Saturday, August 10, 2013

Meet Karla Akins ~ The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots

This week I'm spotlighting a 'new-to-the-family' author at Pelican Book Group, Karla Akins. You're sure to love her, and her writing. Her book The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots has just released so I wanted to shine the spotlight on this gifted author! Leave a comment along with your contact info and you're entered to win a digital copy, so read on, and share the love!! Winner announced on Monday!!!


Karla Akins is a pastor's wife who rides her own motorcycle. She is the mother of four boys and one step-daughter, and grandmother of five. She lives in North Manchester with her husband who is the pastor of Christian Fellowship Church, her twin teenage boys with autism, mother-in-law with Alzheimer's and three rambunctious dogs. Karla and her husband have been in ministry together for 30 years. You can contact Karla for speaking engagements via her website at


Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My earliest memory is writing on my chalkboard with either hand. I was ambidextrous and didn’t choose a hand until 1st grade when I chose my left for writing. (I still use my right for other things.) But my fifth grade teacher discovered some poems I wrote and to keep me from being so naughty (I was a notorious talker and liked to “help” teach) encouraged me to make booklets of them. She supplied me with construction paper to make covers. I was self-publishing before anyone knew what self-publishing was!

What books have most influenced you?
The Bible of course. But the fiction books that had the greatest influence were Christy by Catherine Marshall, and Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott. My mother read Tom Sawyer to me when I was very, very young and I loved that story, too. But I think Christy influenced me to do what I do today. I don’t think I’d have considered marrying a minister had I not read that book. Little Women spoke to the writer in me. I love that story and the character of Jo. The book, Little Men by Alcott meant a lot to me as the mother of four boys and one daughter. And I love stories set in the south, so Tom Sawyer is one of my all-time favorites. There are tons of books I’m fond of, though, not just these.

What book(s) are you reading now?
Colleen Coble’s Rosemary Cottage, Brad Thor’s Hidden Order, Dan Brown’s Inferno, Tom Threadgill’s not-yet-published, Hollow Target and a few nonfiction for research. I’m always reading more than one book at once. It’s weird that I love reading political thrillers but I have no interest, really, in writing them. Maybe someday, but I think you have to be immensely clever to pull them off well.

What are your current projects?
I’m finishing up my full-length historical, River Moon Don’t Cry about a Melungeon girl whose father gambles her off to a sex-trafficking, gambling steamboat. (Very different from Biker Boots. But don’t worry, there’s still some humor in it.) Also Marco Polo for my Brave Explorers Every Child Should Know series and a couple of others. I think it helps me to have more than one project going. I panic less if I get a little stuck on one of them. I’m also a full-time college student pursuing my degrees in Special Education.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Everything! I’m fairly new to writing novels so I’m constantly learning how to do it well. I’d like to get better at choreographing fight scenes. Even though I raised four boys, I’m just not that familiar with the mechanics of how guys fight. So I have to read a lot on that.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’d like readers to come away with the message that we’re all valuable, we all have a purpose, and no matter our background and others’ backgrounds, Jesus died for all. As Christians we should embrace those who are different. Different doesn’t mean wrong, it just means different.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that God is in control, and that His purpose prevails. This is my very first full-length novel, so I also learned how to discipline myself, how to take criticism (from my crit partners who are lovely) and how to persevere.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Mainly the challenges were that I knew very little about the mechanics of novel writing, so I had a lot to learn. I had a good story idea, but didn’t know how to pull it off in a way that was marketable. I never could have sold it had I not had a critique group or attended writer’s conferences. As far as logistical, so much happened in my family during that time so I had to learn to keep writing through pain and chaos.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope they’ll enjoy the book and have a great ride while reading it. I’d love to hear from them! I love communicating with my readers. I’m fascinated by their thoughts and opinions. And I hope that they will be encouraged as Christians in this human race.


Pastor’s wife, Kirstie Donovan, lives life in a fishbowl, so when she hops on the back of a bright pink motorcycle, tongues start to wag at the conservative, century-old First Independent Christian Community Church of Eels Falls.

Kirstie loves roaring down a road less traveled by most women over forty, but she’s not just riding her bike for the fun of it. Kirstie has a ministry. However, certain church members have secrets to hide, and when God uses Kirstie’s ministry to fill the pews with leather-clad, tattooed bikers, those secrets could be exposed…and some will stop at nothing to hide the truth.

Join Kirstie and her motorcycle “gang”—two church matrons and a mouthy, gum-smacking non-church member—as they discover that road-toughened bikers are quite capable of ministering to others, and faith is fortified in the most unexpected ways.

Purchase Link: Pelican Book Group ~ Purchase Link: Amazon.Com ~ Purchase Link: Barnes & Noble

Good luck in the drawing, gang! Now, go forth and enjoy the ride!

Until next time ~ Blessings!