For All the Saints by Kristen Smith Dayley: Interview & Giveaway

Welcome to author Kristen Smith Dayley

Kristen Smith Dayley lives in Issaquah, Washington, with her husband and children. Although she loves the Pacific Northwest, she insists on regular pilgrimages to New England, where her early childhood was nurtured by Make Way for Ducklings and the Freedom Trail. Kristen’s first experience with confession and repentance occurred at the age of five, after she shoved dead leaves and grass through the mail slot of the bishop’s office at Cambridge’s Longfellow Park Chapel. Despite that misdeed, she was allowed to return when she was admitted to Harvard Law School and even served as Relief Society president of the Cambridge University Ward (perhaps as penance). Kristen is a practicing attorney and aspires to develop some hobbies outside of Church and family when time allows.

What is one book everyone should read?

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I try to read it every few years. Besides being a gripping tale, it reminds me to be grateful in all circumstances and of the Lord’s mindfulness of us no matter where we are. It brings perspective and reminds me of the things that truly matter in this life.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
It’s a toss-up. I love Baskin Robbins’ Gold Medal Ribbon (umm . . . caramel!), but for home I’ve recently discovered Ciao Bella’s key lime pie and it is amazing!

Night owl, or early bird?
Night owl, unfortunately. There are never enough hours in the day and I always try to make up for their lack late at night!

Pet Peeves?
Leaving cupboard or closet doors open – closing them is one of the quickest and most effective ways to clean a room!

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Actually, I never aspired to become a writer. Eight years ago, Clayton Christensen, who is a best-selling author and a professor at Harvard Business School, called and told me that he’d spent the last ten years working with a team of people to collect oral histories from individuals who had been involved in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New England since the 1930s. They had collected hundreds of histories, including General Authorities, new converts and everyone in between. He proceeded to tell me just a handful of stories from that collection and they were powerful. It was his desire to turn them into a book that would inspire faith, instill a sense of gratitude for the sacrifices of those who have gone before, and teach lessons about what it truly means to be a disciple. When I received the thousands of pages of material Clayton’s team had gathered, I was immediately captured by the powerful stories, testimonies and insights. It took me eight years to sort through the transcripts, organize the examples and turn it into a cohesive narrative and there were many times I wanted to throw in the towel, but I felt an immense sense of responsibility to share the accounts that I’ve had the privilege to work with and learn from all this time. I’m in the very unique position of having received a volume of untouched source material so rich that it was begging to be told, and that’s what turned me into a writer.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?
I would say a Jane Austen novel, but I love hot showers, electricity, central heating and indoor plumbing way too much. So I’ll fantasize about that, knowing that I’m in exactly the time and place that I really should be.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
A teacher, an artist and a candle maker (we went on a field trip to a candle shop when I was in first grade).

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Relationships are fragile – the Lord’s plans for you are not.

What was your favorite children’s book?
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

KJ (for Kristen Jane)

What do you do in your free time? 
What free time? I am a practicing attorney, active in church callings, just finished building a home, and have four children (including 5 month old twins). I think I’ve been writing a book in my free time.
What’s your favorite season/weather?
I love them all, but I have a special fondness for autumn – the gorgeous colors, the crispness in the air, and the sense of a new beginning that always comes with the start of a new school year no matter how long it’s been since I’ve attended class myself. We lived in Santa Monica, California for five years and loved it there, but I always felt a bit lost without my seasonal markers and particularly missed the fall.

Favorite music?
Handel’s Messiah, Simon & Garfunkel, the Eagles, James Taylor, Maroon Five and Norah Jones

Print or Ebook?
I have both. Ebook convenience is nice, but there’s nothing like the weight, smell and feel of a book in my hands.
Sweet or Salty?
Can I have both? Salted chocolate-covered caramels are to die for!
Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
I’m a planner – I am constantly making and checking off lists – wouldn’t know how to manage my crazy life without them!
Shoes or Sandals?


For All the Saints provides an uplifting account of the ways in which the Lord builds his kingdom through ordinary men and women. Set in Boston, Massachusetts and its surrounding areas, the book draws upon the experiences of hundreds of members, ranging from prominent Church leaders to brand new converts. Their collective insights teach powerful lessons about commitment, faith, sacrifice, and leadership that are applicable to us all, no matter our corner of the vineyard.
Drawing upon accounts both humorous and profound, these Saints remind us of the impact one person can have when partnered with the Lord. They also instill a sense of gratitude for the contributions of those who precede us and demonstrate that the Lord’s promises are sure, as we each play a role in a work much larger than our own vantage point might suggest.

Visit all the Tour Stops

Giveaway Details:
1 copy of For All the Saints
Open to US only
Ends 11/12/12

a Rafflecopter giveaway