Former addict Kevin John White, who found his passion and talent for writing through his Christian faith, has officially published his book, Dancing on a Razor.
White used to live with Julie and Steve Hill, the doctor he met while in and out of Huntsville Hospital for alcohol withdrawals. Julie is now his manager and literary agent.
The synopsis of Dancing on a Razor reads: “Dancing on a Razor chronicles, through a series of dynamic short personal stories, the life and God’s redemption of Kevin John White, son of internationally known author and lecturer Dr. John White. Despite his conversion experience at age 14, Kevin becomes a hopeless alcoholic, an addict, and a wandering minstrel—riding freight trains and hitchhiking coast to coast, singing his own music for 45 years. But while he is living this derelict life, Kevin experiences the relentless pursuit and personal revelation of God’s love to him. Despite Kevin’s fear and rebelliousness against God, God continues to perform astonishing miracles throughout Kevin’s lifetime to draw him back to God.”
Hill says she is very proud of White, his book and how far he has come on his journey with sobriety.
“I’m proud of him for all the effort he has put into working towards living a more sober life, and for getting back up when he falls off the wagon no matter how many times he falls,” she said. “This man has determination! He also is a very gifted writer and is extremely particular about how he says things. I’m proud of him for spending countless hours writing and rewriting each sentence until they were just the way he wanted them and the end result is an extremely entertaining book with intrigue, mystery, comedy, spirituality and hope.”
Before discovering his faith, White spent over 40 years trying to get sober without success.
“Kevin had to live a lifetime of extremely difficult struggles and experiences for 45 years in order to be able to write about them,” said Julie. “Then almost six years ago he had to have the courage to take a step of faith into the way God was leading him and believe that he could get sober. He had to be willing to go to a treatment centre for seven months.”
White says that the most common response from people who have read his book is that it’s impossible to put down once you start reading.
“At the time I thought folks were just being kind until one poor lady told me she would read as long as she could stay awake ’til she fell asleep, wake up 15 to 20 minutes later, and then continue reading until she read the entire book in one night,” he said. “Now I might expect this sort of response from a particularly good Dr. Seuss book, but hardly from a 282-page book about a very bad alcoholic and a very nice God. This comment hasn’t changed much so I figure there are a lot of sleepy people out there.”
He also said that some people who have talked to him about his book have been crying while telling him about what the book meant to them.
Many people have also told him that once they finish reading it they purchase four or five copies for friends and family.
People in Ontario jails and addiction treatment centres have also been purchasing Dancing on the Razor in order to help in their own personal journeys.
White says he has even heard that the book is doing well in BC and the UK and plans are being made to have copies made and sold in China.
“Kevin and I had to do a lot of editing to polish things up for a public audience to read it. We had to send manuscripts all over the country for them to read and then collect their endorsements. We had to enter the manuscript into a contest hoping to win the Best New Canadian Manuscript Award which provides for free publishing. It won the second time we submitted it,” said Julie.
While White no longer lives with the Hills, he still remains very close with the family.
“The fun part was figuring out the best cover design which involved lots of going back and forth with the professional graphic designers,” she said. “Of course the best part was holding our first copy of the book and reading it again not for editing purposes but just to enjoy it. This has been the most exciting adventure I think I’ve ever been on,” she said.
White wants the world to know that anyone can read his book, no matter where you are at in your life.
“This book isn’t just for those in obvious trouble,” he said. “It’s for the Church, for the unchurched, It’s really for anyone with an open heart and a good sense of humour. And it’s especially for those God brings it to. Those will not be able to resist it.”
White said he owes everything in Dancing on a Razor to God, who helped him overcome the biggest struggle in his life and finally reach a point of sobriety.
“Dancing is not a book about me. It is a book about a God who is faithful when I had no faith,” he said. “It is the story of a God who wanted a story told – and so picked on the most unlikely of candidates. It came from years and years of watching and experiencing God’s faithfulness time and again when I had no faith at all – and then him planting it in there somehow.”
There are a few stores in the community that are carrying Dancing on a Razor including Pharmasave, Living Wood Design, and the MBC bookstore. Hill is also able to sell copies to people locally if they email [email protected] and request a copy. People outside of Huntsville can order from castlequaybooks.com or amazon.ca or amazon.com.
The pair plan to set up a book signing event in the fall and if anyone would like Kevin to consider speaking to their group about his book or life experiences they can email [email protected]
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