Currently Browsing: Authors in their Own Words

All Faith, No Fear

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journey. The following blog is from Deyona Estep, author of “Take What You Need.” For more information on the author visit her website. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today.

Facing Your Fear

All Faith, No FearFear and faith, two things that don’t mix. One can’t exist if the other is present. In the midst of trial and tribulation we don’t fold, break or clamor. Not because we are confident in our own efforts or strengths but we trust in that of the Lord. One thing that I have aspired to be is “fearless.” Not meaning I don’t feel afraid but I recognize that those feelings are false.

God tells us to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid or discouraged but why? Doesn’t God know that it’s not easy being strong, especially when things around you aren’t going as you planned. It’s not easy to be courageous when you feel unsure. Feelings are fickle and we can’t give in to them. We have to trust in what we know to be true. So he commands us to be brave because he know that he is with us and with him we cannot fail.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Josh 1:9

 Having Faith

What is there to fear when the perfect father is holding your All Faith, No Fearhand, walking with you every step of the way. He’s wanting to lead you and guide you to live out the perfect purpose that he has for your life. Now the only thing that can short circuit us from experiencing the very best that God has for us is fear. Fear tries to hinder us from taking steps of faith.

Faith is not just believing for something to happen. It’s that belief pushing you to take the necessary actions to see those dreams and aspirations come to pass. The root of all feelings of inadequacy, failure, discouragement is fear. That little four letter word tries to keep us stuck, stagnant and bound living half empty when we should always be on full. Only we can allow fear to cripple us, it’s a choice. There is great purpose, skill and yet fulfilled success that lies within us. The only thing that can stop us from fulfilling that is fear. Don’t allow it to hinder you from experience the best that God has for you.

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so through the Blog Guidelines Page. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length


With Faith You Can Move Mountains

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journey. The following blog is from Marketta Smith, author of “Twenty-Nine Weeks and One Day.” For more information on the author, visit her website or check out her InstagramTo begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Losing a Loved One

God gave me a testimony to share with hundreds and thousands of individuals and one day, millions. I lost my daughter on February 5, 2017 after twenty-nine weeks and one day of pregnancy. Westbow Press changed my life and helped me through publishing my story, 29 Weeks and 1 Day.  I hope my book changes and saves the lives, hopes, dreams, and self-esteem of others. Experiencing the loss of a loved one can strip anyone down to the unknown and the unthinkable but with God, hearts can be healed and comforted out of the deepest thoughts and acts of depression.

My Journey with WestBow Press

WestBow walked me through every stage of my journey through consistent feedback, weekly check-ins via email and phone.

WestBow Press will:

Work with you throughout the entire process,
Exhibit your work,
Support your vision,
Talk you through your comments and questions,
Better your story through expertise editors,
Offer you top-notch support and assistance, and
Wait patiently for you to move through your own writing process.

Growing with WestBow Press

Pressing forward with WestBow Press was an opportunity for me to grow as a person, a writer, and an author. The loss of my child was devastating. I needed to write and wanted to publish my first book. I wanted to share how I decided to overcome and not be buried in hopelessness and depression. It was an opportunity for me to heal and allow my story to heal and help others. I was given the time I need to really select a publishing company that would bring my vision to life. I was never rushed or pushed into making a quick decision. WestBow Press left an impression on not only my heart but the hearts of many others who or am experiencing some type of pain from a loss.

Changing Lives

My book 29 Weeks and 1 Day has begun to change lives of many others. It has reached individuals who suffer from depression due to loss since that impacts many people. My story gives hope that even in the darkest and lowest points of life you can always get up and get out if you activate just a little faith. God can and will do the rest. After publishing, I received inspiring messages on how my book took people living in depression to fighting to climb out. WestBow Press took my vision and perfected it. I initially didn’t believe I would make it through the process and at times wanted to quit. WestBow Press walked me through the entire process from start to finish and then beyond the finish. I am extremely satisfied, thankful, and grateful to become a first time published author through WestBow Press.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so through the Blog Guidelines Page. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length


Dr. Mark Kubala on “The Execution of Jesus the Christ”

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Mark J. Kubala, MD, FAANS, FACS, author of “The Execution of Jesus the Christ: The Medical Cause of Our Lord’s Death During His Illegal Crucifixion”. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Inspiration for My Book

As a Christian neurosurgeon, I first read Dr. Barbet’s book A Doctor at Calvary early on in my career. In this seminal book, Dr. Barbet proposed the theory that Jesus died from asphyxiation (strangulation) based on observations during World War One that prisoners hung by their arms tied over their head, with no foot support, could not exhale. Dr. Barbet felt that when Jesus’ arms were nailed to the crossbeam, and then the crossbeam was lifted on the shaft, his body sagged  (dropped down). He proposed that in this position Jesus was unable to exhale, leading to asphyxiation. Even Dr. Barbet’s partner, Dr. P. J. Smith commented in Appendix II of this book, “This theory is not supported by some of the evidence set out in the book”. However despite the lack of scientific evidence, the theory that Jesus died from asphyxiation has been taught for seventy years.

Past Research

In 1986 there was an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association from the Mayo Clinic about the crucifixion of Jesus. This created quite a stir, as many felt it was inappropriate to have a discussion of the death of Jesus in a medical journal. Since I had part of my training at the Mayo Clinic, this article prompted my interest in the study of the crucifixion of Jesus. I read many books.

Dr. Frederick Zugibe, a forensic pathologist, in his book The Crucifixion of Jesus, a forensic inquiry, carried out experiments with young human volunteers and showed that as long as the feet are stabilized there is no difficulty in breathing in the sagging position. He did not go into great detail as to what was the cause of Jesus’s death. The majority of his book discusses the evidence for the Shroud of Turin. This stirred my interest as to what was the main factor in Jesus dying so soon from his crucifixion.

What the Witnesses Saw

To answer this question, I turned to the Bible. The New Testament is replete with many quotations that say Jesus died “by the loss, or shedding, of his blood.” The only writer that was at the cross during Jesus’s crucifixion was John. However, the other writers must have known and talked to witnesses to the crucifixion, or talk to someone who knew someone who knew the witnesses. Since the eyewitnesses to Jesus’s dying said that he lost a lot of blood, the question came up, then where did this blood loss come from.

In my book, I reviewed the events as they unfolded during the passion of Jesus Christ. I present a new theory as to where this blood loss came from that led to such an early death. My book has been reviewed by many physicians who agree with my conclusion. How wondrous it is to realize that on Good Friday afternoon, as the high priests were slaughtering the lambs as an animal sacrifice, Jesus bled to death for our sins, as our sacrifice for the new Passover.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so through the Blog Guidelines Page. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length


Can’t Never Could – Overcoming Fear

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Sandy Hurst, author of “52 Quick Lessons on the Bible.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

 

Writing With Purpose 

My writing journey began with a focus on students who have yet to learn the basics of scripture or its relevance to their lives.  I have been in the ministry of teaching students for twenty-five years and have never seen a time like this.  Many students do not know the basics of Scripture.  Students are coming to church with no biblical background and no understanding of what the Bible is really about. My heart broke over this disturbing trend.

 

Listening to the Call

I began my summer vacation two years ago writing lessons with simple truths about the Bible with basic life verses added. I wanted this project to be finished and ready for our students when we started Wednesday night Bible club again in August. Thus, my writing journey began. When August came, I piloted the lessons as our curriculum on Wednesday nights. It went better than I could have ever imagined. Our leaders loved my lessons and thought they were perfect for our elementary students. Many leaders with various teaching styles loved the simplicity of my lessons. The cool thing was that my study leaders varied from retirees to young teachers; everyone was able to use my lessons based on student needs.

One Wednesday evening after our Bible club, the leaders approached me saying that I needed to publish the lessons for other churches to use as a resource. I thought there was no way that could happen. God has a sense of humor because I am not a writer by any means. Since that conversation, it seemed that God continued to impress on me to publish. I researched self-publishing companies and always returned to WestBow. It seemed that each time that I attempted to move forward, I would hesitate due to fear. I was at the point that I would call WestBow and hang up before anyone would answer.

 

Letting Go Of Fear

“Cain’t never could,” was a quote my mother said many times. This saying always came to mind when deciding whether or I would publishing a book.  I had to start somewhere and that is what I did.  My favorite verse, 2 Timothy 1:7 came to my thoughts consistently. With this verse in mind, I picked up the phone to finally contact WestBow Press. The verse says, “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.” Fear of “can’t,” and “ain’t” will not allow you to try. God showed me that He gives power, love, and a sound mind. This was the confidence I needed to say I could by trusting Him and using WestBow to complete this project.

 

Reflection of Thankfulness

I look back on my publishing journey and think WOW! I am thankful for this opportunity and proud of the accomplishment God has allowed in my life. My hope is that if one church uses this as a resource to share God’s word then my work is done. The take away from this experience is to release the spirit of fear and let God’s power, love, and sound mind lead you on a writing journey that could possibly change lives with your obedience.

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Labor of Love

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Paul J. Murphy, author of “Leading Well.” You can learn more about Paul by visiting his author Facebook page. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

 

Something to Say

“I want to write a book.”  I was a young pastor in my late 20’s when I first voiced my author dream.  Ray, a seasoned friend and mentor, smiled and placed his hand on my shoulder, responding, “But you don’t have anything to say yet.

Thirty-five years later, I finally felt I had something worth saying, specifically, about living as a Christian leader. Leading Well is about the Purpose, Power, Personalities and Practice of Christian leadership. It is intentionally practical while also being theological. It is experiential, not merely idealistic. It is about inner development and outer skills.

But, how would I get Leading Well published? I enlisted my network, searching for publishers. This lead to direct contact with several major publishers. After reviewing my manuscript, they all politely declined, citing other big name authors who already have published books on Christian leadership.

Then, I received an email from Matt, a young man in his mid-twenties. Matt attended a church in Hollywood where I had served as an intentional interim pastor the previous twelve months. He mentioned that a man who had been his youth pastor had transitioned to work for a publisher, though Matt did not know much more than that. This information lead to several phone calls with Keith Ogorek, who usually began the conversation by saying, “Paul I am getting into a taxi in New York so I have a few minutes to talk now.”

Keith connected me to WestBow Press.  I now had a publisher!

 

Labor Pains

When my wife was in labor with our first child the attending nurse told us that 1 out of 100 women in labor “quit”. She explained that the woman would be far along in labor, but mentally hit the wall. These women literally got up off the bed and began walking to the hospital elevators saying, “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to do this.”

Labor, including labor pain, was what I felt during the publishing process. It took longer than I expected. Along the way, I felt frustration, anger, weariness, then finally peace and satisfaction.

I knew what I wanted to say, but in what order I was not always sure. Moving sections and then moving them again was wearying. Eventually, I had lost all objectivity about my own manuscript.

I sent the manuscript to twelve of my closest friends and colleagues, inviting their honest feedback. Eleven responded with varying versions of “good for you Paul”.  The twelfth, Dave, emailed me two pages of critiques saying “I suppose that perhaps there might be a good book in there somewhere, maybe….”.

For two days I nursed the sting of his critiques, and tried not to be defensive.  I asked another good friend what he thought of Dave’s critiques.  He felt Dave had valid, useful feedback.

So it was back to work, more ‘labor pains’ as I revised what I had already labored to write. In the Acknowledgements section of Leading Well you will find this sentence, “A number of friends invested time to read the draft version of this book, offering their compliments and constructive critiques.  The end result is better than what I would have produced on my own.”  That is my thank you sentence to Dave.

 

The Final Push

Finally I was ready to email my revised and improved manuscript to WestBow Press. WestBow reviewed portions of the manuscript and sent it back marked up with various change notes.  They insisted on a “release” (to avoid any invasion of privacy) from my deceased mother (tough getting her to sign a release, so they excused me) and from my elderly incapacitated father who could not walk, talk, chew or write. I felt like I had been pushing for months, years, yet still no baby – no birth. This was taking longer than I expected. Wasn’t my publisher supposed to HELP, rather than frustrate me?

After venting my anger and frustration, I took a cleansing breath and went back to pushing. I was actually closer to birth than I realized. I once again sent off my latest revised version of the manuscript. Instead of more change notes, WestBow sent me proofs to approve for publication. Several (uneventfully peaceful) weeks later, my newborn arrived: triplets – a hard back, paperback, and  e-book stub versions.

I will not tell you that Leading Well is perfect, but it is what I wanted to communicate. All the pain of writing, rewriting, revising, negotiating WestBow’s edits, and enduring Dave’s critiques was worth it. Leading Well is a better book for the struggle. Here is what I wrote in the introduction:

This book is for Christian leaders, whether in the ministry or in the marketplace.”

 

God’s Fingerprints

How do we experience the fingerprints of God upon us and upon the ministry He has given us? Leading Well is arranged by sections – the Purpose, Power, Personalities, and Practice of “leading well” as a Christ-like servant leader.

I have written this book to spark renewal in your own life, while equipping you to lead well in ministry.  I hope you will experience a caring arm around your shoulder and a firm hand in the middle of your back as we discover what it means for leaders to help Christian ministries meet the challenge of their calling.  Our calling is worth it.  The world for which Jesus gave His life needs the body of Christ to be who it is, because “if it is who it ain’t, then it ain’t who it is.

Who knows. Yet now, writing a second book does not seem so hard.

 

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


God Speaks Through Dreams

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Wendy Westerfield , author of “Adventures with Piggy.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

A Stirring Soul

In September 2015, I headed to Nashville for the DotMOM Conference. As a mom of 3 kiddos, I was ready to be recharged, encouraged, and with Jesus. I remember listening to Karen Kingsbury speak there. She was reading one of her children’s books, Let Me Hold You Longer. Karen had all the moms crying and wanting to go home to love their children better and show them Jesus.  At that moment, I felt a stirring in my spirit: God had more for me to be doing. I want to encourage moms and families, I want to share God’s love. I want to help build character in kids and let them know that with God they can do anything. My desire is that people are moved to see Jesus.

On October 26, I woke up from a dream feeling such an urgency from the Lord. I had an inexplicable feeling that God was up to something.  I wrote in my prayer journal because I knew I had heard Him and didn’t want to miss or forget anything.

My Prayer

Lord,   

I want so much to do something extraordinary for you. God give Matt and I a fresh new vision of how our family can serve you. How we can use our talents, gifts and experiences to lead people to You. We want to see them excited about you.  Give them the desire to live for You, not out of obligation but a longing to want to be more like You. Show us what that looks like.  Place people into our lives that can speak and encourage us.  Open doors for ministry. Open a new door for our family. God I feel like You said to write a book. Give me guidance and direction.

May this dream and desire come to fruition. Give me favor. Guide me in the right direction. May I feel Your presence always. Fill our house with Your presence. Touch our kids. Use them for Your glory. May they turn to You and love You. God my desire is to see our family serving together and ministering together. Give us a clear vision.

God Speaks

Soon after my prayer, God spoke to me for the first time about writing a book. I found it quite strange that He would want me to write. I am not the best writer. I never know where to put the correct punctuation and I am not a woman of fancy, big words. As time passed, almost a year, I continued to pray for God’s guidance and wisdom.  I still didn’t know exactly what He wanted me to write.

And then it happened…another dream. I woke up with the main character, as well as the title of my first book. I knew this was God. So I wrote, and that was the day Adventures with Piggy became a reality.

My whole life I have always been encouraged and told I could do anything. When it comes to things I’m not naturally good at, I tend to doubt myself or shrink back in fear. What I’ve learned through this whole process though, is that God would not put a dream in my heart if He hadn’t already given me everything I needed to fulfill it. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. If God has spoken to you, I encourage you not to let fear keep you from trusting Him and Dreaming Big.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Managing Family Wealth

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Kip Kolson, author of “The Legacy Family; Father, Son, and ‘Holy Coach.'” You can learn more about Kip by visiting his author website. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

An Inside Perspective

If your job involves helping people, you may feel limited to working only with those whom you interact directly. This was my situation. My work and message of hope was confined to four office walls.

I am the owner and president of Family Wealth Leadership, a wealth management and registered investment advisory firm. Working with business owners and their families, I’ve learned that wealth does not always bring happiness or peace. Unfortunately, more often than not, wealth creates complexity, discontent, and even relational conflicts.

Managing Wealth

Our company works to successfully build and preserve families’ financial wealth. After working with many families, we realized that wealth was often a catalyst for problems. Because of this, we decided to expand our services to include family coaching. There are hosts of people who do a good job of addressing the financial side of wealth management, but that is where it stops. Relationship counselors, therapists, and psychologist are necessary to work on the “people” issues. The problem is, most don’t understand that money and people are a toxic combination.

Money and people are intertwined: impossible to separate. Whether money causes people problems, or vice versa; they must be addressed simultaneously for progress to be long-term. We are one of the few firms that works on the four Ts of True Wealth; Time, Talent, Training, and Treasures. We believe the family, and everyone in it, has a desire to be significant. Significance can only be achieved through serving others and being a good steward of the four Ts of True Wealth. This is what family coaching is all about.

Family Coaching

Family coaching is a time-intensive activity. We only are able to work with a few families a year. Yet, we still wanted to help more people. We wanted to alert families of the historical statistic that 70% of their wealth will be lost each time it passes to the next generation and completely gone in three generations. Worse, often families will be in disarray and antagonistic. How could we help more people through the trial of wealth management? The answer was writing a book, thus The Legacy Family; Father, Son, and “Holy Coach” was birthed. This book describes the symptoms of what we call “affluenza” and the preventative treatments every family can use to unite their family and build a legacy. The “Holy Coach” was my metaphor for backing up the recommended treatments with truth and solid principles that have proven successful for thousands of years.

Fuel Your Passions

I am a first-time author and I have a passion for families because I believe as the family goes, so goes our society and world. Like all authors who write these types of books, I would like to think I might be able to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. Whatever your passion is, I encourage you to devote some amount of time every day to following through. I wrote a 300-page book on my smartphone which is always with me. I could write a little whenever I had a thought and some quiet time: like lunch, a waiting room, or airport. No matter how busy you are, you have enough time to achieve your significance. Just do it! Serve others rather than yourself, and be a good steward of your Time, Talent, Training, and Treasures.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


From Writing to Purpose

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Ifonia Jean, author of “Strength for the Journey.” You can learn more about Ifonia by visiting her author Facebook page. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Follow Your Passion

Follow your passions and you will discover the path of your purpose.  That’s what I learned when I finally published my book earlier this year. I still remember all the hours spent brainstorming, reading, researching and writing. I worked on my book for five long years.

Initially, I had my mind set on writing a novel—a romance to be exact. Yet, I was not as passionate about writing this romance novel as I was thinking about it. I didn’t believe a tale of falling in love was going to give people the hope and strength they needed to survive the tests and trials of life.

There was (and is) just too much going on in the world, so much brokenness. I used to work for my local newspaper. The newsroom was always buzzing with bad news and filled with tension. Every time I looked up at one of the flat panel TVs on the walls, there was “breaking news.” Headlines were popping up on my computer screen through the company’s dashboard.  My co-workers were constantly expressing their anger, fears, sadness and doubt about something they read or watched.

Embrace New Opportunities

The negative news was a lot for me to take in sometimes, but I always felt moved to counterattack the national tragedies through writing. I had been writing an education column for about a year, until one day, my boss proposed that I write about my faith. She knew how zealous I was about my relationship with God. I thought it was a great idea and jumped on the opportunity for God to use me.

To my astonishment, the readers were responding to my faith columns. I was receiving hand-written letters and emails on a weekly basis from men and women in the community who were encouraged by my personal experiences and understanding of the Bible. I thought, surely this is a move of God.

One day, I had an epiphany—I would write a book about my faith, combining my personal experiences with biblical accounts of God’s power and faithfulness. If I could encourage my community, then I could encourage my country—not by my strength, but by the Spirit.

I was excited and empowered by this revelation. I knew I would need the strength of God to start and finish my book amidst all the challenges going on in my personal life. I was dealing with debt, infertility, challenges at work, family drama, etc. I was also having a hard time balancing my role as a wife and a student.

God Gives Us Purpose

Through it all, I thought about how God used Paul to encourage the early church in their faith. God also encouraged Paul, enabling him to survive the worst and best parts of his journey. Paul did not have a church to fund his missionary trips or a private jet to get him to different parts of the world. He relied on God to meet his physical and spiritual needs.

I decided that would be my resolve. I depended on the power of God to endure the grueling process of writing and editing. When I lost my job, I thought it was a sign for me to quit working on the book. For a while, I did. I could not deal with the stress of life and write simultaneously.

Thankfully, God put people on my path to cheer me on. He also opened doors for me to meet the financial obligations of publishing my book.  It’s refreshing to know that the God, who is fully aware of our shortcomings, empowers us to overcome any obstacle.

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Marriage and Schizophrenia

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Andrew and Stephanie Downing, authors of “Marriage and Schizophrenia.” You can learn more about the Downings by visiting their website, blog, or Twitter. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today

In Sickness & Health

My wife and I started writing our book titled, Marriage and Schizophrenia: Eyes on the Prize, as a creative outlet mainly for fun.  We enjoyed spending quality time together crafting the story.  However, our story is anything but easy to talk about.  As we continued with the writing process, we experienced a wealth of healing and began the process of reclaiming our voice.

Writing has a unique power in allowing healing to take place.  We found healing in our marriage through open communication and forgiveness. Slowly, we began to understand that everyone suffers on a relative level.  We came to the conclusion that suffering is suffering.  There is no way to measure suffering, no way to rank sorrow.  Schizophrenia, and the horrors associated with the devastating illness, are perceivable high on a “misery scale.” I have lived with schizophrenia for nearly twenty years now, almost losing my life several times from illness-related complications. Healing poured into our marriage when I realized that my suffering was no worse than my spouses, or anyone’s for that matter.  We both have an equal share in the miseries of earth.

Spreading Our Testimony

We decided to publish our book mainly because we felt our voice had been compromised. We felt many people had a misconception of our situation: not understanding why we were having success amidst mental illness.  God is the key to our success over schizophrenia and mental health issues. God is also the reason why we have survived as a married couple. WestBow has helped us begin the journey of sharing our testimony.

We had a hard time editing and finishing our book.  When we finally had a product that we were comfortable with, we had no idea where to turn.  Neither my wife nor I had ever considered ourselves committed writers, and we certainly didn’t know anything about the publishing world.  I remember breaking down one day due to the fact that my wife’s story needed to be heard.  Her patience, fearlessness, and compassion is incredible.  That same evening I was reading the Word of God on my Bible Gateway app, and an add popped up: “Fulfill God’s calling to publish your book…WestBow Press.”

A Christian View

Totally uneducated and in a naive state of mind, I filled out the questionnaire.  Several months later, and I’m now riding the waves of having our story available to the world.  Numerous people have found healing in our story, and I’m loving the lifestyle of writing.  I’m so grateful I took the leap of faith and filled out the free publishing guide. Hundreds now know that schizophrenia is not bigger than God, and I have a growing platform to share a Christian point of view in the world of mental health.  I highly recommend WestBow Press!

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 

 


A Dream and a Miracle Part II

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Debra Irene, author of “Helen’s Heritage: Life Stories of Helen Herbert Gillham.” You can learn more about Debra by visiting her websiteFacebook, and Twitter. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

It Began with a Contest

In September of 2010, I traveled to Franklin, Tennessee, from Kansas City for a writers’ seminar and walked into a room full of extroverts and upbeat people who wanted to live their dreams. My goodness, all I wanted to do was figure out how to finish a little book. Mostly, I just listened to everyone else and the outstanding speakers.

I learned I needed to start a blog (something I told Brenda I would never do). I didn’t have time to print and publish my own book like some planned to do, I barely had time to write it! Also, I knew that I could wait forever for a traditional publisher. Lucky for me, an executive from Thomas Nelson spoke at the convention and mentioned that their new self-publishing division had teamed with Women of Faith for a writing contest where the winner would receive a free publishing package. That sparked my interest and I felt was the meant-to-be part of the program for me.

Realizing a Dream

I returned home to Kansas City, wrote my first blog (with Brenda’s encouragement), and contemplated how I was going to finish my manuscript by the contest deadline – just three months away. Brenda pointed out that my book was the style that didn’t have a specific ending and that I should stop writing when I reached the minimum number of words (10,000). I could write a sequel later. What a tremendous piece of advice that was. After all, I wasn’t writing a novel. So that December, I took a week’s vacation from my career job and devoted nine hours each day to reaching 10,000 words. I continued to work my supplemental night job; and by December 31, I was ready to push the button for the contest.

An Unexpected Prize

Reflections by Debra IreneAlthough I did not win the contest; I did receive a discount on a publishing package with WestBow Press for entering the contest and was able to purchase that package with an unexpected bonus in January. I watched the dream unfold, month by month, just like Brenda encouraged; and in April of 2011, I held my first copy of Reflections.

This was a very big deal to me, my own personal miracle. My mind was flooded with other book ideas. But the idea that took front and center was a project for my mother. She wanted to tell her life story and had no idea what to do. She didn’t have a concept, or a format in mind. Neither did I at first, but we started writing it down little by little. Meanwhile, I kept blogging: telling my own stories. Around that time, a few of my stories were published by Farm & Ranch Living, Country, and The Missouri Golf Post.

Five Years Later

I continued with my career job but dreamed that someday writing could be my career. Five years later, I held my second book published by WestBow Press, Helen’s Heritage: my mother’s story, her dream. This was a project very near and dear to me. Not only is it my mother’s life story; but it is a family documentation, a forty-thousand-word family history filled with short stories and vignettes. The book merges in seventy-five narratives from about 1880 through today. In addition to this latest work, I have enough blog material for another book when I am ready to compile it.

Someday, I will retire from my day job, but I can’t imagine ever retiring from my dream of writing. There are more stories to tell and more projects to complete. A dream, a miracle, and a Brenda in my life – those were the keys!

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


The Story of Mrs. Bumbleberry

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Kathleen Beining, author of “Mrs. Bumbleberry’s Garden.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Taking the First Step

I’ve always had a vivid imagination.  As a child, I spent a lot of time making up stories and pretending I was the main character.  When I grew older, my time spent playing make-believe dwindled. Although I never lost my love for making up stories, I never did anything with it.

Then in 2014, I was recuperating from surgery.  I didn’t feel that bad, I just wasn’t allowed to do anything.  I was bored sitting still and began thinking how hard it was to be inside all the time.  As I had these thoughts, it occurred to me that being stuck inside would be very difficult for a child.  That’s when the character “Katy” was born.

Creating Mrs. Bumbleberry

Mrs.BumbleberryI began writing my first story.  I started to think about Katy: how could she meet another character and who might it be?  Her neighbor, Mrs. Bumbleberry, began to take shape.  I thought about what a small girl and an older woman could have in common.  What would be the value in their friendship?  I realized, in this scenario, that there was an opportunity. The scenario is a perfect chance to showcase how Christian beliefs are practiced in daily life.  Soon my story was finished.  I kept thinking about what Katy could do next, and soon the second story was completed.  Within a week I had several other stories written for the series.

I decided to try and publish my stories. My web search led me to a “Christian” publisher who assured me they would love to publish my story. They promised it would be out within only six months. After nine months of unanswered phone calls and repeated mistakes, I had unacceptable illustrations that did not match page to page with the text.  I brought this to their attention twice.  When I received my first digital copy the mistakes were not corrected.  At this point, I hired a lawyer to get the rights to my story back.  I decided that was the end of my publishing career – God had other ideas.

Finding WestBow Press

Somewhere along the line, I visited the website for Westbow Press. Later, I Kathleen Beining - 1received a call from one of WestBow’s publishing consultants. I explained my experience with the previous publisher and my hesitancy to move forward. He said he understood and asked if I would be interested in having more information mailed to me.  I agreed.  I read the information packet and was impressed with the fact that there were several publishing packages from which I could choose.  The first publisher only had one. I decided to take another chance and started working with Westbow Press.

Publishing with Westbow Press was wonderful.  They walked me through the process and always responded when I had questions.  I am not the most computer savvy person, but everyone there was patient and friendly.  Three months later I received the first copy of my story, Mrs. Bumbleberry’s Garden.  The book arrived on my birthday which I took as a good omen.

Looking Back

It has now been two years since I signed with Westbow Press.  I have six children’s books published and just submitted the seventh one.  Though I’ve never personally met any of the people from Westbow Press, whenever I speak with them it feels like talking to old friends.  I thank God every day for sending me to Westbow Press.

People ask me where I get my stories.  I just smile and say “They are a gift from God.”  I truly believe the stories are His messages and I just have the honor of delivering them.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


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