and quit. Don't be opposed to constructive criticism if it will help you. We can ALWAYS learn something. Others who have been at this longer got there because an editor saw something worth reading for a reason.
AKA - Where can we find you online?
SKC - My blog A Pen For Your Thoughts keeps me active. And I love going there. My website that needs a LOT of work. LOL. I can also be found at my author page on Facebook. Please come see me and say HOWDY!
AKA - Last, but definitely not least, Shirley has graciously agreed to give away a copy of one of her books, providing at least ten (10) readers respond to her question (see below). SO, what is your question, Shirley?
SKC - When you are not writing, or reading fiction stories, do you take time to read devotional books? If so, what is it you look for most in a book of reflections, or a devotional journal where you can be challenged or write your thoughts?
AKA - Food for thought, Shirley. Thank you so very much for dropping by. It's been an absolute pleasure.
Okay. It's your turn, readers. I'll select at random the name of the winner who will receive Shirley's book as soon as we've hit the number ten (10) mark. Ready. Set. GO!