“Perfecting the craft of writing is very important to me, but more important is that my kids and family will say, ‘Yes, she wrote a lot of books, but she was better at being a mom and at being a wife,’” Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury’s dream of writing novels blossomed during childhood, but like many budding writers, she segued into a journalism career. Her path included an internship at the Los Angeles Times and reporting stint at the L.A. Daily News.

After penning several true-crime books based on her work as a reporter, Kingsbury turned her attention to fiction. Her deadline-oriented journalism training helps her whip out a book in less than a month. She has honed her ability to create tearjerker characters dealing with timely social issues and matters of faith.

For Kingsbury, however, the process always begins with a crucial routine:  She asks God what He would have her to write, and then she asks how he would have her live. Kingsbury pursues obedience in both areas.

“I just bathe in prayer before, during and after,” she said. “As I’m writing a story, I feel like He’s guiding the whole process.”

Stacy Hawkins Adams is a freelance writer, inspirational speaker and the author of Watercolored Pearls, Nothing But the Right Thing and Speak to My Heart.