Author Spotlight: Katherine Goertz
By Katherine Goertz Thompson
Katherine Goertz Thompson was the fifth of twelve children—six boys and six girls—born to Isaac and Alma Goertz in the Prairie town of Three Hills, Alberta. Her parents were on staff at Prairie Bible Institute at the time of her birth.
Her family moved many times, ultimately ending up in Calgary, Alberta, where she attended Crescent Heights High School and Berean Bible College.
Kathie’s walk with God began merely as an innocent child wanting to “get into heaven” but soon blossomed into a committed, ever-deepening relationship with her loving Heavenly Father. That relationship has been what has sustained Kathie and continues to make her life rich and full.
Kathie married her first husband in 1976. They were blessed with five exquisite human beings over the next nineteen years – Liyan, Jeff, Rob, Mike and Lauren. Her two daughters currently live in Edmonton, one son lives in Montreal and the other two live in Vancouver. Kathie also has two precious grandchildren, Kateri and Andrew, who live much too far away from her for her liking! That marriage ended after thirty years.
Through the years as a stay-at-home mom and continuing into her years as a single mom, Kathie took numerous courses and ultimately received her Business Administration Diploma as well as became a personal/family counselor.
In July, 2015, Kathie got married again to Keith Thompson, someone she had gone to high school with over forty years earlier. God has blessed her richly with a loving husband and four more wonderful children—two step-daughters and two step-sons—Lisa, Kevin, Craig and Lara.
Kathie and Keith live in Spruce Grove, Alberta, where Kathie is thrilled to work part-time with teens as an Education Assistant as well as working from home in her counseling practice, “Beauty From Ashes”.
An Interview with Kathie Goertz
Q: The synopsis of My Father’s Daughter states that there are Nazi connections in the story. How significant are those connections?
A: The “Nazi connections” play a huge, pivotal role in the story. The surprising facts of Saskia’s life shocked me when I first heard them! Even more surprising were the later revelations about her identity. I continue to marvel at the details of my friend’s life but even more, I marvel at God’s sustaining grace and tenacious grip on her!
Q: What motivated you to write this story?
A: Saskia Hommes and I met almost twenty years ago when our sons played hockey together. I was instantly drawn to this beautiful, hilarious woman who, like me, was a mother of five children. As we became friends and shared stories about our lives, I was stunned to learn about her “Nazi Papa”. The amazing twists and turns in her life—which ultimately led her to accept God’s love—were almost more than I could imagine. Hers was an extraordinary story that I just knew needed to be told. I’m honoured that Saskia has allowed me to tell her story. It is one which I believe is timely. In this day when chaos, terrorism and religious bigotry threaten our society, we all need to know that there is a God who loves us, cares for us and is big enough to answer even when we don’t really know how to call out to Him.
Q: How long did it take you to write the book and what do you hope readers take away from it?
A: Though the book is a very short one and should be an “easy read”, I collected facts over a period of several years and then took six months to actually get it written. There are so many other details that could have been added but I wanted to get the “bare bones” story out to the world as quickly as possible. Perhaps in the future someone—perhaps me, perhaps someone else—will write a sequel to My Father’s Daughter. There are so many other aspects of Saskia’s life that would be interesting to share but I’ll leave any future plans in our Father’s hands. My prayer for this book is that readers will be drawn to God when they see how He faithfully carried and called Saskia to Himself. I also hope that readers will realize their true identities—not merely in socio-economic, cultural or political/religious terms, but in terms of who their Father is. That awareness changes lives.
Q: What is your advice to other aspiring writers?
A: For many years, I thought that I needed to be a published author to be a successful writer. Those terms are not necessarily synonymous. I knew I had a talent for writing and was passionate about it. I truly believed God had gifted me with this ability and wanted me to use it. Along the journey, however, I bought into society’s values. I honestly thought that seeing my name in print would be what made me feel fulfilled as a writer and that selling books would be what proved my worth as a writer. I took writing courses and wrote a lot. I got some articles published. I got lots of rejection letters. And I continued to stress about getting more writing pieces published.
Then one day, it was as if a light went on inside and I could almost hear God say, “Kathie, I gave you your gift of writing. I’ll help you to write what you need to write and it doesn’t have to be published.” I realized that writing letters of encouragement, sending cards to express appreciation or support, or even texting a quick message to someone to let them know they’re not alone, were all ways to use my gift to enrich this world. Over the years, I have tried to do just that. Any income I make from my writing is a bonus in this life. However, the richness that has come to me as I have endeavored to share God’s love with various individuals in my world has been beyond my wildest dreams and worth more than money. I truly believe that the lives we enrich with our words will bring eternal riches and blessings that far surpass material wealth. To share oneself through sincere, loving words is to touch another’s heart and who knows what the effect of that will ultimately be.
If you are wanting to become a published author, by all means continue to discipline yourself and write. Submit your work as you feel led and don’t give up on your dream. However, while you’re doing that, don’t forget to use your gift to touch those people that God has placed in your life already. Our words have the power to change lives and that, in my opinion, is what makes a successful writer.
I will be having a book launch at Woodrack Cafe, #101, 7603 – 109 Street NW, Edmonton, AB. Date is still to be determined but will probably be in mid-October, 2016. I’m also hoping to have some book signings/meet the author dates at local bookstores. Dates and locations haven’t been finalized at this time.
About this Contributor:
Katherine Goertz Thompson is the author of the soon-to-be-released My Father’s Daughter, the biographical account of Saskia Hommes’s struggle to come to terms with her father’s involvement with the Nazis. Katherine lives in Spruce Grove, AB with her husband, Keith.
Connect with Kathie:
Email: thinkwell.livewell (at) gmail.com
Facebook: Katherine Helen Goertz-Thompson