Whitney Ward is a public speaker and writer who seeks to encourage her audiences to overcome their circumstances. As someone who has a disability, it is her wish to give hope to others with illnesses so they will persevere and scale the mountains they face.
You can buy MORE Than My Mountains here.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
Growing up with a chronic illness was extremely difficult. It was physically, emotionally, and socially draining. I needed avenues to escape my reality and my love for reading and writing became that to me. When I read one of my favorite books, I wasn’t the sick girl who was limited in what she could do, I was the main character’s friend and we went on amazing adventures together. Writing allowed me to express my feelings- my hurt, my pain, and my sadness with everything I lost because of my illness. I had journals upon journals releasing my burdens and heartache, which allowed me to shift my focus and look forward. My calling on this earth is to encourage others to overcome their pain and reshift their focus so they can scale their mountains and experience mountain-top victories.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I am a contributing columnist for IG Living, a magazine that encourages and uplifts patients with immune disease. I also freelance for other authors who need assistance in adding dialogue and description to their manuscripts. I am an administrative assistant to a Southern Gospel Singing Group and I’m currently in grad school to become an English Language Arts Teacher.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
The title of my book was very easy to choose. I have always seen my medical obstacles as mountains that needed to be conquered and the word MORE has become very important to me since the name of my disease means “more,” in Latin. So, the title came to me like an epiphany, which was to combine mountains with MORE, and thus, the title, MORE Than My Mountains, came to my mind.
How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?
I was awestruck. I didn’t know if the dream of being a published author would ever come to fruition, so holding my book in my hands was the best gift ever.
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
I love that question! 1) “Mount Testimony” by the Lore Family, 2) “I’m So Glad He Sees What We Don’t” by 11th Hour 3) “Nobody” by Casting Crowns 4) “This is the Promise” by Grace Larson, and 5) “Blessings” by Laura Story.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
I want readers to read my book and be inspired to never give up, never quit climbing, and never forget God created them to be MORE.
What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?
For me, it would be that I’m even alive to see my book published. I have a rare gene mutation that for all scientific reasoning should have killed me before I was even born. So the fact I have been able to accomplish this incredible milestone makes my heart sing with gratefulness because something that was supposed to destroy me has become the most meaningful part of my story.
What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?
I am working on a children’s picture book that is a Christmas-themed book about the Nativity Story. I also have several projects planned for people of all ages who have chronic illnesses. I want to give them hope that they are MORE than their disease.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.