Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Khristi Adams

Stopping Authors & Readers Book Corner today is author Khristi Adams. She is the Firestone Endowment Chaplain, instructor of religious studies and philosophy, and co-director of Diversity at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA. Previously, she worked as Interim Protestant Chaplain at Georgetown University Law Center & Georgetown University, Associate Campus Pastor for Preaching & Spiritual Programming at Azusa Pacific University, and former Director of Youth Ministries at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardensin Somerset, NJ. Khristi is also the Founder & Director of “The Becoming Conference” that began summer 2017, which is an annual conference designed to empower, educate & inspire girls ages of 13-18. Khristi is a graduate of Temple University with a degree in Advertising and a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary where she obtained a Master of Divinity. Khristi is also currently an Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens. Her ministry and youth advocacy have been featured on CNN and her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Off the Page, and the Junia Project. When not in residence at The Hill School, she lives in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

She shares her inspiration for writing and some advice she received about writing. Let’s get to know Khristi Adams.

A&RBC: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write? 

I used to enjoy writing plays and poetry when I was in college. I enjoyed seeing writing come to life on stage. I never thought about writing books until my Pastor (Buster Soaries) wrote his first book and one day said to me in casual conversation, “You know you should write a book.” I remember telling him that I didn’t have anything to write about and didn’t feel like I was an
expert in anything. He said, “You write about what you know.” That stuck with me. At the time I didn’t think I knew anything, but I realized that I know what I know from my own experiences. It wasn’t long after that conversation that I wrote my first book.

A&RBC: Where/When do you best like to write?

This is such a hard question! It depends on where I am mentally. My first book (which I self-published), I wrote in my apartment and out on the balcony in the hot sunny California weather, when I was off for the summer from work. This current book, I wrote a week after starting my new position at The Hill, where I was working 12 hour days and weekends. I had to find small
windows to write and find spaces to get off campus to myself. I wrote in Starbucks and Panera Bread. I wrote in the school library. I wrote in the back of the classroom when my students were watching an in-class film. I wrote an hour before it was time for me to get dressed to start my day. There was no rhythm to this writing process. I wrote whenever I felt I had the space to.

A&RBC: Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?

I prefer writing in places where there is a lot of “white noise.” There’s something about me being in the center of lots of activity that helps me focus. I also like listening to film scores when I write. I can’t listen to music with lyrics because my mind will start listening to the lyrics. There’s
something inspirational about film scores.

A&RBC: When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?

When I’m struggling to write in general, I try not to force it. It could be my mind telling me it needs rest. The mind needs time to retain and relax. For this book, I would look to the source of who my book was about for inspiration if I felt stuck. I’d simply have a conversation with a black
girl just to hear her thoughts on whatever I was writing about or sometimes just to hear her thoughts on life.

A&RBC: What inspired your book?

My inspiration is the dedication to my book: “For all the black girls who courageously shared their story, their wisdom and their truths with me. Society may put you on the margins, but you are at the center of God’s heart.” The book is written for the black girls who have been unable to give voice their lived experiences. I say this because  I  have  had many conversations crossed paths with many black girls who have so much to offer the world, but the world refuses to listen to or see them. I promised myself that if I were ever given the platform, I would place these girls at the center.

A&RBC: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I was amazed by how consistent many of their struggles are with the stories I have heard from other black girls and women inter-generationally. I recognize their struggles and experiences in my own life. As I walked through the Smithsonian African-American History Museum and read about the lives of other black women and girls dating back to the 1500s, the cultural similarities
were astonishing. Young black women in contemporary society are confronted with similar issues as many of those who have come before them.

A&RBC: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

It was very difficult to find the time to write. Additionally, I found myself very tired from working and I was also grieving when I wrote, after having lost a close friend just a week after I signed my contract. I was experiencing great deal of emotion and found it difficult to push through at times to focus on writing the book.

A&RBC: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to spend time with family and friends and playing with my dog, Daisy. I used to love training for and running half-marathons. I haven’t had a chance to train since I started working at The Hill School, but I’d love to get back into that at some point. Right now, I work out at a gym called Corefit and I like to do strength training a few times a week there.

A&RBC: Who are some of your favorite authors?

I tend to stay in the theological realm as far as book reading. I’ve always been a fan of Paul Tillich and NT Wright’s writings. I also like Kelly Brown Douglass and Renita Weems’ books. Outside of that I’ve enjoyed Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Roxanne Gay’s books as of late.

A&RBC: What’s the best writing advice you have ever received?

Write as though you are writing for an audience of one.

Learn more about Khristi at https://khristilaurenadams.com/. 

About the Book

Celebrate the Brown Girl and All Her Complexities!

Youth Advocate and Minister Gathers Personal and Insightful Stories about What it’s Like to be a Young Woman of Color Today Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color by Khristi Lauren Adams

The stories of girls of color are often overlooked, unseen, and ignored rather than valued and heard. InParable of the Brown Girl(adult nonfiction), readers are introduced to the resilience,struggle, and hope held within these stories. Instead of relegating these young women of color to the margins, Adams brings their stories front and center where they belong.By sharing encounters she’s had with girls of color that revealed profound cultural, historical and spiritual truths,Adams magnifies the struggles, dreams, wisdom, and dignity of these voices.Thought-provoking and inspirational,Parable of the Brown Girlis a powerful example of how God uses the narratives we most often ignore to teach us the most important lessons in life. It’s time to pay attention.

Buy links:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Parable-Brown-Girl-Sacred-Lives/dp/1506455689/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1578599274&sr=8-1

B&N:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parable-of-the-brown-girl-khristi-lauren-adams/1132529558?ean=9781506455686

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