Today’s interview is with Marion Kilchester as she chatted to Jo Wanmer.
Tells us three things about who you are and where you come from.
Firstly I’m a mum and a grandma. I live at Elimbah in Queensland. I was a music teacher for fifty-six years and an examiner in later years. Though retired, I am still teaching four students. I now live in a snall Grannie cottage on my son’s property with my little dog, Hope.
Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc). What do you write and why?
My first book, Though the Storms Rage, is the personal story of my faith as I danced through life’s storms. When God spoke to me the words, ‘Dancing in the Rain’, I knew He was asking me to write a book, though I shelved it for a year. Then a pastor at my church asked me if ‘Dancing in the Rain’ meant anything to me. I knew then I had to write and began writing that night. Although I’d filled countless journals and written a few short stories, writing a book was a huge learning curve.
I am also a composer of music and 2014 I published a collection of twelve pieces, five arrangements and seven originals which are listed with the guild of music, examination syllabus for piano. At the same time, I released a CD, Reflectons, of myself performing these works.
Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?
My target audience for my writing is anyone who has gone through tough times. My book was launched on 12th June. It has already been read by women and men of varying ages and beliefs. It has been well received with many sharing the story. One woman is now reading it to her mother who is in a nursing home. I’m excited that God has moved the book into the homes of many who don’t have a Christian faith.
I hand write my story because my thoughts flow more easily when I have pen and paper. Mostly I write at my dining room table which has a great view our to my garden. Later I transfer it onto my laptop.
My biggest challenge is technology. Computers aren’t my favourite things! My oldest son, Tim, designed the cover for me and a friend Rick has helped me out with most of my technological difficulties. I’m still learning to dance in this area!
If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?
Jo Wanmer, who mentored me from the beginning and encouraged me through to the end.
Nola Passmore (aka Nola Larraine), who edited my book, taught me many things in the process. Click link to read about her editing skills and see Nola's recent release, 'Scattered.' https://www.nolalorraine.com.au/
What are your writing goals for 2021? How will you achieve them?
I’m currently working on a second book about two strong women in my family’s ancestry. Both succeeded against huge odds. Ludmila, my mother-in-law, was born in The Ukraine during the rule of Stalin. She and her family endured eviction, starvation, forced communal living and countless atrocities. She was captured by the Germans and taken by train to a forced labour camp. After the war she, along with hundreds of others, was transported by ship to Australia where she spent five years in a migrant camp at Bonegilla, Victoria. Hardships don’t end here however. She endures flood, loss of a child and other obstacles. But despite all, she learns a new language and succeeds in her life in Australia with her husband and children.
How does your faith impact and shape your writing?
Hugely. My first book is about faith in difficult
circumstances. Being able to dance through the storms of my life was and is
made possible through my relationship with my God. Both of the women in my next
book also had a faith in their God, which enabled them to survive and thrive.
In the process of writing my first book, there were stories I’d decided not to include. However, God impressed upon me that I needed to tell these stories as well. When I questioned God, ‘Really! I haven’t even told my children.’ I felt God instructed me to tell my children and then include those stories. These episodes added depth to my book and I’m sure God will use them to help others.
Marion and Jo have been friends and writing encouragers for ten years. Most of that time they worshipped together at a church simply know as The Barn.