In an age when some think that reason and faith are mutually exclusive, Karen R. Kilby, author of “Becoming a Woman of Purpose– A Thirty One Day Devotional,” has faith that there is no reason to doubt God’s hand in her life during all events both good and trying. During her book signing at Zoolala Boutique Aug. 24, Kilby spoke about how she came to write her book as she stopped to sign the copies requested by women walking by her table. A native of Detroit, Kilby never thought of writing for publication until she moved to Kingwood in 2002 with her husband David. “I would share stories to inspire and uplift a friend in Milwaukee. My friend said, ‘you should write them down.’ Others said they thought so too, but when my daughter-in-law Erin spoke to me about it, I thought ‘maybe I should listen.’ When you hear something three times God may be speaking to you,” Kilby said. Even when she was convinced she should write she laughs, “I was pretty computer illiterate.” However, this did not stop her as she felt that her journey to write the devotionals was a part of God’s plan for her. Erin not only gave Kilby the final nudge, but she proofed and edited the stories. And the first published piece was in a compellation of stories entitled "God’s Way for Women." Kilby admits that she never thought that her work would be selected, but she says proudly, “There were only 38 selections in that book out of hundreds submitted, and mine was one of them.” The next book "Soul Matters for Women" contained two stories written by Kilby and then a piece "My Butterfly Friend" was published in one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul editions. She continued to submit pieces to compiled works and had over 30 stories published, but until "Becoming a Woman of Purpose" she did not have a book of her own. Published in April 2011 the book is a series of first person accounts of Kilby’s life experiences. Susan Helm co-editor of "Chicken Soup for the Soul : Devotional Stories for Women" describes the book in the front of the piece. “Through these beautiful, personal devotions Karen inspires readers to turn their troubles over to God and trust that He will always provide strength, hope and contentment,” Helm wrote. Kilby explains that the book was written to be read by women one story a day, but “Feedback from readers indicates that they can’t put it down. They keep reading.” She is thrilled to find out that in her words, “Men are enjoying reading it, also, and are intrigued by it.” The book signing at Zoolala was not the first for this published work. Kilby has had signings in several states and in Costa Rica. Not only is she busy with the book, but she is an inspirational speaker and Certified Personality Trainer through CLASServices, Inc. For all her hard work she earned the Kingwood Family Time 2010 Woman of the Year for the Arts Award. She was very honored, but she jokingly said, “One of the best feelings I had in my writing was when Erin looked over one of my stories and said, ‘I wouldn’t change a thing.’” cutline: Kingwood author Karen Kilby signed copies of her latest book, “Becoming a Woman of Purpose” at Zoolala Boutique in Kingwood Aug. 24. Photo by Marilyn Harkrider

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