Author of ‘LITTLE GIRL MENDED’
1. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer, and how long did it take after that until you were first published?
I was an editor for a lot of years, and I always cringed whenever I was given a writing assignment. Fortunately, it didn’t happen often. I loved editing; it’s so “behind the scenes.” Writing puts you “out there,” and I think that’s why I didn’t like it. But I needed to tell my story, and so, I began writing. Over time—a long time and much to my surprise—I fell in love with writing. It was seven years from the time I began writing until my book was published.
2. Can you describe the process you went through to get to that first publication?
After completing my manuscript, I considered self-publishing just so that I wouldn’t have to write a book proposal, which is usually required for non-fiction submissions to agents or editors. Then I reconsidered, deciding writing a proposal would be beneficial no matter what route I took to publishing. With finished proposal in hand, I began shopping my book to agents who represented Christian writers and also directly to Christian publishers. The rejection letters started flowing in. I stumbled upon Vox Dei Publishing through a Google search for Christian publishers who would accept submissions without an agent. I submitted my manuscript in March 2015, received an acceptance letter in August, and Little Girl Mended was published at the end of December that same year.
3. How did that process change you as a Christian?
The whole process has definitely strengthened my faith. Like a lot of writers, I struggle with self-doubt about a lot of things, including my writing ability. My story is not an easy one to tell, but over the seven years from beginning to explore my story through writing to having a published book, I’ve felt this book is one of God’s greatest callings on my life. I didn’t know how the book would be published, but I knew it somehow would. I still don’t know what plans God has for my story, but through this journey of writing and publishing, I’ve learned to follow wherever God leads me, even when I don’t quite understand it. My prayer continues to be that God would provide all that I need to go and say and do all that He has planned for me and for my story, and that I would be willing and not let my self-doubts stop me.
4. Tell us about how and when you became a Christian? Did you write secular material prior to that? What about after that? Do you exclusively write Christian or secular material, or a combination of the two?
I was raised in a Christian home, but what was emphasized was the legalistic side of “religion” more than having a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord. It wasn’t until I was writing my story in my 50s that I came to understand how much God loves me and desires a relationship with me. He pursued me for a lifetime, and I’m so very thankful for His patience. Little Girl Mended is my first book, so I haven’t written any secular material up to this point. If God’s plan for me includes a second book, I think it would have a Christian message as well. I only see myself writing if I’m sharing God’s message in some way.
5. Tell us about your family and how they were affected when you became a Christian and became a writer?
Some members of my family are unbelievers, so they may think I’m a radical Jesus lover. In fact, I hope they do!
As for the writing, Little Girl Mended is a memoir about my family. Because it’s my story about childhood sexual abuse, it has been difficult for my family of origin. After all, my parents were their parents, too. As difficult as it’s been, they’ve been supportive of me and understand my desire and need to share my story with the world.
6. Do you have a “day job,” or is writing your main source of income?
I’ve had a lot of jobs over my lifetime. I’ve been an exercise instructor, legal secretary, admin assistant, office manager, and assistant editor for the Marine Corps Gazette, the professional journal of the U.S. Marine Corps, where I worked for fifteen years. I took a one-year leave of absence from my editing job to concentrate on finishing my book. After that year, my book still was not finished, so I decided not to go back to my job. Right now I consider myself retired, but I spend a lot of time learning all I can about book marketing and the things I need to be doing to help my story reach as many people as possible now that I have a published book.
7. If you could speak to those wondering if they might somehow break into writing, what advice would you give them? Would that advice be the same for those who want to write Christian material vs. secular material?
My advice would be the same for any writer: don’t let your doubts keep you from being a writer. It helped me to read about other writers, those who are very successful, and the doubts they still carry about their own writing. If God has called you to write, then write! Leave whatever comes next to Him.
8. Where can readers find out more about you?
Readers can learn more about me and follow my blog on my website at http://www.nikikrauss.com,
on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorNikiKrauss,
on Twitter at http://twitter.com/niki_krauss,
on Google + at https://plus.google.com/+NikiKrauss,
and on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/NikiKrauss/.
Little Girl Mended is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.