Monroe County author uses her life experiences as her books’ inspiration
While caring for her infant son, Kimberley Woodhouse began writing stories in the middle of the night and kept them in a drawer.
“While helping me pack for a move, my friend found them and said, ‘get these published or else,’?” Woodhouse said while sitting in husband Jeremy’s office at Middlecreek Christian Church in Kresgeville.
He is the new senior pastor at the church, and she is a best-selling Christian author and speaker. The couple resides in Tunkhannock Township not too far from the church.
Then and Now
Her drawer full of stories occurred in 1995, when their son Joshua was born. His trachea was smaller than it should be, which created breathing problems and resulted in surgeries later.
Joshua and his wife, Ruth, now reside in Detroit.
“I wrote for about 10 years before I was published,” she said.
Woodhouse reached out to Tracie Peterson, who she describes as the “queen of Christian historical books” for advice on how to get published.
Peterson responded with more than advice. She responded with kindness and friendship, and the opportunity to work together. They have co-authored “The Treasures of Nome,” a three-part series set in Nome, Alaska.
To date, Woodhouse has published 25 full-length books in the genres of contemporary fiction, historical fiction and nonfiction. She has two publishers: Bethany House Publishers and Barbour Publishing.
“I tend to have three books going at one time. Each in a different stage of the process. I write down a lot of ideas and notes,” she said. “Jeremy teases me that I am too organized.”
Currently, she is working on “A Deep Divide,” which comes out in October and is part of the “Secrets of the Canyon” series; “Ever Constant,” which is the third book in the “Treasures of Nome” series; and “Bridge of Gold,” which comes out in June and is part of the “Doors to the Past” series.
One of her most popular books is “The Mayflower Bride,” which sold more than 50,000 copies and is part of a series about American historical events. The series includes other authors.
Writer’s slowdown a la 2020
She spends about six months researching a book. She sets a goal of 4,500 words per day.
But there are times when word counts do not occur.
“Life happens. And in 2020 we’ve seen things we couldn’t have ever predicted. It affected a lot of us physically, emotionally and spiritually. Personally, we’ve had a lot of joyous things happen, but also a lot of junk happened too. I know it affected my creative/writer brain even when I didn’t think that it had,” she wrote in a blog post dated Nov. 21 on her website, www.Kimberleywoodhouse.com.
Her families went through four hurricanes in 2020 and had to clean up and rebuild. Her entire speaking schedules and book tours were canceled because of the pandemic. She and her family dealt with an array of emergencies, surgeries, sickness and other kinds of craziness.
A rare condition
Jeremy and Kimberley’s daughter Kayla was born in 1997 with a rare genetic nerve disorder where she couldn’t sense pain or regulate her body temperature.
They moved around a lot, searching for answers for Kayla.
“There was always a new doctor to put in the puzzle piece we needed at that time,” she said.
The family had to move from a warm climate to a cold one. They lived in Alaska for four years.
But then Kayla’s health took a turn for the worse and doctors there were unsure what to do next.
“We had to move back to the lower 48 because Kayla was having complications,” Woodhouse said.
Woodhouse kept writing, praying, tending to her family’s needs and playing the piano - an instrument she began to learn at age 3.
Her book “Welcome Home,” is their family’s story, which includes their experience on the television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and the process of building a home in Colorado Springs that could meet Kayla’s needs.
The book details the heart-touching story of Kayla’s rare medical disorder, a mountain of bills, the loss of their previous home, and the new one built for them.
Kayla married Steven Whitham on July 13, 2020. They are expecting a baby boy in June. They reside on base at West Point Military Academy, where he is employed. She is a graduate student and an author.
“I have authored a couple books with my mom,” Kayla Whitham said. “I am super proud of my dad and my mom.”
These have included “No Safe Haven,” “Race Against Time,” “God ‘Hearts’ Me,” and poetry published during her undergrad work at University of Colorado.
Pillars and Prayers
Ministry has been a pillar Woodhouse’s entire life. She is a pastor’s kid and a pastor’s wife.
Her parents are Pastor Garry and Judy Hogan of Huntsville, Alabama.
She and Jeremy met at Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham.
“Music had been my life. I went to that school to study with an instructor retired from Juilliard,” she said.
Jeremy was a second-year student when he saw her and her family unloading the car with her belongings on her first day. He helped her carry boxes inside the dorm, they studied together, started dating and were wed before graduation.
“Jeremy has become one of my best brainstorming helpers. He helps me develop characters and ideas,” she said.
She is extremely thankful for her husband, grown children and their spouses, all the church families and God’s many graces.
“So in the midst of the pandemic, we find ourselves preparing to move. It’s a bit surreal for me and I’m still processing. But God’s hand is all over this. We are receiving such beautiful encouragement and support from our people here in Montana. It has brought tears to my eyes many times. And our new church family in Pennsylvania has been precious,” she wrote.