Although I’m a fiction writer, and my guests are primarily fiction writers as well, I do number among my friends many amazing and wonderful nonfiction writers. These writers have spotted a need that’s not being met in the current market, and are doing their best to fill that need!
And then there are the rare unicorns like Kass Fogle, who writes both fiction and nonfiction! You may know Kass better as The Introverted Believer (and if you’re not following her on social media, you’re missing on some hilariously true introvert memes)! The heart of Kass’s mission is to help introverts recognize and celebrate how God created and gifted them, and to use that gifting to further the Kingdom in their own unique and very necessary way.
Read on to learn more about Kass, her writing, her love for baking, and the conference—yes! conference!—she’s planning just for introverts! There’s also a giveaway!!
Thanks for being here today, Kass!
Thank you so much, Amanda, for having me as a guest and helping me spread the word about The Introverted Believer!
What inspired your passion for helping introverted believers find their place in a church culture that seems geared toward extroverts?
Personal experience. Confusion. Guilt. There’s a big difference between an invitation (“We’d love to see you…”) and shaming (“If you’re not in a small group, do you really love Jesus?”). I wanted to learn more about the difference between the Church (believers worldwide) and the church (local congregations). and their unique significance as a Christ-follower. Above all, I wanted to make sure I was obedient to God’s word, so I set out on the journey of the Introverted Believer.
How did you discover your own introverted nature? How has knowing that about yourself strengthened your faith?
As a high school student in the late eighties and early nineties, I participated in a Leadership Group and the instructor gave us an MBTI crash course and submitted the Type Indicator©. When my results came back as an Introvert, I fumed. Introverts were weak, and I was a dominant force (read: not well liked). Introverts were mopey and self-loathing and I was dynamic and confident. I was so angry that I lied to the class about my results.
Of course, the teacher had my results as well. They tried to tell me I had it all wrong about what it meant to be an introvert and encouraged me to embrace it. I would hear nothing of it and continued to suffer through many years understanding my identity.
As a believing adult, I’ve come to learn my identity is in Christ, whether I’m introverted or extroverted. I’m still studying line by line and word for word what it means to be one in the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12-24 has been instrumental in shaping my writing and understanding of how and where I fit in this world. More importantly, it’s helping me understand how and where I fit into eternity as I navigate the world through Jesus.
Needless to say, though I still maintain an off-the-charts dominant personality (yes, I’ve been tested), God has also made me unashamedly introverted.
What is the most important thing you’d like to teach people in your ministry?
I want to dispel the myths that many people hold of introverts – those similar to the perception I had as a teenager. I want people to know that the quirks, traits, mannerisms and preferences of introverts do not mean they are shivering in the corner waiting for extroverts to take over. We have very special and unique gifts and I want to help introverts love what lives Beneath the Surface of what the rest of society sees.
What is the best book you’ve read recently, and why?
I have two. Jane Eyre – I think she is the poster child for a strong and introverted person. My non-fiction pick is Introverts in the Church by Adam S. McHugh. It’s literary without being textbook. It’s humorous without making light of introversion. As a Human Resources professional, I’m often assigned tasks that promote engagement, fun or other activities I typically see non-work related. In this book, I am challenged to think beyond my perspective and look instead at what God wants for a project, team, or individual.
Seconding that Adam S. McHugh book; I’ve read it, and it’s phenomenal. If you’re an introvert, do yourself a favor and grab a copy!
What does your writing routine look like, if you have one? What obstacles present themselves in making time to write?
My scheduler is everything. If I haven’t planned it, it doesn’t happen. Saturday morning is when I write blogs, devotionals, and work on my two books. Ruth’s Garden is contemporary fiction and is running through my Word Weavers critique group now. I am also working on a Romance where the hero and heroine meet on a televised cooking competition. My work in progress, Beneath the Surface: A Devotional Journal for Introverted Believers, is what has me celebrating and crying. I am querying agents for this work right now. Send chocolate.
I have to find, create and schedule memes for my social media, so I’ll take a day and schedule out two weeks of memes, I have days set aside for research, for reviewing others’ work so I can share it on social media, and I have time set aside for learning each week.
I spend vast amounts of time sitting in one place staring at the screen because I’m mind mapping. I create the story structure in my mind, build my characters, and set the scene, and then I’ll type it all out like a madwoman. The trouble with that is if I am interrupted, I lose hours of productivity. I haven’t found the best way to store what I’ve mapped very well (I’m old).
I know the querying road well. Virtual chocolate is heading your way!
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I love to bake, but my husband doesn’t have a sweet tooth. If I bake a batch of cookies, he’ll have one and feel satiated for a month. That leaves me with the rest and I tend to sprint through anything sweet. I also love to hike, though I have the knees of someone who’s ran dozens of marathons (I assure you, I have not) so I don’t do much of that anymore.
When I’m not writing, I am also planning a conference for Introverted Believers. It is tentatively set for April of 2020 in either Northern Indiana or Southern Illinois. I know, a conference for Introverts? YES! Introversion doesn’t mean shy, but they can be. Introversion doesn’t mean “hate people” but we can be perceived that way. There is so much to learn about what introversion is or isn’t and how we can use our powers for His Good, that I think we need a conference for it. The chairs will be spaced out, I hope to have a quiet room for people to find space to recharge, and I have a scavenger hunt that includes lots of brain teasers so people can work individually or together. Sessions will be encouraging and challenging. And there will be a taco bar, so there’s that.
If you could have coffee/tea/gratuitous amounts of carbs with any author, living or dead, who would you choose? What would you want to talk about with him or her?
I’d love to sit down with Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. Margaret and Ramona were in the hearts of millions of young girls back in the day, including me. Especially me. They walked us through how to handle every possible embarrassing moment a young female could have. When I think of having coffee and muffins with Ms. Cleary and Ms. Blume, I see a lot of laughter.
Oh, man! You just named my two favorite authors from childhood! I’m totally crashing that coffee and muffins extravaganza (which, wow, that sounded very extroverted of me, didn’t it?)!
Last question, Kass: how can we pray for you?
This is such a sweet question and I am honored you have asked. Please pray that my writing is God-honoring and that it triggers people to open their Bible. Whether it is to fact-check me, understand the context or study, I pray that what I write gets people in their Bible and I’d love for you to join me. Secondly, will you pray for the conference? I am so passionate about executing this, but there are so many things financially and strategically I need to make this happen. I pray for provision of wisdom, friendship, organization, and finances so that I use each resource to bring glory to Him.
Definitely praying for you and your ministry, Kass! Thanks again for being here.
And now for that giveaway!! Kass is offering a $5 Starbucks gift card and a small surprise gift to one lucky winner! Leave a comment on this post to be entered, and we will randomly select our winner one week from today, April 25th.
Meet Kass Fogle:
Kass Fogle is a fierce Introverted Believer (ISTJ) with a side dish of social anxiety who loves Jesus, coffee, and chocolate.
She blogs weekly, encouraging fellow introverts in their work, marriage and friendships. Be sure and subscribe to her website at kassfogle.com for freebies, lists, printable journal pages and more.
She is working on her devotional journal, Beneath the Surface: A Devotional Journal for Introverted Believers and is busy organizing IBCON, a conference for Introverted Believers.
When she is not working the day job you can find her at the local coffee house writing, at home baking, hanging out with family or causing trouble with her tight-knit group of girlfriends. She is also active on social media, uniting introverts from the comfort of her stretchy pants.
Email a prayer or other request: firstname.lastname@example.org