Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Confidence to Write

with guest Ann H. Gabhart.

 
I got the writing bug when I was around ten years old and I’ve been infected ever since. But it’s one of those good bugs and I’ve never sought or wanted a cure. In fact I’ve just spilled out words and more words through all the years I’ve been writing. My first book was published in 1978. Since then I’ve published twenty-six more novels–all different genres. I’ve published two historical romances for the general market, nine books for young teens, two coming of age books for middle readers, one non-fiction life testimony biography, five Shaker novels, six Small Town, America family/historical novels, one inspirational historical romance, and now one Christmas novella. Whew! And that’s just counting the books that have been published. I’ve got more than I want to count on my no-editor-loves-this-story reject shelf.

I’m telling you all this for a reason. I married young and didn’t have the opportunity to go to college to study writing or anything else. My writing skills were learned by trial and error as I scribbled story after story in between chasing after my kids and helping my husband on the farm. Perhaps it was because I didn’t have any writing instructors to point out my many weaknesses that I never thought there was any type of book I couldn’t tackle. Well, I suppose I knew I couldn’t write scholarly treatises or those dark literary works that never end well, but I didn’t want to write those anyway. I wanted to write stories about characters full of life who found ways to overcome obstacles and never failed to find a happy ending or at least a ray of hope as the sun goes down on their stories.


And since I was just a naive young author with little going for me other than perseverance and the courage to try, if I got an idea for a book, I always thought yeah sure, I can write that. Of course, that could be why some of those stories are still on that reject shelf. Long, long ago, the first novel I wrote was a Gothic romance. That story, while it was never published, did help me obtain an agent who told me historical romances were all the rage.


With publication as my goal, I thought why not give a historical story a try. So what if I didn’t know much about history. I knew where the history books were in my public library, and the story I researched there became my first published book. When my third historical romance book was rejected for being “too clean” for the general market, I decided to try young adult fiction. I was a kid once. I knew how that felt. Then, there was that year when I was casting around for a new direction and I thought about how I love reading mysteries. So why not write some? Those are still on that reject shelf, but I wrote them. Finally, after a hard run of writing and not selling, I decided to heed that time honored advice to write what I did really know–small town family stories. I grew up in a small town, and while my family lacked the kind of drama that makes for story conflict, I was writing fiction which meant I could make up things. That story, Scent of Lilacs, became the first book in my Heart of Hollyhill series.


Shaker village of Pleasant Hill

So when my editor and agent suggested I write a Christmas novella set in my fictional Shaker village, I didn’t think about how I’d never tried to write a novella. My adult fiction tends to run long. I didn’t think about how in all my research on Shakers, I’d noted one–only one–lonely mention of Christmas. I certainly didn’t admit that I had never read a Christmas novella. Never. I just said, sure, I can do it. Send the contract. 


Confidence in your ability to tell a story is not a bad thing to have. Beginning each new story is something like standing on a cliff edge ready to jump without knowing exactly how you’re going to fly. The first time you stand there, you are so full of hope and enthusiasm that you’re willing to leap into the air without knowing what might happen next. But after you’ve done it a few times–managed to write a whole book from the beginning through the middle all the way to the end–you begin to trust your writing wings.  


I didn’t know how the Shakers celebrated Christmas but I was confident I could find out. I didn’t know how my fictional story would tie into a Christmas theme, but I was sure a way would open up when I began thinking about a story idea. Your subconscious is a powerful ally in writing. The idea came to let my character, Heather, be heavy with child as Mary was on that trip to Bethlehem so many years ago. Just as Mary did, Heather pondered the future of her child even as she wondered how Mary felt awaiting the birth of Jesus. “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 KJV) I let my storytelling confidence take me on a Christmas journey and the result was my first Christmas novella, Christmas at Harmony Hill.  



Have you ever trembled on the edge of a storytelling cliff, afraid to trust the characters coming to life in your head? Perhaps, you’ve had to re-invent yourself as a writer and try different genres the way I have. What gave you the courage to try something new and different as a writer? 
  




Ann H Gabhart, the author of several bestselling novels, has been called a storyteller, not a bad thing for somebody who never wanted to do anything but write down stories. She’s published twenty-six novels for adults and young adults with more stories on the way. She keeps her keyboard warm out on a farm in Kentucky where she lives with her husband, Darrell. They have three children, three in-law children, and nine grandchildren. To find out more about Ann or her books visit www.annhgabhart.com. Check out her blog, One Writer’s Journal, www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com or follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/AnnGabhart , Twitter, https://twitter.com/AnnHGabhart  or Pinterest, http://pinterest.com/annhgabhart/



 A stirring story of healing, hope, and home at Christmas

It is 1864 and the nation is torn apart by civil war when Heather Worth discovers she is with child. With her husband at the front and nowhere else to turn, she seeks refuge in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill. Amid the tumult of the times, Heather yearns for the peace she sees in this strange community. But can this longing really be fulfilled amid these people with their peculiar beliefs about family?

As Christmas approaches, the joy of new life and the love that is born of forgiveness may hold the answer.

Join bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart for a peek into the world of the Shakers--and the world of the human heart. 


Today, Ann is giving away an autographed copy of Christmas at Harmony Hill to one of our commenters. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.

  

112 comments:

Marianne Barkman said...

Hi,Anne. What a pleasure to see you here! I read the two. Oops in your Hollyhill series...so refreshing, charming, delightful etc.! And your Christmas novella, as well. You say they tend to run a little long? Either you cut something or something cause I didn't find them that way? Sure glad you jumped off the writing cliff. Thanks

Tina Radcliffe said...

Anne! Welcome back.

I so enjoyed your post.

Most of the time I wonder why I proposed a msc because I have no clue how I am actually going to write the scenes that are required.

LOL. I mean seriously. Writing about things you don't have a clue about can be a little overwhelming.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Marianne, are you in the states yet??

Debra E. Marvin said...

I really liked that analogy of jumping off a cliff and learning to trust your writer wings.
I know my writing and my writing confidence improved because I faced a few new things.
(novellas are not easy. Short is not easier!)

Jackie said...

Hi Ann,

I live on the other side of Shakertown in Wilmore. I enjoyed your post this morning. You've stirred my curiosity about their Christmas celebrations.

Thanks for sharing!

Amy C said...

Welcome, Ann! Great post as usual. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Mary Hicks said...

Thank you Ann, for sharing your writing journey.

I love it when I hear someone say they didn't have a clue what they were doing when starting a new project.

I've done that so many times—the shivery thrill of excitement and wondering how you're going to pull it off—but never doubting that you can, just tickled my spine in rememberence! :-)

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL!

Jennifer Smith said...

Thanks for this post! The road to publication is often long and treacherous. :) That's what I'm finding out! Reading about other people's writing journeys helps me remember I'm not alone.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Ann! I'm impressed with the variety of genres you've written. Your career suggests branding isn't essential. Christmas at Harmony Hill looks and sounds wonderful!

Jumping off that cliff is indeed daunting. Takes trust in yourself and in God. Thanks for sharing!

Janet

Julie Lessman said...

GOOD MORNING, ANN, AND WELCOME BACK TO SEEKERVILLE!!

Like Janet, I am TOTALLY impressed both at the # of books you've had published AND the # of genres you've tackled -- WOW!! My husband would say, "now THAT'S a true professional!" Uh, unlike his wife who writes one thing and one thing only: family-saga romance!!

And, like Tina as well, I, too, have NO CLUE how I am going to write scenes/book required most of the time, so it's a definite exercise in faith. WHICH, for a Christian fiction writer, is not necessarily a bad thing! ;)

Laughed out loud at Deb's declaration that "short is not easier!" AMEN to that!! My Christmas story A Light in the Window started out as a "novella," but ended up a full-fledge novel with almost 115,000 words!!

Great post, Anne -- MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

HUGS,
Julie

Joyce said...

I wrote more when I was younger and then got busy with my family. I have lost my confidence in it, but you have given me hope to get to the work of it and just do it! Whether or not I ever get published, I should tell the stories! Thanks!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning ANN and welcome to Seekerville. I love your comment that you were too naive and didn't know any better. I sometimes think too much focus on the craft stifles creativity. It does for me anyway. I love your persistence. Have fun today.

Myra Johnson said...

Ann, it's a delight to have you with us in Seekerville, and congratulations on your many publishing successes!

Like so many have said already, With every book I write, it's always an adventure figuring out how the bare-bones story idea I begin with will become a full-fledged novel. And now, with books contracted on proposal, I can't help worrying if I'll really be able to pull it off.

But somehow, God provides the inspiration and the necessary information sources, and it eventually all comes together.

Chill N said...

Ann, what a terrific and productive writing journey you shared. I can totally identify with being told your stories are "too clean" for the general market. So glad you adapted and forged ahead.

Lovely book cover!

And thanks for reminding me to trust my writing wings.

Nancy C

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome Jennifer Smith! Great to have you here. And as the days get closer to the holidays we know how precious time is. So we doubly appreciate your stopping by!!

Coffee, tea or hot cocoa??

Tina Radcliffe said...

Debra Marvin-and there is still that amazing thing that happens when you let something percolate...perhaps for too long and you go back and read it and think, wow...that's pretty darn good. We are genuinely amazed that WE wrote it.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Okay, Anne, forgive the extra e on your name. My sister is Anne with an e. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome to Joyce! Stick around. That's what we're here for. Seekerville is happy to sing along the writing journey road with you.

Tina Radcliffe said...

So this Shaker settlement is in the south, Jackie??


Tina Radcliffe said...

Good morning Amy C, great to see you again! Our loyal reader.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Ann, just how DO you do your research??

Linnette R Mullin said...

HI, ANNE!

Love your post! I went through the same type thing only with non-fiction/articles while I was "perfecting" my writing with fiction. I think it's really good for writers to explore different genres. Something about it cements us in the thing we were made to write. :D

HI, MYRA, MISSY AND ALL MY SEEKERVILLE LADIES!

Taking a breather and poked my head in for a howdy! Miss you all and hope you have a wonderful Christmas and new year!!! Love you all! :D

Ann H Gabhart said...

Always fun to hear from you, Marianne. My stories don't run too long for my writing ear, but sometimes for the editor or publishing requirements. But I'm really glad you don't think the stories are too long. That makes me smile.

Ann H Gabhart said...

It's great to be back at Seekerville, Tina. Such a fun place to visit. Writing a new story can often be an adventure, sort of like walking through a dark cave where occasionally a shaft of light burst through to show you the story path.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Debra, I agree. Short isn't always easier, but then I have a writer friend, Jan Watson, who is always telling me to send her my extra words. She's a lovely writer too. I'm glad you have learned to trust your writer wings.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Jackie, good to hear from a Kentucky friend. The Shakers Christmases changed over the years just as did the way the average person celebrated Christmas. In later years, the Shakers did exchange real gifts and embraced more of the worldly way of celebrating Christmas.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Glad to be here, Amy. Such a fun writer ville to visit.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Glad you shared how you get that shivery feel when you start a new story, Mary. Sometimes in the middle of a story, I get more of a trembling panic feel about meeting a writing deadline. LOL.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Linette Mullin! You changed your profile picture. It's lovely!

Ann H Gabhart said...

Jennifer, I've always told anyone who asks that one of the most important attributes a writer can have is perseverance. Since I'm noted for a bit of stubbornness, that was a big help to me in my writing journey.

Emma said...

Christmas at Harmony Hill sounds wonderful. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.I enjoy reading your books.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good morning, Emma and welcome to Seekerville.

DebH said...

Ann: wow. just wow.

note to self: just write the story in my head/heart, whether it gets pubbed or not, it's still exercising my writing wings.

i love the diversity of genres you've pubbed in. i feel a bit better since i haven't "locked-down" a specific genre to write for (i tend to be all over with stories in my head).

sometimes not knowing how things are supposed to be done while you're doing it works better than studying up on the "how-to".

such a cool, cool, post today. would love to be in the hat/dish whatever for a chance for winning your book. i'll be wandering off to your sites to see your other work...

Mary Connealy said...

ANN!!!!
I feel like your story is my story!!!

Me, knowing nothing, just knowing I loved to write and doing it in such a haphazard way, so alone, so untrained that probably...if I'd known MORE...if I'd known what I was up against...I'd have never started.

AND I wrote a gothic once, too.

Pure Phyllis Whitney. Maybe a touch of Daphne Du Maurier (I have never spelled that woman's name without Google in my LIFE)

Mary Connealy said...

Love the cliff story. Love that you just keep saying, "YES! I CAN DO THAT!" because of COURSE YOU CAN!

Mary Connealy said...

And I've written so many genres.

So many books still on my computers.

I've got about five unpubbed suspense/cop drama type romances. A couple of sweet contemporary romances, the gothic of course, put I had two middle grade series and a children's book and even a poem or two and a song.

The song though, well, that wasn't too serious. I don't have a copy of that anymore.

It was called,

I've Got Bambi on my Hands
(An Ode to Buckskin Gloves)

Now tell me that wouldn't have been an instant country classic!!!!!!

Sarah Stewart said...

Ann, thanks for sharing. Would love to win Christmas at Harmony Hill. Thank you for the giveaway!

bonton said...

Hi, Ann!

Really enjoyed your post! I always enjoy reading about an author's writing journey - the age at which she/he started, the motivation, techniques, genre selection, etc., etc..

Although I have lots of stubbornness, & enjoyed writing short stories when in school (for which I always received good grades)- having the skill, imagination, & patience, to write an entire novel - seems like an insurmountable task, to me, personally (even though I have problems writing short comments, e-mails, etc. - LOL)!

I, personally, believe that writing is a talent with which one is born - but agree that confidence must be a huge requirement in the process. Thank you for having the "stubbornness", & confidence, to write those wonderful novels for us to read!

Tina Radcliffe said...

LOL, Mary Connealy, you need to write the Seeker theme song. You know..for our TV show and mini series.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome Sarah Stewart. Merry Christmas. Okay, but NO FAIR, that picture looks like you are on a cruise ship!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome Bonton.

I recently read an interesting quote.


Your talent is God's gift to you.

What you do with it is your gift back to God.

So true, huh?

maudemaxine@gmail.co, said...


Seekersville was lucky to have you for a guest Ann. You are a special person. I would sure love to have this book to go with my other Shaker books.
MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

Terri said...

Ann, I love that you've written different genres! Your new cover is beautiful and I'd love to read it.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hey, Maxie!!

Merry Christmas to you!

We are lucky to have her.

In fact we are bring out the good china and the home made Christmas cookies for lunch!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hi Terri!

I'm just filling my Kindle with more holiday stories like yours and Ann's!!! Fun reading!

Autumn said...

Thanks for the lovely post and I'm looking forward to reading that Christmas novella!

My biggest shift in direction as a writer this year was rediscovering my faith and switching to writing inspirational romance. What a difference that's made! I'm not there yet, but after a string of rejections for nearly every Harlequin line, since starting to write stories with God at their heart, I've been blessed with two full requests. Grinning to think about it!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Autumn!!! Congratulations!

Wow. You should be grinning. If there is anything we can do to help, do holler.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Janet, I have written different types of books. Most of the time that was due to me not meeting editorial needs with right timing. But then as I got older, I decided I didn't really want to be "Brand Ann" but that could very well be poor marketing on my part and not something that would be best for everyone.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Yes, Julie, but you know how to do what you do very well and have many devoted fans of your writing. Maybe you've never had to look to different writing directions for publishing success as I have. But as long as there's a story there, I'm happy to go hunting for it no matter which genre. Then I'm even happier when readers are willing to try my different stories.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Yes, Joyce, definitely tell your stories because you have stories no one else can tell. Even when I wasn't selling, I always wanted to keep writing. But life does somehow get in the way and then sometimes doing blogs and Facebook, etc. can feel like writing and fill that need and keep me from writing the new stories.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Thanks, Sandra, persistence has definitely been my best attribute as a writer. If one thing didn't work, I was ready to try something else. The only constant was that I wanted to write!

Ann H Gabhart said...

Myra, I know what you mean about those proposals. Sometimes the story veers a bit from what you originally thought when those characters come to life in your head and let you realize their stories. But that's part of the fun of writing.

It's great being here in Seekerville again.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Hi, Nancy. We all have to trust those writer wings. I read an inspirational bit once about how we all need to jump off the building now and again - in other words to take a chance. That's what we're doing with every story, I suppose. So trust your writer wings.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Tina, I always tell everybody I'm just plain Ann. That's true in more ways than the spelling of my name. :)

The Shaker village that I use as the physical model of my fictional Harmony Hill is here in Kentucky. Some people call that the south.

As to my research, I've read so much about the Shakers and have written so much about the Shakers that I know a lot of the Shaker history already now. But I have Shaker history books and someday I'm going to watch the Ken Burns documentary about the Shakers. I've got it, but have never watched it. I have visited the Shaker villages in Kentucky too. The one near me, Pleasant Hill Shaker village is a wonderful living history museum where they demonstrate the Shaker crafts and worship and lifestyle. It is a beautiful place to visit and you can find them on-line too.

With other historical events or other things I need to know for a story, I use the library to find the books I need and now the internet has a world of information ready at your fingertips. Sometimes I've been known to read fictional accounts of a historical era I'm interested in writing about just to help the time period come to life for me. Best resource are diaries or journals when I'm trying to get in the head of a character from a historical time period.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Great to hear from you, Linette, and I suppose we all need to explore and practice our writing talents no matter what we want to write. Putting words together that others will want to read takes skill and considerable practice and polishing.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Thanks for wandering over to check out my writing, DebH. I do think we over worry about our writing sometimes. Of course, we want every story we write to be published and widely read and shoot, let's just throw in the wishes for awards and honors too. But it isn't always that way. Sometimes our story isn't at the right time. Sometimes our writing isn't ready. Sometimes we have to practice a while before we hit the mark. Hope you will enjoy your writing while you're searching for what you like best to write.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Thanks for coming over to Seekerville while I'm visiting here, Emma. And thanks for letting me know you enjoy my stories. That makes me smile. Good luck in the drawing.

Ann H Gabhart said...

I don't know about that I've got Bambi on my hands, Mary. But I had a little nephew once who when he was about four was ready to go hunting Bambi's mother!! His dad was a big hunter.

I've got plenty of those unpubbed books stuck back on the shelf, Mary. And one half finished YA fantasy book. If I had only finished it and got it out there before Harry Potter. LOL.

I loved Phyllis Whitney's stories and that's why I wrote that gothic. I ought to get it out sometime to see just how bad it was. No Rebecca for sure.

So many of us writers have writing stories to share and sometimes the ones where we aren't instant or bestselling successes are the most encouraging to other writers trying to get pubbed.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Thanks for dropping in, Sarah. Good luck in the drawing!

Jan Drexler said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Ann!

I've been wanting to pick up your Holly Hill stories, and you've given me the impetus to make time for them (does anyone else have a TBR pile that's more of a heap than a pile?)

We lived in Nicholasville for five years - from 2000 to 2005 - and loved visiting Pleasant Hill, or even driving past on our way to Harrodsburg or Danville. We were homeschooling at the time and went everywhere in search of historical places to visit - and there are tons of them in that part of Kentucky!

And Tina, we were told that Kentucky is the "near south". Not really south, but they humor the northerners that way. :)

Ann H Gabhart said...

Always fun to see your comments, Bonnie. Glad you visited Seekerville while I'm here.

I do believe I was born a writer, but then I had to do it. I had to believe in my writing enough to weather the rejections and keep on writing. That sometimes takes courage and the willingness to sacrifice some things to keep your fingers on the keyboard.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Maxie, always fun to see your comments on my guest posts. Sounds as if you're a regular here at Seekerville. That has to be fun for you because they have such a great line-up every week.

Thanks, Terri. I think Revell Books does a bang up job on all my covers, but this one is very nice. Good luck in the drawing.

Ann H Gabhart said...

I've seen that quote, Tina. Sometimes I feel I haven't used my talent as well as I could, but the Lord knows I'm only human.

And I just got back from a birthday luncheon for my sister. I hope I didn't miss the tea in those china cups and the cookies. My mother always said tea just tastes better out of a china cup. Oh, and I just made some snickerdoodles. You want me to bring some over?

Ann H Gabhart said...

That's encouraging news for you, Autumn. Shows you must be on the right track. For years I hesitated to go down the inspirational fiction path. Now I hit myself in the head and wonder what in the world took me so long. I love being able to include the faith journey of my characters in my stories. Keep smiling and keep writing.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Jan, I've lived in KY all my life. I tell people my roots go to China. Love living on land that belonged to my grandfather before me.

My Heart of Hollyhill books aren't Shaker books. They are small town family stories set in the 1960's, but they're fun stories. Maybe I shouldn't have named my Shaker village Harmony Hill. Think the names are too much alike? Too late to change that now. But if you get any of my books I hope you will enjoy the stories. Pleasant Hill is a lovely place to visit and I'm sure it opened up lots of historical studies for you. In The Seeker I have a lot of Civil War history and also the Battle of Perryville. I like it when my story fits into a historical era.

As for my TBR pile, I need a few extra hours every day to whittle that pile down, but I struggle to read as much as I'd like and still get that writing done.

Julia said...

I love what you say here about confidence. Not something that I started off with a lot of...and this is the second blog post I've read where this struck me this week so I know its something I need to internalize.

I love the fact that you jumped into it wholeheartedly and learned to trust your writing wings. Great post, Ann!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome, Julia!

Funny how God keeps directing us to messages we need to hear :)

Rose McCauley said...

I love all of Ann's writing, so am very glad she writes in many genres. don't put me in the drawing as I already have it and would want someone else to get the opportunity to enjoy is story.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Sometimes we get our messages or encouraging words when we need them, Julia. You do have to remember that in spite of my confidence to jump off that writing cliff, I do have some stories that crashed. LOL. But all a learning experience. Hope you will be blessed with much writing confidence in the New Year.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Rose, you are such an encourager. Thank you for leaving a comment even though you already have the book. I enjoyed my visit to your web place a few weeks ago. Isn't it great how easy it is to connect with other people with like interests via the internet? Here at Seekerville, the streets are full of people who love reading and writing.

Pam Hillman said...

Ann, 'trial and error" is my best way to learn. Then I'm not likely to repeat the same mistake! :)

Enjoyed this post.

Pam Hillman said...

Autumn, congrats on the requests for fulls! :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hey, Rose! Lovely to see you again in the Village.

angela said...

Would love to win.

Walt Mussell said...

Anne,

I enjoy your Shaker stories. I look at them as the characters but are required to keep their emotions in check. It helps for my Japan-based stories.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good point, there Walt!!!

Walt Mussell said...

I should have said "characters are emotional but are required to keep their emotions in check." :-)

loretta said...

A good interview with Ann. I'm still wanting to read her christmas book, even if christmas is passed before I get to read it. :)

Ann H Gabhart said...

Experience is a good teacher, Pam, but I'm not sure I can say I learn the lesson the first time. Sometimes it takes me a few stumbles before I remember about the rock in the path. LOL.

Ane Mulligan said...

When we lived in New York, I visited a Shaker village with the round barns. Very interesting!

Ann H Gabhart said...

Angela, good luck in the drawing. Thanks for taking part.

Walt, I appreciate you reading my Shaker novels. The Shakers were interesting in their contrasts. They did believe in being calm and in control in their work and daily lives but their worship services were very emotional with dancing and whirling and visions. You make an interesting comparison with your Japanese settings.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Loretta, I'm sure the story will read just as well after Christmas. In fact, I worried that the publishers wouldn't think I had focused enough on Christmas. It really has a more historical based story with its Civil War era. There is ice and snow though. :) I do also have a giveaway going on my website. One of the prizes is three Christmas novellas. I tell entrants I'm trying to keep the Christmas spirit going through January since I made the deadline to enter Dec. 31. I think you may already have entered, Loretta. So wishing you luck in both drawings.

Ann H Gabhart said...

I've read about that round barn, Ane. Very unique and very Shakerish. They built it that way so that it would be more efficient in loading and unloading. The Shakers were innovative and always searching for ways to make their work better and done faster so that they could accomplish more. Their Mother Ann passed down this saying for them. "Do your work as though you had a thousand years to live and as if you were to die tomorrow."

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ann, how fun to have you here today, and may I just move right into that house on your cover???? Talk about inviting, charming and oh-so-sweet!

You've run the gamut of stories and that's a delightfully different state of affairs, but what I really identified with was the cliff-jumping... and I think you caught a lot of attention there, deservedly.

A leap of faith!

I was talking to a young actress not too long ago and she's making that same leap, and how scary is that???? When you know the odds are stacked against you....

But I say Pfft and Piffle to "odds" and figure if you're bullheaded enough to stay in the game, eventually someone might like what you do!

I know I'm late, but I brought some Abbott's ice cream treats from the freezer.... cool and creamy, they match the snow God piled in my yard this past week!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I'm all for Mary writing a theme song...

Kind of like Phineas and Ferb's "title sequence" that starts their cartoon show.

Mary, jump on that, won't you? There's a dear.

Cara Lynn James said...

Ann, you have such an interesting writing journey. Thanks for sharing it with us. It must have been fun exploring several genres instead of just sticking with one.

Debby Giusti said...

Ann, thanks for being with us in Seekerville today. What a journey you've had! Lots of genres. Good for you. Would love to read your Shaker stories.

Where do you live in KY? I met and married hubby at Fort Knox, near Louisville. Love the bluegrass state.

Merry Christmas!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Hey there Ane! Good to see you. Merry Christmas.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Loretta!

Missy Tippens said...

Ann, welcome! I'm sorry to get by so late. I've been gone pretty much all day today (car repairs and shopping and TONS of traffic!). :)

A great post! So fun to read about your novella. Sounds like a great story.

I recently went home to visit my parents in Bowling Green, and we went to the South Union Shaker Village in Auburn so I could do some research. I'm playing with a story idea myself. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Linnette. Glad you stopped by!

Sharma said...

I hope that I win Sharma Darby

Sharma said...

I hope that I win Sharma Darby

Pat W said...

Hi Ann. I totally enjoyed your post. I'm a little late and am playing catch up. Confidence in my writing is something I struggle with because I'm not someone with "stories in my head." While I did well with school papers and such, this is the first year I've tried my hand at writing. I've always been an avid reader and for over a decade have toyed with the idea of writing. Add to that only one year of college and well, you get the picture. But I have a desire that won't go away. So I am learning and will continue to learn the craft until I get a word from God telling me to go a different route. Maybe someday I'll jump!

Mary Preston said...

You never know until you try. Love your "give it a go" attitude.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

You know, I'm glad I'm not the only one of us who's running around like a crazed chicken these days, filling those sweet, seasonal commitments...

And car repairs, Missy!

And the shopping and baking....

But in the end my goal is to keep a simpler Christmas. I think that means I get to buy gift cards and bake all I want to!!!

It is a blessing to all of us to have such a cool late-night crowd!

Go us!

Jen and Jess & All Our Mess said...

Hi! I love hearing of authors I have yet to discover. I'm looking forward to grabbing a book of yours and snuggling down for the journey.

Jen and Jess & All Our Mess said...

Hi! I love hearing of authors I have yet to discover. I'm looking forward to grabbing a book of yours and snuggling down for the journey.

Ann H Gabhart said...

So nice of you to bring those yummy ice cream treats, Ruth. But I just pigged out on cinnamon rolls since my daughter and son-in-law are here for an early Christmas. Then they gave me a stocking stuffed with candy. Maybe I'd better bring some of that over. To top off the sweet deal, I've got to make a hummingbird cake. You have to catch a lot of hummingbird hums for that one. :)

Writing or any career dream can be that leap of faith. But if you don't take it, you might always regret not trying. Thank goodness I didn't want to be an actress. I was way to shy when I was a kid for that, but now I love talking to groups about writing. People can hardly believe I was ever shy when they meet me now.

Ann H Gabhart said...

About that theme song, Ruth - O Seekerville, O Seekerville. Take if from there, Mary. Guess what music I've been listening to this a.m. :)

Ann H Gabhart said...

I don't know about fun, Cara. More a writing necessity if I wanted to be published, and I did and do want to be published. I've had to re-invent myself as a writer several times in my career to try to catch up with market needs.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Debby, Kentucky is a beautiful state. Right now we're having spring like weather with rain and temps around 60. Next week it's supposed to plunge way into the deep freeze, but that's Kentucky for you. I live in Anderson County about an hour from Louisville. I spoke at the library at Fort Knox last year. Got to see the place where all the gold in Fort Knox is stored. From a distance. A long distance.

Thanks for letting me come back to visit here in Seekerville. Having a great time.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Fun, Missy. So, I might soon see other Shaker stories alongside mine. I'm working on a new Shaker story now, or would be if I wasn't overwhelmed with getting ready for Christmas here at my house tomorrow. Nine grandkids on the way. Got to get some food cooked. I'll look forward to seeing your story if it turns out to be something you want to write.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Good luck, Sharma. And Merry Christmas!

Ann H Gabhart said...

Glad you enjoyed the post, Pat. I think all of us struggle with confidence from time to time whether we let it show or not. I hope you'll follow that urge and give writing a try. Avid reading is a great training ground for a writer.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Mary, you are right. You never know what you can do with the Lord's help until you give it that try.

Ruth, you guys are late-night people. And I thought I stayed up late. For sure, I've been rushing at everything this week. Right now got to get going on that cake.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Jen, I do hope you'll give one of my books a try in your snuggly reading chair. Maybe I'll give myself that present after Christmas - a day to do nothing but read. Ahh, heaven!

Cindi A said...

I live fairly close to a Shaker Village in Ambridge Pennsylvania. It's been many years since I've toured the place, but I do remember it being fascinating.
cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

Michelle F. said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I haven't read any Shaker stories. Please put my name in the cat dish.

Barbara Thompson said...

Ann, I loved your Shaker novels. You're an excellent author. Thank you for the chance to enter this giveaway and please enter my name.
Barbara Thompson
barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ann H Gabhart said...

Cindi, I'd love to tour some of the other Shaker villages that have museums besides the ones here in KY. Maybe I need to put that on my "bucket list." The Shakers were a fascinating group of people, but not the easiest group to write into historical romance stories since they didn't believe in romantic love.

Ann H Gabhart said...

Good luck in the drawing, Michelle, and I hope when you get a chance to read one of my Shaker stories, that you'll enjoy the experience.

Barbara, thanks so much for the kind words and for reading my Shaker stories. I appreciate that so much.