Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Welcoming Kimberley Woodhouse-Welcome Home Blog Tour & Interview
I am excited to host Kimberley Woodhouse today. We'll be talking about her just-released non-fiction debut, Welcome Home!
Kimberley Woodhouse is a wife, mother, author, and musician with a quick wit and positive outlook despite difficult circumstances. A popular speaker, she’s shared at more than 600 venues across the country. Kimberley and her family's story have garnered national media attention for many years, but most recently her family was chosen for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, and Discovery Health channel’s Mystery ER. Welcome Home: Our Family’s Journey to Extreme Joy, releases from Tyndale House Publishers September first. In addition to her non-fiction, she also writes romantic suspense and children’s books. Kimberley lives, writes, and homeschools in Colorado with her husband and two children in their truly “extreme” home. www.kimberleywoodhouse.com
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Overwhelming trials . . . met with overcoming joy.
Kayla Woodhouse is not your typical twelve-year-old. Due to a rare medical disorder, she feels no pain, doesn’t sweat, and needs protective cooling gear just to go outside. With her restrictive lifestyle; countless hospitalizations, including brain surgery; and the resulting mountain of hospital bills, what’s a family to do?
How the Woodhouse family has faced seemingly impossible challenges is a story that has captured the hearts of America. Millions of people have experienced glimpses of their lives on Discovery’s Mystery ER, The Montel Williams Show, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (recently voted one of the show’s all-time best episodes!).
Now Kayla’s mom, Kimberley, takes readers behind the cameras to reveal their family’s journey as never before told. From medical sleuthing to cross-country moves, from freak fires to battles with insurance companies, Welcome Home proves that truth really is stranger than fiction. This candid life story reveals both success and failure and demonstrates how, even during tough circumstances, to shift your life from heartbreak to extreme joy.
Peek inside the Woodhouse family’s life (and their famous house) with a 16-page photo insert.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH KIM:
1. I'm so excited about the release of your non-fiction book which can be purchased right now anywhere books are sold. WAHOO! I know you write children's stories and romantic suspense as well. Tell me about your fiction writing?
Well, I have a series of children’s books that I wrote while teaching pre-school and music in Alaska, and I’m currently writing a romantic suspense set in Alaska – very complex story, but I’m loving it. All these years, I wrote fiction—had short stories published, and some articles. I never thought that non-fiction would be my first book out. :-) Excited to see what the Lord does with the rest.
2. I understand that your husband is an avid bass fisherman. Grin. (Kim and her husband graciously stayed up deep into the night and helped me research a fishing novel). Tell me about your favorite fishing excursion as a couple or as a family.
My favorite memory is when my husband took me out on a little pond in Louisiana. (We’re both from there.) This was almost fifteen years ago, and my sweet husband rowed me around this little pond—baiting my hook for me, and cheering me on when I caught several 4-5 inch bass. He even zoomed in with the camera to make my “catch” look bigger. It was hilarious! He was so sweet to me, letting me fish the whole time. I love to look back at those pictures :-)
3. I understand your son has a thing for dragons. :-) How has he handled Kayla's illness?
Josh is amazing. He loves his sister, protects her, and is her best friend. The night before Kayla’s brain surgery, Josh cried in my arms as we prayed for her. He was so scared. I’m so thankful for his sweet and creative nature. He has handled the ups and downs so well.
4. You are an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Tell me what role that group played, both in your writing and in your family's journey? And how has your journey affected your faith?
Some wonderful friends of mine, Jim and Tracie Peterson, had tried to encourage me to join ACFW years ago when it was still ACRW and had about 100 members. We were on the mission field at the time on a little island in Alaska, so I put it off. When I finally joined, I was so excited and wanted to jump in with both feet. But just a few weeks after that, we found out that Kayla had to have brain surgery. Not only were my new ACFW friends there to help me through the writing process, but I found that they were an amazing group of prayer warriors. People I didn’t know all over the world were praying for us and lifting us up. It was incredible. And it’s neat that all my ACFW buddies went through the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition process with us. I can truly say that I wouldn’t be here at this spot in my career without all the wonderful people in that amazing writers group.
My journey has indeed grown my faith. I love how God stretches us, prunes us, grows us. Most of us wouldn’t choose to go through the tough stuff if we knew ahead of time, but I can honestly say that I am so thankful for the trials—because through those times, I’ve learned what real faith and real joy are all about.
5. During the experience with EMHE, what was one of the most touching things to you as a mom?
Ed and our builder, Matt Swanson, coming in and asking if there was anything we needed in the house, in case they hadn’t thought of it. My husband told them he always worried about if /when the power goes out. (We’ve had situations like this and we’ve had to drive around for hours to keep Kayla cool.) Anyway, wouldn’t you know? They installed a massive generator that runs the house, if the power is to go off. That impressed me and blessed me so much. They really cared about us, not just a TV show.
6. Your family is practically a household name in America thanks to the national exposure. Were you prepared for this shift at all? And though millions of people have glimpsed windows of your lives, what is one thing they may be surprised to know about each member of the Woodhouses and also the family in general?
We’ve had a lot of media attention since Kayla was first diagnosed, but definitely not on the scale that we have now. It’s quite a shift. Especially when people begin to treat you differently, ask for autographs, or follow you around with a camera. J
Well, Kayla, Josh, and I are all avid readers. We LOVE books. And my husband would prefer to not be in the spotlight. Ever. And as far as the whole family, we are very close. We spend 24 hours a day together, literally, and we wouldn’t change it. The kids love spending time together, they love doing school together, they love helping me with research for whatever project I’m working on. Lots of people wrote in after they saw the show and asked if we drove each other crazy, or just wanted to get away from one another. I laughed at that question, because it just doesn’t describe us—which is good because of our circumstances.
7. How is Kayla doing now and how can readers of this blog pray specifically for her and for your family?
Kayla is doing incredibly well. She and Josh are both competitive swimmers and work hard in the pool every day. A few years ago that wouldn’t have been possible – but it’s amazing to see her improvement since her brain surgery and since we were blessed with this amazing house. We still have a lot of things to deal with, but it’s wonderful to see both of them so healthy.
We would greatly appreciate your prayers for our family, for the book to sell well, and for guidance for the doctors as they work with Kayla’s unusual case. There’s still so many unanswered questions, but the swimming really seems to be improving the function of her body.
8. What's coming down the pike for each of the Woodhouse family members next?
Well, more books for me – keep watching my website for details – www.kimberleywoodhouse.com
Josh and Kayla would love to be Olympic swimmers, so between homeschool and swimming (6 hours a piece each day) their lives are full.
And all of us travel and share our story. We’d really appreciate prayers for the ministry the Lord has placed before us.
9. Where can readers find out more about you (Web site URLs) and is there a purchase link for this fantabulous book?
www.kimberleywoodhouse.com there are several links on the home page for different booksellers to purchase through. The first link is the most helpful to our family. J But feel free to order where it is convenient for you.
You can also find me on facebook and twitter (kimwoodhouse)
I love to hear from people through my website, and love to hear how the book is affecting people’s lives.
Thank you so much.
NOTE FROM CHERYL:
Look for my review of this book soon on places like Amazon, Christianbook.com, etc. But for now suffice it to say that I love this book so much that I wish every family in America could read it. I believe this book will set hope deep in the hearts of everyone who reads it.
Be sure to check out Kim's sites and pick up a copy of this book wherever books are sold.
I know Kim personally and she is truly an amazing person, an inspiration and a stellar example of someone who has taken both the hard things as well as the honored things that life has given her and her family and humbly allowed God to use all of it for the noble purpose of reaching out to others and imparting true joy of the lasting kind.
This book would also make a WONDERFUL gift for anyone in your life who is struggling to maintain joy in the midst of struggle.
Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to leave comments for Kim letting her know you were here.