I am incredibly honored today to welcome Kaitlin Wernet to the blog to chat about her new release The Book of Comforts (Zondervan, March 26)
Kaitlin Wernet is a storyteller surrendered to hope. Her writing has been featured at She Reads Truth, Brio magazine, Fathom Magazine, and Proverbs 31 Ministries. Forever passionate about holding the tension of darkness and light, she is grateful for the good news that acknowledges and redeems both. Kaitlin is the co-author of The Book of Comforts, and she spends her days writing everything from marketing strategies to creative essays. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, by way of Asheville, North Carolina, she’s always planning her next big travel adventure but vows to only plant roots in cities that rhyme.
RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2019
When someone is grieving, what should we say? How can we help? How do we comfort without offering shallow platitudes? In times of sorrow Scripture beckons us to look up and out, because our help comes from the Lord. The Book of Comforts stands in the gap between suffering and hope, offering readers the abiding comfort found in Scripture.
The Book of Comforts is a beautiful four-color book of readings that offer biblical consolation and encouragement in seasons of trial and grief. Scripture selections are accompanied by brief devotions, alongside designed Scripture passages and photography.
Grief, loss, and pain are significant and unavoidable parts of the human experience, but they’re often overlooked or minimized. In moments of heartache and challenges we either crumble or we discover the richness of God’s love. Scripture deals plainly and honestly with suffering and simultaneously points people the rich hope we find in God.
The Book of Comforts
- Offers long-term comfort in a beautiful and inviting format
- Designed to be accessible to a wide audience
- Visually attractive and engaging
- Scripturally focused
The Book of Comforts offers a meaningful way to walk through hurt, heartache, challenges and difficulty, aided by the truth of God’s Word. It is a beautiful and comforting gift for those in hard places—because though we don’t always know what to say, the gift of divine consolation is always helpful.
Hi Kaitlin! Welcome to the blog!
Kaitlin: Summer, 100%. I’m such a wimp when it comes to even the mild winters we get in Tennessee! Weather was a huge deciding factor in choosing the college I went to (The University of South Carolina)—The city’s slogan is “famously hot!”.
Carrie: I am the absolute opposite lol
Kaitlin: I’m an unashamed cat lover. I’m constantly hoping my landlord will change his mind and let me have one where I live! My 15-year-old cat, Chloe, lives with my parents, along with a mini goldendoodle, Harvey, who definitely thinks he’s a cat too.
Carrie: aww that’s hard to be separated from a pet you love 🙁
Kaitlin: As Lorelai Gilmore would say, “Coffee coffee coffee.”
Carrie: haha! Gilmore Girls reference for the win!
Kaitlin: I love books any way they come, but there’s just something about the tangible experience of a printed book. Now that I’ve been behind-the-scenes of making a book, I know how much intentionality and love goes into the design of each one, so I love getting to see exactly what the writer and publishers intended through the printed copies.
Carrie: Print books will always have my heart ♥ however my husband is grateful that I transport 1000s of books on my kindle now when we travel … instead of big heavy totes full of my ‘just in case’ reads I used to cart along on trips 😛
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Kaitlin: I’d love the ability to stop time to savor my favorite moments, extend weekends, and catch up on all of the reading and writing I want to do!
Carrie: oh! That’s brilliant! Can i have that one too? I might *might* actually get caught up on my TBR list that way! lol
Q: Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?
Kaitlin: My most cherished books are usually those who have opened my life up to a new possibility, or gave me wisdom that I still carry today. This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but the first five (okay, six) that come to mind:
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech is the book from my childhood that made me want to become a writer.
Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist is the only book I find myself re-reading. It feels like a close friend.
Becoming by Michelle Obama is my most recent favorite and full of hard-won wisdom and grace.
Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner is a book of essays that sits on my coffee table and reminds me that books don’t all have to follow the same formula.
Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen is simple, profound, and full of truth.
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg is the only grief book (other than the one I wrote 😉 ) I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.
Carrie: I love these thoughtful answers & am adding all of these to my TBR list
Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks?
Kaitlin: Most of my writing “habits” would probably make my high school English teacher squirm. I don’t like outlines or edits, and most of my favorite pieces of writing have happened when I suddenly got an idea and had to write it that instant.
And yet, deadlines don’t really work that way. I’ve learned to be kind to my ideas and see them through before I reject them, but I usually know that if I’m not excited about a particular direction, it will be difficult to gain the reader’s trust. Most of my essays begin with a story I want to tell and then I figure out how it connects to a main idea along the way.
I switch up where I write, from my bedroom to local coffee shops, but I am usually in a quiet room, like a library, or listening to white noise on my headphones.
Carrie: I have to have quiet when I write and read too. And I love your writing process – stories are so marvelous for teaching truth 🙂
Q: Why is the theme of The Book of Comforts important to you?
Kaitlin: My younger brother Kendall passed away when he was 20 years old in 2014. It was (and is) a sudden and acute loss, one that most days still stings with questions and knocks me off my feet without notice.
My experience of grief was isolating, and I felt the weight of the people who loved me and wanted to support me, but didn’t know what to say or how to help. At the same time, I started looking to grief books and found that I couldn’t relate to many of them that were available. So, along with my co-writers, Caleb Faires, Rebecca Faires, and Cymone Wilder, we set out to create the book we felt was missing.
Carrie: Thank you for helping to fill that void and allowing God to comfort you in your pain so you can in turn help comfort others who might be feeling grief the same way you did ♥
Q: What is something that surprised you the most while researching this book?
Kaitlin: The aesthetic quality of existing grief books was surprising to me—They’re all black, white, and gray, which is extremely depressing. Our book, The Book of Comforts, is full of artwork and the first of its kind. It’s something you can be confident in giving to a friend going through a hard time or a book you’ll want to keep on your coffee table.
We don’t brush past our pain, and the essays in the book are extremely honest about it. But we do believe that pain isn’t the end, and that we all experience various shades of suffering—That’s why it took more than one person to write this. We wanted the focus to be on the hope found in the truth of God’s Word, rather than the attention on our own circumstances.
Carrie: All i need is this answer to know i want to buy this book!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from The Book of Comforts?
Kaitlin: I hope they know they aren’t alone, and that hope is true, even in the dark. If suffering is the place where God does His best and most redemptive work, I hope this book helps us treat it as exactly that. Regardless of circumstance, He is our One, True Comfort. I’m so grateful!
Carrie: “hope is true, even in the dark” – love this!!!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Kaitlin: Thanks so much for having me! The Book of Comforts is my very first book, but I’m already thinking of more ideas for future books! In the meantime, my writing has been featured at She Reads Truth, Brio magazine, Fathom Magazine, Proverbs 31 Ministries, and you can follow along with me @KaitlinWernet or at KaitlinWernet.com.
Zondervan is offering a print copy of The Book of Comforts to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What most speaks to you about Kaitlin’s interview and/or her book?