Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Gail Kittleson

Good morning, dear friend. Please help me welcome author Gail Kittleson to Women of Faith and Fiction. Gail, please share a little about yourself.

emailGail_3185 1Personal

I’m old enough to know better–about a lot of things–but I still have the urge to plunge into new adventures. As I review the last ten years of my life, I can see mistakes, but I’m also glad I took risks. (Even if I was fearful.) We’re still here on earth to learn and grow, and it’s taken a long time for me to view my errors as learning tools.

My supportive husband has encouraged me to nourish my writing bent through all the ups and downs of this journey, and several times I’ve had the sense of coming full-circle. That tells me to keep listening and do my best to obey the leading I receive.

I believe viewing our errors as learning tools is something we learn to do as we age.



Where did you get the idea for your latest WIP or your current release? And what inspired you to choose the setting of your story?

Since it wraps up a series, the characters and plot of A Purpose True were already in my mind. So was the setting of Southern France during WWII. But in the process of writing, another subplot kept niggling at me. Many Nazis fled to South America at the end of the war, and my husband and I had visited one location where they sought refuge.

That trip we took entered into A Purpose True rather unexpectedly, and led to WWII flashbacks occurring to a main character in the 1970’s. I felt unskilled at this type of era-skipping, but did my best to make things clear. Some of my beta readers’ reactions increased my confidence that this was, indeed, a vital part of the story.

No matter my age, I seem never to outgrow my need for this kind of affirmation. Like most people, I avoid failure whenever possible, but if you do that all the time, you miss out on a lot.

Favorite thing to do when not writing.

I love to read and spend time with our grandchildren. Our 12-year-old granddaughter likes to read books out loud with me, and that is such a joy. There’s something about that shared focus that magnifies the gift of the book. Our grandson, 14, is all about becoming a pilot — it’s fun to encourage their passions. I hope they spend far less time in fear than I did.

Please share a writing quirk—a ‘must have’ or a ‘must do’ to get words down on paper.

I need quiet. I’m so word-centered that if I hear music, the lyrics run through my mind and get me off track. For fiction, I also need a character whispering in my ear. For me, the characters always show up before the plot.

You are truly a kindred spirit, my friend! 🙂



This year’s theme is First Things First. Setting our priorities is a must if we’re to be about our Father’s business. What advice would you offer someone struggling to spend time with Him? And, how has spending time with Him changed your life?

I think you nailed it when you used the word priorities. Back during my freshman year of college, I learned about having a “quiet time,” even a few minutes alone each day with God. That became a habit, probably because I was so extremely needy of inner peace.

Maybe it had something to do with my love of the written word, too—it seemed natural to listen for messages as I read and prayed. But bottom line, I made a commitment to be there each morning, and decisions like this make all the difference. To some, an every-day meeting might seem dull and wooden, but for me, it’s essential and very alive.

Recently I’ve been studying Spanish, and have learned the word for prayer comes from the same Latin root as the English word orator. To pray is to speak—I used to try following “guidelines” for prayer, keeping lists, etc. But now I see communicating with God as simply listening and speaking, a back and forth relationship.

Commitment and continual conversation is a recipe for growth. Gail, thank you for visiting Women of Faith and Fiction and for sharing your thoughts with us.

Readers, Gail is offering an e-copy of A Purpose True to one commenter.   

Click to Tweet: Women of Faith and Fiction welcomes Gail Kittleson @GailJohnson87 #interview #giveaway

A Purpose True

Southern France – Spring, 1944

A Purpose True Gail KittlesonGerman panzer units crisscross the region, dealing ruthless reprisals against the French Resistance, and anyone suspected of supporting its efforts. Secret Operations Executive (SOE) agent Kate Isaacs is tasked with providing essential radio communications with the Allies, while her guide, Domingo Ibarra, a Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter, dedicates himself to avenging the destruction of his home and family.

Thrown together by the vagaries of war, their shared mission, and common devotion to liberty, the last thing Kate and Domingo anticipate is the stirring of affection that threatens to blossom into love. But how can love survive in the midst of the enemy’s relentless cruelty toward innocent citizens?

Everything hinges on the success of the Allied Invasion – L’Invasion

When Gail Kittleson’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors. She also facilitates writing and creativity workshops, both in Iowa and Arizona, where she and her husband spend part of the winter in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim. Favorites: walking, reading, meeting new people, hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.

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This week’s meme is Psalm 91:2. You may recognize the verse from last week’s post. It’s one of my favorites.

Thou are my

Webster defines refuge as a shelter or protection from danger or trouble.

Identifying our refuge will save us from running to the wrong source in times of need.

Click to tweet:  Identifying our refuge will save us from running to the wrong source in times of need.

Do you know the identity of your refuge?

Photo by Marc Marchal on Unsplash



Red Birds and Red Trucks

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust (Psalm 91:2 KJV).

Cardinal close upLast week, Lulu and I happened upon a cardinal trapped in a neighbor’s small chicken coop. He was flying from side to side, frantically searching for an exit.  The temperature was rising, and he refused to calm down and rest. We watched as he tried again to free himself only to land breathlessly on the ground. The way he was behaving, he wouldn’t last long.

I exited the truck—leaving the door ajar—and walked to the coop with Lulu in tow. I opened the cage door and began shooing the chicken while coaxing the bird the best way I knew how. After several minutes, Mr. Cardinal realized the door was open and flew the coop. Literally. Ha!

I locked the door on the chicken coop, climbed into my truck, and cranked up the AC. Yes, it was 80 degrees. I needed the air. Saving birds while shooing chickens is hard work, people. 🙂

Click to Tweet: Saving birds while shooing chickens is hard work! #devotional #memoir

20180225_134919When Lulu opened her door, she quickly stepped back to the rear door. “Mama, the bird is sitting in my seat.”

Sure enough, the bird was sitting in her seat panting with cold air blowing through his tuft of feathers. He wasn’t in a hurry to leave. He had discovered air conditioning was pretty cool. 😉

Click to tweet: He had discovered air conditioning was pretty cool. #nature #memoir

I retrieved my phone from the console and took a picture20180225_135418_001. I was sure he would fly. Instead, he just sat there. Enjoying the air. I turned the middle vent toward him, and he turned his head as if to allow the breeze to blow on his face. I took more photos as he rested. Twelve, in all. After his breathing slowed, he sat for a few minutes more and then flew to a nearby fence.

Later, I thought about the spiritual significance of that incident. I often flutter about working to free myself from worrisome circumstances that capture my attention. The more I try, the weaker I become. I often miss my Rescuer standing at the door offering to free me. The pictures of the cardinal remind me that I need to fly to Father’s presence and let the refreshing breeze of Holy Spirit restore me.

Click to tweet: I need to fly to Father’s presence and let the refreshing breeze of Holy Spirit restore me. #devotional #hope

Dearest Lord, when I am fluttering about without an escape, help me to focus on you who stands at the door to save me. Help me to fly into your arms and rest under the refreshing breeze of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen

Have you ever gained a spiritual insight from nature?