Kerri Kenning contacted me about a year ago because she was interested in writing a memoir and needed a coach to help her get started and stay on track. After a Zoom meeting with Kerri, we partnered up, and I’m thrilled to be the one helping her because, in many ways, her story reminds me of mine. Kerri’s book, “Finding My Pennies,” is about finding God, but it’s also about raising a family. Intended to inspire and mentor young women, Kerri’s book shares the wisdom she gained raising triplet boys and a daughter and in living in her marriage with her husband, John. I believe it’s a book that would help any young woman starting a family. It’s enlightening but also just plain fun. Kerri’s stories make me laugh out loud while I’m editing. The best kind of work!
Kerri is about halfway done writing her manuscript. We hope her book will be available at the end of this year or some time in 2024. Stay tuned to learn more as we move through development!
What inspired you to write a memoir?
I love, love, love people, and hearing people tell a story, and I love to tell a story. My book has developed from offering life lessons as a mom, a wife, a friend, daughter, a sister to sharing the hysterical stories from the life I’ve lived for 61 years. This has been a forever book. I just want to share my story, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
What is your goal in publishing?
I was born to teach, to be with people, share stories, and to inspire. I hope to touch at least one person with my story of a messy life. Life is fast, and we don’t have to be perfect.
How would you describe your book?
My book is a mom’s message of life lessons, being a woman, helping others know it’s okay to be messy, dysfunctional, and to talk to God the entire ride. My stories are way out there—bizarre, funny, real, and raw. I was from an all-girl family with four girls, then I had triplet boys. No one told me what I was supposed to do.
How did writing this memoir help you better understand motherhood or your role as a mother?
I see how I was somewhat alone in raising children as my husband traveled so much. Writing helped me open my eyes to see how I wish I hadn’t sweat the small stuff. It’s helped me to better understand that I did a really amazing job because I was raw and real. There’s a chapter in the book called “Puberty and Penises,” about my three boys who were extremely good looking when they hit puberty. Reading my book now makes me giggle and sometimes cry. It was fun. We made it, and I don’t want to do it again.
What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?
I hope people find prayer and a higher power than themselves, and I hope they take away that it’s okay to cry, worry, wonder. Being a mom, a wife, a woman, a friend—those are hard roles to play in life. The take-away from this book is kind of like, “I’m okay, you’re okay.” We have the resources and power to make sure we succeed, and that where a higher power—and also therapy—come in.
Were there any resources that were helpful in writing your memoir?
Some days, I had to take a walk around the block, or I had to do something to get away from my crazy head. My husband helped me a lot. He’s my best friend today. He encouraged me every second. My family, my boys, my daughter. My mom and my father …They were all my resources and helped me along in my story.
What suggestions do you have for someone writing their memoir?
Just write. Some days you can write and write, and other days you can’t. I encourage people not to run from it but set a time, and if you don’t feel like writing, then just re-read something you wrote and get back into the mode; it may spur you on. Visit your book for 10 minutes, or 30 minutes, a day. Keep your pulse on it every day, like a job. I can’t wait to finish this book and publish it. I think it will be fun for my kids to read it because it’s about their life, our story. I can’t wait to just say I wrote the book.
What has the editing and publishing process been like for you? How did your work with Janice enhance the process?
Janice is incredible. She’s real, truthful, encouraging, kind. She’s helped me be confident in my writing and ideas. I think she saw a bigger picture than I saw for myself. I really wanted to get out the dos and don’ts of being a mom, but she said, “Whoa, we’ve got a movie here.” She’s helped me be me in the process and really nudged me in the best way.