Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bibliophile Tabletalk: Katherine Forster

Katherine Forster is a special friend of mine--a writer, a reader, and a lover of God's Word. Using both fiction and nonfiction to speak truth into the hearts of readers, she's already a talented wordsmith and is definitely one to watch for future publications. I wanted you all to get a chance to know her, so I invited her to the blog, and she was kind enough to come! I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. :) 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Favorite hobbies? Future aspirations? Current reads?

I'm a hermit with too many ideas and a lot of crazy friends. (Well, at least my family says I'm a hermit; I promise I leave the house sometimes.) I love writing. I'm currently working on two books (one fiction, one nonfic), but due to my crazy schedule, poems and such are more practical currently. I want to pursue writing as a career; I'm hoping to go to Patrick Henry College, because they have a great Classical Liberal Arts program (and that would allow me to go into teaching if necessary, because, you know, writing isn't exactly the most lucrative profession).

I also do a competition called the National Bible Bee, which involves studying and memorizing the Bible; I can say without reservation that it changed my life, since I've been involved since 2009 and I don't think you can memorize that much Scripture and remain unchanged. By God's grace I've made semis twice, and both times it was an awesome experience. The fellowship between the fifteen people on stage, all of whom are competing against each other, is so sweet; and it's an unspeakable privilege to be able to quote the word of God in front of literally thousands of people.

Currently reading? Don't Waste Your Life, by John Piper; The Forgotten Spurgeon, by Iain H. Murray; and Bleak House is on my Kindle, and tells me I'm 11% of the way through it. Also I picked up a collection of Flannery O'Connor stories at a wonderfully giant used bookstore in Tennessee, and I'm about halfway through. She's slightly disturbing, but such a good writer.

2. Looking back on this summer, what was one thing you learned about art, God, or both?

Oh wow. How do I even answer this? Maybe it's just my newfound love for nonfiction, but I feel like I've learned a lot this summer. For Bible Bee we studied John 13-15, and that was absolutely amazing. I learned so much about the glory of God - His love for us, and then how He commands us to he a part of that by loving other people. I just posted about that on my blog, actually. Another thing I've been thinking about, really since this spring, is how art displays His glory; how when we create something beautiful, we're glorifying Him. That's my goal with writing - to serve other people by giving them something beautiful.

3. Who are some of your favorite authors? What aspects of their writing do you particularly enjoy?

*Looks around at favorite authors* Okay, so most of them write fantasy. And most of them are dead, actually (so why do I always talk about them in the present tense?). I love Tolkien, for obvious reasons - he's one of those authors that just stands above everybody else. His prose is breathtaking. And Lewis of course; his space trilogy is probably my favorite of his works, but I love his nonfiction too - he explains things so well. I discovered Andrew Peterson more recently, but he's been a huge inspiration for me, through both his books and his music. And there are plenty of others (Patrick Carr, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Rosemary Sutcliff, just to name a few), but I won't bore you with my ramblings :) Oh, and John Piper. His books have been very eye-opening for me.

4. Which three authors have you never read before that you're really excited to try?

Joseph Loconte (A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War). We heard him on the Janet Parshall show talking about Tolkien and Lewis and… yeah.

Marilynne Robinson (Housekeeping) So I saw this article on The Gospel Coalition blog, and it really intrigued me. It sounds like exactly the kind of book I'd enjoy, and apparently it's a classic.

Emily P. Freeman (Graceful) Another nonfiction. I saw it on a friend's blog, and as soon as I finished the post I headed over to my digital library and told them to buy it (because I can do that! It will literally buy a new book if you tell it to! I can't tell you how excited I was when I discovered this).

5. Do you have a favorite artistic expression that you like to pursue? (writing, music, etc?)

As I'm sure you already noticed, I love writing. I mentioned earlier that I've been learning how you glorify God through art; I believe that I can bring glory to Him through what I write, by creating art built on truth and full of beauty. I want to write works that are grounded in the truth of the gospel, but also very, very high quality, and I want to bless other people with it. I think it's a form of love for others, to create good art for them to enjoy.

And I also play the violin. It stretches me a lot, because I tend to get nervous when I perform solo (even though I'm perfectly calm competing in front of hundreds of people… does anyone else have that problem?), but I really enjoy it.

6. What non-writing and non-reading activities do you find most inspire you creatively? (Taking a walk, doing a particular chore, etc.)

Probably biking is the main one. I like to go for bike rides early in the mornings, when the sweltering Florida heat hasn't taken hold yet,and it's such a great opportunity to just think about things - from deep thoughts on theological concepts to imaginary stories in my head. And I love meeting the random people along my route. When you go about the same time each day, you start seeing a lot of the same people; it's like a strange sort of friendship - you've never actually spoken to them (except maybe, “Good morning”), but it feels like you know them.

7. And lastly, you have your own corner of the web. Tell us about your blog(s) and what we can expect to enjoy on them!

Well, technically I have two; the first one isn't too active, though, so I mostly focus on my personal blog, Song Beyond Silence. It's sort of an amalgamation of my writing (poetry, mostly) and my random musings on various topics; so you get poems, short stories, articles on what I'm studying in John right now… pretty much everything. I got the name from a line of an Andrew Peterson song; I've always been fascinated with the idea of listening to a song no one else can hear. It's actually the premise for my WIP novel.

About Katherine
Katherine Forster is a sixteen year old writer and National Bible Bee contestant who generally walks around with half her brain somewhere else (probably a world full of heroes and hobbits and stars). She calls herself a poet, and hopes by God’s grace to display His glory to the world and those around her by creating art of truth and beauty. You can find her poems, stories, and random musings at www.songbeyondsilence.wordpress.com


  1. It's so nice to see you on the blog here today, Katherine! I really enjoyed reading about you and how the Lord is working in your life. You have so many great sources of information and inspiration! We enjoy JP as well--I've learned of a lot of neat books and resources I wouldn't have otherwise. I enjoy your writing and have been blessed by it! --Mrs. McC

  2. Thank you so much for having me, Schuyler! <3 It was a lot of fun :)

  3. Such a wonderful table talk! I really enjoyed reading it. I loved learning more about you, Katherine. Also I feel ya on the biking thing -- every evening I go walking/jogging on the same route and I feel like that type of connection to the same people I pass by every time.

  4. Katherine! I usually skip interviews on blogs (*embarrassed cough*), but I really enjoyed this one. Yes yes yes to all your favorite authors. I have read and love every single one of them. It's fun to meet people who've read (and listened to) AP and Anne Elisabeth Stengl, since they've blessed me so much but are less well known. I totally understand the connection to people you see on bike rides everyday.


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