Anybody can write, Right?
But how do you write “right”? That is…how do you write in such a way that you find success as a writer? In the book, Writing Right to Success, 25 best-selling, award-winning authors share their journeys from taking the first step toward success, and offer valuable insights into mastering the craft of writing.
The authors are Michelle Medlock Adams, James Scott Bell, Brian Bird, Jenny Cote, Lynette Eason, Eva Marie Everson, Kathleen Fuller, Dennis Hensley PhD, Eddie Jones, Tosca Lee, Yvonne Lehman, Richard Mabry MD, Lori Marett Gail Gaymer Martin, Dianne Neal Matthews, Edie Melson, DiAnn Mills, Tom Morrisey, Cecil Murphey, Ramona Richards, Gayle Roper, Ann Tatlock, Donn Taylor, Susan May Warren, and James Watkins.
Here’s a snippet of my story.
WHAT (WHO?) PROMPTED THIS?
I was in my early 30’s, teaching Young Women, ages 17-married, in Sunday school. A project I planned to help with race relations was not approved by the church. After 6 months of questioning and disappointment, even considering leaving the church, I realized God and I are a majority so I rededicated my life. Soon afterwards I saw an ad in Decision Magazine about the Billy Graham School of Christian Writing in Minneapolis. Many times, I had rewritten the Sunday school lessons and anything meaningful to me. When I was 5 or 6 and started to school, adults would ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” All the children I knew said they wanted to be a teacher or nurse. I didn’t want to be like everyone else, so I said, “I want to write books.” But for the next 25 years, that thought did not occur to me. I didn’t plan to be a Professional Writer.
A WHOLE NEW WORLD
I was accepted to the School and it opened up a whole new world to me. It was a world in which I felt I belonged. I would study, and learn for however long it took, and do whatever necessary to go from novice to professional, get my books published and what would naturally follow would be fame and fortune. But I would be humble and give God 10%. (Well…I was young…and…ahem, naïve). I knew my first book would have to be about race relations. So, I couldn’t change my church, but my book would change the world. (Again…well…)
Coming home from a life-changing conference to a blank page on which you’re to start a book is, to say the least and put it mildly, daunting! Life-threatening, in fact. I did begin the writing (which includes more hurdles than this space allows), but I knew I needed help. I was married and had 3 children. Was a stay-at-home Mom so we had only one paycheck. We couldn’t afford for me to go to MN once a year, nor to the only other conference at Mount Hermon, CA. Oh well, I’d start a conference in NC, certain that other writers needed one in this area. Loooooong story short, 2 ½ years later, the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference became a reality. The dean of the BGSCW knew I knew nothing, so he volunteered to be my emcee and get faculty for the conference.
MANY HURDLES LATER
Incidentally, my church and others banded together to help the Black community build a church of their own, which is what they wanted. I wonder… did God close the hearts of my church for a while in order to lead me into the profession he intended for me? Over the years I added another child to our family, I took one writing and literature course at a time until a couple decades later I had my Master’s in English Literature. I wrote my novels and directed the conference for 25 years, until turning it over to someone else and I founded and now direct the Blue Ridge Novel Retreat held annually in October at Ridgecrest.
SEE THE NOVEL RETREAT PAGE FOR INFORMATION. HOPE YOU JOIN US!
Have Dress Will Marry in Heart of a Cowboy
Novella Collection (Winged Publications)
ebook Heart of a Cowboy
Julie Hayes must escape from Wildcat Mountain. James, the schoolteacher whom she thought would be her means of escape, is gone. Her only hope is to approach the cowboy, saddleback preacher Timothy Sullivan, when he makes his circuit into Wildcat Mountain. She asks, “Will you marry me?” He says, “Yes, of course,” expecting to perform a ceremony for her and James. (Other authors: Miralee Ferrell, Carol Gift Page, Vicki McDonough)
Name that Tune in
A Gentleman’s Kiss
Novella Collection (Barbour)
Eva Alano not only plays the violin, she makes them. She’s thrilled when famed violinist Georgio Baldovino expresses an interest in more than just her work…but why can’t she shake that jokester, Jack Darren, from her thoughts? (Other authors: Ginny Aiken, Kristin Billerbeck, Lynn A. Coleman, Peggy Darty, Rebecca Germany, Bev Huston, Gail Sattler, Pamela Kaye Tracy)
The Reluctant Schoolmarm in
The Reluctant Brides
Novel Collection (Barbour)
Love comes as a surprise to six independent women of yesteryear. (Other authors: Rosey Dow, Cathy Marie Hake, Susannah Hayden, Colleen L. Reece, Janet Spaeth
The Stranger’s Kiss in The Knights Bride
Novel Collection (Barbour)
Chivalry lives in six stories from the Middle Ages. (Other authors: Tracie Peterson (2), Dianne Christner, Pamela Griffin, Jill Stengl)