I have been so excited to share this special interview with you all. Today I’m sitting down to chat with two authors — Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young — who recently started a unique website and podcast called Write From the Deep. Every time I visit their site, I come away feeling so encouraged and uplifted. It’s a great resource for support, as well as advice. I hope you’ll find it to be a blessing to you too, no matter where you are in your journey.
Let’s start with introductions first…
A publishing professional for over 30 years, Karen Ball has overseen fiction for Tyndale, Multnomah, Zondervan, and B&H Publishing Group. Karen is currently the owner of Karen Ball Publishing Services, LLC, a literary agent with the prestigious Steve Laube Agency, an award-winning, best-selling author, and the co-creator of Write from the Deep and Live from the Deep with Erin Taylor Young, and a popular speaker and podcaster. She’s worked with such notable authors as Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Brandilyn Collins, Ginny Yttrup, Robin Jones Gunn, Terri Blackstock, and many others. Karen lives in Oregon with her husband, father, and their four-legged, furry “kids.”
Welcome to the blog, Karen. Thank you so much for being with us today!
What do you love most about Write From The Deep and what do you hope others will take away from it?
I love the honesty and vulnerability people share with us in their comments and emails, and that this site and podcast enable us to encourage those who are seeking to encourage others! It’s so important, when you’re giving in your ministry, to have a place where you can rest and be restored, refilled. It’s our hope that WftD will become that haven, that place of encouragement and refreshment for writers.
As I read your website, this verse came to my mind – “As Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” -Proverbs 27:17 How have you been personally blessed as you’ve mentored others?
I’ve learned the importance of listening, really listening, to those I want to help. Too often we come in with a script all memorized, standard responses to people’s struggles. But that’s not what we’re about. We’re about authenticity, about sharing what we’ve learned on the journey so that we can help others as they journey. And I’ve learned that while the details may be different, many of us struggle with the same core fears and insecurities, and it’s always helpful to know I’m not the only one!
You’ve been immersed in the world of stories for a long time. Can you share with us a couple books that have forever left their mark on you?
A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers. I long to be Hadassah, a woman who is an anchor of faith in a weary, hostile world. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L’Engle and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. It was in these books that I discovered the transporting and transformative power of fiction.
Yes! Francine River’s A Voice in the Wind is one of my favorites too. 😉 You and Erin both recently contributed to Writing Success: Your Book from Start to Finish to Publication, along with several other authors. Can you share with us a small piece of advice you included in this book?
Know your readers’ expectations. If you don’t, you can’t expect to keep them happy. And if you don’t keep them happy, you’ll lose them.
Thanks for sharing with us, Karen! I’m looking forward to what’s ahead for you both and from Write From the Deep as well.
Erin Taylor Young is an acquisitions editor and author liaison for Redbud Press, a publishing company she helped to found. Passionate about helping others embrace deep places with God, she teaches workshops about writing and publishing, produces podcasts, and is the co-creator of Write from the Deep and Live from the Deep with Karen Ball. She’s also an award-winning humor writer. Her recent book, Surviving Henry: Adventures in Loving a Canine Catastrophe, has been repeatedly accused of making readers laugh until they cry. Learn more about Erin at erintayloryoung.com where she blogs about writing, God, and her aversion to spiders.
Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Erin! I really appreciate you taking the time to visit with us.
I love listening to your Write from the Deep podcasts! What has been one of your favorites so far and why?
That’s a good question. I learn something in every episode. But one of my favorites would have to be the interview with Steve Laube about our lifeline in the deep. He had some of the most amazing insights into Bible stories we all think we know so well. (Here’s a link to that episode: http://www.writefromthedeep.com/the-lifeline-in-the-deep/ )
Write from the Deep is all about encouragement. What is a Scripture verse that has ministered to your own heart recently?
Usually whichever verse I’m memorizing at the time! : ) Lately it’s Isaiah 30:15. “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.’”
The end sounds harsh, and I’m tempted to point a finger and say those Israelites just never could get it right. But so often I’m guilty of the same thing. I forget that my salvation is in repentance and rest, not in works, not in being good enough. I forget to find my strength in quietness and trust, and I fall into striving and self-reliance. I don’t think it’s a mistake that God reminds us of His sovereignty at the beginning of the verse. It’s the key to what having a peaceful spirit is all about—no matter what difficulties we face.
While I love teaching about the craft of writing, I have to say that my favorite speaking topics are about seeking God in the deep and dwelling in the spiritual places He wants to take us.
I see you’re also working on another podcast called Live From The Deep. Can you tell us more about that?
Writers aren’t the only ones who go through deep places. It’s a given for all Christians—this journey will be filled with trials. As Karen and I shared the vision for Write from the Deep, we’d often find non-writers who resonated with the message and who were looking for that same kind of resource. It became clear to us that God was calling us to reach out to them as well. We’re excited about creating a community and a podcast to minister to their needs.
That is wonderful! I’m so excited to learn more about what you both are doing. Thank you for joining us today, Erin. Wishing you both a blessed 2016!
READERS, do you have any questions for these ladies? Leave a comment below. 😉 And don’t forget to check out their website – http://www.writefromthedeep.com/ – “Be encouraged, refreshed, and equipped.”