So the big news in my world as of late revolves around the fact I've decided to jump back into the deep end of the writing pool. And before you find yourself muttering who cares, someone must because people keep asking me about my work. Which is exactly the problem! So here it is, an exclusive, no holds barred look at what in the world is going on in my world and why...
One day last month I was approached about my writing and I stammered for words. Me, the one who always has something to say about everything, stood speechless, no answer to the question in sight. Oh, I had an answer. I had a great answer I could have talked about all night. But the truth was, I was a bit embarrassed to share it.
In the four years since I penned my first two novels, a great deal has changed in my life. Not to send you heading for the pillow with too much history, but I've been writing since I was in the 4th grade. Yet it wasn't until the spring of my 39th grade year (hehe) that I decided to get serious about seeing my name in print, a bucket list task of sorts given the big 4-0 was fast approaching. Ever the type A personality, I love a good deadline! So I did what every serious, type A does at the start of a big project--I researched until the wee hours many a night, studying the publishing industry, looking at the numbers, seeing what was selling, where the trends were heading and what genre might best fit the ideas bouncing around in my head. Readers, readers! Are there any readers here? That was the burning question four years ago.
Fair warning now--while I promise this post won't venture past PG-13, if you're the shy type, you might want to skip a few words in this paragraph. Sex sells. In particular, romance heavy on sexual content really sells. So that's where I landed, smack dab in the middle of the hottest selling genre around long before anyone had ever heard the words Fifty Shades. I wrote what I thought people wanted to read, met with modest success while checking a box off my list and turned forty and felt like a rock star at various points as long as I didn't look in the mirror too long. Big whoop! But I'd be lying if I said the journey was satisfying because deep down, I'm a big enough girl to admit it wasn't satisfying. Most days I felt like a transplant playing in a world where I didn't belong. I was a writer with a deep love of the written word who was suddenly embarrassed to talk about her work.
Writing has always been a haven for me but I can honestly say I felt the walls of the haven narrowing in on me as I tried to write in a box society deemed popular. I've always marched to my own beat and I truly believe I sold out for a time with my early writing, compromising my own value system in the process. It's as simple as that. Oh, I tried to write at various points when new story lines would surface, but the words never truly flowed from a place of any substance. I still thought about writing and kept up with events in the industry. I even started to pray about writing. Ultimately, when I got quiet enough in my spirit to actually listen, God re-introduced me to a part of myself during my writing drought.
I can head to my office and lose myself for hours in the worlds I create, making life on paper as perfect or dysfunctional as I want for my characters. God has blessed me with the ability to be largely transparent about the hurts and hang-ups in my own life and in turn, I feel he's blessed me with the ability to be able to use those things ripped from real life and spin them out in incredible ways on paper. So I'm writing again. And my publisher is in the process of suspending the sell of my old, stand-alone titles and has graciously released me from those contracts.
I've always said I wanted to live a big life which means I take big risks and sometimes I make big mistakes. But I can honestly say I'm grateful for every day God has given me. Even the hard ones. I don't live with a lot of regret and looking back over my years, I wouldn't change the journey. I adore my family, I treasure my friendships and I have a growing, active faith—those are the things I want to honor in my life by giving them my best.
I'm proud to share that I'll be moving to the inspirational side of my publishers imprint and that I plan to launch of a new line of inspirational, contemporary romantic fiction that features strong characters focusing on bringing love, grace, promise, healing, forgiveness, self-worth, mercy, respect, redemption and a host of additional biblically based values back to the forefront of reading.
Later this fall I’ll bring you my debut release, Hope 22, a story of healing, grace and the peace that can be found when we earnestly seek God’s plan for our life. While I know in my heart I’ll be proud to share Hope 22 with each of you, I have to be honest. It will be nice to have my name on a story I can actually let my mom read!