with guest, Jordyn Redwood.
Happy Birthday, Seekerville! Thanks so much for having me. I always enjoy the conversation when I’m here.
When you get your first book contract—it is truly an amazing event in the writer’s life. An occasion to be celebrated. My agent said to me, “Congratulations! You’re on your way to a great writing career.”
Despite my hard work to drive sales of my debut medical trilogy and even after my first two novels got nominated for a few awards—well— I was met with the sound of crickets chirping. My follow-up proposal wasn’t picked up.
This was followed by multiple announcements that authors dread hearing. Bookstores closing. Fiction lines being shut down. Well known and better selling authors were getting released from their contracts.
As an ER nurse, in the words of the sage Survivor host Jeff Probst, I began to strategize.
I decided to indie publish the books from the proposal that got rejected and started to write the first one. The main crux to do this was to have something for readers by this Fall—about two years after my last book, Peril, released.
I was very concerned, even doubtful, that I would see another traditional publishing contract and the financial reality of going indie and the work behind accomplishing that goal began to weigh on me. At the same time, I witnessed fellow nurses in their “prime” getting forced out—particularly if they didn’t have an advanced degree.
These concerns and financial pressures led me to have a serious discussion with my husband about going back for an advanced nursing degree—which would seriously hamper building a writing career.
The very next day, I got an e-mail from Guideposts asking me to audition for a cozy mystery series. I auditioned for two—and washed out of both.
I write thrillers. Edgy ones. Romance is not my strength. It pains me to write outside my comfort zone. But I felt God asking me to do just that. Looking back, I think the Guideposts auditions showed me that it was possible and I could even enjoy it.
I’d heard about Love Inspired’s Blurb to Book contest but didn’t consider myself a good fit for the line. One—the romance—let’s just leave it at that. I put it out of my mind.
Then one night I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Seriously—I like my sleep so it was annoying.
“Okay,” I mumbled to God. “I’ll check the guidelines because I’ll bet the deadline for submissions has passed.”
No. Three days left.
I’ll give it one day and if I’m still this restless then I’ll enter as a matter of obedience.
I’ve never felt like I’ve wrestled with God until those sleepless nights. I couldn’t figure out any other reason to feel this way about a book line I felt completely inadequate to write for. Kissing scenes?!? Please—I’d rather deal with a medical emergency.
I continued to not sleep so I put together an entry the day before it was due. God, I did as you asked. Now, let me sleep.
Needless to say, I didn’t expect to move on in the contest. Then, I progressed to the second round where I had to write the plot synopsis and first three chapters.
There, God. I did as you asked. I know you’re having fun with me.
Then I made it to the third round.
Now I had to write the whole novel and edit it—in about eight weeks.
Lord, you saw that vacation on my calendar?
I made the deadline and wasn’t expecting to hear anything until August 30th. Then on July 29th, the day after I found out I didn’t get a nursing promotion, I got the call from Emily Rodmell that they were offering me a contract for my contest entry.
I think what this year has taught me is that God has the writing life planned for me but not in the way I expect it might come together. Isn’t He funny that way? The things I said I would never write became the only things I could write with a traditional publisher. This year became about learning about God’s provision for my writing life even when I faltered and didn’t quite believe I could make the whole thing work. This year was about taking opportunities—even if they required me writing outside my comfort zone. It is possible—and it’s good to stretch those writing muscles.
Be open to opportunities you normally wouldn’t consider. If God means for you to make a go of being a published author—it will happen. He will find a way.
How have you seen God speak into your writing life?
Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping authors write medically accurate fiction. Her first two medical thrillers, Proof and Poison, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal. Proof was shortlisted for the 2012 ForeWord Review’s BOTY Award, 2013 INSPY Award and the 2013 Carol Award. Poison shortlisted for the 2014 INSPY Award and the 2014 Selah Award. In addition to her novels, she blogs regularly at Redwood’s Medical Edge and the WordServe Water Cooler. You can connect with Jordyn via her website at www.jordynredwood.com.
Seekerville loves that Jordyn sold to Love Inspired Suspense thanks to a contest. We love it so much that we're going to offer to critique the first TEN pages for one writer to prepare your manuscript for a contest.
For one reader, a lovely assortment of inspirational romances.
Winner's of both giveaways announced in the Weekend Edition!