Moments With Mercy: Interview With Kerri Brown!

Hey y'all,
I first "met" Kerri through one of her old Hollywood accounts on Instagram.
After a few months we started chatting a little bit about our shared love for old Hollywood.

Fast forward a few months and she just recently released a book called: Love In The Rain (co-authored with Cleopatra Thomas)!  I will soon be reviewing Love in the Rain as well as interviewing Cleopatra, so be on the lookout for both of those!

Kerri is a very talented young lady!
She's already written two books (Love in the Rain as well as Thoughts From My Heart), she sings, and so much more.

Now, since I could keeping going on forever about her talents, lets just get the interview started! :)

Mercy: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Kerri: Well, I am a Georgia girl born and bred. I love being from Dixie. My mom homeschooled my
brother and I, and I loved it. People say homeschoolers miss out on so much - I sure did, and I'm so
thankful for that! I'm an old fashioned 22 year old woman. I believe in remaining pure for marriage, true love, and "til death do us part."
Something about me that anyone who knows me would know, I am KINDA obsessed with classic films and tv shows, and with collecting memorabilia. My room looks like a mini museum, with framed sheet music and collectors plates and a big stack of vinyl albums! And don't even ask how many of the classic movies/shows I own... I stopped counting! I also love writing to Old Hollywood stars. I have received many of their autographs, and even have regular correspondence with a couple of them, which is so sweet.
I love to sing. I have been singing with my mom since I was big enough to. When I was a kid, I
would drive my brother crazy, singing the songs from The Sound of Music! I also play a little bit of guitar, but I'm not that great with it.
Family and friends are a BIG part of my life. There is nothing in this world I love more than
spending time with people I love. I didn't have many friends growing up, but I am so thankful that God has brought some amazing people into my life over the past seven years or so. I am so blessed.
God is THE most important in my life. I don't even want to imagine what my life would be like
without Him. He is TRULY a Friend that sticks closer than a brother to me, and He has proved it many times. He has brought me and my family through the fire many times - but that's just it. He brought us THROUGH the fire. It seems like I have to wait for everything in my life. Like, nothing just seems to happen when I or others "think it should." But over the years, I have come to recognize that God was working in those times of waiting, and that it is ALWAYS worth the wait. God's plan is ALWAYS best!!


Mercy: When did you get saved?
Kerri: I was 5 years old. I will never forget it! I was raised in a very Godly home, and my mother was
reading the Bible and singing to me before I was even born. (I love the little story about me recognizing the song Amazing Grace when she sang it to me as a baby in the hospital.) Anyway, when I was 5, I remember mom had an Acura car. Why I remember that, I don't know, but I do. We were riding down the road one day, and I leaned up from the back seat and said "Momma, how did you say you get saved?"
I got saved right there in the back seat of that little Acura. I didn't cry or get all emotional about it like
some people do. But there is not a doubt in my mind of when and where I surrendered to Christ and made Him my Savior and Lord.
I think at some point in our lives, we all WONDER about our salvation... whatever the reason.
But any time I start to struggle, I can look back. I see God's hand at work in my life TOO MUCH to
DOUBT my salvation. I can't give Him enough praise and honor and glory!

Mercy: What started your interest in becoming an author?
Kerri: In all honesty, I think part of it is hereditary. My mom loved to write little things when she was
younger, and she says her dad used to write poems years ago. So, in a way, I think it's part of my DNA. But I also believe it is a part of my DNA that God specifically placed in me.
From the time I was a little kid, I wanted to make CD's or movies or write books - to make sure
people had something decent to listen to, watch, and read. I don't remember how old I was when I wrote my first poem... of course, it wasn't very good. I know one of my earliest poems was something about glue being sticky. Haha! But I do know I was writing poems from a young age. (Thankfully, they improved as I got older.)
I started trying to write my first novel when I was 10 years old. It started out as a trilogy. Over
the years of struggling to write it, it has been condensed to a single novel, which I have STILL not
finished. Thankfully, I now have some very talented friends who are helping me pursue my dream of
writing. So with the help of my friend Chanel, I HOPE to finally complete this twelve year old story and publish it in the near future.
What I write comes from my heart. Well, more specifically, it comes from inspiration from
God. I have tried to just sit down and write without inspiration... Trust me, I suck! Growing up, God
would often give me a poem, which I would slip under my mom's door or leave on her pillow while she was in the shower. When she would come out, she would come to me and ask "How did you know I needed to hear that right now?" I wouldn't have had a clue. But God knew. So, even as a child, He used my writing to be a blessing.
People who read my poems often told me I should have them published. But I really didn't
believe them. Or maybe I was scared to share them, because it was putting my heart out there. New
Years, 2016. I was 20 years old. I was texting with a new friend of mine, Becky Michel. We were
talking about New Years Resolutions, and what we hoped to accomplish that year. When she mentioned wanting to write another book, it immediately grabbed my attention. I mentioned that I had written some poetry, and I sent her one or two of my favorites. She loved them! I offered to send her more if she wanted to read them, and she said yes. Bless her heart, she probably got about forty-five poems sent to her! But she loved them! She told me multiple times I should publish them, but I was very hesitant. I was scared. I was scared, because - by putting my poems out there, I was putting my heart out there for the world to see, and everyone has their own opinion about what is good or bad. Becky kept after me for a while about publishing the poems, and I finally agreed. She helped me put my book together, and finally, my first book, Thoughts From My Heart, was published.
I think maybe that was when I started thinking seriously about writing. Up to that point, it had
been more of something between me and God and a very few family members and friends. Although I have SEVERAL friends and family members (especially my mom) to thank for encouraging me with my writing all my growing up years, I have to thank Becky for being the one to push me out of my comfort zone into publishing.
I tried and tried in vain to write a novel. I had all these ideas in my mind, but I just couldn't
manage to get them down on paper. Then the Lord brought some more wonderful (and wonderfully talented) friends into my life, and I approached them about the possibility of co-writing with me. They were excited to accept! With their help, and with the help of our support team of family and friends, we now have our first novel published (Love in the Rain with Cleopatra), and are in the middle of another! I have to give all credit to God. He is the One who put the love of writing in me, and gave me inspiration to write. He gave me people to encourage me and give me advice along the way. He brought Becky into my life to help nudge me out of my comfort zone. He brought me friends and cowriters to allow me to accomplish something I could not have done alone! So, all glory to Him!

Mercy: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Kerri: Haha! Good question! Writing is a LOT of work! While working on Love in the Rain, I spent
many a full day sitting with my laptop, racking my brain. And there were also many 1 and 2 A.M. work nights. So, yes. It can be thoroughly exhausting! There were times when I would have a throbbing headache, my eyes were shot, and it was 11:30 at night, but I still kept working because I had a drive to finish.
But at the same time I was so exhausted, I couldn't have been happier! I cannot even describe
how it makes me feel to be able to write, and pursue this dream. It is like I am FINALLY getting to share a side of me and my heart that I have never been able to share before. It is exhilarating!
So, does it energize or exhaust me? Both. But the energy is greater than the exhaustion.

Mercy: Who are some of your favorite authors that have inspired your own writing?
Kerri: I can answer that without hesitation. Janette Oke is my FAVORITE author, and a HUGE
inspiration for my writing! Her stories are easy to read, and touch the heart. They aren't hard to follow, yet they have plenty of detail. My personal favorite of hers is the Seasons of the Heart series. They have a lot of personal application for me.
Martha Finley is my other favorite author. The Elsie Dinsmore books were some of my favorites
growing up! Ok, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Who doesn't love the Little House on the Prairie books?
As far as poetry goes, Helen Steiner Rice has always been a favorite of mine, and a big
inspiration.
This isn't directly related to your question, but there are others who have inspired my writing or
have inspired me to follow my dream of writing.
Lawson Bates is my favorite modern-day singer. The Bates family lives in Tennessee. Seeing
Lawson take his love of music and singing and songwriting and making it his career - that helped me
realize ANYONE can try to make their dreams come true, if they are willing to work for it.
Barbara Feldon played secret agent "99" in the classic tv show Get Smart. I sent her a copy of
my poetry book, and she has encouraged me greatly to keep writing. One of those notes came on a day when I was discouraged and feeling like I had no talent and shouldn't even be writing. You will notice that I mentioned her in the dedication of Love in the Rain.
Also, Nita Talbot. Among many other roles, she played Marya in the classic tv show Hogan's
Heroes. She and I correspond regularly, and she is such a sweetheart. She has also received my poetry book, and shown enthusiasm for my writing, and encouraged me to keep it up. My next novel will be dedicated to her.
I know you asked about AUTHORS who have inspired me or had an impact on my writing... but
I could not leave out these others. Each one, whether author or singer or actress, has made an impact on my writing and inspired me by their own example.

Mercy: If you didn't write what would you do?
Kerri: Oh, boy. That's a tough one, and I don't know that I can give you a simple answer. All I have
ever wanted to do with my life is serve God, and get married and raise a family. And writing and singing have been side dreams. Well, so far, the Lord hasn't fulfilled my dream of marriage. So if I weren't writing... I honestly don't know what I would be doing. Unless I was a film critic... Haha!
I love being there for people and being available to help when I'm needed. I take care of my
grandmother, getting her groceries and cleaning her house and such. And I help out at home. I also have a cosmetics business. But I really love my little life the way it is.
God, family, friends, church... that's my life.

Mercy: Who is your favorite character in Love In The Rain?
Kerri: Can I say all of them? No, seriously. I love each one for a different reason. Definitely the main
characters, Judith and Henry. Judith starts off as a young woman who THINKS she is a little more
prepared to tackle life on the frontier than she really is. She does fairly well most of the time, but she
does occasionally need the assistance of the ever-patient Constable Henry Allen. Henry is like the
IDEAL man, I guess. Haha! He's handsome and witty, sensitive and firm... But he also has his faults,
such as not always being the best at handling their relationship. Seeing each of them grow and mature
and learn things about themselves and each other is really... Well, I guess it's what life is all about, right? Learning and doing our best as we go along.
I guess if I were to pick a favorite character aside from the main characters, it would have to be
young Claire. She was SO much fun to write! Cleopatra and I both agree that interactions between Claire and Henry were some of our favorite parts of the book to work on! No spoilers about her - you'll just have to read Love in the Rain for yourself!

Mercy: Describe your ideal writing space.
Kerri: Well, I can't say I have this one spot I go to write. Sometimes I will take my laptop outside and
enjoy some fresh air and sunshine while I work. Other times I will be curled up on the couch or in dad's recliner. And occasionally, I will work on my writing at my grandmother's house. MOST of the time, I end up sitting on my bed with my laptop in my lap, all propped up with pillows behind me. My bedroom is usually the best place for me to find the quiet that I need to work.
I was about to say I can't write with distractions going on around me, and I literally just
remembered a time I took my laptop down to a friend's store and wrote a little off and on throughout the day while they had a yard sale. But I don't remember getting MUCH writing done that day, so... AS A RULE, I have a hard time getting any writing done if there are distractions going on around me.
So, I guess my ideal writing space is anywhere I am comfortable and have quiet. Just me and
God.

Mercy: What is one thing most people don't know about you?
Kerri: I suffer with an inferiority complex. I have never had much self confidence. I have always felt
like I was plain, and I have never been a very bold person. (Until I DEFINITELY set my mind to
something... then I will set to work until I have accomplished it.) I suffer a lot of rejection from people my age because I am so different. I don't think or act like they do. People several years older or younger than me love me... especially older folks. Probably because I am such an old soul. But people my age just don't usually accept me.
I very often don't feel good enough. I've never felt like I had much talent for anything particular.
I thank God that I don't have to do ANYTHING alone! It is not ME that does or is anything good! It is Christ through me. I may not have much confidence in myself, but I have ALL confidence in Him! He is also my best friend, and helps me through my loneliness!

Mercy: Where can we find you on social media to keep up with your writing?
Kerri: We have a Facebook page called Heart of the Writers, which we set up specifically for our
writing, and for people to be able to contact us!
I also post some about my writing on my Instagram account @heartieforeverandalways. This is
a dual purpose Instagram account. I post about my writing, but it is also a fan account for the Hallmark Channel original series When Calls the Heart - which, incidentally, is inspired by Janette Oke's books!
I also occasionally post updates on my Twitter account, @brown_kerri_, but that is a very rare
occasion. For regular updates, follow our Facebook page or my Instagram account.

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