Kendra Norman-Bellamy is a national bestselling author, the founder of KNB Publications, LLC, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her award-winning Christian titles are currently made available through the publishers of Kimani Press (New Spirit imprint), Moody Press (Lift Every Voice imprint) and Urban Books (Urban Christian imprint). She and her novels have been featured in Essence, Upscale, Precious Times, HOPE for Women, and EKG Literary magazines. Kendra is a much sought after speaker and the visionary of “I Shall Not Die,” a powerful motivational ministry based upon her own life’s experiences. Furthermore, she is the founder of Cruisin’ For Christ, a groundbreaking cruise that celebrates Christian artistries that glorify God. Kendra is a member of the Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., and she resides in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia with her family.
To be perfectly honest, I don't think I ever made that decision to become an author. I'm fully convinced that it was a decision that was made for me. I never aspired to be an author. I'd enjoyed writing since I was a small child, starting with the writing of inspirational and social conscious poetry as an elementary school child, but it never once crossed my mind that I would one day write as a profession. It wasn't until a couple of years after the death of my first husband that I began writing full length novels. I think it began as an outlet; an escape mechanism, even. In my attempts to be strong for both our families, I'd never properly grieved his death. My writing unknowingly became a source of therapy. It allowed me to come to grips with the fact that he was dead, and then with the same pen, I was able to celebrate the life that he had lived. It was as though I never stopped writing once I completed the journal of his life. I went from writing passages of my real life to writing fictional stories that had suddenly began flooding my head and heart. And they were happy stories and redemptive stories that brought me endless joy. By the time I was writing on manuscript number eight or nine, God had opened my eyes to a reality that I hadn't considered. The stories I had written had served as a source of healing for me, and He wanted me to allow the creativity with which He had blessed me to do the same for the masses. It was at that point that I knew my writing was more than a gift and a pastime, it was a ministry that God had instilled in me.
My all-time favorite author has always been Maya Angelou. My introduction to African American literature came compliments of her. I began with reading her unmatched poetry, and ultimately came to appreciate her as a novelist as well. My favorite genre, however, is Christian fiction (big surprise there, right?). I enjoy the works of so many authors within this genre that I hesitate to go into listing them. The works of trailblazers, Victoria Christopher Murray, Jacquelin Thomas, and Patricia Haley were my introduction to the genre, and I still enjoy their gifts. Additionally, there are fresher faces like Brittney Holmes,Tia McCollors, Michelle Stimpson, Vanessa Miller, Dwan Abrams, Stacy Hawkins Adams, Stephanie Perry Moore, Maurice Gray, Pat Simmons, and Nikita Lynette Nichols whose works I enjoy reading as well.
God has given me a heart for writers; especially (but not limited to) those who choose to use their pens for His glory. I have created writers support and critique groups and freely opened the doors for aspiring and novice writers to be a part of them. Since the beginning of my career, it has been my heart's desire to help others who might come behind me. I didn't personally know any published authors when I walked onto the literary stage back in 2002, so much of what I learned, I learned by trial and error. It's been my intent to try and avail myself to help those who are up and coming to avoid some of the pitfalls and potholes that I had to experience along the way. Admittedly, being that free-hearted has sometimes come back to bite me in the behind, but I have refused to let that kill my spirit to help because I strongly believe that when God blesses us, He does so with the expectation for us to be a blessing to others. My "give back" avenues now mostly lie in two cyber groups that I created just for writers. The Writer's Hut (www.writershut.ning.com) and The Writer's Cocoon Focus Group (www.writerscocoonfocusgroup.ning.com) are for published/experienced writers and aspiring/novice writers respectively, and through them, I'm able to continue my quest to share knowledge and experience with others.
A tip that I would give to new authors would be to be patient! This isn't the industry to enter with "get rich quick" on the brain. It doesn't happen overnight, and if an author doesn't genuinely love the craft and have the determination and will-power to hang in there until they gain a breakthrough, it will be difficult to survive. When I was a new author, there were several others whose debut books were being unveiled at the same time as mine. I would run into them at several literary functions that I would attend and we would share our excitement of the new life we were embarking upon as authors. Unfortunately, hardly any of those writers are still around today. The pressure got too great and they walked away from what they said was their passion. It's a testament of how challenging the industry can be. The market is saturated, and each person has to be patient and diligent enough to keep pounding the pavement as they wait their turn. The rewards are worth the blood, sweat, and tears.
I have two new titles coming out back to back. One on January 1st and the other on February 1st. My publicist is currently in the process of putting together a mini tour in February. Currently, I have a featured author appearance at Hara Arena in Dayton, OH scheduled for February 6th, an Atlanta, Georgia book release celebration scheduled for February 20th, a keynote speaking engagement in Quitman, Georgia on the morning of February 21st, and a city-wide book signing in Valdosta, Georgia on the afternoon of February 21st. As all of the appearances are finalized, they will be updated on my website.
Since becoming and author the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is to always stay prayerful, and to forever keep God first, regardless of what circumstances look like or how people may try me. I do more than write Christian-based books. I am a Christian woman. Writing, for me, is more than a craft; it is a ministry. When I write, I don't just want to produce an inspirational work; I want to produce a God-inspired work. The writing industry is trying at times, and the more challenging any situation is, the greater the temptation for one to take their eyes off of God and respond according to the flesh. But because I'm not just another author writing a book, I can't just write on my own accord. Before the pen, before the paper, and before the 'puter....comes the prayer. The biggest lesson I've learned as an author is that if I keep God first, He takes care of the rest.
Christian fiction....and Christian nonfiction. I'm currently in the process of writing my first nonfiction work entitled, I Shall Not Die. It is set to release next fall. More information can be found at www.IShallNotDie.net.
Kendra, thank you so much for taking tome out of your busy schedule to give us a little of yourself. We greatly appreciate it and cannot wait to read your work.
~~The Literary Wonders! and The Author's Hideaway Staff.
You can contact Kendra at at email@example.com and on her official author website www.KendraNormanBellamy.com, you can find information regarding all of her current and forthcoming literary works.
Kendra’s preferred literary service is KNB Publications www.KNB-Publications.com. It's a one stop, full service self-publishing house that takes a writer from manuscript to masterpiece. Through it, writer's workshops are offered as well as editing services.
Established in 2005, KNB Publications, LLC is a specialized full-service, independent self-publishing house dedicated to producing and promoting books that uplift the Kingdom of God. Through KNB, new and noted authors who seek to self-publish are offered another option. Our company can be expected to deliver complete publishing services from manuscript .editing and cover design to book printing and shipment. Services rendered are always courteous, dependable, professional, affordable, and prompt.
Founded and operated by national bestselling Christian fiction author, Kendra Norman-Bellamy, KNB Publications strives to operate in the spirit of excellence - a manner which reflects, honors, and pleases Christ.
In an effort to educate hopeful writers, KNB Publications offers The Writer's Cocoon, a 4-part intensive and interactive writer's workshop. By way of The Writer's Cocoon, Kendra has shared her literary education and experiences with hundreds of aspiring writers across the globe. In addition, The Writer's Cocoon Focus Group was launched as a means for writers to get and/or stay connected to Kendra so that they may obtain continued insight about the craft and the industry.
Taking the Message beyond books, KNB Publications launched Cruisin' For Christ, an at-sea ministry set in place to celebrate all creative artistries that glorify God. Onboard the cruise at each launching are Stellar and Dove Award winning gospel recording artists, Christian writers, actor and comedians, as well as a host of guests who register and join in on the awesome fellowship.