Kemp hopes her book, ‘Message Glorious,’ inspires, uplifts others
A Corydon woman is hoping the story of her life, with all of the difficult circumstances and occasional tragedies, can be an uplifting and inspirational testament to faith and family.
Doris Kemp, 86, and daughter Barbara Radmacher, began in 2006 putting together years of Kemp’s journal entries for a book called ‘The Message Glorious,’ a title Kemp had recorded in a journal entry several years ago.
Kemp, a former employee of the Faith, Hope & Love Shop in Corydon, said her two loves have always been reading and babies. Because of her love for reading, she began writing bits and pieces of her life on the backs of envelopes, pads of paper or anywhere she could, recalling details of her life as a wife and mother in Corydon.
However, tragedy struck with the birth and subsequent death 15 hours later of her daughter, Peggy Ann. Then, in 1963, her 11-year-old son, David, was diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer. While she was watching her son battle an aggressive cancer, the 41-year-old become pregnant with her sixth child, Scott, who would be born with Down syndrome. David, or Davey as his family called him, lost his battle with cancer in 1964, when he was 12.
Kemp kept journaling throughout the ordeal, even into the 21st century. She wrote about the death of her husband, Lloyd, in 2000, and how she and Scott could go on without their very own ‘main man.’
Kemp said the main reason she wanted to put together a book of her experiences is because of her family. Besides Radmacher and Scott, Kemp has two more living children, Jerry and Frank, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She said she doesn’t want them to ever forget about David, his life and his faith. Besides that, Kemp and Radmacher both believe in the healing power of sharing his story, and theirs, with people who may have gone through similar experiences.
Radmacher said when she and her mother started going through the box of notes and journals, it was ‘overwhelming.’
‘I said ‘Mother, this story needs to get out,’ ‘ she said. ‘The stories were so simple and honest … They had such insight.’
The two met each Tuesday and followed a few ground rules when working on putting the book together. These rules included eliminating phone interruptions, starting with prayer and ending with praise and always giving credit where credit is due, whether it was God or human.
With the decision made and the book put together, getting the book published and distributed was one of the more difficult steps of the process.
‘Getting it published, it wasn’t easy,’ Kemp said.
Radmacher said she learned a lot about publishing from researching on the Internet. She would put it in the proper publishing format, because different companies required different things, send in the copy and then ‘pray really hard.’
At first, they received a denial, then an acceptance but with changes. Finally, they decided to seek a self-publisher and with an Internet search of ‘Christian book publisher,’ found Tate Publishing and Enterprises in Oklahoma City, a company voted best Christian book publisher in 2006. By Nov. 29, 2007, Kemp and Radmacher had received word that their book would finally be published. Not only that, but beginning Nov. 18 of this year, it will be offered to 25,000 bookstores nationwide.
‘It’s sort of a miracle,’ Radmacher said.
For Kemp, she said she never could have dreamed that the book would get published, let alone with the option for national distribution.
‘It kind of gets overwhelming,’ she said.
The women received a copy of the finished book in August and, since then, Radmacher said it’s been difficult to stop her mom from giving them away to everyone she knows. They both believe God will use the book to get out his inspiration message of faith and conviction.
‘God has a plan, the bad and the good,’ Radmacher said. ‘(The book) inspires you to think; it doesn’t matter the circumstances. What happens in life, God can make (it) good.’
One of the many people Kemp wanted to send a copy of the book to was a little-known governor who, herself, has a special-needs child. Kemp said her grandson told her to send a copy of the book when it was finished to Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, a name not well known in the country at the time. Now, Palin is on the Republican ticket for vice president along with Sen. John McCain.
‘I was glad we already knew her,’ Kemp said. She still intends to send a copy to the governor.
Kemp’s book goes on sale nationally Nov. 18. Check booksellers for availability. ‘The Message Glorious’ is already available for purchase online, at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore.