Wednesday, January 23, 2008


~~~~~~~~~~MARCIA GRUVER~~~~~~~~~~
Marcia Gruver is a full time writer who hails from Southeast Texas. Inordinately enamored by the past, Marcia delights in writing historical fiction. Her deep south-central roots lend a Southern-comfortable style and a touch of humor to her writing.

Awarded a three book contract by Barbour Publishing for full-length historical fiction, Marcia is busy these days pounding on the keyboard and watching the deadline clock. Diamond Duo, the first installment in the trilogy entitled Texas Fortunes, is scheduled for release in October 2008.

Marcia won third place in the 2007 ACFW Genesis contest and third in the 2004 ACFW Noble Theme contest. Another entry in 2004 finished in the top ten. She placed second in the 2002 Colorado Christian Writer’s contest for new authors.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~FLYING, CARRYING SEED~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In 2002 I hopped a plane and jetted over to Colorado, then took a jog to Estes Park to Marlene Bagnull’s Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference to rub shoulders with multi-published authors and hobnob with CBA elite.


Okay, fine!

In 2002 I hobbled to the airport with too much luggage, endured a white-knuckled flight, wandered the strange terminal, lost as a directionally challenged goose, and somehow wound up at the conference center with a dizzy head and shaky legs.

I roamed the YMCA Center for the next four days alternately teary-eyed with fear and wide-eyed with wonder. With no clue why I needed one, I made an editor appointment. A kindhearted soul explained what the appointments were for, so I jotted a few notes on the bottom of a legal pad, tore out the yellow slip of paper and carried it in my pocket to show the editor. As I remember, my WIP was a page-turner about a grossly overweight woman who falls into a coma and wakes up thin. Yeah, I know.

Two things happened at the conference that I’ll never forget:

First, the keynote speaker said the assembled writers were like dandelion seeds, flying high and spreading the Gospel message over the earth. The concept profoundly affected me and revealed why I’d left the comfort of my cozy little rut in the flatlands and flown off to the Rocky Mountains alone. I’d come by divine appointment—for flying lessons—so I could rise with the seeds of God’s message.

Second, I had crawled out on a very shaky limb and submitted an entry to the CCWC essay contest. When Marlene Bagnull revealed the winners, she laughingly said she couldn’t announce the second place winner in the new author category because there was no name on the entry. (The contest guidelines said not to put a name on the submission, so I carefully left it off the essay, the cover letter, even the return address. Oy vey!) Timid and red-faced, I approached Marlene. She read aloud the first line and confirmed that I’d won. I remember thinking how good God is to his children. This unexpected, but thrilling development drove the last nail in the coffin of self-doubt. Along with the dandelion seed epiphany, it was all the confirmation I needed that God had called me to write.

I had dabbled with writing for two years prior, but this conference and writers contest marked the beginning of my ministry. It was there I picked up my seed bag, took hold of God’s hand, then spread my wings and soared.

Come join me in the air, little dandelions. May our feet never touch the ground.

Find Marcia online at:


  1. Ah, Maria, this is perfect.
    The fantasy conference and the real truth. Don't we all wish it could be the first, confident, hob nobbing. But the second is the way it is.
    The only comfort I get from knowing that is, knowing not only are we all together in our nerves, but everyone else knows it too. Most editors are very kind souls who are experienced with terrified unpublished authors and they'll help you get through your interview. That's not to say they'll buy your book, but they really do understand how hard it is.
    And I LOVE the entry with no name on it. Just trying to follow the rules here, people. God bless you for being so...diligent in your obedience.

  2. I wanted to do two separate posts, one on your blog and another to say, I was right where you are two years earlier, Marcia. I was the one of the authors Barbour called up onstage to offer a new contract in 2005. I was so thrilled for you last September when Becky called your name.
    What a thrilling moment for an author. I'm so happy for you and proud of you. God bless you.
    And yes, I'm being really nice.
    But Ruthy hasn't posted yet!!!!

  3. Was this the same year you got sick at the CCWC? Or was I not supposed to mention that?

    Marcia, I've been a fan of yours since the very first time I read your work. You have such a unique voice. I love it. I knew some wise editor would scoop you up. And I'm with you, fellow seed. Sometimes I sink and hit the ground, but God always sends His special wind to get me up and flying again. Great post, friend.

  4. What an awesome analogy, Marcia. Thank you for sharing it. And what an awesome reminder that we are CALLED by God to spread His Word.

  5. It's great, too, to realize (hope) that even though we might not realize where the seeds go, they do go. The do spread and plant and grow. Even if they just touch lightly on fertile soil.

    There's a Bible verse that says, "We plant the seeds but God provides the increase."

    I take comfort in that when, some days, you don't feel like you've done much.

  6. A note hear from an avid reader who is trying to find out what God wants me to do with words of my own:

    I am soooo thankful that there are writers seeking God and sharing His truth through good stories! This side of heaven, you may never know how deeply you touch people's hearts and imaginations! God has blessed us as Christians with great books to read...all through willing vessels like yourselves! I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!


  7. Let's try an edit...shall we?

    here...instead of hear...I was in too big of a hurry to post!


  8. ROFLOL! How I can relate, Marcia. :o) My very first conference (not an ACFW one) was a revelation. Fortunately (or not) I had no idea there were appointments (I signed up late) and I didn't get one. By the next year, I was much more tuned in to the entire process.

    And yet, those naive days were kind of fun ... or at least a good excuse. ;o)

  9. That's so sweet, Marcia. Thanks for the reminder of our mission. God has a way of confirming what we thought He told us to do.

  10. Ah, Kim. Your comment blessed me and brought me to tears. Thank you, sweetie.

    Funny, true story: The editor I handed that ragged slip of yellow paper to happened to be none other than Becky Germany. She held it in front of her and quietly listened to my botched and rambling pitch. Then she handed it back and suggested I send her a query letter. I'm sure she tells that story till today when the topic of “my most ridiculous pitch” comes up. To her credit, she didn't fall down laughing—not in front of me, at least. What a trouper!

    And what irony that five years later she would offer me my first contract!

    And Mary, as for my fifteen minutes of ACFW fame, I don't remember a second of it. I've had to rely on pictures and snippets of info from witnesses around my table, because my brain shut down for the rest of the day. I just remember it all felt real good. :)

    Janelle, you scoundrel. You weren't supposed to tell. Just keep the part about the beanie weenie cans under your hat. :) Thanks for the sweet words of encouragement. And being my fan. Sniff. I think you’re the first. But honey, you’re no slouch yourself.

    And Lisa, any compliment that comes from you I clutch tightly to my heart, because you’re so amazing. And not just as a writer.

    Ane, those early days were fun. I just wish I’d taken the time to enjoy them more.

  11. I've got a Becky Germany story. The year before Tracie Peterson offered me the contract at the ACFW Conference, I won the historical category of the ACFW Noble Theme contest. I was at the conference to accept it.
    Well, I had taken things back to my room and couldn't find the certificate and I'd gone back to the banquet hall, and I'd looked on the floor every step of the way and it was NOWHERE. I even turned in a 'lost and found' request at the front desk.
    So, I had an appointment with Rebecca Germany later in the day.
    When I walked into her appointment room, she held up my certificate for winning.
    "Is this yours?"
    I was thrilled to have it back.
    She said she found it lying on the floor. :) I hope that didn't give her the idea I was careless and just a big DUMMY!
    But she did get to carry around the livin' proof of my contest win. :)
    And the next year I was offered a contract by Tracie Peterson, with Barbour.

  12. Right, Mary. You just happened to "lose" your certificate right in Becky's path. Nice one. Wish I'd thought of it. Turning it in to lost and found was a nice touch. :D

    Thanks, Melanie. This particular confirmation meant so much to my budding writer heart. In fact, when I got home from the conference I found a watermelon seed in the bottom of my bag (we'd had a picnic on the mountain). I took it as another "seed" validation, so I framed it. Yep, it's true.

    It still hangs on the wall of my office. A moldy, wrinkled reminder of my special day. :)

  13. Ah, if only I had planned it. Like a fair maiden 'dropping' her handkerchief in front of a white knight.

    Only way, way different.

  14. Oh, Marcia, I love your stories--those that you write and the ones you live!

    Your journey to publication has had some bumpy spots in it, but you've hung in there. Thank you for sharing some of your early adventures with us.

    Love ya, friend,

    Sandra Robbins

  15. Marcia, what a delightful post! Thanks so much for being with us today. I think we'd like each other. I'd make fun of you and you'd laugh. See????

    That's how it's supposed to go, Connealy.

    I loved the no-name story as well. That's so.... us. Perfect. In our quest to follow the rules we overlook the obvious, but it gives us great story fodder.

    And a bunch of us were there the night Mary got called as Barbour's new author. Great night. We also had a Rob Reiner sighting, but we were talking too much to realize it. A brush with fame... Ah... So close.

    Now Mary is our claim to fame. Well. One of them.

    Marcia, you've obviously used your talent to touch many lives, and your humor to touch others. Good to have you visiting us in Seekerville.

    Ruthy (who can be nice under duress)

  16. Hello, fellow dandelions! Great post, Marcia. Enjoyed hearing about your trip to the conference. I drove several hours (alone) to my first conference to spend my first night away from dh and the kids a few years ago...and I've never looked back.

    Now, where can I pick up one of those comas?

  17. Marcia, you sound like the kind of gal (and writer) I'd like to know! Wonderful post, wonderful analogy with the dandelion seeds and WONDERFUL contest-win story! You made me laugh ... not an easy thing to do at the end of a grueling day ... unless you're Mary Connealy or Ruth Logan Herne ... :)


  18. In this forum I've been compared to moldy, wrinkled seeds and bumpy spots--Mary to a fair maiden. Ruthy, be careful with all that "claim to fame" stuff. I think it's going to her head.

    BTW, Ruth, I read some of your posts and comments, so I like you already.

    Sandra, I love your stories, too. Especially your spooky mysteries. Keep ‘em coming. And gee thanks for mentioning my bumpy spots. :)

    Pam and Julie, thank you for the warm fuzzies. I'd love to get to know all of you guys better in the future. I hope that happens.

    Bless you, Fair Maiden, and thank you so much for inviting me into your neighborhood. Yawl made me feel right at home

  19. Marcia, I really enjoyed your guest spot. What you said was so real and approachable. If your writing is as inviting as your blog, I can't wait to get my hands on your work! Blessings on your writing.


  20. Faith takes wing in the shape of a dandelion seed. What a grand word picture to carry me also as I continue to work on spreading God's messages to those around me, whether in word (what I write)or in deed(application of scripture in my daily life). God does definitely take us where He wants us to go, even when we are scared to take that next step. Thank you for sharing.
    cepjwms at yahoo dot com

  21. What a great post, Marcia. (sniff, sniff). You got me all teary.

    I love that I'm a little dandelion, too. (As my daughter spelled it in a poem: dandy lion). :)

    Thanks for the laugh and the tears, Marcia. And thanks for being with us on our blog. (Sorry I'm a day late!)


  22. I'm a day late too, but had to thank Marcia for the wonderful post! She put dandelion seeds in a whole new perspective for a gal who fights them tooth and nail. So thanks to your analogy, Marcia, I now know why those dandelion roots go so deep. I'll never view them in quite the same way again. Thanks for dropping by!

  23. Great post. Faith in God is very important, beleveing God will work it out when everything looks like it will not work out. When He's 4 days late he is always right on time. This gives us hope, all the blessings that God has given us. It is awsome to spread God's word.
    TK vcw1476 at gmail dot com

  24. Marcia,

    A delightful post!!! I laughed reading it. Your transparency and humor are refreshing. Thanks for the great post!

    CONGRATS on your contracts by the way!

    Cheryl Wyatt

  25. Marcia, great to meet you! Your appointment story had me laughing out loud. I look forward to running into you at a future conference (not literally, unless I need as excuse to drop something, like Mary. :) )

    Thanks for pressing on!