Friday, April 29, 2011

The Kris Newman Interview

This blog has long been focused on promoting our effort as Apostolics to establish a presence in print. I am excited to report one of our readers has finished and published a book! The interview that follows shares her story.

Lee Ann (LA): Thanks for taking a moment to share an update with us. You've been a friend of ninetyandnine and the Word blog for years; how did your journey as a writer begin?

Kris Newman (KN): I have always been a writer, of sorts, or at least a storyteller. As the oldest of the “cousins” in my family it was my job to keep the youngers occupied. Reading and making up stories came naturally. I was in 7th grade the first time a teacher called me a writer and encouraged me to put my words on paper. I think my first piece with 90&9 was an interview of the band Plan:Be.

In the summer of 2009, I started a blog ( which has reached a sizable following. The blog’s popularity convinced me I might have enough written works enjoyed by an audience to put together a book. The theme of the blog is the view of life through a writer's eyes; how we experience things and view events. I guess people kind of like it.

LA: And now you've written a book! Tell us about it.

KN: It’s called The Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges. The title is long, but I expect it to be a part of a collection. I write about facing difficult times without becoming bitter or feeling like a victim. Life isn’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean some good can’t result from the difficulties. Bridges encourages the reader to look through a different perspective and learn the lessons of the dark times. In particular I talk about growing up in foster care, being divorced, working full-time and going to college full-time, facing life alone and rediscovering my own identity in Christ as I watch Him continually put my broken life together.
LA: You've found a very successful way to self-publish. What did you do?

KN: I used, which is a publishing arm of It was very, very easy! It requires a minimal financial commitment, nothing compared to other publishers, and walks you through the entire process of cover art, set-up, editing and even marketing. The customer service is fantastic! They give you as much or as little help as you need. I researched several self-publishing options and found this to be incredibly easy and cost-effective. I highly recommend it!

LA: For many of us, the idea of writing a book can be intimidating or seem overwhelming. What was the biggest obstacle for you and how did you overcome it?

KN: I think I speak for many writers when I say the biggest obstacle was believing that I had an audience interested in my writing. I can believe that someone might want to read a book review I have written, but the idea that my view of life would interest someone else is hard to understand. It was the blog’s popularity and reader response which changed my mind. Readers kept asking me when I was going to put a book together. One of them suggested I take my blog pages and connect them and make a book of pages. Their positive feedback helped me cross that bridge.

LA: What advice do you wish you'd have known when you got started that you could share with other writers out there?

KN: I wish I had known how easy it was to self-publish. I always thought I would have to have an agent’s approval and a publisher’s support to make a book worth reading. That simply isn’t the case. The same with a blog. Once a writer can see they have an audience, publishing is the next natural step.

LA: What is your next writing project?

KN: Finishing my papers for the end of this semester. J As for a published work, I have a couple of children’s books just about ready (except for illustrations) and possibly another Book of Pages. Time will tell!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Great Writing Quote: Beauties of Art

“Let me say, right off, that I believe a work of art is primarily concerned with the creation of beauty, whether through words, colors, shapes, sounds or movement. But it is impossible to read serious novels, poetry, essays, and biographies without also growing convinced that they gradually enlarge our minds, refine our spirits, make us more sensitive and understanding.”

Michael Dirda, Book by Book

Friday, April 22, 2011

Great Writing Quote: Novel = Humanity's Finest Effort

“It is only a novel... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.”

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Friday, April 15, 2011

Great Writing Quote: Worship By Wrting

"My deepest ambition is to harness this fleeting consciousness, this reality that we think of as ourselves, in order to worship by writing. That sounds very different from what I mean. What I mean is that I think finally writing is an act of prayer, or certainly an act of faith. It needs to be done with increasing craft as you live." -Jeanne Murray Walker, Image, No. 68.

If you're interested in writing with a deeper Christian meaning, you must subscribe to Image, a meaty, quarterly journal that's challenges via essays, fiction, and poetry.