Friday, May 28, 2010

Virtual Book Tour - Guest Post: Josi S. Kilpack - "English Trifle"

Please join me in welcoming Josi S. Kilpack to Always With a Book. Today, Josi is sharing her personal thoughts of success.

Success as a writer is a pretty subjective thing. When I started out I thought success would be taking up space on bookstore shelves—and I have certainly reveled in that—but once that was completed I almost felt as though I started moving backward. Whereas the tangible proof of my ability had been my goal for a long time, once I hit that one I started realizing that I was now competing with all the other books on that shelf. Was mine as good? Better? Or did it not even compete? I had assumed publication in and of itself was proof that the book was great and as good as it could be, but then reviews come and some of them made me wonder if my books had any merit at all. I went back to my earlier books and found myself wanting to change certain things.

So I wanted to feel successful by knowing I had done my best work. I studied the craft of writing, I met other writers and learned what their version of success was. I worked on this for years, desperately trying to keep my work par with my competition. Honestly, I think I’ve accomplished that too. So I’m published and I’m secure in my skill—does that make me a success? Do I feel like I’ve arrived?

Not really. I am now asking myself if I’m creating the stories that make the world just a teensy bit better. Am I satisfied with the way I spend my time? Are the other aspects in my life supported or hindered by my writing? It’s a big question and one I’m sure I’ll spend a long time trying to figure it out. Until then I look at where I started, where I’ve been, and how far I’ve come. I take confidence in those things, I treasure the positive feedback, and I keep moving forward one day at a time, one story at a time and one success at a time.

Stepping back and looking at this it seems reasonable to have done these things in reverse. Chosen my affect first, then honed my craft, and then sought publication, but it didn’t happen for me that way. And I’m good with that. I have yet to see anyone's journey reflect the journey or someone else. They might be similar, with common landmarks along the way, but the joy of life is that we have our own path to travel and our own successes to achieve. I’m very grateful to have had the opportunities I have had and I look forward to many more. I can see success in my past and I am reaching toward it in the future. It makes life a journey worth taking.

About the author:  Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998, while on bedrest with a pregnancy, and never stopped. Devil’s Food Cake is Josi’s eleventh novel, and the third book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. The other novels, Lemon Tart (Book 1) and English Trifle (Book 2) were released in 2009. While the books all feature Sadie Hoffmiller as the main character, they stand alone in regard to plot and can be read as a set or as individual titles. Josi currently lives in Utah with her husband, four children, one dog and varying number of chickens.

For more information about Josi, you can visit her website or her blog.


  1. Thanks for the posting! How insightful are her thoughts on success. It's always interesting to gain an understanding of how authors view themselves and their success. I am currently in love with another culinary series and I've been dying for another one. Josi's series seems right up my alley!

    Thanks for the interview!

  2. Thanks Ashley...what culinary series are you reading? I've read a few other cozies...The Tea Shoppe Mysteries and the Scrapbooking Mysteries, both by Laura Childs. I can't believe how many different cozies are out there - on so many different hobbies!

    Enjoy your weekend!


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