OPEN THIS BOOK and let Pam Kumpe splash your day with fun. As an encourager she invites you into her world, a place filled with chaos, blonde moments and always, always filled with a trust in God.
SHARE A MOMENT with this “Funny Newspaper Woman,” as her mishaps inspire women to accept themselves and enjoy their lives. This book can be a great gift for anyone who needs to laugh.
About the Author:
Pam Kumpe is an inspirational newspaper columnist for the Bowie County Life / Texarkana Gazette in East Texas. She hosts a podcast “Daybreak Devotionals” a series about women of the Bible, and she has taught Kids Super Church for 20 years. She’s campaigning for God with See You in the Funny Papers, a book filled with stories to make you smile and permission to have fun. She’s a speaker whose antics are crazy, fun, and a little fruity – fruit of the Spirit that is.
Learn more about Pam at http://pamkumpe.com/.
Tell me a little bit about your background and your family.
I’m an identical twin, the older by five minutes. My mother planned for one baby, only two were birthed. Melody and Pamela. Identical blonde haired, blue-eyed chubby girls. Chubby still hangs on a little for me. I grew up shy, allowing my twin sister to speak for the both of us. She did so proudly, and I followed – always stepping one step behind her and I loved having her for my leader.
Then she went off to New York and I found myself in college in California; I had to talk, to speak. But how could I? I had never needed to say a word in the past. God pushed, nudged and opened my mouth. He guided me with His still small voice, and little by little my gift of gab (I think it’s a gift) took over, as my love for storytelling grew by leaps and bounds.
My parents met in gangster city, otherwise known as Hot Springs, AR. Dad was a chef, my mother a waitress. We lived there until daddy discovered his throat cancer. In 4th grade, we moved to Arizona for his treatments and we grew up in Phoenix. We twirled, took part in Girl Scouts and played fast pitch softball. We said y’all in a “you guys” world, and we called East Phoenix High School home.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies?
My spare time is wrapped around words, as I host a podcast “Daybreak DevotionalA,” read and review books for Thomas Nelson Books, and recently I’ve taken a freelance post as a radio host, interviewing people with a passion for Christ. I also have taught Kids Super Church for nearly 20 years. They won’t let me graduate. I’m not so sure I want to.
When I’m sitting at home, my miniature schnauzer is on my lap. Her name is Macy; she loves barking, dog biscuits and my stories. And like any sensible woman, I love to shop and my sister and I make it a priority at least once a month.
What has God been teaching you lately?
That my focus should be becoming His servant. I want to use the rest of my days for His glory, and that’s how my “Brownie Ministry” took place last year. I felt His nudge to bake, and since I don’t bake; I knew God was up to something. I baked several batches of brownies and ate them, before coming to terms with passing them out. It’s okay, since those first batches burned a little. I now bake five dozen brownies and have done so for the past year, not missing a week and I deliver them to the Samaritan House, a complex with five apartments for families visiting loved ones at the State Prison. I also attach a devotional. When you think your plate is full, God shows you there’s always room if you fill up with His heart and with His goal in mind.
Where are you headed next?
Right now, I’m directing our Christmas play, one I wrote called The Christmas Scarf, and I’m working on several projects with Terry Burns at Hartline Literary Agency. I’m also speaking on a Carnival Cruise this spring, and several speaking engagements are popping up. It’s all about God’s timing, so if He wants me to talk, I’m ready.
Since I write for a newspaper those deadlines take place nonstop, and I’m interviewing people at the radio station. I pray for the Lord to fill my cup with His purpose, to not let me stray from where I should walk. Sure I make plans, but then I love it when God surprises me with His plan instead. It’s always better.
Tell me about a favorite Christmas or Christmas tradition.
My favorite Christmas is the one where I see my 12 year old son Marty standing beside the Christmas tree, and his little brother who was only nine days old is between the gifts, under the tree in his carrier with a bow on his head. Marty told me Brandon was a Christmas gift to our family. Both my boys are my life; I know how Mary must have felt. (I know, now Marty is 34 and Brandon is 22, but hey, they’ll always be my babies.)
How did you get involved in writing?
I journaled for years during my shy phrase, and currently have about 17 journals recapping the past 25 years of my life, and that of those I’ve met. I freelanced with newsletters and magazines, trying to overcome the shy and introverted part of me that did its best to live on. I wrote some columns for a community newspaper and found my “brave” badge. Now I write for a daily paper, write the column and have written more than a 1000 features for them during the past 10 years. I also write for several magazines.
How do you find time to write?
I have this magnet (it seems so) inside my heart, and it draws me to the keyboard. I must write. I see God in so many situations and almost always I see a God angle to life. I love to put those thoughts down before I forget them, to make a person smile with a story or to feel the emotion the illustration conveys is a challenge, and I love taking part.
What did you enjoy most about the writing process?
The way God rewrites what I think I’m writing, His touch is shows up in ways I can only credit Him with. I start out one way, but He brings his own pencil and erases, scribbles and makes the story better. (That is, if I listen).
What was the most difficult aspect of the writing process?
The overwhelming responsibility for what to include, making sure it’s the best I had to offer and then fearing it wasn’t enough. But if one heart skips a beat, if one person laughs, if one life looks to God from it; then the book isn’t all about my grammar or lack there of. It’s about God.
What would you say to someone who wants to become a published author?
Check your motive. Then check it with God. I almost left this project behind because of people who said it’s all about seeing your name on the cover. Although, that’s a nice feeling, the reason to write the book, to share what God has allowed me to be a part of in this life; is worth the price of anyone wondering why. Because if God is for you, go for it. We are salt and light; take away the salt and things decay. Take away the light, and life is utterly dark. I’m your salty, lighthearted friend who wants you to know God in a personal way. I don’t want to find myself swinging my feet over the bed in the nursing home, and wishing I’d told other people about Jesus.
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Where did you get the idea for the book?
From my 10 year stint of writing inspirational newspaper columns. The columns that show up in the paper range from serious, to surprise with most of them centering on humor. I gathered up some humor ideas, wrote some new stories and since I write for the paper – See You in the Funny Papers, seemed like a fit.
What are the major themes of the book?
Encouragement to find your smile. To rise above, to see we’re all a bunch of messy folks in need of redemption. Especially me. So laugh, the load won’t necessarily go away. But you’ll find your inner peace to rise above, to know there’s hope for tomorrow.
Why do you think humor is so important in life?
A cheerful heart is good medicine, and we are to taste and see that the Lord is good. We live in hard times, and we can find our smile, but sometimes it gets tucked away. I want to give you permission to get it out and give me a belly laugh.
What do you hope readers will walk away with after reading this book?
I pray the reader walks away with a chuckle, and with an uplifting sense of knowing God is most likely very entertained with us. He’s the ultimate voice of encouragement, and I want others to know that’s my source of joy, my source of hope -He’s the place I go when life gets hard, or heavy. He gave me an identical twin, the mirror of myself; but I truly want my life to mirror His. And since He knows I’ll stumble along the way, my blonde moments and chaos are stepping stones to God’s grace. If He loves me, He’ll love anybody!
Subscribe to Pam’s Daybreak Devotionals
Here are the blogs featuring See You in the Funny Papers during our DEC 8 – 12 Tour.
A Peek at My Bookshelf
Behind the Mountain
Blog Tour Spot
Book Nook Club
Christy’s Book Blog
Kells Creative Musings
Lone Star Latte and Libre
Mystery, Suspense, and God, Oh My!
Ready Set Read Reviews
Refresh My Soul
The Friendly Book Nook
Write by Faith