Good morning, dear friend. Please help me welcome author Gail Kittleson to Women of Faith and Fiction. Gail, please share a little about yourself.
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
German 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.
20 thoughts on “Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Gail Kittleson”
Great pic of Gail I met her last summer and am reading one of her books right now. I like the quote about learning from mistakes.
I think it’s a great pic of Gail too, Mary. I also like the mistake quote. It helps me to want to try again. Thank you for visiting and responding. 😊
Thanks for sharing this, Gail (well, both Gails 🙂 ) I love WW2 history and fiction. The connection to South America and the transitions between different time periods sounds fascinating- and like something I’ll have to check out!
Thank you, Anne. I’m sure you will enjoy Gail’s story. Thanks for stopping by. 😊
The cover is alluring, Gail. I adore anything to do with France, too. I would love to win the book! Fingers crossed! 🙂
Hi, Karen. Thanks for joining us. I’ll leave the rest to Gail K. 😄
Sorry I’ve been traveling…just getting back to these comments. It’s difficult to compare how various countries suffered during the war…but the French Resistance stories SO grab me!
Thanks for introducing us to Gail and her new book, Gail. I love the cover!
I prefer to write in quiet, too. I can never work in coffee shops. When I get stuck in my story, I do like to listen to music. The lyrics often get be going again. Congratulations on your release!
Hi, Jill. Happy to introduce you to Gail. She is a sweet person and I’m blessed to call her friend. Thanks for joining us! ♥️
My “thing” when I’m stuck is to take a walk. Most often, tangles unravel for me then. But I DO like to listen to WWII music…sometimes an idea emerges.
Great post!!! The cover for A Purpose True is stunning. Definitely makes me want to pick it up and read!
Thanks, Nicole. I agree with you about the cover. It looks like a movie poster. Thanks for visiting.
When I first spied the cover, I was engaged, too. Seems like the graphic artist “nailed” several Important aspects of A Purpose True – and I’m so grateful for his expertise.
I thoroughly enjoyed this interview, and this book is on my must-read list. I have also found that the quiet/loud time (I quiet my mind & heart to hear God, but I’m not always “quiet”) with God each morning is vital to me. Once it became a habit, I saw that time expand to more than just once in the morning, but often during the day, and ending with needing that final time at night, too, to quiet my mind before Him. “Commitment and continual conversation is a recipe for growth.” So true!
I agree wholeheartedly, Becky. Blessings. ♥️
Oh, I hear you on the LOUD, Becky. Sometimes it’s the sound of my heartbeat going wild!
Ah yes…that quieting of the heart. What would we do without those precious times?! Thanks for stopping, Becky.
Thank you Gail for having Gail, lol, as your special guest today. She is an inspiration to me in so many ways. Her love of God and being committed to have special time with Him each day. With the busyness of life these days, I struggle with that commitment. I do talk to Him throughout the day, but I know I need to spend more one on one time with Him.
I understand quite time. It’s very hard to concentrate on one thing with a lot going on around you. It helps to have supportive family (husband). That’s something a lot of people don’t have and it makes it not only difficult, it can come between a couple.
I think it is so neat she gets to go to places she writes about. I can see where it would inspire and add to her stories.
Thank you both Gail’s, for a delightful and inspiring story.
Thank you for stopping by, Kathy. I can relate to your comment. It does help to have supportive family members. I think we all have seasons of busyness. I know I do. The goal is to remember where our strength comes from and return to the source of our strength. Blessings, dear one.
Yes, and it also helps to be a morning person by nature, Kathy. In those busy days of so many children’s activities, I was always up before anybody else in our household. I’m not so sure what would have happened if I’d been a “night person!”
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