Winner of the American Christian Fiction Writer's Carol Award for Dauntless!!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

My Writing Journey

I think I've loved writing ever since I penned a short story in elementary school about an alien from Venus that came to visit earth. But my journey with writing was a little rocky after that. I had some great teachers in my early high school years that encouraged my writing. I even remember writing a class play that we produced for chapel. Then in eleventh and twelfth grade I had a teacher who discouraged me at every turn. I guess I'll never know if her motives were vindictive or if she just really didn't get my creative approach to writing. But when I scored a perfect "5" on the AP Exam she kept telling me I was going to fail, I realized that I shouldn't base my life choices on her opinions.

My first rejection - maybe 1991 or 1992
As I entered college, I kept thinking in the back of my mind that I wanted to minor in English, but it took two years before I found the courage to take an English class again. And of course, I did fine and loved it, especially the creative writing classes. During my senior year I was offered the opportunity to help a professor write his memoirs in place of my senior paper, and thus I finished my first book. By the time my college years drew to a close, I still didn't have a lot of direction for my life, except that I knew that I loved creative writing, and so I decided to go to graduate school for writing.

While I worked on my Master's degree in Professional Writing, I started acquiring a few publishing credits in poetry and script writing. And I worked on my first novel, a YA inspirational romance, which I sent out as a proposal but never ended up finishing. But honestly, I didn't feel like I had much to say about life yet. And I hated sitting still at a desk behind a computer all day. When one of my professors told me I needed a backup plan to support myself as a writer, I informed him I intended to marry and have children and write on the side. He seemed to think that was a perfectly reasonable. Except that neither of us realized how all consuming those early years of marriage and family would be.

As my family grew, I continued writing poetry and some short scripts. I took a few more poetry and literature classes. But it wasn't until 2006 when my youngest was almost four that I finally felt like I had done enough living and learned a few things and decided to work on my first novel (Oh, and I got my first laptop too, so no desk sitting). Then came five more years of studying, developing as a writer, and learning the industry. In 2011 my first novel was published with small press WhiteFire Publishing. Even then I had years and several more novels to go before landing my first "big" contract with Bethany House Publishers. In March of this year, the Valiant Hearts series will release, and a lifelong dream will be fulfilled.

Writing can be a long and twisting path, but if you love it like I do, it's worth it.


  1. So would you say that rejections are an inevitable- albeit unpleasant- part of the writing journey? Heaven knows, I've not yet succeeded in getting some historical magazines even to respond to proposals, let alone accept them.......

  2. Oh, absolutely!!! They say not to expect to be published until you can wallpaper the smallest room of your house with rejections. Even once you're professional level, you can expect about a 90 percent rejection rate. It's just part of the job.

    1. Well, that is in some sense, comforting. Good to know its not just me..!

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