Victorious By Design is delighted to feature award-winning author Kendy Ward. "My first published story was romance," says Kendy. It wasn’t Christian at all even though I was, but as my relationship with Christ deepened, I realized that I could only tell stories that glorified Him, and hopefully entertained at the same time. I say in my daily affirmation that I want to write stories that enlighten and entertain. "
We had the distinct pleasure of talking with Kendy about her greatest passion, why she writes faith-based romance, and her writing process.
Who inspires you to write?
The gift of writing itself is what inspires me to write. There is a parable in the Bible that talks about burying talents, which was a form of currency, but could very easily be seen as natural talents. I don’t want to bury my talent. I want to tell every story that God gives me to tell.
What makes your books special?
I’ve read enough books to know that my voice is different. That’s naturally and intentionally. I want to tell stories as authentically as possible. I don’t want to sound like anyone else. To have a unique voice and way of storytelling is what I would like to think sets my writing apart.
Tell us a little about your writing process?
So, the process. I just write. I do complete an outline so I know the direction I want to take the story in, but I can’t say that I follow it. I prefer to let the characters speak into the development of the story. If you develop solid characters, they are who they are and will be who they are. They show up in the story as themselves. I let the characters drive the story and the outline is kind of like the lines in the road that tell us to stay in the lane.
How did your life as a writer begin?
From the time I learned how to write I’ve been writer. I’ve always liked to use the written word to communicate my thoughts. When I was like five, I would write my mom notes when I thought she was being unfair to me. I started writing stories in fifth grade just for myself. In high school I started writing stories for sister and my friends. By that time. I was starting to realize that this was a gift, but being from a small island nation (Big ups to the Bahamas) I couldn’t fathom that my name could be on the outside of book. It was just too far removed from my life experience at the time. Going the college in the States removed some of mental limitations I had about what I could do and who I could be. So, when I saw a first-time writer’s competition on BET.COM, I thought “I can do this”. My first story was published the year I graduated from college by BET Books.
Where do you write?
A better question would be when do I write. I usually write on the couch or in bed. I never use my desk. The time I usually write is in the early hours of the morning. The world is quiet and I can focus. I find that I’m most creative during those hours.
What is a snack you could not write without?
I don’t snack while I write. I don’t get hungry or thirsty or sleepy while I write. I just write until I notice the time and I figure I should go to be if I want to get up for work on time.
What is your greatest passion?
My greatest passion is Jesus. I know it sounds corny. I’m a cornball. I love Jesus and I’m passionate about the work He has given me to do in His church. I love getting to work in ministry at my church and seeing people’s lives change. I love being able to look at a person’s journey in Christ and seeing them grow from who they were to who they are through the love of Christ and the love of a church family.
There are many different genres, what inspired you to write faith-based romance?
I love love. I really just love love stories. When I first started writing romance as a black woman I thought it was important to tell black love stories. I also think it’s important to tell stories about Christian romance. I met a guy the other day and somehow told him that I write Christian romance. He asked if that was possible. Was it possible for Christians to have romance? I was like boy bye. Originally, I was inspired to write Christian romance because I wanted to keep my stories clean and holy for the Lord. Now I want to tell these stories so people know that yes Christians have romance. Read that with an eye roll.
Who was your favorite character to write?
My favorite character to write so far was Reign. I loved writing this character because she is unrestrained which is the total opposite of me. It was fun to write a character was not like me. She pretty much said whatever she wanted. That was fun to write.
Kendy Ward first garnered recognition as a winner of BET’s First Time Writer’s Competition. She has since self-published a non-fiction work, and been featured in an anthology. Later her first non-fiction work was published in the inspirational and empowering compilation, No Glory without a Story. In 2012 she took her a writing career to another level when she authored her first self-published work, God-Esteem: Seeing the God in You. Her first full length work of fiction, Oh Romeo, Romeo, the first book in The Knight in Shining Armor series, will be released in late 2015. She was also a featured columnist for Essence Bahamas Online Magazine.
As a Toastmasters International award winning speaker, Kendy has spoken throughout South Florida and the Bahamas on topics of faith, empowerment and self-improvement.
She serves at Hope United Church as a minister and is the current president of the church's women’s ministry, Kingdom Women United.
She graduated Cum Laude from Northwood University with a Bachelor’s in International Business and Management. She is currently a manager at a construction company, and is a member of the National Association of Black Women in Construction.
She is the daughter of Kenneth and Trudy Ward, the sister of Denise Poitier and Quincy Ward, and the proud aunty of Zylen K. Ward and Zaire K. Poitier.
Connect with Kendy