Friday, September 20, 2013

Featuring Author Kim Vogel Sawyer

I am so excited today to share with you an interview with one of my dearest author friends, Kim Vogel Sawyer. Kim and I go back a ways—we were critique partners years ago, when she was a talented, hard-working, aspiring writer.

And look at her now: multi-award-winning, best-selling author of, like, a bazillion books! And still as lovely, sweet, and humble as when we first met.

Jill: Thank you so much for visiting my blog today, Kim! I think my readers would love to know a little about you, your family, your home, your background.

Kim: I am a life-long Kansas girl--more than a half-century in the Heartland! The Hubs, who is retired from the military, and I are empty-nesters with three adult daughters and TEN adorable-beyond-compare grandkiddos. We live in a 1905 railroad hotel to which we welcome guests (you can see our home at I spent lots of years with kids as an elementary school teacher and now spend my days with the imaginary friends in my head. Both occupations have given me much joy and excitement.

Jill: Yes, your grandchildren truly are beautiful; I must agree! Your publication story is very inspiring. When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer, and how long did you wait before this dream came true?

Kim: Honestly...I told my kindergarten teacher that someday people would check out my book in the library. The desire to write truly was something “born” with me. I began writing seriously in the early 1980s. In 1992 I began submitting manuscripts. In 2002 I joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), connected with a critique group which was EXTREMELY helpful (Jill, you will always be my hero!), and attended their conferences. In 2004 I signed with an agent I met through conference, and in 2005 I signed my first contract. My first novel released in June of 2006, and I just celebrated my 30th release. It has been a lengthy but very rewarding journey.

Jill: God has blessed all that determination and hard work in amazing ways! Kim, I love the background story of What Once Was Lost, your new release. Will you please share that story too?

Kim: Every summer, a group of writer friends and I get together to fellowship, brainstorm, and just be “writerly” together. We always take a day trip, and in 2011 we visited the Cottonwood Falls area of Kansas. As we were driving in the country, we came upon a huge rock barn and had to stop and explore. I found out the barn was all that remained of what once had been the country poor farm. The house burned down in 1945 and the facility closed. This got my writer-brain wondering...where did the people go? What had brought them to the poor farm in the first place? How did they survive such a sad event? Writing the story let me answer those questions.

The Poor Farm barn in Kansas

Jill: One of my favorite characters in this book is blind. Was writing his character a challenge for you?

Kim: Very much so! I am a visual person, and I tend to write from a very visual POV. I literally closed my eyes whenever I wrote from Tommy’s viewpoint and was shocked at how my other sense were heightened by “closing down” my sight.

Jill: Would you like to share anything else that is unique about this book?

Kim: I think readers might be surprised by the thread of suspense--I don’t believe I’ve really included that in any of my stories before. Something that really surprised me when I researched poor farms was that the residents were referred to as “inmates.” I don’t think that word has the same connotation today!

Jill: When I think of you, Kim, I think of purple (her favorite color) and of kitties. I love the way cats have a way of sneaking into Kim’s books and stealing a scene or two!

Kim: Our lives would be much less exciting without Sam, Maizie, Frances, and Clyde. Sam is our big bruiser and official door greeter--everyone who comes is EXPECTED to pet him. It’s a rule. Maizie is our princess-kitty. The world revolves around her. Just ask her. *ahem* Then Frances is the “mommy” of the group. She makes sure everyone’s ears are always clean. Finally, there is Clyde, my official writing “mews.” He is quite bashful but makes an absolutely purr-fect lap-warmer.

Frances and Clyde
Maizie (Amazing Grace)

Sam the Greeter

Jill: Love them! And sweet little Clyde has his own Facebook following (with Maizie as his competition for “the lap.” LOL) What are your favorite pastimes when you’re not writing, Kim?

Kim: I’ve always been a voracious reader and still enjoy escaping into a good book. I also love quilting, acting in community theatre when I can carve out the time, and of course spoiling my grandchildren. When the schedule allows, The Hubs and I love to hop in the car and visit someplace new.

Jill: I didn’t know you were a quilter. How fun! Now, I’m sure the aspiring writers among my readers would appreciate a helpful hint from you. Any advice you’d like to share?

Kim: DON’T QUIT. If God has planted this desire in your heart, there is a reason for it, so write, write, write. When we do what we’ve been called to do, we find fulfillment beyond description. On the practical side, BE TEACHABLE. Study craft books, read good fiction, attend conferences or workshops as your finances allow. Never stop growing and improving your craft--and by being teachable you will be an editor’s favorite author. :o)

Jill: Thank you so much for joining us today, Kim!! You are a blessing to me in so many ways, my prayer partner and faithful friend. I am honored to host this interview with you on my blog. Blessings!

Here is my review of What Once Was Lost, Kim's latest release:

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, a sweet historical romance set in Brambleville, KS. The heroine, Christina, was left in charge of a Poor Farm upon her father's death, and she gains her security and self-worth through this ministry. When the house catches fire one night, and she and all its residents must scatter to various homes in the community, her first desire is to have the house repaired and return her charges to their familiar home.
But events to not transpire the way Christina wishes. The mission board decides that she is not a proper administrator for the home, and her various charges begin to find new places to live and work.
One of these charges is a blind little boy who finds shelter with a grouchy and reclusive mill owner who happens to be extremely handsome and single . . .
Add in a mystery, a person who seems set on framing Christina for a crime, and a host of interesting side characters, and you have a charming story of love and redemption written in Kim Vogel Sawyer's inimitable style.

5 stars

Pick up your copy today!

Find What Once was Lost at Amazon, CBD, Barnes & Noble, or your nearest bookstore.


  1. Thanks for letting me visit your blog, Jill! I always enjoy chatting with you. :o) God bless!

  2. Oh my! This books sounds wonderful...I will absolutely have to check it out! Thanks for the interview Mrs. Sawyer. While your book looks very good, I'd have to say that the kitties were my favorite part of the post! :)

  3. Clara, always great to meet a fellow cat-lover. :o)

  4. What a fun interview! I loved WHAT ONCE WAS LOST; it is my newest favorite Kim Vogel Sawyer book.