Local man publishes first book
By Steven Hoffman
Kendall Keeler described the process of self-publishing his new book, “Your Last 24: Preparing for the Inevitable” as a two-year adventure.
It took a lot of work and time, but Keeler is glad that he went on the adventure and completed the writing project.
“I had something I wanted to say to the next generation,” Keeler said during an interview from his home in Quarryville last week.
He explained that the seeds for the book were planted more than two decades ago when he was still in his 20s. At that time, one of Keeler’s good friends had a spouse pass away at a very young age. it made Keeler ponder what if he was living the last 24 hours of his own life. He discovered that he hadn’t given the important subject enough thought.
Keeler’s book challenges people to consider their own mortality, and to prepare themselves to accept the inevitability of death, to learn about death’s purpose, and to deliberately allow the reality of death to become motivation for making better decisions about how they lead their lives.
“Everyone is going to face death,” Keeler said, explaining that his target audience is anyone who hasn’t given sufficient thought to their own mortality and how live their lives.
Keeler is a development director for Black Rock Retreat. He was a youth pastor for several years, and he wrote sermons, Bible studies, curriculum for summer Bible school, and more. He also wrote and recorded dramatic devotionals for a radio station in Lancaster. He and his family lived in Oxford for a number of years and he worked at Herr Foods during that time. All of his educational, work, and life experiences helped him as he made decisions about what information to include in the book.
His first writing experiences came in high school when he and his brother joined a few friends and started a band. Keeler started writing rhymes and music and the band completed an eclectic album of rap, pop, spoken word, and R & B.
Writing a book offered a much different experience. Keeler would write for a half an hour or an hour before work each day.
“I had to learn how to get into a writing routine,” he explained. “I had to learn how to get words down on the page instead of being too self-critical. I needed to bleed on the page a little bit.”
The book is organized into 24 chapters, just as a day has 24 hours. Three sections of the book are fictional and the remaining section is non-fiction that focuses on how people can prepare for what is inevitable. There is a blank page at the end of each chapter so that people can journal and ponder their answers to a guided question. The entire book is approximately 120 pages.
“I’m a nonfiction reader and i like shorter books,” he said, adding that he thoroughly revised and edited the book.
“As I was working on publishing the book, I was also going back and working on the writing. I could edit the book perpetually. I’m blessed that I had so much helpful feedback from friends and family.”
Keeler said that his wife Barbra, in particular, was helpful in providing tips while he was editing the book. She tutors dyslexic children on how to read, and she was helpful with things like grammar and word choice. Keeler also relied on several friends who were willing to read the manuscript and provide critical feedback.
Keeler said that he is very pleased with the final product, and he’s already hard at work on the second book in what he believes will be a three-book Legacy Journal Series. The second book focuses on the important things to do while you’re alive so that people will remember you the way that you want to be remembered.
More information about Keeler’s work, including some blog posts, can be found at kendallkeeler.com. The book is available exclusively on Amazon.