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Busy and Talented

They say if you want something done ask a busy person.

Amy and Kyle Pratt

One of my friends, Amy, works at the Chehalis Library near my home. She writes in her free time and has been the local liaison for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the last few years. She also serves on the board of the Lewis County Writers Guild which, among other things, organizes a one-day writers conference each year. We often sit next to each other at weekly guild critique sessions. At one of the guild board meetings, Amy showed a large diamond painting she had been working on. I wondered when she had the time to work on such an intricate creation.     

I’m not sure if Amy considers herself a busy person, but it seems like it to me. A few days ago I taught a class, So, You Have a Manuscript, Now What?, at the Chehalis library. It has often been said that authors write because the page is blank, painters fill a canvas because it’s empty. When my Library talk was done Amy removed the poster and later made it into a bow. Why? For the same reason climbers summit a mountain—it was there.

The bow looked like a complex weave to me, but as Amy handed it to me she said it took only a couple of minutes to make.

I’ve often heard it said that you can tell a lot about a person by their friends. In my case I have a lot of busy and talented friends.


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A New Podcast

I’m going to co-host a new podcast!

ATI podcast cover II (small).jpg

The weekly twenty-minute show is titled, All Things Indie, and will be aimed at authors. My co-host, Jennifer Vandenberg, and I will provide tips to hone the writing craft of our audience, introduce them to knowledgeable indie authors, and provide new insights into book marketing. 

We’ve already begun lining up interviews, writing and recording. The podcast will be available on Libsyn, iTunes, Stitcher, and other sites. Our first show is scheduled for release on December 7th and I’ll have more information then.


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Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

A Thud at the Door

I was sitting in my living room this morning when I heard a thud.

Kyle and son James Pratt with copies of Christmas in Time

I felt confident that I’d find a heavy box just outside the door, and I did. The delivery service had dropped off a package containing thirty-five copies of Christmas in Time. Both my oldest son and I have stories in the anthology. My contribution is titled, What will you do? It views that very first Christmas through the eyes of one of the shepherds that hear the angels proclaim the birth of Jesus.  In his story, The Junkyard Gang, my son, James, shows us a more modern Christmas through the eyes of a young American boy living on a military base in Japan.

So, with all these books, we had to get a picture together!

The thirty-five copies are for a book signing event at The Station Coffee Bar & Bistro in Centralia this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. My son and I will be there with our other books and there will be eleven other local authors, including five that have stories in Christmas in Time.

I’ll get someone to take pictures and I’ll post them in the blog.


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Mutual Events

I’ve never won NaNoWriMo.

I’ve taken part in National Novel Writing Month several times but never written the 50,000 words needed to win. There isn’t a prize. Everyone who writes the required amount gets to call themselves a winner. My friend, and local coordinator for the event, Amy Flugel, encouraged me to take part but … maybe next year.

Kyle Pratt speaking at the Chehalis Public Library

Perhaps in recognition of my NaNoWriMo failure, I scheduled a talk for November titled, So, You Have a Manuscript, Now What? The occasion, at the Chehalis Public Library, was scheduled for November 3rd. I figured it might be helpful for those that can and do win the event. Only later did I learn that Amy had scheduled a “write in” at the same library that afternoon.

Our two events mingled together. Amy started with writing sessions and moved on to word wars, where individuals compete to write the most words. After an hour of writing, I talked. I discussed critique groups, beta-readers and what an editor can and should do for a manuscript. Then I explained the different routes to publication available today. I’m not sure whether some of the audience were taking good notes or continuing to write while I talked. I stayed around and answered questions while Amy continued with another writing session.  

Like many authors, I’m an introvert and would enjoy just staying home and writing, but the path of growth, both as an individual and a writer, requires getting out of your comfort zone. I enjoyed the day and, I think, the people there did also.


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Christmas in Time Released!

Time is on my mind

 I should have posted this earlier, but got busy and time slipped away from me, but Christmas in Time deserves to be mentioned.

 Yesterday Amazon released the ebook version of this Christmas anthology. My story in the collection is titled, What Will You Do? If you pre-ordered book it’s already on your Kindle. The paperback version will be released soon.

 Below is the text from the back cover of the paperback.

 Take a new look at Christmas

 Christmas in Time takes a new look at the holiday through the imaginations of these seven Christian authors.

 Christmas in Time

Christmas in Time

 Two Golden Rings by Heather Morse Alexander examines tragedy, love, and faith, during the depression.

 A Country Christmas by Carolyn Bickel blends her knowledge of farm life into a down-home country Christmas.

 Christmas Stars by Barbara Tifft Blakey provides a well-researched glimpse of the season during the middle ages.

 A Home for Christmas by Kristie Kandoll gives us a frosty Dakota frontier holiday through the eyes of a pioneer.

An English Christmas Treasure by Romance writer Debby Lee delivers a peek into a Victorian-era Christmas.

 The Junkyard Gang by James K. Pratt shows us a Christmas through the eyes of a young American boy in Japan.

 What Will You Do? by Kyle Pratt views the nativity through the eyes of a shepherd.

 From Judea on that very first Christmas to England, Bavaria, Japan, and the United States, Christmas in Time explores love, faith, and hope through the eyes and hearts of ordinary people.

Christmas is coming soon. Click on the book cover or here to order a copy. I think you’ll enjoy it.


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The Storm Rises Released!

I’m late, but the book isn’t!

I’m late writing this blogpost, but I got the book out on time! The Storm Rises, book 0 in the Solar Storms Saga was released on September 21st and is available now exclusively on Amazon in both ebook and paperback versions. So far the novella has all five-star reviews and none of the reviewers are related to me by blood or marriage.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, The Storm Rises is a sidequel, or parallel, story to Through the Storm, book one of the Solar Storms Saga. Both happen over the same time period and some characters are in both books. Below is the back cover blurb for The Storm Rises.

 “A Humvee parked in front of his house couldn’t mean anything good.”

 After a camping trip with his oldest son, Major Dirk Franklin comes home to find a Humvee parked in front of his house. His wife, Carol, tells him the news channels are talking about a storm on the sun. Moments later he’s whisked away to a secret military facility in Portland. There, Major Franklin and others struggle to prepare for the coming collapse of society.

 As the world sinks into darkness, Franklin fights to save his family and the last threads of civilization.

 I’m calling The Storm Rises book zero of the series. Through the Storm, which is already available on Amazon, is book one. Book two in the series, Facing the Storm, will be released next year.

 Click on either image for more information or to buy the book.


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Now in Walmart eBooks

My books are in the Walmart online bookstore.

Walmart has partnered with the Canadian company Kobo, a worldwide seller of ebooks and ereaders. Frequently, my ebook sales are higher on Kobo than Amazon in several countries, Canada and Japan in particular.

Walmart.png

This isn’t surprising since Kobo is owned by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. However, Kobo is more than a two-country company. Wired magazine has called Kobo the “only global competitor to Amazon,” in the ebook market. I welcome this new partnership and the competition it will provide to Amazon.

I checked and my Kobo books, Through Many Fires, A Time to Endure, Braving the Storms, and others are now on the Walmart bookstore.

Kobo ereaders are already available in Walmart stores. There are rumors in the industry that Walmart and Kobo are working on a reading program similar to Kindle Unlimited. Walmart is also rumored to be working on another streaming service in addition to Vudu. If Walmart and Kobo could come together and create their own version of Amazon Prime it could be a win for both readers and publishers.

I remain watchful and hopeful.


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A Meeting with Friends

For many years the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference was the only conference that I attended.

Friends and Authors Debby Lee, Kristie Kandoll, Barbara Blakey with Kyle Pratt

These last few years I regularly attend more events, but OCW is the one where I feel most at home. I have friends here. Don’t misunderstand me; this is not some small gathering of casual writers. A few years ago I was eating lunch in the main hall and Frank Peretti asked to sit at my table. I can’t remember what I ate, but I’ll never forget our conversation about his books and writing in general.

Cascade Award winner and friend, Jill Williamson

Cascade Award winner and friend, Bethany Hayes

Several hundred attended the Cascade Awards dinner tonight, the last full day of the OCW conference, but despite the size, almost every year, I know someone who wins. This year two friends, Jill Williamson and Bethany Hayes were honored for their work. I laughed out loud when presenters James Rubart and Susan May Warren couldn’t find the right certificate for two of the finalists. Susan threw off her black gloves looking for the correct paper as laughter thundered through the room. Still smiling, I said to the woman beside me, “I’ve seen worse confusion at the ceremony.”  

After the awards dinner, I hurried out hoping to congratulate my two friends and nearly ran into Randy Ingermanson. I didn’t even know he was there.

Every year during the coaching sessions and workshops, I learn things and while that’s important it isn’t why I come back. I’m not sure how something this large can feel so comfortable, but it does, and that keeps me coming back.


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Greetings from OCW

I always get nervous when I’m on camera.

 Friends and Authors Debby Lee, Kristie Kandoll, Barbara Blakey with Kyle Pratt

Friends and Authors Debby Lee, Kristie Kandoll, Barbara Blakey with Kyle Pratt

I’m rarely tense on when on the radio and never when writing, but when I need to put a message out on video my tongue seems to grow fat and slow and I feel stiff.

But there are times when the best way to say something is on video, so not long after arriving at the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference, I asked my friend Debby Lee to film me. The idea was to make a simple greeting, let readers know where I’m at and a little about my next book.

Simple, right?

You might think that I look okay in the video, but notice that at the beginning I have to think of my name. Then towards the end, I was supposed to talk about two books. The Storm Rises which will be released on September 21st. I totally forgot about that book.

I did mention Christmas in Time which comes out on October 1st, but I made it sound like I wrote the whole thing. Christmas in Time is an anthology with six other authors, Heather Morse Alexander, Carolyn Bickel, Barbara Blakey, Kristie Kandoll, Debby Lee, James K. Pratt and me.

Despite my awkward and incomplete video delivery I hope I made the message clear in this blogpost.


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A Day at the Fair

Part of country life is the county fair.

Kyle at the Southwest Washington Fair under a hot and hazy sky.

I go almost every year, even if it is cool and rainy. Despite the hazy sky, caused by forest fires in Canada, the days of the fair were some of the hottest of the year. It was so hot the organizers had fans blowing mist, for the animals, not the humans. Although, I admit to stopping in the fan breeze a couple of times.  

As I walk along the main route of the fair I almost always meet friends. It’s a good time to get reacquainted and they always ask about my latest or next book and, of course, I’m happy to tell them.

Kyle in the cow barn.

I didn’t see the beekeeper display this year, perhaps I missed it. Lorraine enjoys looking at the various cattle, chickens, and rabbits on display. I like those too, along with the horseback events. During my teen years, I was in the 4-H and brought animals as part of the competition. I don’t show livestock or compete anymore, but I still enjoy watching events like the dog show, dressage, and barrel racing. I also like the food.


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Smart Summer Sci-Fi Giveaway

Fifty free ebooks to download is a good thing.

But this is the last few days that the Smart Summer Sci-Fi giveaway will be available. There are over fifty (50) ebooks for your Kindle, Nook or Kobo ereader, from Niel Bushnell, M.G. Herron, Patty Jansen, and M Pax. Also, in the giveaway is my novel, Seekers of Earth. But if you want to download them you better act now. Check it out by clicking on the image on here!


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The Authors Kyle Pratt

There are two authors named Kyle Pratt

My wife received a call today from someone wanting to talk to Kyle Pratt, the author of The Scary Snow Day. Confused, she told them that, while Kyle Pratt is an author, The Scary Snow Day was not one of his books.

Apparently, the name issue is confusing others who look at Scary Snow Day and then my books.

When I got home she told me about the call and my son looked up the title on Amazon. It seems Kyle Derby Pratt is the author of The Scary Snow Day. My full name is Kyle Douglas Pratt so; we are both Kyle D. Pratt.

We looked for Kyle Derby’s profile on Amazon but didn’t find one. My wife bought The Scary Snow Day, a children’s book, and while I attended my second meeting of the day, she read and enjoyed the story. That evening I read it. While the story is certainly not my genre the author has talent.

I’ve always thought of my name as rather uncommon but, in 2005, Jodie Foster played a character named Kyle Pratt in the movie Flightplan. Before that movie, I never thought of Kyle as a girl’s name. Then, in 2014, while working in Alaska, I meet another Kyle Pratt. Imagine meeting someone with your name while in a remote Alaskan village. In addition to our name we had several other weird coincidences. So, perhaps my name isn’t as uncommon as I thought.   

Still, it would be fun to meet Kyle Derby Pratt. Maybe we could have a picture taken with each of us holding one of our books. Kyle, if you read this, send me an email.     


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A Winning Novel

I don’t like contests or competitions.

From spelling bees, science fairs, and athletic events in school, I entered only when required and usually lost.

Two years ago, an author friend of mine, Lisa Brunette, won the Book Readers Appreciation Group medallion for her book, Framed and BurningShe had won earlier for Cat in the Flock and, as we talked about her writing, she encouraged me to enter the competition. .

Because of my aversion to such events, I kept putting it off. However, I knew when I finished writing my most recent novel, Through the Storm, that I had a winner.

In the novel, Neal Evans is in Nevada when he hears that an immense coronal mass ejection will soon slam into the Earth’s magnetosphere. Will it cause only beautiful auroras to dance across the night sky or will it throw technology back a hundred years? Politicians and scientists are still debating when Neal decides to act. As night falls, he has ten hours to drive home before the first CME strikes.  

His son, Drake, is a happy high school freshman. Conner, his older brother, has gone hunting, instead of watching over him while their father is away at the conference. So now it’s party time!

The Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion

As the world sinks into darkness, Neal and Conner must confront a dangerous new world on their long journeys home. Drake, alone on the farm, must become a man even before he figures out his teen years.

Through the Storm was released in September of 2017 and finally in March of this year I entered the competition. 

Earlier this week I received a email from Geraldine Clouston, the president of IndieBRAG LLC, stating that my novel Through the Storm had been selected to receive a B.R.A.G. Medallion. Yesterday, I received the formal notification.

I can’t say that I enjoy contests, but I’m glad I entered this one.


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Funtime Festival

Stefanie Bridges-Mikota with Kyle Pratt at the Napavine Funtime Festival

I live outside of the small town of Napavine. For the last forty-plus years, they have had a Funtime Festival. Usually, I just see a small part of it and go on with my day, but this year my friend and fellow author Stefanie Bridges-Mikota suggested that we have a booth together with some fun activities for the kids and displays of all our books. I thought it was a great idea. We set up near the Ace Hardware Store and across from the car show. If you live near here you’ll know exactly where we were.

The sky was blue and the sun shined the entire day. I’m glad Stefanie had the canopy for us to sit under. From that shady spot, I was able to watch the parade talk with old friends and new ones and sell some books. Stefanie seems to know everyone in town. She also made the sign I’m holding.

Thanks, Stefanie, for the great idea and all the work you put into it!


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You know you live in the country when …

That title could be the start of a joke, but in this case, it isn't. I live near Napavine, in Washington state. The town was incorporated over a century ago and is growing, but still has less than 2,000 people. I guess you could say that it isn’t growing quickly.

On Hamilton Road and turning onto Hamilton Road

Folks tend to start directions by saying, “Go to the stoplight and ….” There are actually two stoplights in town, but the other one just blinks red or yellow at you.

I know my way around and so don’t usually bother to read street signs; however, the other day one caught my attention. I’ve driven through that intersection countless times, but as I gazed at the sign, I had to laugh. Then I turned off my car, got out and walked into the middle of the road and took the picture you see here.

Some might think such things are all a joke, but to me, it’s just part of living in the country.


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The Deer and Other Animals

The deer spend less time in our backyard now.

Sometimes during the winter, when snow covered every bit of pasture, there would be five or six deer waiting near our backdoor in the morning. My wife would talk to them like friends as she tossed out apples for them to eat. That happens less often during the summer, but they still know that this is a safe and welcome place to come. They often spend the night in the forest just beyond our yard.

My son, James, throws apples to deer in our backyard

Over the years we have seen a wide variety of birds that return to the area every summer. These include eagles, hawks, doves and, pigeons. Just like in California, we have swallows that return each year.  

Rabbits and squirrels don’t hibernate during the winter, but they do hunker down in their homes, try to stay warm, and sleep more. So, we don’t often see them in the winter. However, this time of year they are out in abundance. We have to keep the barn doors closed or they would both be inside eating the chicken food.

Living in the country can be hard work, but I wouldn’t want to live in a city or even a suburb ever again.


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Click on the following links to read my author bio, life in Lewis County or more about my life on the farm.

Pondering the Nativity

The writing of What Will You Do

Most of us are familiar with the birth of Jesus from the biblical account. In Luke, we read that on that first Christmas an angel appeared to shepherds and tells them that the Messiah has been born in Bethlehem. They run to the village and see the baby Jesus.

While that account is beautiful, in both its telling and meaning, I’ve felt for a long time that it’s merely the surface layer of a much deeper story. Why did the angel tell the shepherds? Did Satan know about the birth? Did he try to stop the shepherds or even kill the baby Jesus?

Perhaps I will receive answers to those questions when I stand before God, but probably not while we’re here on Earth. Still, I wonder and, since I'm a writer, I took pen in hand and using the talents God gave me created an answer.

My story, What Will You Do, will appear in the Christmas in Time anthology coming out this October. Between then and now you can read more about the both right here. I hope you enjoy my contribution to the anthology along with the other six stories.


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Click on the following links to read my author bio, or to read more about this and other writing projects.

Facebook & Me

Most of the time I’m not fond of Facebook

A social media presence is all but required for authors today and because most people are on Facebook, that platform can be very useful. Facebook can also be very irritating—like throw-something-at-the monitor-and-make-them-go-away, exasperating.

Yesterday I decided to change the name of my author page to, The Facebook Home of Author Kyle Pratt. But Facebook has a rule that you can’t use Facebook in the name. Why? It is my Facebook author home.

But I’ve learned I won’t win arguments like that with Facebook, so I removed there name from the title and they approved the change in seconds. Then I noticed something surprising. The name of my page now reads, The Home of Author Kyle Prat. (One “T,” not the two that are everywhere else on the page!)

Now, Facebook tells me that I can’t change it for seven days.

Today, I really dislike Facebook.


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Merry Christmas

I’m working on a Christmas story.

Where I live, in the northern hemisphere, we’re less than two weeks from the official start of summer, but I’m trying to write about Christmas.

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Lately, it has been really nice outside, warm but not hot. The swallows and hummingbirds have returned and the rabbits and squirrels are very active. Many of the flowers are in full bloom. Out in the orchard, the flowers on the fruit trees have gone, but now you can see the apples, pears, and plums growing on the limbs.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting in this office trying to write a Christmas story.

My story is part of an anthology with seven other writers. The anthology is titled, Christmas in Time and my story is called, What will you do? Each story is set during a different time period. My story looks at the first Christmas through the eyes of Tovi, a shepherd out in the field on the night of Christ’s birth. Tovi believes in God, but life has beaten him down. So early on that very special day, he prays that God will help him understand why things have happened. 

I’ll finish the story this by the end of the month, earlier if the weather turns cool.


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My Second Readers’ Favorite

Another reason for excitement!

In Five Stars of Excitement, a blogpost from earlier this month, I announced that Through the Storm had received a 5-Star review from the Readers’ Favorite organization. Shortly after submitting Through the Storm for review I also sent in Seekers of Earth. I am proud to announce that Seekers of Earth has now also received a 5-Star rating from Readers’ Favorite.

In her review, Sefina Hawke said that Seekers of Earth, the first book in the Guardian Knights of Terra series is “a young adult science fiction novel that would appeal most to a mixed audience of teens and tweens who enjoy books that take place away from Earth with aliens and alien cultures. A well-written story that left me interested in reading the rest of the series. I particularly liked the way that the author did not waste time ... catapulted me straight into the heart of things ... I greatly enjoyed this book and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series and uncover more about what is truly going on.”

Readers Favorite is the fastest growing book review and contest organization online. It’s used by publishers such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and the organization has received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors.

If you’ve read Seekers of Earth and haven’t reviewed it, please do. In many ways, average reader reviews are more important than professional reviews and good reviews really do help sales.

If you have left a review for Seekers of Earth—Thank you!


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