Kelly Irvin

Kelly Irvin is the author of To Love and to Cherish, an Amish romance due to be released by Harvest House Publishing in February. The follow-up in the Bliss Creek Amish series, A Heart Made New, is slated for release in September. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine, published in 2010 and 2011 by Five Star Gale. A former newspaper reporter, she works in public relations by day and dons her Writer Woman cape by night—or whenever she can find the time. Learn more at

Author By Night

I chuckled when I saw the name of this column: “Author by Night.” I’m a public relations professional by day, five days a week, sometimes six or seven. I have two semi-adult children living in my house, along with three cats and a tank full of fish, and a husband who would occasionally like to be the focus of my undivided attention. So, I’m really an author by whenever-I-can-slap-two-minutes-together.

Prepublished authors with small children have asked me how I find the time to write. My response is to ask: How badly do you want it? How badly do you want to hold that book in your hands and see your name on the cover? Several years ago I turned forty-five and I asked myself those questions. I had two children in middle school. (Do you remember the middle school years? The my-hair-is-frizzy-today-I-can’t-go-to-school years. The years of first school dances and basketball tryouts and trying to remember locker combinations.) Couple that with a cat with gall bladder problems followed by full-blown diabetes. Then factor in the day job.

Still, I wanted the dream badly―badly enough to make it work; badly enough to get up at five thirty every morning and make it into the office by six thirty, which gives me an hour and fifteen minutes to write before my time belongs to my day job. From eleven to noon, I wolf down a frozen dinner and write for another hour. Sometimes I feel like I’m living a double life. Mild-mannered PR Manager Kelly Irvin closes the door to her office, rips off the two-piece business suit and becomes . . . Writer Woman! At the end of the hour, off comes the cape and out walks mild-mannered PR Manager. After that it’s nights like tonight: I’m sweaty from running on the treadmill, my eyes are scratchy, and my fingers fumbling, but my behind is in the seat and my hands are on the keys.

My published novels all found their way to daylight in this manner. I used to be a newspaper journalist. I worked on deadline every day. That’s the way I treat my fiction writing time. I sit down, put my fingers on the keys, and I go. No waiting for inspiration, no musing, no whining about writer’s block. I have no problem turning it on. I have, however, been known to have problems turning it off. That means pawing through the glove

compartment for a piece of paper in rush hour traffic or pulling over at a stop sign to get that last bit of dialogue out of my head or turning off the treadmill fifteen minutes early to write this column. It has on occasion—and I can admit it because there’s no hiding it from God—meant writing a tidbit on a church bulletin. Not that I write in church, it’s just sometimes my pastor says something that coincides with the spiritual theme of the book.

So, to the prepublished authors wondering how to lasso your dreams: Don your Writer Woman (or Man) cape; slap your behind in the chair, and put your fingers on the keyboard. Ready, set, go!


To Love and To Cherish