Kerry Kerr McAvoy, PhD, is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Western Michigan. For over twenty years, she has been counseling individuals, families, and couples. Her areas of specialty include mood disorders, anxiety-related issues, relationship difficulties, and perinatal mood disorders.
It is not surprising Dr. McAvoy is very interested in how people change. Through the course of her work, she has discovered that interpersonal safety and acceptance which exist in the context of the therapeutic relationship are instrumental in creating the necessary environment for clients to explore their psychological conflicts, unmet emotional needs, and dissatisfying relationship patterns. This insight gave her the inspiration for her two devotionals, Jesus, The Ultimate Therapist: Bringing Hope and Healing and Jesus, The Ultimate Therapist: Healing Without Limits.
The intent of Dr. McAvoy’s work is to deepen the reader’s understanding of Jesus Christ’s desire to have a rich personal relationship with each of us. Since Jesus is, by his very nature, love, then he is able to perfectly cherish, encourage, and accept us. Our relationship with him goes beyond any human example of community or therapeutic alliance.
What inspires you to write?
Dr. McAvoy had secretly hoped to publish, but was completely surprised when she woke up one summer morning in 2006 with the inspiration for a basic outline of her two devotionals. She sees her writing as another extension of what she does when counseling someone. It provides an opportunity to help another person explore personal beliefs and opinions about God, the world and oneself.
Tell us about your writing process.
Being a logical, sequential thinking, Dr. McAvoy requires a solid idea and a detailed outline to work off of when she approaches a projects. She might have an idea, but will spend considerable time reflecting and researching it before she starts to create an outline.
Her third devotional was over half written when she decided to go in a completely new direction. Currently she is researching a new idea for the third Christian nonfiction work. She is unsure if it will be a devotional, like the first two. She loves to address Christian subjects from a psychological perspective.
What advice would you give other writers?
Writer needs to wear a lot of hats, including editor, proofreader, copy-editor, publisher, graphic designer, marketing expert, and salesman. To be success in this new world of publishing requires self-published writers to be thinking very far ahead throughout the entire process of writing. Who will be the target audience? How do I reach this group? These types of questions will help to guide the writer in this process. It is also important to have a realistic sense of his or her skills and to know when outside professionals are necessary. Just as it might take a village to raise a child, it definitely takes a community to write a book!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Dr. McAvoy went about the process completely backwards since she didn’t know what she knows now about the publishing industry. As a result, she wrote first and tried to publish later, which made the publishing and marketing aspect of the project seem daunting. She received some excellent advice from major publishing houses’ agents, find an experienced editor, proofreader, and graphic designer who helped her prepare her books for the POD route.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The traditional publishing industry is undergoing massive changes. It is likely to look completely different in ten years. In some ways, the current writing environment is a lot like the “Wild West” in that anyone can self-publish a book. The two big questions will be, “do you have something unique to say, and can you can communicate it in a readable way? Those who approach writing like a craft and work to hone their skills probably will be the ones who are the most successful in this new publishing world.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Religion & Spirituality, Christian Living,
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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