The Truth About MeI'm a writer, publishing author, and I really like to tell a good story.
Hi, I’m Josh Kilen
And I love stories.
I’ve learned the key to connecting with people is through story. Whether through fictional worlds or marketing campaigns, I try to tell great stories that transform people for good.
The road hasn’t always been easy, but I believe in the simple truth that people need better stories. My purpose is to help people by telling stories that make a profound difference in their lives.
Looking for a good story to read? Check these out.
I also help business with marketing. Check out my business, Cascade Digital Marketing.
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My Life, Honestly
Sharing stories forms a connection between the teller and the reader, but trust is essential for the connection to develop into a relationship. I believe that transparency builds trust and building trust means admitting to past failures or indiscretions.
My mistakes are essential to the story I’m telling right now. Below I lay out the major turns and events that shaped my life story, for good and bad. It’s a work in progress.
1980 – Born
I always considered this event important.
1987 – Won the Young Authors 2nd Grade Award for my story ‘Art is Fun’
My first taste of literary success, I got to attend a conference and everything.
1988 – Lost the Young Authors 3rd Grade Award to Jimmy Smith
Since Jimmy’s story was vastly inferior to mine – or so I remember – I swore off writing. Literary success seemed way too arbitrary to be meaningful so I decided to pursue architecture instead. This meant I played with Legos. My Grandma and Parents were very happy with my choice since writers don’t make any money.
1989 – Parents divorce, Mom moves out
Public details would be unfair to my folks, but this had a profound effect. I learned that relationships could end suddenly, almost without warning, and, therefore, could not be trusted.
1990 – Dad remarries, we moved, and I attended a new school
This is one of those strange twists that only makes sense in hindsight. If my Dad hadn’t remarried, then I wouldn’t have gone to the school where I met my best friend Robert, who took me to a new church where I met my future wife, and our son would not have been born. This one event changed the course of my whole life and wouldn’t have happened if my parents had not divorced.
1999 – Abandoning my family
One of those warts that I mentioned. A big one. I found out one week before I was going to leave for college that my girlfriend was pregnant. Instead of being supportive and loving, I abandoned her when she was six months pregnant, on Valentine’s Day, which is also the day before her birthday. I was once a total crap of a person.
2000 – Sign language restored
My one big success in college. Central Washington University’s Primate Program required a sign language course in order to pass their degree requirements. Learning sign language makes sense if you want to communicate with chimps. The course, however, was designated as a ‘Continuing Education’ course, which meant that new Primate majors had to pay out of pocket to meet the requirement. I used a coordinated marketing campaign to coerce the school into making the class a permanent course, and therefore covered under regular tuition.
2002-2006 – The Dark Years
If my life were a movie, this would be a montage. Starting with my leaving college in 2002 (I eventually went back and finished) these five years were filled with heartbreak, tears, and terrible choices, one right after the other. I misused women, became a borderline alcoholic, a habitual liar, and worst of all I ignored the effects my actions had on close friends and family. I was not allowed to see my son during these years, and rightly so.
2006 – Bank Robbing
My downward spiral reached its inevitable conclusion. I concocted a scheme to steal money from the bank accounts of the long since deceased and use the money for what I told myself were ‘more noble purposes.’ The State of Washington was about to seize this money for use in the general fund, but I reasoned the money would be better served to fund nonprofits. The bank quickly caught on to my scheme, called the authorities, and they arrested me for bank fraud. Laying on a one-inch mattress in a Federal Metropolitan Detention Center cell in downtown Los Angeles, staring out the small window on the sleeping city, I finally started to clue in that my life was not what it needed to be, and thought about where it all went wrong.
2007 – Reconciliation
It went wrong when I abandoned my family. That one choice colored my every action for nine years and I was ready to submit myself and ask forgiveness. A funny thing happened when I humbled myself – I discovered that the woman I left is the most wonderful person in the world. I reconciled with her, with our son, and eventually asked Megan to marry me. She agreed. This is by far the best decision I have ever made.
2008 – Prison
Apparently, when a judge says “The community would not be better off with you in prison,” that doesn’t mean he won’t send you to prison. He needed to make an example of me to deter others who might consider breaking the law. I got it. Not easy though. When people joke about prison changing a man, it’s not really a joke. The dehumanization and isolation, not to mention the constant fear, transform you fundamentally.
2009 – Marriage
Finally reuniting with my wife and son, this was the most joy-filled day of my life. It was the culmination of the new road I started and the opening of a whole new chapter.
2010 – Amanda Hocking
While sitting in a auto mechanic’s waiting room, I read a news story about an author in Minnesota named Amanda Hocking who was making a living by self-publishing her books. Even though I stopped writing back in 3rd Grade, the stories never stopped popping into my head. I decided to take the plunge and publish my own stories for the world to read. In August, 2011 I published my first book, Doom of the Three Stones, and haven’t looked back since.
Today – The Story Continues
Life hasn’t exactly been uneventful in the past few years, but it’s been good. I’m still working, still publishing, still telling stories that, I hope, will change people’s lives for good.
Megan is still happy she said yes.
Great Stories in Book Form
I write fiction and nonfiction stories that touch and change people’s lives. Whether through a new way of looking at marketing, a silly tale about dogs and ninja pizza crusts, or a humorous story about skeletons and stoners, I hope my readers walk away with something more after finishing one of my books. Here are a few examples:
This is my first full-length novel. It’s about a man caught between international intrigue and saving his marriage, all set in a world where Atlantis has ruled for thousands of years. Author.
Tips and ideas for artists who hate sales and marketing. This book teaches artists how to use the remarkable power of Social Media to increase sales by connecting with collectors and fans. Author, Cover Design.
The book that started it all for me. A fun kid’s adventure about two dogs who must stop an evil cat determined to rule the world with his army of ninja pizza crusts, all because of some cheese. Author, Cover Design.
A fun and humorous short story about some colorful characters trying to make sense of unusual circumstances while defeating an ancient evil that threatens to destroy everything. Author, Cover Design.
My Blog Posts and Articles
I write about whatever strikes my fancy. You should learn a thing or two, but the average is four.
Are you working on your college essay and wondering what to write? It's not easy to write a great college essay that will make college admissions counselors stand up and take notice. You have to tell your story and make sure that your personality comes through so that...
I often miss out on a happy, joy-filled life because I can’t stop comparing the present with the future. We are meant to enjoy the lives that God gave us. He created us for a purpose, to glorify him, but that includes us enjoying His creation and our lives as we live...
Whenever I know I should do something, a voice pops into my head. Not like a crazy person (or maybe exactly like a crazy person, who knows?) but rather like the inner child that psychologists used to tell us we needed to find. No need, he’s right here and he’s an...
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