After traveling to Kenya on a mission trip, Kedron Holyfield waited patiently on her next calling to travel, but it never came. Instead she said her calling came in the form of a series of children’s books, the first about patience.
“I’d been on a mission trip to Kenya, and I was praying about where the Lord wanted me to go next,” said the Elkin resident and Ronda native of her February 2016 trip to Africa with a team from Salem Fork Baptist Church. “I kept getting this story about being patient.
“It was like a light-bulb moment,” Holyfield said when she finally realized that was her next mission. “I’ve done some blogging and devotions, but never a book. I was very shocked when it was time for me to start writing the book.”
From the beginning, Holyfield knew her book would be geared toward children, and the first book, which will be launched Sunday at 3 p.m. during a release event at Dobson Town Park, started going on paper in September of 2017.
“I started getting it down in rough form, and the Lord sent people along to help me through the process,” Holyfield said. “A friend knew an editor, and that editor hooked me up with publishers.”
Mascot Books agreed to publish Holyfield’s book. “They are a full-service publishing company — they edited, to illustrated to marketed the book,” Holyfield said. “One reason I chose them was because I had a good rapportwith the marketing person, and they are just located in Abingdon, Virginia.”
In Holyfield’s first book, “Tommy Learns Patience,” a young bunny finds out his mom is going to have a baby, but then he has to learn to be patient waiting on the baby to grow and be born.
Already, Tommy is going to be a worldwide traveler, Holyfield said. Copies of her book are scheduled to be sent to Belize, Kenya and Trinidad.
“My goal is not to sell books, but to get the message out,” she said.
Tommy is the first in a series of nine books Holyfield is working under her Characterkidzbooks umbrella. The nine books will highlight each of the “Fruits of the Spirit” from Galatians 5:22-23, “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
Each book will feature different characters, different animals. “In some books, all the characters are together, so you’ll see Tommy again, just not by himself,” said Holyfield, who doesn’t expect the second book to come out for about a year.
“Tommy Learns Patience” officially will be released Sept. 4 and will be available for purchase online on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, and locally at Pages Bookstore in downtown Mount Airy and Diana’s Books and More in downtown Elkin. Also, it can be found on Holyfield’s website, www.characterkidzbooks.com.
“Anytime you buy a book there is an opportunity to donate books to Anchor Ridge Ministry of Wilkes County, or to have them sent to Trinidad or Kenya. So if you don’t have kids or grandkids, there is still opportunity to get these and donate,” Holyfield said.
At Sunday’s book launch, those attending will have a chance to get an early release copy of the book, hear Holyfield read the story and have her sign a copy of the book. The park will remain open for the kids so the splash pad and playground will be available. There also will be bunny-shaped suckers distributed.
Eventually, Holyfield said she hopes to have a stuffed animal available that matches each character in the series.