Greetings from Marti Pieper amid the lovely fall weather of Seneca, South Carolina! I haven’t met all of our CAN authors in person, but the one I have the privilege of interviewing today is a special friend. Karen Whiting and I have many things in common, including, the fact that we both have five adult children. Karen is a prolific writer who has much to share, so let’s get started with our interview.
Welcome, Karen! Please tell us about your book, 52 Weekly Devotions for Family Prayer.
52 Weekly Devotions for Family Prayer is packed with family stories, hands-on activities, Bible references that help children understand basic principles of prayer, and discussions that encourage families to dig into what happens when they pray. Every week includes a different method to pray together and hands-on prayer explorations.
Sounds like something I would have loved to use as a younger mom, and maybe now as a grandma too! What inspired you to write this book?
I’m passionate about families and engaging children in prayer, so this will be a great tool to equip parents and adults for praying with children. The roots of the book are in what I did with my own children.
I know your experience as a wife and mother plays a part in many of your books. What do you hope readers will take away from this one?
A passion for engaging children in prayer and a desire to raise the next generation of prayer warriors.
I love it. What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
I always return to growing wholesome families and equipping children to be tomorrow’s parents and parents to discover ways to weave faith into daily family life.
That’s vital—and even more so in today’s society. Now, please tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.
A child once wrote to let me know he had fact-checked my article about stitches in a tongue. His dad was an oral surgeon. He told me I was a good writer because I told the truth.
Wow! We never know who’s going to be watching. And I’m glad you told the truth! What talents do you have aside from storytelling?
I’m great at crafts and cooking (thus I have books on both). I grew up in the countryside near lots of extended family. My grandmas spent a lot of time teaching my handiwork and having me cook with them. One set of grandparents owned a restaurant, so I really learned to cook well.
And I know that came in handy as you were raising your family too! Do you have a ‘day job” or previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?
I was a computer systems analyst. That helps me analyze my marketing and makes the techie stuff fairly easy to master.
You’re an amazing woman! Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
I am a mathematician, so I teach how to manage time. My simplest tool is a divided paper with four quadrants. Label each section for a different area like writing, marketing, family, and ministry. Put the to-dos for each category in the correct quadrant. That way you can simply tackle the to-dos of the area you are in at any given time period. It’s less distracting and breaks the to-dos down a bit. My other tip is stop guessing how long something takes and actually time yourself.
Both of those sound like great tips. Now, tell us about your next project.
I have two more fall releases: Devos for Brave Boys, coauthored with Jesse Florea, inspires courage in lads ages seven through fourteen. The Super-Sized Book of Bible Craft Gifts, co-authored with my daughter Rebecca, shares 100-plus paper crafts for children, used to spread kindness and faith.
Next year I have a few more books, including Growing a Peaceful Heart devotional.