Caregiving Characters and Comforting Stories We Love, with Katie M. Reid // Ep. 51

 

As we get closer to Christmas, I wanted to invite Katie M. Reid on to talk about her new book, A Very Bavarian Christmas. It’s the fictional account of Holly Noel, a 30-something single woman who moves back home after a professional disappointment. Her dad had suffered an aneurysm when she was seven, and their family’s life had revolved around his care after that event. When she moves back home, she has to work through her feelings of disappointment in so many areas of her life, including as the daughter of a disabled man. Today we’re going to talk about the book with Katie (staying spoiler free!), how she related to Holly as a special-needs sibling who understands family life revolving around one member, and we’re going to talk about why this is the perfect time of year for feel-good books like this one and share a couple of our other favorite comfort books and movies.

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Other episodes you might like if you enjoyed my chat with Katie:

 

Questions I asked Katie in this episode & our closing prayer:

Katie, thanks for joining us! Let’s start off with you introducing yourself and telling us a little about the inspiration for writing A Very Bavarian Christmas, especially after the success of your first book, Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done!

I really loved the character of Holly and the growth she has throughout this book. And it isn’t just about her finding love! (I won’t spoil it by telling if she does or doesn’t by the end of the book!) It’s really about her facing some issues she’s held on to for decades, especially issues surrounding her father. As caregivers, we can all relate to having a dream of what our future would be like and being disappointed. When we got James’s autism diagnosis, our dreams for him and our plans for our family had to change. And when it’s a spouse or a parent who becomes disabled in some way, there are lots of dreams that die as new ones evolve.

As you wrote her journey, what elements were most important for you to include?

You and I could relate to Holly because we were also children in families impacted by disability. But what inspiration did you lean on as you wrote Holly’s mom’s character? She’s her husband’s primary caregiver and she evolves along with Holly through the story. 

We have really focused today on the caregiving details of the book, but I want listeners to know this book isn’t only for caregivers or even primarily about Holly’s relationship with her dad! It’s about her job, her gifts as an artist and how she uses those gifts. It’s about friendship and community. And it’s about wanting to be in love and waiting for God’s perfect timing. Katie, you and I both tend to be planners who love a good 5-year plan! But Holly’s character reminded me how important it is to stay open to possibilities and pivots. Did you learn from her as you were writing her story?

Thank you for writing A Very Bavarian Christmas and for including this important storyline of disability in a family. It really is the perfect read for this time of year! We all want sweet stories with happy endings, or at least the possibility of happy endings. They bring us comfort and remind us of what’s possible. Of course we want listeners to read A Very Bavarian Christmas, but what other cozy-Christmas books and movies do you recommend to someone who is looking for more comforting entertainment this year? 

Thanks again for joining me today, Katie. I’m so thankful for our friendship and for both of your books that I can relate to in so many ways. I end each episode in prayer, so let me lead us in a prayer today for the caregivers who want to face each day with hope like Holly learned to do in A Very Bavarian Christmas

God, You teach us how to be more like Your Son in so many different ways. The Holy Spirit moves through Scripture, in our time with other believers, and even in the stories we hear that remind us of truths we find in Your Word. Thank you for using Katie to write the hope-filled story of Holly. As caregivers, we can relate to her in so many ways. We also want to trust in Your plan for our lives and our loved ones like Holly learned to do. Thank you for cozy Christmas stories that bring us joy this time of year. And thank you for Your Son whose birth, life, death, and resurrection make it possible for us to find true joy. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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