Cinda Kohls never intended to write a novel. Yet, as she sat in her mother’s kitchen in Belview Kohls admitted the whole process was something she enjoyed.
Under the pen name K.L. Keith, which she said was a way to honor her father, Kohls has written the fiction novel “The Narrow Gate.”
The story takes place in fictional settings in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, said Kohls, explaining even though the locations are not real, some of the descriptions she uses are based on things she recalls from places where she has lived during her lifetime, including Belview and Stillwater.
One location in particular may sound a bit familiar to Belview residents, as a gas station in the story is based on one she remembers from her growing up years. The building where the gas station once stood in her hometown still stands on the main street of Belview, she added.
“I lived my whole life in Belview,” said Kohls, who graduated from Belview High School in 1969.
Having started pursuit of a literary major in college, Kohls switched to earn a degree in food science and nutrition from Mankato State Univer-sity. She then worked in Minnesota as an Extension agent in Wadena. Later she filled the same kind of role in Stillwater.
Along the way, she had what she described as adventures with her sister that led her out of Minnesota for a while.
Kohls also owned a business in Stillwater known as Olde Towne Tours, which she opened in the 80s and continued to operate for eight years. She said in those days you had to create your own job because of a struggling economy.
After selling her business, Kohls went back to school and earned a masters degree in education.
“ I still had not thoughts about writing,” she said.
With a strong teaching pool, Kohls had to leave Minnesota – getting a job as a first-grade teacher in Nevada where she spent the next two decades plus molding and shaping young minds.
“I was always excited about school,” she said, adding she saw so many students with eager minds.
Along the way, Kohls earned a reading specialist licensure, and after a 22-year career in education Kohls opted to retire. It was in retirement when Kohls said God led her on the journey that became her first novel.
“The process really started with the church I attended,” she said. “I was able to grow in my faith, and as I was able to serve I discovered my ability to tell stories. My oral language gifts led me to think perhaps I would be able to write, too.”
Page 2 of 2 - Kohls said it was God who planted the seed, adding as she began to write there were days she considered very productive while at other times the words came a little slower.
Kohls said her first book offers a variety of themes from loyalty and gratitude to faith and family.
“When I decided to have my book published I was a fish out of water,” she said, adding a friend who also did some writing helped her get on the right track.
After doing some research, Kohls found a Christian publishing company called Xulon Press.
Kohls called the publishing process an interesting one with ups and downs, adding she learned a lot along the way that should help her if she ever plans to publish another book in the future.
The book takes place in the fictional town of Havendale and tells the story of a woman named Sophie who is an investigative crime reporter.
Naturally, a crime occurs – the murder of a man named Marcus Crandall – and with the help of local law enforcement Sophie is able to solve the crime.
The book is a fun, quick read that offers great word pictures to the reader and flows well from beginning to end. Kohls called it a “sweet read” adding she hopes people benefit from reading it.
Kohls is going to be doing a talk about her book this Saturday at the Odeon Hall in Belview from 10 a.m. until noon and is going to be at the Redwood Falls Public Library Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. She is going to be signing books, too.
Books are also available at Connie’s Hallmark in Redwood Falls and at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and from Xulon Press.