Skit brought forth author's first book

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second in a series of stories about three Clallam County authors who address spiritual subjects. Last week's report focused on Charles Marunde of

Sequim and his self-published "Success and Eternity."

Kristi Dawn Hurley, of Port Angeles, began writing after a late-night revelation. Her church was looking for a Christmas pageant and Hurley felt inspired to write a skit. After staying up for hours, she felt a new sense of life from within. The short skit was well-received, so she continued to write but in prose.

Hurley published her first book, "A Purpose Under Heaven," a western novella in 2005. Her newest book, "Wouldn't It Be Nice ...." was just released.

The teen love story centers on Nick, a free-spirited daredevil who becomes paralyzed after a snowboarding accident. While in the hospital, he is visited by a youth group, of which Chelsea is a reluctant member. Chelsea feels she is a typical Christian girl going through the motions of life until she meets Nick. The two become friends and a romance ensues.

Nick's experience changed his focus on life and leads Chelsea to a new focus as well.

"He saw what hell would be like, and Chelsea comes to a realization that she wants something real from her life, too," Hurley said.

Her writing reflects events in her life, Hurley said.

Nick's character comes from a chance meeting at Hurley's church years ago.

At a potluck, she saw a disabled man in his 20s in a wheelchair being fed by his mother. She didn't know how to act around him so, ashamedly, she ignored him.

Later, Hurley felt led to take her children and visit him in the nursing home where he lived. They brought baby bunnies and videos for him.

"I visited with him briefly a few times and saw a person capable of a lot of things .... He was intelligent and computer savvy," Hurley said.

Later he was sent to Seattle where he died of medical complications.

"If I didn't take that chance to visit him, then I would have missed the blessing of having him for a friend," she said. "It led me to think of what life might have held for him if someone was willing to look at him for who he was and see beyond his illness/disability and his wheelchair."

Hurley hopes her book creates a similar response for readers.

"I want my message to be embossed in readers' hearts to fully experience the grace of God and to put themselves in someone else's shoes," Hurley said.

"Wouldn't It Be Nice ...." is available online through major retailers, Tate Publishing and at Page Turners, 901 C St., Port Angeles.

NEXT WEEK: Author Francis Kyle and his planned 10-book biographical series on 19-century evangelist James Brainerd Taylor.

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