Kelsey Greye is a pastor by trade.
Contemplating the nature of humanity and shining a light on many of the struggles one has in life, she has the opportunity to share those thoughts with large groups of people and perhaps make a change in their lives.
But there is another side to her life that not everyone knows about; one that allows her to take her contemplations to a different level in the written word as an author.
“I’m an introvert,” says Greye. “And so I work all day with people and then I go home and hang out with fictional people.”
Her first book, The Pursuit of Miss Charlotte Edwards, was a murder mystery and romance which took place in Victorian England, a setting inspired by work on her masters degree in theological studies at the time. Her focus for her masters was on the culture and spiritual climate of Victorian England, so naturally, much of her study trickled down into her first crack at fiction.
“In many ways, (the culture) was actually very similar to what we see today,” said Greye. “One of the things that fascinated me the most was the desire to present the best side of yourself and the desire not to acknowledge the darkness of humanity.”
She wanted to write about how present that darkness really was, in emotional, physical and spiritual forms, and how some people are able to engage and shine a light on those parts of ourselves that we would rather not think about. As a pastor, she’s seen that a lot in her own life. As a writer, she intends to inspire further through her writing.
“Sometimes, there are things about ourselves that we think we know, and then we end up in a situation where our reaction is bringing something to light that maybe we didn’t realize,” said Greye. “It was kind of hiding in our souls. How do we deal with that? And do we have the courage to invite somebody else into that with us?”
Those are questions that she tackles in her books, from The Pursuit of Miss Charlotte Edwards to its companion, A Thread of Truth. But her third book is a little different from her first two.
“(It was) a departure for me, actually. I set this one in a contemporary setting, but it’s still a murder mystery with a bit of romance in it,” she said. “And very much still addresses the uncovering of things that are hidden and what happens when the things that we want to hide get exposed.”
All That Remains is about a woman who moves to a small town where she used to spend summer with her grandparents as a child, in pursuit of her dream of opening a small book store there. But as she becomes part of small-town life, community and connection, the darker side of that life is revealed, with memories of the disappearance of a family there years ago begins to surface.
“I love the written word in any form, so I think I’ve probably been very influenced by every piece of literature I’ve come across,” said Grey. But she’s also found inspiration through her life as a pastor, helping people overcome the follies of humanity on a personal level and sharing the idea that, in the end, accepting one’s darkness isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Greye will be sharing and signing for All That Remains at Coles this Nov. 29 from 1-3 p.m.