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September 2011

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ACFW helps youngest published author succeed

Mother-daughter writing team Kimberley and Kayla Woodhouse, Colorado Springs CO, are heading out on a two-month book tour mid-September. The 20-state tour will promote Welcome Home: Our Family’s Journey to Extreme Joy (Tyndale 2009), Kimberley’s nonfiction book about their family’s story and experience with the television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, as well as No Safe Haven (B&H Books 2011), Kimberley and Kayla’s first suspense novel, and Race Against Time (B&H Books), their second collaboration releasing in November.

No Safe Haven coverThe most remarkable aspect about this writing team may seem to be Kayla’s age. She was 12 when they sold No Safe Haven, making her the youngest published full-length novelist from a royalty-paying publisher. But it’s not just Kayla’s age that sets this team apart.

Kayla was born with Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, a very rare nerve disorder with only 30 confirmed cases in the world. She doesn’t sweat, so overheating can kill her. She also doesn’t feel pain until it’s 20 to 30 times a normal intensity. Because of her disorder, she never showed the symptoms for another rare condition, Chiari Malformation, and had to undergo brain decompression surgery in September 2006.

Race against Time coverWithout the family’s knowledge, nearly 10,000 nominations poured in to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The Woodhouses were selected for the show and on September 30, 2007, the Extreme Makeover bus rolled up.

The team revamped the Woodhouses’ home with special ventilation, air conditioning, temperature sensors, purification, and water purification to suit Kayla’s needs. Because of Kayla’s new healthy home, her recovery from brain surgery, and her 30+ hours swimming a week, her health skyrocketed and she is doing extremely well.

So well, you can expect to see Kimberley and Kayla at the ACFW conference in September. “Kayla will probably be wearing her blue cooling vest and we’ll be carrying fans with us everywhere, but she’s excited to be able to attend,” Kimberley says.

Members News: September 2011

New releases

Exciting new releases from ACFW members due to hit bookstores soon include:

  • Max AndersonMax Anderson (right): When the Lights Go Out, a book for readers ages 8–13 timed for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, released August 1 from Comfort Publishing; Captain Jack’s Treasure, book two in the Sam Cooper Adventure series, released August 15 from Port Yonder Press; and North Woods Poachers released September 1 from Comfort Publishing.
  • Gloria Clover: Washed Under the Waves, book one in the Children of the King series, released August 15 from Desert Breeze Publishing.
  • Margaret Daley: From This Day Forward releases in September from Summerside Press and Hidden in the Everglades, book three in the Guardians, Inc. series, also releases in September from Love Inspired Suspense.
  • Lisa Lickel and Shellie Neumeier: A Summer in Oakville, their coauthored novel, releases in September from Black Lyon Publishing.
  • Debby Mayne and Trish Perry: Love Finds You on Christmas Morning (featuring “Deck the Halls” and “’Tis the Season”, respectively) releases September 1 from Summerside Press.
  • Brenda Lott (writing as Maggie Brendan): Deeply Devoted, book one in The Blue Willow Brides series, releases in September from Revell and received a four-star review from Romantic Times.
  • Sandra OrchardSandra Orchard (right): Deep Cover, book one in her Undercover Cops series, releases in September from Love Inspired Suspense.
  • Connie Stevens: Scars of Mercy, book three in her Willow Creek series, released in August from Heartsong Presents.


Those racking up writing credits in magazines and anthologies this month include:

  • Candy Arrington: Published “Hooray for School” in the August/September issue of Thriving Family and “On Guard Against Greed” in the September 25 issue of The Lookout.
  • Pat Jeanne Davis: Sold an article to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for the Young at Heart, which released in August.

Contest winners

Throw some confetti and celebrate with these contest winners:

  • Nancy Kimball: Won Bethany House author Karen Witemeyer’s 2011 Fan Fiction Challenge with her entry “Epilogue for To Win Her Heart.” This is Kimball’s very first contest win with her writing.


The list of published authors is growing! Congratulations to:

  • Louise GougeLouise M. Gouge (right): Signed a three-book contract with Love Inspired Historicals for a Regency series. A Proper Companion, book one in the Ladies in Waiting series, is scheduled to release in June 2012.
  • Sandra Orchard: Sold the third book in her Undercover Cops series to Love Inspired Suspense.

Speaking engagements

Not only are they writing, but they’re speaking too! Give a round of applause to:

  • Shelley Bates (writing as Adina Senft): Will present “World Building through Your Characters’ Eyes” at the San Francisco Bay Area ACFW chapter meeting on September 17 in support of her Amish fiction release, The Wounded Heart.
  • Shirley Kiger Connolly: Will be the main speaker at a thirteen-week seminar scheduled from September through December at the Ladies Koinonia Community in Brookings, Oregon. She will speak on “Choosing Whom We Will Serve (God’s Passionate Love for Me . . . for You).”
  • Lisa LickelLisa Lickel (right): Will teach a course on “Critique vs. Edit” at the Wisconsin Regional Writer’s Association Convention in September.


Send out a loud “Wahoo!” to:

  • Shellie NeumeierShellie Neumeier: Co-coordinated the NextGenWriter’s Conference, a conference for authors under 20, and it had a phenomenal debut. The conference was a two-day online writer’s conference where the classes were blog-post style with comment interaction. Each day culminated with a live chat, the first with author Nicole O’Dell and the second a fun-filled finale where the attendees shared their personal highlights, hopes for next year, and were able to connect with each other. The conference attracted more than 125 registrants with 12 authors, editors, and publishers serving as instructors. Read about the conference.

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