By Kathy Yanchus • REVIEW STAFF
Kathleen Reichert has been inspired by many along her life’s journey, and now she is hoping she can be a source of inspiration for others.
“I’m wondering what roads I will be travelling on because I believe big things are going to happen with this book, I really do,” said the 61-year-old author of A Gift of Love, a romantic – part autobiographical – novel filled with heartache and hope.
The book was published in early December and already the Freelton woman has sold over 100 copies.
A Gift of Love evolved from a myriad of life experiences including an abusive first marriage, the loss of a beloved second husband and the discovery of love a third time. Woven through the fabric of the book is a woman’s faith in God.
“The stories are changed, they’re not exactly what happened but they are based on a lot of my experiences. I thought, ‘I’m going to make this mess into a message.’ Why not?”
“My desire now is to speak to women that have been abused or just any group that wants to hear about how you can come out of your trouble,” said Reichert.
When she sat down at her computer to write, she had no concrete idea as to where the novel would go from beginning to end.
“I was a novice. I had no idea how to write a book and I persevered. I’ve just worked at it. When I didn’t know where the story should go, I asked God, ‘What should come next?’and always the next part of the story would open up,” she explained.
Reichert, encouraged by the experience of William Paul Young, whose first book The Shack became a runaway bestseller when Young self-published after numerous rejections by publishers, chose to self-publish.
“I thought, ‘Why can’t that happen to me? It happened to him.’”
The former registered nurse and mother of three grown children began formulating her idea to become an author 10 years ago. She loved the romance genre and was eager to somehow blend portions of her life, information about the 1857 Hamilton Revival, importance and benefits of journaling, and a message of forgiveness.
“The six-week revival fizzled out but many people were helped out,” said Reichert of the period of evangelization attributed to an American couple, Phoebe and Walter Palmer.
“That name clicked with me and I thought my heroine is going to have the name Palmer because somehow I’ve got to get this information out. My other agenda, I’d been journaling since 1980. When I would get the first thought that would agree with God’s thinking, a positive, wonderful thought, I’d write that. I had to quiet my mind and just keep pushing myself to what comes next, what does God need to say to me today. I journal everyday now, I rarely miss a day,” she said.
The author of Prayers That are Answered, a book given to her by her current husband’s late wife, inspired Reichert’s journaling.
“As I started writing (the novel), I found I had a propensity for it. I’ve always loved words and I thought I would write it just for me because my first marriage was so abusive; it changed my personality. My personality finally did come back. I’m a happy person. I’m hoping that what I went through is for some good. This is really an amazing thing that’s happened. I didn’t really know if it would become a book, I didn’t hold out very much hope I was just writing till I got to a place where I thought this sounds like an ending,” said Reichert.
To date, the feedback on her debut novel has been so positive that Reichert is planning a sequel, which will follow the release of her autobiography in 2013.
“I’ve found in writing this book, it lifted my spirits because I find I do have a sense of humour and it comes out in the book, it comes out in the ending. Wait until you read the ending. I hope people like it. It’s an inspiring story and it’s funny, it’s got a lot of twists and turns and it keeps you going.”
Reichert’s husband Lynn said the book is for anyone dealing with crossroads in their life.
“It’s more than a story it’s a guide to say you too can talk to God because God loves his kids and he wants to talk to them,” he said.
Anyone who would like to schedule Reichert for a speaking engagement, or obtain a copy of her book, listed at $24.99, can do so by emailing Reichert at firstname.lastname@example.org.