Alabaster author pens novel

Published 4:04 pm Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Since the age of 10 or 11, Karin Hoyle knew she wanted to write a fantasy novel. Every chance she got she was jotting down ideas.

By the time she was a college student, she had about 15 incomplete novels. Schooled at Winona State University in Winona, Minn., she and her husband, Adam Ballstadts, married during college and after graduation they moved to Denver to attend seminary.

Shortly after moving, Ballstadt discovered she was expecting. No jobs, no money, far from home and family, church and “supporters,” Ballstadt called her sister in Birmingham and said “Guess what, I’m pregnant.” Sister Julie replied, “So am I.”

Ballstadt had already begun her classes in Hebrew and Bible interpretation, so Adam got a job to cover living expenses.

At eight months pregnant, the Ballstadts drove from Denver to Birmingham. Completely broke, they were worried, but trusted their lives to God.

Ballstadt delivered their first son, Caleb, three weeks later. Things were extremely tight for a while until Adam got a job at Regions Bank.

By spring, Karin realized she too needed to go to work. A job was available at Evangel Classical School. Ballstadt interviewed and was hired. She now teaches eighth, 10th and 12th-grade history and Bible.

Had she not stayed in Denver and finished her Hebrew and Bible interpretation classes, she would not have met the requirements for her job. The Ballstadts now have a second son, Joshua. Both Joshua and Caleb are at Evangel.

Ballstadt has always loved the fantasy world. She does not think it’s evil or non-Christian. Imagination is a good thing, she said.

Her ideas began in childhood, rooted in her early life experiences. From the time she was 5 months old, the Hoyle family did camp work each summer in the Upper Peninsula. The same kids and their families spent every summer doing camp work and grew very close after spending so many summers together – almost like brothers and sisters.

Such is how Ballstadt grew up and from these experiences came the first book of her series, “The Six,” written under the name of K. B. Hoyle. Some of her characters are loosely based on these former camp friends.

There will be five more books of the Gateway Chronicles.

The most difficult challenge for any author is finding a publisher. After much hard work, Ballstadt has self-published through The book is $14 and can be ordered or an autographed copy obtained at Evangel. The book makes a great gift for ’tweens and teens.

Sandra Thames writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. Contact her at

Editor’s note: Because of the need for clarification of some facts in this story, we are repeating it here from a previous Shelby County Reporter. We regret the errors