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By Emily Bontrager
Growing up, Tori Kiger has always had a love for reading. Recently, she has taken her love for books and turned her ideas into her own self-published fiction story. Tori’s book is called Letters of Grace and it is 246 pages long. The book falls into two genres, Christian Women’s Fiction and Christian Romance.
Tori grew up in Tennessee, graduating from Union County High School in 2012. She started college at the University of Tennessee and graduated from Columbia College in Missouri. Tori has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Human Resources, and a Master’s in Business Administration. She is currently working on her PhD for Business Administration.
Tori, 29, moved to Clark County with husband Kolt and they live in Luray with their three boys. Tori teaches 9th and 10th grade English at Scotland County High School, where she has taught for the past six years.
Before COVID-19 hit, Tori never really thought about writing a book, but at that time she wanted something to do, so she joined a few writers’ groups online.
“I started it during the year of COVID, and then I didn’t really push myself until this summer and that’s pretty well when I wrote this book,” Tori explained.
Tori loves reading all types of genres, but she really enjoys reading romance books. She chose to focus on this genre and to write a fictional story about the struggles of marriage.
“I noticed that when I read those books it never focuses on what happens after they get married and just the struggles that people go through afterwards and the work that it takes in order to keep that romance alive and happily ever after,” Tori explained.
“So, that kind of is what the book is about and that struggle to maintain that relationship afterwards.”
Tori decided to self-publish Letters of Grace and this was a difficult process for her. She joined some Facebook groups for self-published authors and was able to ask questions about the process of publishing her own book.
“I also got what was called an alpha reader. So, an alpha reader will read your book as you are writing it and leave comments on it as you write it,” Tori explained.
The alpha reader was really helpful to Tori along the way.
According to Tori, one of the most difficult parts of writing was marketing the book to the public.
“I don’t love marketing, but if you want your book to sell you have to figure it out, so I am relying heavily on social media for that,” Tori said.
Letters of Grace was published on October 6 and the book is available for purchase on Amazon. Within a week of releasing the book, Letters of Grace hit number one in the Christian Women’s Fiction genre on Amazon.
The book is published under Tori’s pen name, T. Bell, which she chose because she is in the process of getting her PhD and because her stepdad always called her Tori Bell.
Tori wants to thank everyone for supporting her book so far and she wants everyone to come out to her book signing on Saturday, December 2. The book signing will be held at the Sever Memorial Library in Kahoka from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. She is also working on selling Letters of Grace in some local stores.
“It has definitely been an experience that I have never dreamed about. I’ve just been thankful to the people who have bought it and left reviews,” Tori said.
One of the things that Tori encourages other writers to do if they want to write a book is to believe in themselves and to find a great support system.
“Just really do it and don’t doubt yourself. My husband is absolutely the reason I continue to write because he is the first person I ever told that I was going to write a book. He read it and he said, ‘You can do this,’” Tori said.
“I think you just need that person that is going to tell you that you can do this.”
You can follow Author T. Bell on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to see Tori’s updates about the Letters of Grace. Tori is planning to write a sequel to the book, so look out for updates on her pages in the future