Archive for Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Author discusses meaning of true beauty in new book

March 14, 2012

Karen Morerod says she enjoys helping people apply the Bible to their every day lives.

“That’s one of my passions about the Bible, is people think either it’s old or outdated, or ‘I don’t understand it,’” Morerod said. “And there’s so much in there that we can’t understand. But there’s a lot of things we can understand, and we can get lessons for life out of that if we just take the time.”

Morerod writes about some of these messages in her new book, More Than Just a Pretty Face: Living in Beautiful Obedience, which was published last fall through Christian company AMG Publishers. The book relates today’s beauty anecdotes to the life of Queen Esther, teaching that people are at their most beautiful when following God.

A family services advocate for Bonner Springs Head Start and a Piper resident, Morerod said she started writing articles and short stories about 10 years ago. But she created the basis for her book about seven or eight years ago, when she wrote and began performing “Echoes of Esther,” a drama about the life of Queen Esther and the challenges she faced when she was chosen to be King Xerxes’ queen based on her beauty.

She eventually joined a Christian writer’s group, but even as she worked to improve her writing, Morerod said she didn’t specifically set out to write a full-length book.

“I never intended to do that, because I think short,” she said. “That’s why I started out with short stories and articles.”

Morerod began writing columns to further communicate the messages from Echoes of Esther about three years ago, “to make her seem a little more real” Morerod says, and then somebody in her writer’s group suggested putting columns together.

“I thought, oh, you put a lot of short things together, that makes a book,’” Morerod said. “That’s why it is in 31 daily readings.”

So when she attended a Heart of America Christian Writer’s Network conference, she presented her book proposal to some of the publishers at the conference, and AMG Publishers agreed to take it on.

Each day’s reading starts with a funny cultural event, which Morerod then ties in with the life of Queen Esther to create a spiritual message. She thinks every woman could find something in the book to apply to her life.

“I’ve tried to make it very simple and very practical and very relevant,” Morerod said.

The book cover also is a twist on modern concerns of beauty, designed to look something like a beauty magazine cover. Morerod said marketers came up with the idea, but she could see how it related to her message.

“If you pass any women’s magazine or tabloid even, there’s always something in there about beauty, there’s always something in there about weight, and there’s always something in there about exercise — they know how to get women’s hot points,” she said.

When readers finish the book, Morerod said she hopes they get three things out of it.

“That God has created us all for a reason, that there will be problems in life, and that God will help us get through those problems,” she said. “Everybody wants to know ‘Why am I here.’ And if you’re going to take the Bible and believe it, then you’ve got to believe you’re here for a reason, but just believing that doesn’t mean you’re not going to have problems along the way.

“Esther happened to have a huge problem, and she relied on God, and He saw that it worked out.”

Morerod recently had a booksigning at Mardels Christian Store in Overland Park. The book is available through amazon.com and most other online book vendors.

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