Without Regrets: A Study of Ecclesiastes is my first published book. This is a Bible study that is designed to answer the questions “How do we live our lives in a way that minimizes regrets?” King Solomon had a lot of regrets from his life. He sat down at the end of his life and wrote the book of Ecclesiastes as a way to tell people what he would have done if he could have his life to live over. By studying his example we have the opportunity to learn from his mistakes.
This book is a study designed to help people look through the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible and learn practical application of the principles for their own lives. It is a simple, easy to use format that offers an understanding of what actions result in regret in our lives and how we can refocus ourselves and our priorities to minimize regrets in the future.
Tell us something about yourself.
I grew up in the small town of Valley Center, Kansas. After moving away to go to college, I met and married my husband and he began serving in churches as pastor. I received my Bachelor’s of Arts degree and my Master’s of Science degrees from Oklahoma Baptist University. I spent a couple of years working as a mental health therapist and I currently work for Michaels Stores in their Risk Management department.
What inspired you to write this book?
I never intended to become a writer. I was working as a mental health therapist in Oklahoma when I went through a difficult time in my life personally. I really didn’t feel that I had too many places to turn to or people that would really understand, so I went searching through the Bible. I actually ended up in the book of Ecclesiastes thinking that it was a sad sounding book and that was how I was feeling anyway, so I figured it fit. What I found was that it is not a sad book at all; it is actually full of hope and promise. The principles and practices that I learned through my study so revolutionized my way of thinking that I began sharing my notes with the people in my church and over time my notes worked themselves into the study so that others would be able to see an amazing way to focus their lives.
How did you choose the title?
I’ve heard of the book of Ecclesiastes referred to as a book of Solomon’s regrets. I believe that to be very true, but the reason he wrote it was not to just sit around and complain about his life. Instead he was teaching us how to live without the regrets that he was experiencing. The title reflects Solomon’s purpose for Ecclesiastes.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
Publishing was an interesting process. Since this was a new arena for me, I had no idea what to expect or look for even when looking for a publisher. I have learned since that my experience was far from typical. I had finished my manuscript and had found an online submission service. I happened to be speaking with my neighbor a couple of months later and she stated that she had just signed a publishing contract with Tate Publishing and Enterprises. I mentioned that I was looking at publishers and she offered to put me in touch with her contact. I remember sending my manuscript to Tate the next day and have a contract on my doorstep two days later. After spending the next couple of weeks researching Tate and learning everything I could about the company, I took that next step and signed with them. Working through the publishing process itself was a study in “hurry up and wait,” but everything stayed pretty much on schedule all the up to the release date. I have never regretted my decision to sign with them and I appreciate all the work they have done for me and with me.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I enjoy several genres of books including Christian fiction, biographies, business strategies, historical novels, classic literature. I have a large number of outside interests and reading books in different areas tends to match my varied interests. I particularly like Terry Blackstock, Jim Collins, and C. S. Lewis. However, my all time favorite book would be Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I enjoy a well-crafted story that plays with your emotions a little.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I am very excited about my latest research on the book of Amos. I have finished my in depth research and am in the process of writing the manuscript. The book of Amos is incredibly relevant as it describes a people who were in economic comfort and peace when they received a warning that everything would collapse underneath them. What are the reasons for the collapse? Could it have been prevented? What are the foundations that we’re building on? These are all the questions that are addressed in Amos and I am enjoying exploring and applying the answers to my life. It will be exciting to offer this to others.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Have patience and don’t lose sight of your message. As I worked through the publishing process and things seemed to take longer than I had anticipated, it became easy to get distracted with frustrations. However, I believe in the message of my book. I believe that God wants each of us to live a life without regrets. I believe that God has given each of us an answer through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ which is evident in Ecclesiastes. At the end of the day, as long as those truths are shared with others, that is the main thing. For everyone working through the publishing process, remember what your main message is for writing the book in the first place and hold to that. Don’t forget the large dose of patience either.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
www.kristiburchfiel.com is my website which gives more information about me and Without Regrets
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-61566-500-6 is site to order Without Regrets direct from the publisher
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Without-Regrets-A-Study-of-Ecclesiastes/122149427808582 is my Facebook fan page. There I write a daily devotional and other discussions on how to study the Bible. It’s a great place to ask and answer questions.