16-y-o author explores faith in first book
Kerese Oakley-Williams had her first encounter with God at Moorlands Summer Camp in 2015.
She took the next step in her spiritual walk by attending baptismal classes at Swallowfield Chapel, taking the plunge in faith that August.
The thriving relationship, coupled with the challenges and lessons of her teenage years, provided the foundation of the book she penned.
“My first book was undoubtedly inspired by the Holy Spirit,” Kerese told The Gleaner.
The Christian motivational book, Paradox, was published by AuthorHouse in January 2021.
It is mostly geared at teenage girls and was designed to inspire teenagers to choose the Lord’s way of life.
“I share my own experiences and the lessons that I have learnt. I talk about how to handle the world’s toxic nature of drugs, alcohol, sex, and violence as a paradox - be in this world but not of this world,” she said.
Reflecting on her six-year Christian journey, Kerese said she has had many troughs and peaks but has never let go of God.
The 16-year-old student of St Andrew High School for Girls disclosed that she struggled with English throughout grades nine and 10 and sought extra help by enrolling in Sophomore Academics in her fourth-form year.
“Mr Duane Burke’s passion and love for English was passed on to me through his continuous constructive criticism and informative tips on descriptive and essay writing,” she shared.
She recalled that the writing process was very exciting as the adventure was led by her Chief Inspirer.
“There were one or two times when there was some amount of frustration but ... I was able to finish the book,” the teen said.
Kerese said that her parents and grandparents, who she described as her “A-team”, have been supportive from the infancy of her publishing ambitions. There were nights, she said, when her parents would be up late editing the book with her while eating popcorn and enjoying each other’s company.
Her desire is for the book to inspire readers to explore faith in Jesus Christ and to live and abide in his love.
“I hope that teenagers will be touched by the book and be informed that they don’t have to wait until they are older to live for the Lord. They can do it right now because the father’s arms are always open wide.”
Paradox is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AuthorHouse.
Physical copies can be pre-ordered, and the e-book will be available in February.
The teen has a passion for the sciences and intends to pursue a career in biomedical science or neuroscience.