Q: When did Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build your home?
A: September 30, 2007 The EMHE team showed up with the bus, Ty, and his famous bullhorn. One week later, on October 7, 2007 – we yelled “Move that Bus” and they revealed our Extreme, healthy home to us.
Q: Can you help my family get chosen for Extreme Makeover?
A: We wish we could help everyone who asks, but we didn’t initially apply ourselves for EMHE. We were nominated. I know they have guidelines at their website and on their Facebook Fan Page. The people at EMHE are wonderful people. They have huge hearts.
Q: Are Ty and the Design Team really as nice as they seem on TV?
A: Yes. Even more so. What I appreciated the most were the moments off camera where we were able to chat with them one on one. Yes, it’s a TV show. Yes, it’s their job. But they are also real people, and genuine.
Q: Will you give me Ty’s phone number or contact information?
A: It surprises me how many thousands of people ask this question. But the answer is the same. No.
Q: What is the blue vest that Kayla wears?
A: It’s a cooling vest. Kayla has been wearing different ones since she was fourteen months old.
Q: Is the vest heavy?
A: Yes. It weighs several pounds. Her first one weighed in at over six pounds and she only weighed twenty-seven pounds!
Q: Does the vest help Kayla do normal activities?
A: The vest can only do so much. When it is very hot – we use it all the time and keep spare packets with us. It protects her internal organs. But during the hot months, it can help her get to and from a car, or into a building, but she could still have a heatstroke even with the vest on.
Q: How did you get published?
A: I have been writing for over sixteen years. I had a lot of work to do just to learn the craft, and the industry is ever-changing. I’m still learning. A lot. Many wonderful published authors reached out to me and helped me learn. In 2005, I had the first interest from publishers. In 2008, I signed with an agent. Since then, I’ve had several books traditionally published.
Q: Can you help me get published?
A: I do offer critique services that can help you on the journey. Please send an email through the contact tab on this site for rates and options.
Q: How do you feel about self-publishing?
A: This is an often hot and sticky topic. All my books (so far) are traditionally published. While I definitely see where self-publishing can be a good idea, I’ve also seen what gives it a negative slant.
My encouragement would be to seek wise counsel. Talk to some published authors. What’s your platform? Have you done your homework? Have you been working steadily to improve your craft?
Publishing is all about timing and patience, your story, and the craft. It’s not a fast business. Take your time, learn, grow, and write, write, write, write, write. Join a writer’s group – like ACFW.
Q: Do you really have a bowling alley in your basement?
A: Yes. It’s fun – but I still stink at bowling.
Q: Will Kayla ever grow out of her disorder?
A: No. There are fibers missing in the nerves. Although we have seen improvement with our healthy home and her consistent swimming.
Q: How did Kim and Kayla start writing together?
A: It was actually our editor, Karen Ball’s, brilliant idea. She threw out the idea, we put together a proposal, she loved it, and here we are.
Q: Will Kim and Kayla continue to write together?
A: We hope so! We love writing together as well as writing individually.
Q: How old was Kayla when you found out something was ‘wrong’?
A: Fourteen months.
Q: Are the characters in No Safe Haven a lot like you?
A: Yes. But we also gave them some of their own unique traits. But Andie’s vivacious personality is a lot like Kayla in real life, and Jenna’s personality is a lot like Kim. You’ll have to read the book to see what you think is like us.
Q: Are Kayla’s two conditions (HSAN and Chiari) related in any way? Did one cause the other?
A: As far as we know – No. To both questions.
Q: What is it like in your Extreme home?
A: Very “cool”!
Q: Has the house helped Kayla’s health?
A: Yes. Tremendously. And Josh’s health too. Josh hasn’t had an asthma attack since we’ve been in the house, and Kayla’s health had gradually improved.
Q: You’re in newspapers and on TV a lot – how do you maintain a balance when people recognize you?
A: We get recognized everywhere we go. And that’s okay – it’s neat to hear from people that have invested a little piece of their lives by watching a part of our story. As for balance, well, I’m still working on it. Still trying to convince people that we are a “normal” family – (grin).
Q: Do you get treated differently now that people think you are “famous”?
A: Yes. We get asked this question a lot too. It’s a little unnerving at times, but we’ve also learned to guard our privacy as much as possible.
Q: Do you still get drive-bys?
A: Yes. We sometimes have several a day—people often stop and take pictures as well. I just try to make sure I’m not weeding my flower beds with my rear end sticking up in the air. But the first few months were the craziest – we had hundreds of drive-bys a day. We had fun waving at people.
Q: How is the house now?
Q: Do they really build in seven days?
A: Yes. In fact, our home was built in 96 hours! Pretty awesome!
Q: Was it really a surprise when the extreme team showed up?
A: Most definitely.
Q: Do you speak to groups?
A: All the time. Church groups, women’s groups, writer’s groups, homeschool groups, schools. If you’d like to book Kim or Kayla, please use the contact page.
Q: Do you give interviews?
A: Yes. Contact us for more information.
Q: What is the inside temperature of your home?
A: In Kayla’s room – around 59 degrees. The main house – around 62-63 degrees. The basement – around 60 degrees.