Hi everyone! So happy to be here as part of Seekerville’s birthday month celebration! I am honored that Tina asked me to share a little about my writing journey with you. So hang on to your hats, and let’s go for a ride!
Although I had dabbled in writing as a child, I stopped for many years when life got in the way—university, a full-time job, marriage, and then babies took up most of my time, and it wasn’t until sometime after my 40th birthday that I got the urge to write again.
I started scribbling on note pads whenever I had a few minutes. My first book (one hot mess!) took me over 2 years to finish—not including typing out the manuscript when my hubby wasn’t using our one computer. I wrote another secular romance after that with no idea how to plot a story.
My first ‘God nudge’ came one Sunday in church (yes, I was daydreaming about writing during a sermon—LOL!). This very distinct voice in my head told me to try writing inspirational romance. I listened to this sage advice and once I did, I knew I’d found my home. In fact, my very first inspirational, Wyndermere House, became a finalist in the 2008 Golden Heart contest. Being so new at the writing game, I didn’t realize what an honor this was—not even when someone named Tina Radcliffe tracked me down and recruited me to write a piece for a blog called Seekerville! Though I wasn’t really sure what a blog was, I blithely jumped in with both feet! Little did I know how important the wonderful Seeker ladies would become—both as friends and mentors.
I didn’t win the Golden Heart, and my book got rejected by Steeple Hill (Love Inspired), but I went on valiantly to write a 3-book series. [Note: huge example of persistence here!] The first book in the Rainbow Falls series, Threads of a Tapestry, met with both successes and failures, but was ultimately rejected by Love Inspired. Finally, I followed another God nudge and submitted it to White Rose Publishing, where it finally caught the attention of a wonderful editor who was willing to work with me to turn it into a book worth publishing. In October 2013, I signed a two-book contract with White Rose, and Threads of a Tapestry released this past August as Betrayed Hearts!
This, my friends, is only the beginning of my amazing journey to publication.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Seekerville was hosting a First Page contest to be judged by Elizabeth Mazer, an editor with Love Inspired. I didn’t plan to enter anything since my trilogy was on submission at White Rose and my only other contemporary (I was writing a couple of historicals at this point) was Wyndermere House which—just to recap—had already been rejected by LI. Once again I received a God nudge (not so subtle this time) in the form of one Tina Radcliffe (remember her?) who sent me a personal email—pretty much ordering me to get my butt in gear and submit something to the contest. So at the last minute, I polished up the first page of Wyndermere House and sent it in. Elizabeth ended up requesting the first three chapters and a synopsis!
Meanwhile back at the historical ranch, I followed another God nudge, again at the eleventh hour, and entered my historical romance, Irish Meadows, in a contest I had never heard of—solely for the reason that Dave Long, an editor at Bethany House, was one of the finalist judges. I thought it would be great to have his feedback on my entry, and sent it off on a wing and a prayer. (This was about a month before I was offered my contract with White Rose so I was still eligible to enter).
In March of this year—literally within a week of each other—I was offered a three-book deal with Bethany House for Irish Meadows AND a contract for Wyndermere House from Elizabeth Mazer at Love Inspired. To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement! Another God nudge led me to Sue Brower, an agent with the Natasha Kern agency, who took me on instantly to help negotiate the tricky waters of these overlapping contracts!
|Signing the Bethany House Publishing contract.|
So, almost 14 years after I started writing, I achieved my dream, not only of being a published author, but a multi-published author with 3 different publishers!
Looking back, I can admit that if I had won the Golden Heart back in 2008 and been offered a contract with Love Inspired, I would not have been ready—not in the level of my writing, nor in my own confidence as a writer. God in His great wisdom knew this! I believe the turning point for me was in realizing that my fear of the pressures of publication was holding me back. I needed to let go of the fear and get clear about what I wanted. That done, I set my intent to trust God and his plan for my life, and sure enough, in God’s perfect timing, He answered my wish to become a published author—not once, but threefold!
God can dream a bigger dream for us than we can ever imagine! So don’t give up! Persistence and prayer are key! So is following those all important ‘God nudges’.
Have any of you noticed ‘God nudges’ in your life—writing or otherwise?
I am offering a digital copy of Betrayed Hearts to one ‘persistent’ commenter! Here’s the blurb about the book:
Desperate and alone, Lily Draper comes to Rainbow Falls in search of her biological sister, the only blood relative she has left. Emotionally scarred by her father, Lily avoids religion at all cost. Her new landlord, an aspiring minister, soon has her questioning her views. Can she learn to trust Nick's heart or will her sordid past destroy their love?
Betrayed Hearts is available now through the Pelican Book Group/White Rose Publishing and on Amazon.
Links to my book:
White Rose: http://tinyurl.com/lxslxb9
The second book in the Rainbow Falls series, Wayward Hearts, comes out in early December. Wyndermere House (now called Healing the Widower’s Heart) releases with Love Inspired in February 2015, and Irish Meadows releases with Bethany House in the summer of 2015.
Susan Anne Mason lives in a suburb near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she works part-time as a church secretary. She is a wife and the mother of two amazing kids, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). In addition to writing, she likes to scrapbook and to research her family history on-line. You can connect with her on Facebook or on her website www.susanannemason.com.