Hi, I’m Kate Breslin and honored to be a guest blogger on Seekerville today. I’d like to talk about that journey and how God—through my story—helped to change its course.
First, a bit of background: My writing career started early, consisting of childhood poems and short stories. With adolescence I graduated into more heady prose and creating song lyrics to accompany my guitar. Novel writing came much later, when as an adult I discovered my passion for reading romance. Once I’d exhausted my supply of novels written by my favorite romance authors I decided to try and write one of my own. It certainly wasn’t as easy as it looked! I’ve worked many challenging jobs, but I must say novel writing is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done…and the most rewarding.
I joined Romance Writers of America as a young and aspiring author, hoping to publish in the general romance market. I wrote my first novel, a 156,000-word Scottish historical that I still affectionately call my “everything but the kitchen-sink” book. After many rejection letters and much revising, I entered the manuscript into RWA’s Golden Heart contest and became a finalist. I was thrilled—all those years of hard work had paid off! I didn’t win, however, and went on to re-revise and resubmit to agents and editors. My stack of rejection letters grew. I began to despair, feeling crushed and wondering if I was even supposed to be a writer.
Still, I wasn’t quite ready to give up. I finally buried that Scottish book in a drawer and began writing another story then another. I’d heard it said that successful novel-writing consisted of 10% talent and 90% determination, and however realistic those percentages might be, it was sheer tenacity that often kept me at the keyboard. I experienced a few hits and misses with agents, yet nothing came of it so I continued on. During this time, I also began to return into my Catholic Christian faith, and as a Prodigal daughter, I was reading the Bible for the first time and attending church. I started to question my secular pursuits, and briefly considered writing for the inspirational market. But I wasn’t yet spiritually in the right place, so I remained intent upon my own course while ignoring the little Voice inside that told me otherwise.
I believe now God had His hand on me when I got the idea to write For Such A Time. I was reading the Book of Esther from the Bible when I found myself comparing the wicked Haman’s annihilation of the Jews with Hitler’s Holocaust of WWII. I considered setting Queen Esther’s story into that more modern venue and began my research, trying to imagine my characters. Would my heroine, Hadassah, hiding behind false papers in the midst of a Nazi concentration camp, ignore God’s call to salvation? Would she remain helpless to save her people behind Theresienstadt’s walls…or would she take that leap of faith? Did she have a queen’s courage to stand up to her fears and accomplish the task set before her?
And what of my hero, Aric? Would he, like King Xerxes, listen to the voice of love? Would he see the truth, taking up the call to decency? Or as with many kings in the past, did he consider his position of power and sense of duty more important?
As I wrote my characters, I found their struggles with faith, fear, and uncertainty resonating with my own. After all, I’d been at this writing business for what seemed an eternity, without success. I’d rejected God’s influence more than once and often considered giving up. Was this obstacle course I’d set myself upon His intention for me?
Yet as I finished writing For Such A Time, it felt right. I felt right. And through the process I’d come to more deeply understand God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. I couldn’t say that about the other novels I’d written.
But were those earlier stories a waste of time? For nearly twenty years I tried publishing in a market that wasn’t me. I expended reams of paper, gallons of ink, and cried buckets over a mountain of rejection letters. Yet while that Scottish novel may never again see the sun, it, along with my other works did help me—to hone my craft, improve my skills, and simply grow as a writer. Those stories got me ready for the one that really mattered. Through them, I’d come to be exactly where God wanted me—For Such A Time.
What story changed your journey? How did God call you for such a time as this?
Today, Kate is generously giving away a copy of her debut release to one commenter. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.
More about For Such a Time.
In 1944, blond and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.
Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.
Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?
A Florida girl who migrated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Kate Breslin lives with her husband, John, and a very spoiled cat named Coco. Kate has written several travel articles, published award-winning poetry, and her first manuscript, a Scottish historical romance, was an RWA Golden Heart finalist. FOR SUCH A TIME is her debut novel. Kate’s writing journey has been one of faith as well as success; after years spent writing novels aimed at the general romance market, she finally heeded God’s call to write stories of how His love brings two hearts together. When not plotting her next novel, she loves spending time with author friends, reading from her mountain of books, or watching anything Jane Austen on BBC. Kate’s also an avid gardener and enjoys taking long walks in Washington State’s many forests. A traveler as well, she’s toured most of the country at one time or another and also been abroad–Paris, Munich, Rome, Pompeii, Athens, even a day trip to Turkey. She’d love to hear from you so please stop by www.katebreslin.com and say hello!