Today, I’m happy to introduce Katherine Scott Jones, KJ as I call her. We found each other nearly a decade ago at my first Christian writer’s conference in Denver, Colorado. We have been sweet friends and writing pals ever since. KJ’s writing skills are top-notch and her wisdom is well beyond her years. Probably because she grew up in cities on every U.S. coast and overseas due to her father’s Navy career. Seattle became her home when she married her husband twenty-seven years ago. Together, they have two teenage children and their family hobby is world travel.
This summer, KJ and her family explored Italy. If you’re interested in family travel, KJ can give you some great tips on journeying with your husband and kids to faraway lands.
This week KJ releases her debut novel: Her Memory of Music, the story of a single mother whose’s past threatens her new life with her young son in the Pacific Northwest. KJ is a master when it comes to the multi-layered treatment of contemporary relationships. She’s not afraid to tackle tough women’s issues, yet her winsome faith weaves through everything she writes, leaving a reader filled with hope and grace and the truth of God’s unchanging love.
After graduating from Whitworth University with a degree in communications, KJ started freelance writing before turning her hand to fiction. As a Christian, she says her love for *story* springs naturally from her love for Jesus because He loved stories—imaginative, ground-breaking, life-changing stories. Jesus understood their transforming power—how stories bypass a rigid intellect to sneak through the backdoor of a softened heart, explains KJ. She believes God made us in His image to carry on His creative work. That’s why she loves to write, and why her life feels incomplete when *story* is not a part of it.
I asked KJ how she balances all this while raising two busy teens, and she said, “I may not always do it well, but I make it a priority to incorporate as much margin in our lives as possible. I have a good intuition for the family calendar and do my best, as mom and chief family-time manager, to create as much white space as I can. Outside of school and church, our kids are involved in only one major activity at a time. My husband and I have fairly active social lives, but this too—especially as we are introverts and need ample quiet time to recharge—I aim to schedule carefully. Personally, I’m not afraid to say “no” to projects, requests, and responsibilities outside my area of gifting and vision for myself and my family. Then I stick to a routine that allows me to maintain momentum and write daily.”
KJ also shared about the obstacles she’s had to overcome to become published. Like so many creatives out there, KJ admits self-doubt plagued her. For years, she questioned whether she was truly called to write, and says God always answered her questions patiently and graciously, and she persevered. “Personally, I believe self-doubt is part of the crucible, a necessary component of honing one’s craft,” says KJ.
When she began writing HER MEMORY OF MUSIC, KJ says there wasn’t an abundance of inspirational Christian novels that compellingly addressed real-life issues, where answers weren’t easy and problems were complex—maybe even scandalous. “Fortunately, in the years since then, more of these stories have arrived on the scene,” says KJ.
She’s hoping readers will find her debut novel to be one of these kind. KJ’s characters grapple with eternal issues: of fear, and faith, and forgiveness. She also aims to broaden the typical reader’s awareness of the plight of so many girls and women around the world who are the objects of oppression, and hopes to use her voice to provide a voice for women who have none of their own. To show other women who are like her that they may play a role in helping others who, through no fault of their own, find themselves helpless and voiceless. She hopes readers will be encouraged to find their own empowered voice—and in doing so, to give a hand up to other women who still need one.
KJ loves Jesus, great stories, black coffee, red wine, world travel, film scores, BBC movies, and daily morning walks with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing, she’s chauffeuring kids to jazz band or ballet and volunteering for World Vision.
These days, she’s deep into final edits of her next novel, The Shadow Sister, due out August 2018. Here’s what bestselling author Lisa Wingate said about it: “A story of old secrets and new beginnings, The Shadow Sister explores the complexities of family, the bonds of sisterhood, and the crippling power of guilt. In Sarah, Katherine Jones has created a woman struggling with her own demons but ultimately finding faith and discovering the beauty of forgiveness.”
You can pick up KJ’s lovely debut novel live on Amazon Sept. 12.