Welcome to another installment of The Interview Series. As an extension of #WeWrite (weekly Periscope videos to support and encourage you as a writer at 1:30 EST on Fridays) I am delighted to offer you a backstage pass as you get to know some current authors with newly released books.
I had the joy of meeting today’s guest in person at the Declare Conference last summer. Kaitlyn has encouraged me in many ways and I know you will be inspired through her outstanding book, Even if Not.
Kaitlyn Bouchillon is an author and blogger who believes every person is a walking story and every story matters. Her first book, Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between, released in early 2016. She loves writing – blogs, books, and handwritten letters – is addicted to queso, and is crazy about her people. She currently splits her time between Starbucks and her cute little apartment in Birmingham, Alabama.
How did you decide to write “Even If Not”? And why did you choose to self publish it?
The crazy thing is that I never planned to – or wanted to – write this book, and yet when I look back I see how God has been preparing me for years. I’m pretty sure the term “spiritual memoir-ish” doesn’t exist, but that’s the category I’d place Even If Not in. The book is filled with (messy and in process) pieces of my story and yet it’s really not about me. I’m confident that God gave me this book to write and so deciding to write it simply looked like trying to walk in obedience.
Anyone who has done even twenty minutes of research about book publishing knows that the entire process generally takes at least 12 months (and that’s fast!). I felt God clearly telling me “Write this and get it out there. The time for this book is now.” And so I dove head-first into self-publishing. It is hard but it isn’t impossible! My work as a Virtual Assistant proved to be a great help when it came to interior formatting, coding, and marketing.
What has been one of the hardest “even if not’s” that God has walked you through—a time where you didn’t know how things would turn out or what He would do through the situation?
When those that I considered my community walked away, I walked through one of my very hardest “even if not” seasons. When your Jesus-loving people all disappear, it raises a lot of questions and is, frankly, incredibly lonely. For several years it was just me and Jesus. Although I trusted He would be faithful, I had very deep trust issues, walked around wounded for years, and struggled to see how God could heal something that had shattered. This story became chapter three: broken & mended.
What has been one of the greatest joys about writing your first book?
As I was writing, I often found myself typing out a sentence and then shaking my head in disbelief. The feeling of partnering with God cannot be put into words. I’ve said it from the beginning and I’ll keep on saying it: I wrote the words in Even If Not but God is the one who gave them to me. It is my story, but He is the author.
What is one of your favorite lines from the book and why?
“We can trust the unknown of the future to the God we know is writing its pages.”
In many ways, this sentence sums up both the book and my life. It sounds a bit cliche, but although we may not know what tomorrow will bring, we can rest secure because we know Who holds tomorrow.
What has been one of the most challenging aspects of self-publishing? And what has been one of the best things about it?
One of the most challenging aspects has been marketing the book. Because I don’t have a large marketing budget or anyone on staff working for me, spreading the word about the book is completely up to me. I did put together a launch team that was a blessing to me, but some things are just hard to do without a big name or a publishing connection.
One of the best things about self-publishing is that I was able to make the book exactly what I wanted it to be! For example, I designed the cover and did all the formatting. It was important to me that the book begin and end with a written prayer, and I could obviously make sure that didn’t get cut out in editing. One of my favorite things is hands-down the nine gorgeous prints that are printed in the book, each featuring a quote from a different chapter. Again, this may have been able to work with a traditional publisher but because of self-publishing, I knew that I could run with this idea!
Would you offer a prayer for the person who is in an in between place right now and unsure what is going to happen in the future?
If you would allow me, it would be a pleasure to include a small portion of the prayer offered at the end of Even If Not:
Lord, help us to recognize that our story finds its meaning only in You. Show us that knowing the ending isn’t necessary for the here-and-now to be beautiful. Remind us that You turn messes into messages and tests into testimonies.
Thank You for the chapters in between — they make us who we are and they show the world how faithful You are. May we live a story that lays stones down in remembrance, a testimony that You have done a good, good work — not because You had to, but because You chose to.
Thank you Kaitlyn for sharing your heart and your story with us!
Even If Not is a book about being committed to the Lord even when, or if, the unexpected happens. Even if things don’t go our way or our issues aren’t resolved, He is faithful. Kaitlyn takes the reader on a journey to trust God more even if the hard places.
Go pick up your copy of this great book today!
P.S. Linking up with Kelly Balarie for the #RaRaLinkup
P.P.S This post contains affiliate links.