Shelby author named finalist in indie book awards

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published June 4, 2014

Deanna Kahler, 45, recently was named a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the parenting/family category for her book “From Pain to Parenting: A Journey from Miscarriage to Adoption.”

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The largest nonprofit independent book awards recognized a Shelby Township mother in its parenting/family category for her book “From Pain to Parenting: A Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption.”

Deanna Kahler, 45, hit a low point in her life after experiencing two miscarriages in her 30s, but through determination and trials, she achieved a happy ending with the adoption of her now 8-year-old daughter, Katie.

She published the book, which details her ordeal and offers resources for coping with grief and pursuing adoption, May 8, 2013, and received an email from the Next Generation Indie Book Awards notifying her that she was a finalist approximately one year later, after applying to the awards in September.

Shelley Anderson, president and award coordinator with the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, wrote in an email to the Shelby-Utica News that the group is now in its seventh year and was established to recognize and honor the most exceptional independently published books.

“Our program continues to grow significantly each year by dozens of entries in each of our 70 categories,” Anderson wrote. “Any books named a winner or finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards are considered the ‘cream of the crop’ and held in high regard.”

Anderson said that as a finalist, Kahler will be listed in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards catalog, which will be distributed to thousands of book buyers, media and others.

She also will receive exposure for a year on the group’s website, receiving a medal, certificate and the opportunity to display a finalist sticker on her books as additional recognition for potential increased revenue.

Kahler said she was surprised but very excited and honored to be recognized by the indie book awards.

“I always tell people that it’s great to receive an award, but the very best reward is to see the effect you’re making on others’ lives,” Kahler said. “I do hear back from readers who tell me they read the book and it helped encourage them or inspire them.”

While she and her husband were trying to have a child, Kahler said she went through a lot of anxiety and depression because the miscarriages were like losing a child. After two such circumstances, she said adoption was not a difficult decision, but the process was lengthy. The couple met Katie within 15 minutes of her birth.

“If you haven’t adopted, it’s hard to explain. When you bring a child home, that’s your child,” she said. “It’s just like she was meant to be a part of our family. It doesn’t matter how she joined us. She’s our daughter.”

While Kahler had experience writing and editing professionally for magazines, newsletters and websites, “From Pain to Parenthood” was her first book. Since then, she has published a fiction novel, a children’s book and is writing a second novel.

The vein through all of her stories is an inspirational struggle to overcome a challenge, she said.

Kahler now primarily focuses on her writing and also serves as a moderator, editor and blogger for several adoption websites.

“I’m in a much better place today,” she said. “I took my experience, and I turned it around into something that helped a lot of others.”

For more information about Kahler, “From Pain to Parenthood: A Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption” or her other books, visit The book is available at The Books Connection in Shelby Township, as well as on and

From 1-3 p.m. June 21, Kahler will be at the Book Shelf in Lapeer to sign and sell copies of her three published books. The bookstore is located at 359 W. Nepessing St.