INTERVIEW + GUEST POST by Angela R. Watts: Worldbuilding Dystopians

Sunday, August 18, 2019


Hey everyone! ICYMI, Angela R. Watts' gritty, heart-pounding dystopian, The Divided Nation released this week and is now available on Amazon! I had the great opportunity to do an interview with Ms. Watts about her newest release, and she wrote a great guest post concerning the worldbuilding process for dystopian novels! Without further ado...

1) What inspired you to write The Divided Nation?

Years ago, I started a roleplay, and it went really far (soo many words and late nights), but the roleplayer ditched me after handing me the story rights. I tried to let it drop. It stung remembering it. But the characters didn't leave me. So I listened to God, changed a lot about the story, characters, etc, and wrote it!

2) Which characters were your favorite (or most challenging!) to write?

I adored writing Gideon, Alex, Rene', Nate...all of them, haha!

One challenging character is Alex Thompson. A Christian in the crossfire constantly, he's made me ask hard questions. How much faith would I have in the darkest of situations? Could I love God after losing loved ones? The things he faces really challenges me because his faith never falters!

3) How do you hope The Divided Nation impacts its readers?

I want it to inspire them that even though we are all broken sinners, there is a purpose for each of us. We cannot fulfill that purpose without God. We can't run from that truth, either.

This novel isn't for the fainthearted. It is for the hungry. The searching. The afraid. The broken. And I pray that my readers see a bit more of the light along the crooked path once they put this book down.


If this interview whet your appetite for a new book, make sure to check out The Divided Nation (The Infidel Books, #1) on GOODREADS and AMAZON. Also worth mentioning? It's only $0.99 for Kindle right now, so make sure to snag a copy!


SUMMARY

WHEN THE NATION DIVIDES, THE INFIDELS MUST RISE.

The United States has fallen. Three years after the 2024 presidential election and the declaration of martial law, the nation is at war against itself. Gangs battle, civilians struggle for survival, and officials of the United Nations  thrive. West Johnston, heir to the most powerful ganglord in the country, refuses to continue the family legacy. But, in order to defeat his father, he must become him: bloodthirsty and willing to do whatever it takes for control.

West gains control by helping fellow gangsters, Nate and Simon, when they form an alliance with one of the last remaining townships in America. After years of surviving and winter fast approaching, Springtown is in desperate need of supplies from the two teenagers. When the town leader’s daughter, Rene’, is kidnapped by an unknown rival, Nate and Simon risk their reputations to save her and the town they now love. But without help from West, their rescue mission will fail.

Told in multiple bold, abrasive narratives, THE DIVIDED NATION steps into a future where brotherhood bonds must be stronger than iron to survive a broken world, and faith without courage is dust in the wind.


________

Onto the guest post!


Dystopian is a wild setting. Maybe you think of factions when you hear dystopian. Maybe you think of a maze. Maybe you think of a small town in Florida (c’mon, please, someone get that reference). Dystopian is one of my favorite genres because of how familiar and UNfamiliar the settings can be. You can get as imaginative as you’d like without, say, having to make up magic systems.

The Divided Nation, The Infidel Books #1, is a dystopian series taking place in the US during 2027. I tried to push the idea away for a long while. “It’s too hard!” I whined to my mom. “Dystopian takes so much research and worldbuilding and I’d better wait till I’m older.” Well, God had other plans, obviously. My problem, if you couldn’t tell… I was limiting myself. A lot.

Fiction isn’t meant to limit the author. Dystopian doesn’t have to be some impossible genre. I let it intimidate me because, surely, I’d have to take a class on tech if I wanted to write it, right? Wrong. Dystopian is a fun, eye-opening genre to plot, write, and share. Here’s why.







Research Doesn’t Have to Be Agonizing

Research. The one word that many authors cringe over. I cringed over it. I didn’t want to write a whole series because of it. Pathetic, right? Well, dystopian isn’t actually something you have to take courses for.

Dystopian is basically scifi. Not contemporary. This really cleared my mindset. I had more freedom to write than I thought! I didn’t have to write essays on world government! I did, however, do research. But not in the way you think. My advice… remember what you’ve already learned. I was taking a government class last year and it had lots of basic information on America’s judicial system and rights from early days. I logged all that away. I also researched and refreshed myself on other world views, like Islam, and other small scale things, like how gangs work, how bigger gangs are dealt with, smuggling across borders, etc.

On the surface, I didn’t do a ton of research, but I did enjoy “small” research sessions. I asked Google and my police officer senseis different questions (about guns… poisons… etc). Research can be kinda fun if you don’t limit yourself all the time.

In the end, I took what I knew, refreshed, and learned about things I didn’t know. But this wasn’t for the first draft. Do not forget this. The first draft is not to be bogged down with research! It is not wise to focus so much on worldbuilding that you forget to WRITE!

Worldbuilding Can Actually Be Fun

Dystopian needs worldbuilding. Obviously. But how do you worldbuild the future? That’s up for every author to decide. Personally, I enjoyed worldbuilding for this series. I’m sick of The Hunger Games and Divergent type worldbuilding, so I went for something different. I didn’t want the element of “big government is totally bad and chosen people can fix everything!”... I wanted mine to be more current day realistic. 

In this series, which takes place during 2027 and after, the US government has fallen. Sharia law enters after martial law was declared when Civil War II broke out. Sound scary? I hope so. Why did I choose this worldbuilding idea? Because I think it is realistic in its own way. Our current world is divided. Our current laws are corrupted. So I took all of the things I was seeing and built my world off of it! It didn’t exactly takes the years I thought it would take, haha.

Oh, but let’s not start yawning yet. I said it wasn’t contemporary, right? Where’s the scifi? Don’t worry. While The Divided Nation is not heavy with scifi content, the books that follow will slowly tap into what else the government is working on. But that’s all I can say for now...

Inspired by the book of Revelation and the way the world looks now, I built a world that reflects our own but is worse. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

The Big Element Was the Hardest...

I wanted to have a dystopian series that wasn’t totally hopeless. Not a very popular element! If you’ve noticed, most dystopian is morbid and hopeless without any signs of hope. Hope is smashed in the dark forever. That isn’t what I wanted to write, at all. I’m a Christian. I know God is always present within us, even in the darkest places. But… my novel wasn’t “clean” enough for the standard Christian market, and I didn’t want to sugar coat anything to make people digest it easier. Was I fighting a hopeless battle?

Definitely not. I wanted my story to be terrifying and gritty with God’s love piercing the blackness. I knew not every Christian would bother with it. I also knew the story needed to be written and shared.

So I clung to that theme of glorifying God through the dark. I added elements that are often shied away from: a corrupt government, gangsters, sex trafficking, sexual abuse, parental abuse, alcohol abuse, and the awful things soldiers/warriors face with torture and PTSD. Sounds like this novel should be R rated, yeah? It isn’t. Because I wrote this novel to glorify God, not to glorify sin. It was possible with His help. I prayed everything over, dove into the Bible, and didn’t let go of my purpose. 

In the end, the element of hope during dark times was a success. Was it easy? No. Did I have people condemn the book? Sure. But I didn’t expect everyone to love it. It isn’t for Christian market, which is what I’m used to, which is what most of my friends love best. But I stayed true to God and the story. It was so worth it. 
And that is how, my dear reader, I worldbuilded (shh, that’s a word) The Divided Nation! I hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks Michaela, for having me!

Angela


ABOUT ANGELA


Angela R. Watts is a Christian fiction author who strives to glorify the Lord in all she does.  She's a homeschooled highschooler living at Step By Step Sanctuary, Tennessee, though with Gypsy and Norwegian in her blood, she tends to travel.  She's been writing stories since she was little, but also enjoys chores, painting, and watching sunsets.




Make sure to check out her giveaway for The Divided Nation as well!  Physical books and items can only be shipped in the US, however, so if an international winner is drawn, please keep in mind that they will receive an ebook instead. 
1st place: hardback copy of The Divided Nation.  A custom mug with a quote from the book, bookmark, and an exclusive snippet from The Infidel Books.  
2nd place: paperback copy of The Divided Nation, bookmark.
3rd place: ebook copy of The Divided Nation.

Click HERE to enter!


GUEST POST by Amanda Tero: My Adventure in Retellings - And Some Tips For You To Try It Yourself

Saturday, August 17, 2019



Hey everyone!  I have one last guest post for Amanda Tero's three month tour celebrating the release of her third novel in the Tales of Faith series, Protecting the Poor!  If you've ever considered writing a fairytale retelling, you'll definitely want to check out Ms. Tero's great tips! 

My Adventure in Retellings – and some tips for you to try it yourself

When I first set out to writing a retelling, all I had was the question, “What if the beast was Belle’s father?” This in and of itself automatically put “Befriending the Beast” as a unique retelling because of the lack of a love interest (which apparently is “my thing” ;)). Once I set that standard, I began to think of other tales I could retell without a love interest. Cinderella (“The Secret Slipper”) required some twists and turns and maybe a little more mystery to keep it fresh and original since there wasn’t a love interest. But Robin Hood (“Protecting the Poor”)? Sorry, Maid Marion, but I went back to the original where she wasn’t even there as a love interest.

In writing “Protecting the Poor,” I kept just the general idea of Robin Hood: an outlawed man who roamed the forest. If you read an original tale of Robin Hood, you’ll find that he was more of a rogue than a hero. I decided against that, because I wanted to instill Christian character in my story—so my Robin Hood (Dumphey) is more hero than rogue; I do have some roguish characters in there though (cue, Patey). And actually… I kind of debunked the whole “steal from the rich to feed the poor” thought. I mean, if you think about it Scripturally, there is never an allowance to steal from others—it is never a noble thing. So, Dumphey actually took a stand against it. Because of this, I had to decide what features made Robin Hood… well, Robin Hood. Archery. Unjust authority. A band of men. And yes, I included hunting the “forbidden meats.” There is enough flavor in there to hint at Robin Hood yet enough added twists to make it originally mine.

I can’t claim to be the expert at writing retellings. I’ve only written three. But it’s something that I have enjoyed immensely and have learned a lot from. Today, actually, I’m featuring three tips on how to write retellings in my my countdown-to-release-day posts (which I’m posting today on my Instagram and blog). Since this fits the topic perfectly, I’ll go ahead and share them here as a bonus.

TIP #1
Make sure it’s a retelling, not a rewrite. I have read some retellings where, if you compared it to the original, all they did was change the setting, era, and character names (and… maybe not even those). The conversations were almost verbatim. There wasn’t much originality to it. 

TIP #2
Give a unique twist. In light of the first tip, be sure that yours has a very you flavor. For instance, the unique twist for “Befriending the Beast” was that the beast was Belle’s father. Ironically, my twist for “Protecting the Poor” is that Dumphey has a disagreement with some of his team about stealing from the rich to feed the poor. Oh, and not to mention that none of my stories have magic in them. That in and of itself violates the backbone of most fairytales. ;) 

TIP #3
Make the retelling recognizable. This seems contrary to the first two points, but it’s just that fine line to balance. If you’re going to market it as a retelling, your readers need to actually be able to recognize the original. I read a story that I realized after the fact was a retelling—and then it was just because another reviewer mentioned the original tale (either I didn’t know the original fairytale well enough, or it just wasn’t strong enough to have that retelling flavor). 

Have you read some retellings that you absolutely loved? Why? Or did you hate it? If so, why?

_________


I'm not sure about you, but this guest post made me want to read Protecting the Poor even more! If you want to read it too, make sure to preorder it HERE! It releases August 26th.



ABOUT THE TOUR
The clock is ticking until the release of “Protecting the Poor!” This is the third and final month of Tales of Faith 3-month tour. We’ve spent a month on “Befriending the Beast,” a month on “The Secret Slipper,” and now, are looking at a month digging into “Protecting the Poor”—the history behind it, behind-the-scenes of writing and editing, the messages threaded through it, and more. Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!

ABOUT AMANDA
Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. 



GUEST POST by Amanda Tero: If "The Secret Slipper" was Written in a Modern Era

Monday, July 29, 2019




Hey everyone! Today is the next stop in Amanda Tero's blog tour for her Tales of Faith series, and she has written a special guest post for today, which I'm so excited to share! Her insight is fantastic, and I hope this post is thought-provoking to you and drums up some interesting conversation points!  

If you haven't read The Secret Slipper yet, you're in luck: it's on sale for only $.99 this month -- and you have a couple of days left to snag it! 


Without further ado...




If “The Secret Slipper” was Written in a Modern Era

Why Historical Elements Provide a Solid Platform


Have you ever stopped to think how a solid, historical idea would completely fail in a modern era? For example, why couldn’t “The Secret Slipper” have been written from today’s viewpoint? If you analyze it, the only reason “The Secret Slipper” is believable is because of the historical era. You move the exact same story up to modern fiction and it’s laughable. It would never happen.



Before you read on, be aware that I’m hiding nothing here. So if you haven’t read “The Secret Slipper” and don’t like spoilers, you just might want to archive this post to read later.



Lia never would have disappeared by a feigned grave.


Today, a lord’s family would not only be guarded with individuals who have passed all sorts of background checks, they would have security cameras in the nursery. For that matter, Lord Kiralyn would have a smartphone linked to his home security system and at any moment be able to catch images of Bioti’s wily attempts. Now, if it was written in a modern era, you’d have to make Bioti a tech-savvy bad gal. She’d have to overwrite the security system and find another reason to make the lord believe that his daughter had died rather than was kidnapped—or the mystery would be solved immediately, not over ten years later. Hmm… maybe an explosion erasing all evidence of human bones and DNA…?

Bioti never would have settled in a town just a few miles away.


Given the historical difficulty of correspondence and travel in the dark ages, it makes sense that Bioti didn’t situate herself halfway across the globe in a medieval era. I mean, she didn’t want to spend all her money on moving. Today, she’d have to erase all digital and paper trails. She’d never have trusted Nes unless he was as equally eager to be totally hidden. And she definitely wouldn’t let Lia roam the streets where PIs could identify her with facial recognition and age-progression imaging.

Lord Kiralyn never would have gone in circles.


Because he had to be there to search there, Lord Kiralyn’s journey goes in loops that are—in today’s eyes—easily avoided. I mean yes, today detectives and investigators do have to go through loops to process the information they need and track down people, but the tools they have, when applied to Lia’s story, would have expedited the process. Today, Lord Kiralyn could have figured up his list of suspects. Could have even taken fingerprints and trailed those suspects. It is possible that he would have been suspicious of Galien’s betrayal—or, at least, have known that someone was betraying him. Not to mention, Lord Kiralyn and Jolin wouldn’t have been side-by-side the entire journey. Today they’d be in cities across the globe sharing instant updates with their findings. And whereas poor Lord Kiralyn had to take this search almost alone, today there are organized societies with highly trained individuals that Lord Kiralyn could have hired to find his daughter. He could have left it to the experts.

In conclusion

I could dissect the story further, but once you break down these three major characters and methods that “The Secret Slipper” is built upon, everything else falls apart. Comparing “The Secret Slipper” to today’s world, I have determined that the story would fail and have to be completely rewritten. This is why I’m keeping it on the historical fiction platform. ;) But in conclusion, today, bad guys have to be smarter. Good guys have to be a step ahead and even smarter. However, one thing is the same whether you’re speaking historical or modern. Motives are historically unchanging: greed, lust, anger, power, envy, and vengeance. They may take on different faces today, but the bottom line of sin has always been and always will be the foundation of corrupt minds and the crimes they commit.

What do you think?
Take one of your favorite historical stories and apply it to modern era. Would it work or crash? What would you have to do to fix it?


About the Tour 
In anticipation of the release of “Protecting the Poor” (book three in the Tales of Faith series), Amanda is guest posting or being featured on over a dozen blogs each month. Each post is unique to the blog—an inspirational post, an article on the writing craft, an excerpt from one of the Tales of Faith books… you’ll just have to visit each blog to see what comes up. ;) Amanda will link to each blog on With a Joyful Noise, so check in every week and see what blogs have a special Tales of Faith feature!

 About Amanda

Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continued to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

 Connect with Amanda

Make sure to click the links below to follow Amanda and be up-to-date on all Tales of Faith news! 

 Email 
amandaterobooks@gmail.com



Website  | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Blog | Goodreads | Amazon


Thanks so much for this fantastic guest post, Amanda!  

KEES & COLLIERS BLOG TOUR: Review of The Lady of the Vineyard by Kellyn Roth!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019



Hey everyone!  Today I have a review of Kellyn Roth's The Lady of the Vineyard as part of the Kees & Colliers tour!

First, some info on the book and author:

About the Author



Kellyn Roth, Author: insightful fiction, unhesitating truth

Kellyn Roth is a Christian & historical author from North-Eastern Oregon. Kell is a ranch girl, homeschool graduate, proud sister of four, proud auntie of five, and owner of two goofy border collies, two presumptuous cats, and a very active betta fish. Check out her website, kellynrothauthor.com, for more info.

Website | Blog | Reveries Co  | Coach Kell | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Other Kees & Colliers Books:


Souls Astray
Flowers In Her Heart
From Now 'Til Forever (coming soon) 








The Lady of the Vineyard


Is it too late for Adele to return to her daughter’s life?

When her ex-husband reappears in her life determined to spend more time with their child, Adele Collier allows him to take Judy to France for the summer. As the summer goes by, an internal battle rages in Adele’s heart. Can she give up her glamorous lifestyle to win her daughter’s heart?

Six-year-old Judy is more than happy to trade Adele’s neglect for her father’s adoring care. She loves his vineyard and wishes she could stay there forever, but someday she must return to England. Can Judy trust her mother again?

“A great story about love, emotional turmoil, and the desire to set things right.” ~Long and Short Reviews

“A whimsically beautiful and heartwarming story.” ~Faith L. Potts, author of Dandelion Dust

FURTHER INFO:

Published Before?: Yes
Changes to New Version: rewritten (went from 15,000 words to 40,000 words), new cover
Cleanness Levels: parental guidance suggested // 12+ (mentions of divorce, mentions of attraction between a once-married couple, a brief mention of a miscarriage, lots of arguing)
Published: June 1st, 2019

AMAZON | GOODREADS


Where do I start with this book?  I absolutely love the Kees & Colliers, even though Adele makes me want to scream sometimes.  I had a busy week when I read it, and when I got a chance to read, I had to practically force myself to put it down so I could, you know, eat and do other important things.  

The plot was very evenly paced and enjoyable to follow; I like how little Judy's character was portrayed and I just wanted to give her a hug, okay?  The conflicts that Adele and Troy faced were approached realistically, with careful attention to portraying some of the more difficult topics gracefully and appropriately.  

While I did not read the first edition of this book, I can guarantee that you'll want to pick this one up even if you've already read it before!  It's a crucial piece to the series and it leaves the reader with a bit of a cliffhanger/conflict, albeit a realistic one that lowkey broke my heart for Adele and Troy.  I can't say because spoilers...

I would probably give this one a 4.5/5 -- I found this book so enjoyable, and I can't wait to get the whole series on my bookshelf sometime!  

Now, before you go, make sure to enter the giveaway -- and follow Kellyn if you aren't already!  

Prize One: THE LADY OF THE VINEYARD and FLOWERS IN HER HEART in paperback & a cool FLOWER NECKLACE.



Prize Two: THE LADY OF THE VINEYARD in paperback & FLOWERS IN HER HEART and FROM NOW ’TIL FOREVER in ebook.

Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SURPRISE!!! Blog Bash For Kellyn Roth!

Sunday, July 14, 2019



Today's a super special post, brought to you thanks to the planning genius of Angela R. Watts!

Since Kellyn is such a great gal, a bunch of folks came together to write letters for her as a surprise.  Get ready for a Kellyn Roth appreciation post! 


(This isn't connected to her Kees & Colliers blog tour, but you gotta check it out too!)



Without further ado, the letters:

Dear Kelly,
    Sometimes I will start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. But you finish those sentences. You, my beautiful friend, are the Dwight to my Michael. (Only you’re prettier. And we’re women.) No matter the weather, you’re there for it all, and I thank you. Thank you for our talks about Jesus. Thanks for the rants and rambles about fiction and life and everything in between. Thank you for the laughs. Thank you for your support.
    I could give a pretty long list of why you’re awesome but I’ll list 3 reasons. 1.) You’re God’s kiddo. 2.) You’re my friend. 3.) You’re a redhead. Just kidding, that’s not reason 3. Reason 3 is because you promised me Harrington. Haha.
    I love you, girl. God’s with you through it all and I’m honored to be a part of your life.
    Love,
    Angie Watts



Kellyn,
    You’re the first indie teen I read a book by, you made me realize I could write. I remember reading the last page of The Dressmaker’s Secret and swiping to your bio . . . I was shocked when I saw that a girl my age had written it, yeah, I still haven’t finished writing a book but I will. Thanks for the encouragement and support as well as the late night sprints!
    I’ve been scarce since I left The Young Writer’s Workshop and we haven’t talked much but your blog posts are as good as ever if not better. Yeah, I’m totally writing this too late . . . I still hope you like the letter, night!
    Abikay
   


    Dear Kellyn,
    Surprise! It has been a while since you have heard from me. This time I am the one writing you a letter (Shiv says hi to Jordy!).  I have always admired your writing and your determination. Your characters are always so real!
Blessings,
Rebecca



    Hey Kell,
    I remember first meeting you on the Young Writers Workshop. You’ve definitely come a way since then. I know it’s hard being an indie author in your genre, but keep fighting, okay? You rock, and I know I’ll be seeing you around on the web.
    Cheers,
    Germaine



Dear Kell,
“Yes, I know Kellyn Roth.” This is the first sentence I remember hearing about you years ago, by one author to another. When you later joined The Chatter Box, I was blessed to begin that getting-to-know-you process for myself. I'd love to share three ways knowing you has blessed me. 
You’re dedicated. In every area of life I’ve seen—writing, editing, publishing, your walk with God, business, and more—you don’t just get ideas, you act on them, and when you have a goal, you pursue it. What an inspiring example. 
You’re positive. Wow. Your joyful attitude is such a blessing. In every circumstance, you give thanks - and in so doing, you accomplish God’s will for your life (1 Thess. 5:18). 
You’re humble. You’re honest about your weak points (no need to hide you’re human!) without being self-deprecating. You’re willing to learn and not afraid to ask questions! And so you’re able to receive God’s grace. 
There’s much more, but these are just a few areas where I see Christ especially strongly in you. Keep seeking first God’s kingdom, and I promise (God promises!) all other things shall be added for you. And today I’m so blessed to be able to say for myself, “I know Kellyn Roth.”
Blessings to you!
Erika Mathews 



Hiya Kell!
If I were to play a game of describing every fellow artist I know, the first word that'd come to mind for you would be "inspiring." Because it's true. Ever since we came across each other on the YWP NaNoWriMo forums, and then later online (which was, truly, a miracle in itself!), you've been such an amazing inspiration to me. And no doubt many of the other young writers you know feel the same way. True thought is in every blog post, every beautiful story you write for us and for God. You’re a part that can never be replaced in our community. :)
 Wishing you the best in every blessing,
 ~ Merie



Dear Kell,

Keep blogging and writing books! They're encouraging and inspiring to so many people in the blogosphere and indie author world around you!! I love reading your posts with your perspective on different topics... they always make me think! (I also love reading your ranty reviews on Goodreads! 😝) I think you were one of the people who inspired me to start writing my own books. Before 2018, I had no idea teen girls around my age even wrote books!! It's pretty fun. Anyway, never forget the gifts God has given you. 

-Liz



Dear Kellyn,

I don’t have much to say except thank you. Thanks for being a homeschooled, historical fiction indie author friend. I love reading your books, yes, but I value your friendship and helpful blog posts even more. Keep growing in the Lord!

Hanna Kraft



Kellyn,
We don’t know each other well, but I just wanted to give you a shout-out for your amazing cover design! You’re an inspiration to indie authors and freelance cover designers alike!
~Kaitlyn Krispense



Dear Kell,

HEY WHADDUPPPPPP MY HOMEBRO
I hope you know that I love you SO much. Like CRAZY much. Even though sometimes I don’t see you for long long stretches of time, you’re one of my bestest buddies and I appreciate you for all that you do.
You’re a seriously inspiring person⁠⁠—competent, organized, and wicked creative. I don’t know how you get everything done that you do (writing buttloads of awesome books, running multiple blogs and social media accounts, running A LEGIT BUSINESS, TEACHING CLASSES, having ANOTHER JOB on the side, AND MORE?!?!??), but my current theory is it’s some sort of blood magic.
Thank you for being you, for sticking to your values, and for being an awesome friend.
I hope your summer’s going good!!!!!
TURTLE POWER GO

Love,
Sonja







Dear Kellyn,
I could say a lot of things. I could say thank you for your determination to make it into the publishing world (which you have done, considerably well), that I admire your blog posts and your books and you, that your puppies are ADORABLE, that it’s crazy to think how you’re juggling teaching and a business and writing and another job when the rest of us are still struggling with algebra---- and all of that woulda been true. 
But for today, the person I wanna acknowledge is Kell. Not the author, or teacher, or business professional persay, just Kell the person. Y’know, the one that’s not afraid to speak her mind, or stand up for something she believes in. The one that enjoys a good romance. The one that likes pink but doesn’t consider herself that much of a girly girl (what a weird label anyhow). The one that’s struggling. And going through a lot. And having hard times at times. And hasn’t let life crush her- yet. This turned out surprisingly dark but you know what I’m trying to say. XD Thank you for being you. 

That’s… that’s all I got. 

Jo-a-ruth



Hi Kell,
When I first heard about you I thought, wow that is a weird name, then as I got to know you a little bit better(mostly through blog tours and your instagram) I’’ve seen that you are also a really cool person and an interesting writer. My first thought however remains, you have an interesting name.
Esther



Hi Kellyn,
You’re pretty amazing, you know that? I watch from afar as you start businesses and publish books and mentor writers — including me. Thanks for helping with my random, frantic indie publishing questions and for being an amazing formatter.

Truly. You were an answer to so many prayers when it came to publishing my first book. :)

I know you are a valued member of YWW, and have halped so many young writers more than you think. Keep being such an amazing friend, writer, and ecourager. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us.

In Christ,
Sara



Dear Kellyn,

You, my adorable friend, are a flash of fireworks in a dark night, a rainbow amongst clouds, and a highlight in my online life!  When I first joined the social media a few years ago, I couldn’t have anticipated all the amazing people I would meet . . . and you were one of them.  I love your hilarious sense of humor (you never fail to make me laugh!) and your down to earth positivity. You are a constant bright spot, no matter where you are shining.  You are strong, funny, quirky, and one of a kind. Thank you for all the thoughtful conversations, all the laughter, and all the gifs. The Thanksgiving / Christmas wars would have certainly never been the same without you!  *wink* Congratulations on the incredible journey you have had so far and best wishes on all that is ahead for you. I’m so proud of the wonderful Christian young woman that you are. May His perfect path be clear to you always!  I praise God for the blessing of Kellyn Roth.

Love, Allison Tebo




Hey Kellyn,

When I first heard that there were Christian fiction authors, I actually found you through Angela Watts and from there; starting following your journey writing and encouraging other writers. I just wanted to thank you for your encouraging words and helping me understand that Christian fiction and historical fiction are more than just "boring."

Thanks to you, I've started taking my own writing seriously and even if that isn't what I do for a living, I know that I can create a book that speaks to people.

Thank you so much,

Joshua Reid 



Hey Kellyn, 

You, girl, are awesome.  I don't know how you do it -- working, writing A LOT, running a business complete with contractors, and being that epic all at once...when most folks your age are walking with knocking knees to their first college classes or trying to figure out where they're going in life.  You know that's right (cue Burton Guster/Dule Hill voice). When I first "met" you, albeit only online, I was amazed to find out that you weren't even a high school graduate yet, since you seemed so mature and professional.  You're an inspiration, not only to your readers, but to your community and the online writing community (communities?) as well. Watching you do your thing on the interwebs is always pretty awesome and inspiring -- I hope you know how special and influential you are, just by being you, because that's pretty fantastic.  

Keep the faith and keep being you! :) 
Michaela Bush 



Kellyn, 
We've never met, and the most interaction we've had is through comments on your blog and social media. But I still remember when I first heard of your existence. 
I was sitting in a choir practices and the lady next to me turned to me. She knew I was an avid reader (book lovers, unite!) and was telling me about the surprisingly good book she had read by a young author that she thought I would love. it was the first Chronicles of Alice and Ivy book, and she was amazed by it. She told she only picked it up because a homeschooler wrote it, and she didn't even know homeschoolers could write. 
Not knowing I was a homeschool graduate, I sat and listened (trying not to laugh) at her explanations about homeschooling and how you had broken all of the molds she had concocted in her mind about it. 
And that sent me on a quest to discover who this girl was. And I found your books, and I found your blog, and I have been blessed and encouraged by both. 
Kellyn, I love the way you deal with tough issues, and you don't shy away from them. Your blog has more than once encouraged me when I am struggling. Your books are ones I turn to when I need the comfort of old friends. And, more than that, your writing always point me towards Christ as the ultimate answer, and I have been thankful for it.
Please, continue to share your writing with the world. We need more of what you have to offer the world, more of the beauty you see and capture in the black and white words that you put down onto paper. We need more of your fearlessness to tackle the issues that people tend to ignore, and to bring clarity and light to them. 
Thank you, for being such a fearless, bold writer. 

With Joy,
Kaitlyn S. 



Dear Kell, 

I can't even quite remember how we first met - it must have been on Goodreads somehow - but it feels like I've known you my entire blogging life (which is a mere two years haha) or that our getting to know each other was so slow and easy that the line between not knowing and being friends has been blurred to indistinguishable. (<< wow what a sentence)

Anyhow I'm so incredibly blessed and honored and happy to know you. You inspire me so much. You're so real - like you don't put on airs - and so accomplished and almost superhuman at the same time that I just … both look up to you and yet don't feel like I do? Does that make sense? Maybe not. Moving on …

Some favorite memories :

  • Signing up for review copies of your books for the first time without knowing what they were about (?!) and being skeptical when I saw their premise
  • But being totally sucked in and ridiculously impressed and 100% convinced of your skills
  • You joining us for the journey of TGMSH even though it's been slacking a lot haha. I'm just so honored to have you on as consultant with all your experience
  • Fighting over Little Women 😑 
  • Your post about why experienced bloggers should be nice to new bloggers
  • Seeing Reveries & Co. grow from scratch (#proud)
  • My dad complimenting you without knowing who you are bc I told him about Reveries & Co. being started by a 17 yo and he was just, wow this girl is so entrepreneurial (that's the right word, right??)  and I was like 👍
  • Being in the same cabin for two camp nanos

Anyway. Just want to say it's a pleasure to be your friend and here's to many more years of knowing each other. May God continue to bless you, dear girl. 

cheers. 
Lisa



Hey Kellyn! 

I'll be honest, all I can think of to tell you is this: Just immerse yourself in the Word and pray. 
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
  • Philippians 4:4-8

(Here's a few others too: Proverbs 3:5-6 / Psalm 139:23-24 / 1 Peter 5:6-9)

I'll be praying for you,

Hannah K


Dear Kellyn,
You were the first ever teen author that I encountered. Before that, I didn’t even realise that people could pursue their writing dreams from a young age. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to me with your books, your awesome blog posts, and your life in general. God’s going to bless you for everything you’ve done and for everything you will do. 
Keep making people smile!

Blessings, 
Medomfo xxx


Dear Kellyn,

It’s been such a joy to work with you and develop a friendship over the time we’ve known each other. You are such a talented and creative young lady and I’m proud to call you friend! May God so richly bless you this year and every coming year. Hugs and happiest of birthdays to you, girlie! Oh, and welcome to the 18 Club.  

Blessings,
Sarah Grace Grzy


Dear Kellyn, 

Even though we have hardly had any interaction with each other, I have really enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your love for Jesus shine through your blog and your writing. I have enjoyed the few times that we have talked. You have also inspired me a lot since you were one the first teen writers I meet when I joined Goodreads 2 years ago. I cannot wait to see how God uses you next in your life. I hope you continue to be bold and blog what God puts on your heart because you are not only an encouragement to those around you but also a great inspiration for others to be bold. 
Thank you for everything that you do and I pray you continue to be a light in this dark world! 

In Christ, 
Abigail Harder




So...SURPRISE! *insert confetti here*

Want to show your appreciation for Kellyn too? Make sure to follow her blog and check out all of the fantastic books she's releasing this summer!