Thursday, June 22, 2017

Why Writing is Like Walking on Water

with Jessica R. Patch.


Thank you, Seekerville, for having me! I’m looking forward to spending the day with you.

I’ve walked on water many times. Sometimes, only the bottom of my feet gets wet. Sometimes, I sink. And sometimes, I get sprayed by waves pretty good. 

But man, I love it. The thrill. The adventure. 

Just not so much the fear. And there is always some amount of fear when walking on water.

One of my favorite accounts in the Bible is about Jesus walking on water like it’s an everyday kind of thing. I can picture Him just rolling on up. Hair damp on His forehead, tunic clinging to His legs. “Come on, Peter!”

First, comes some fear. But then imagine Peter’s rush of excitement as he lopes over the side and gets going. He’s looking right at Jesus and he’s. walking. on. water. 

Until he takes his eyes off of Jesus and looks at his surroundings. Then things get hairy and he starts to sink.

Writing is like walking on water. It is an everyday occurrence—if you’re writing every single day. 



Expect the Initial Fear.

The call to walk on water isn’t always as expected as one might think. For me, it came out of the blue in 2008. Like that early hour of three o’ clock in the morning when Jesus came walking to the disciples. They weren’t expecting that. Neither was I. Can I do this? How do I do this? What do I do once I write the story that’s burning in my heart? I want all the answers. All the steps. But they don’t come all at once. Like walking on water, it’s one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. And you will have to walk over waves. You’ll have to squint from the salty spray that will smack you cold in the face. It’s called rejections, criticism, and doubt. Keep walking. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

Because if you don’t, you will sink. You could easily drown in a sea of despair and hopelessness. You can quickly talk yourself out of the calling. You can bow to the criticism of man and not surf on the approval of God. But remember that when you sink, Jesus is right there to pull you up, hold your hand, and get you where He wants you to go. Think about this: How did Peter get back to the boat after he sunk? Me? I think he and Jesus walked right back to it hand in hand. Keep walking, friend.

Anticipate the Fun.

Anything to do with the ocean and the beach is fun. Minus sharks, jellyfish colonies, and hurricanes. Okay so maybe not anything to do with the ocean and beach is fun. But let’s just say we’ve overcome that initial fear and are trusting God to help us get through all the scary things left in the ocean. When called to walk on water, we can anticipate the fun. Because walking on water with Jesus whether it’s in writing, or any calling, should be fun! Adventurous. Jesus isn’t boring and when He plants a passion inside you, it won’t be either. I didn’t say it wouldn’t be hard. You’ll work up a sweat for sure, but we have that glorious ocean of grace and mercy to rest in and cool off. When the ideas swirl and you find a group of water-walking friends (like here at Seekerville!) this whole thing can become downright fun! Yes, you’ll battle monster waves. Colonies of jellyfish that sting. Even sharks. But nothing can hold down someone walking on water whose focus is clearly on Jesus. Make those hard times learning experiences and chances to grow closer and hold tighter, then pour them out into the stories you write! It’s a testimony. There is joy in traveling the ocean of the publishing industry (no matter which path you take—traditional, indie, small press, or hybrid). Don’t let that initial fear rob you of the fun. Keep walking, friend.



Find Your Footing in Faith. 

Once you leave land, there’s nothing but ocean. It’s all uncertain. Uncharted—for you. But there are no uncharted waters for God. He’s got the plan. He’s given you the purpose. But man, it’s tough to trust God once you get into the deep waters, isn’t it—when your feet don’t touch? It’s a struggle to remember that while you don’t know what will happen or when, God knows. It’s excruciating at times to see others who have been walking on water (maybe less time than you) make it to their destination. You see their books published and you think, “Lord, help me with my sea legs! Am I not walking fast enough? Why not me?” I’ve been there, but we can’t look at others and feel competitive. Rejoice with them! Mary believed what God spoke to her and she was blessed for believing. It came to pass. And it will come to pass for you. It almost 100% won’t look like what you expect. But tides change. Be flexible to go with the flow of God’s plan. Even when it feels like an undertow pulling you down. Stand firm in your faith. You won’t find the beauty until you’re in deep waters. 

Trusting God in the deep waters is what my newest book is about. This will be my fifth Love Inspired Suspense novel. I’m still walking on water. Every single day. Every book is a testimony of His faithfulness, but even when I had no book in hand, no contract, I had to trust Him and believe in what was unseen at the time. That’s faith.  Keep walking, friend.




I’m giving away a copy of Deep Waters! I’d love for you to enter for a chance to win. Leave a comment and a winner will be posted in the Weekend Edition. You can read the Prequel to Deep Waters FREE on Harlequin.com. Check out the online read Protecting the Witness here. 

Question for you: I’ve compared writing to walking on water. What would you compare it to, and do you have a favorite verse that helps you keep going?



Deep Waters
Thirty feet underwater when her oxygen tank fails, Caley Flynn fears it's been sabotaged—and she'll be the next to die. Her intern's already dead, her home breached and something's amiss at her Florida marine-life rescue center…but no one believes she's in danger. Except Shepherd Lightman. When Caley's brother asked him to check on her, the marine turned security specialist hoped it would be a case of calming down a nervous veterinarian. But the threats are all too real. Rescuing Caley and remaining alive isn't easy, but resisting his boss's sister is where the real danger lies. Because with his heart in the balance, he'll do whatever it takes to stop a killer who's desperate to keep a secret hidden.


Jessica R. Patch writes inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She is the author of the Seasons of Hope series and several Love Inspired Suspense novels including, Fatal Reunion, Protective Duty, Concealed Identity, and Final Verdict. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her spending time with her family and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she’ll probably never cook. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.



123 comments :

  1. Jessica...wow so nice to see you on Seekerville!! I like how you tied your book "Deep Waters" into today's post ;-) I've often wondered why Peter took his eyes off Jesus when he was on that water, but then I look at myself and have to wonder the same thing. Life can be like the rolling ocean waters...wave after wave can take our eyes off of our Savior. Circumstances beyond our control, maybe health issues or family struggles can take our eyes off of Him. So you see, I can be a lot like Peter too, let my circumstances lead me away from my Savior. I have read this before and I always need to remind myself, "Don't tell God how big your problem is, tell your problem how big your God is."

    Since I'm not a writer, I'll quote you one of my favorite verses that helps me keep going and assures me of the Saviors hand in my life:

    Psalm 139:7-10:
    "Where can I go from Your Spirit?
    Or where can I flee from Your presence?
    If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
    If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
    If I take the wings of the morning,
    And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    Even there Your hand shall lead me,
    And Your right hand shall hold me."

    That tells me no matter lifes circumstances or how high those waves may be in my life, He's there holding on to me, guiding me and leading me. :-)

    No need to enter me since I've just read & reviewed this for you! Blessings!

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    1. It's so nice to be here, Trixi! I agree with, when gigantic waves are all around us, it's easy to take our eyes of what it right in front of us. We're human. That's why I relate to Peter so much! I love this Psalm. It's one of. my favorites too!

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  2. Welcome to Seekerville, Jessica! Delighted to have you with us. Love the cover of your new release. I've got the coffee and tea on auto brew and the bagels and schmear will arrive in the morning!!! Let's get this party started!

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    1. Thank you so much for inviting me, Tina! This is one of my fave covers. They did a great job. I've got a cuppa Joe by side in my "Please do not annoy the writer; she may put you in a novel and kill you" mug and a slice of thick cinamon toast!

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  3. Hi Jessica. I love the Love Inspired Suspense line of books and would love to be entered to win a copy.

    My favorite verse that lifts me up is Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and entering, as well as reading the LIS books! I love writing them. I have a huge wall art with this scripture on it. It's always a wonderful reminder when I'm walking through the house, or in my living room praying. Blessings to you too!

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  4. Welcome, Jessica! For me, some days I do more treading than walking on the water, but I always have fun. My go to verse is Proverbs 3:5. Thanks for visiting Seekerville. Great cover!

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    1. Jill, I'm right there with you. The thing about treading it keeps you going until you can get back some strength to swim again...or get up and walk again! :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Jessica, What a great devotional thought you have provided for us. Please throw my name in the drawing for your book. It sounds like an exciting tale to go along with Peter's sinking feeling.
    My thoughts...I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help. Too many times we get lost in the forest when we just need to look up to the Lord. Thank you for reminding us of this great truth.

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    1. Hello Bettie! Thank you! I love this in a song that Selah sings. I'm sure others have sung this verse before but I just love their rendition. Are you familiar with them?

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    2. I just checked them out. Nice. Is it 'I look to you?'

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  6. Jessica, lovely post! I'm a beach person and I've been fearful at times so I could totally relate to this blog.

    Love how God works. I posted yesterday and, at first, had planned to write about battling fear. Then a new idea popped into my head and I went with it and wrote a piece on Book Clubs. Thankfully, God gave me that second topic or we would have had back-to-back posts on fear.

    Or perhaps it's confirmation that we need to deal with our fears! Love the scripture about Christ walking on water. Love that Peter stepped out of the boat and walked as well...but then looked down. We all need to keep our eyes on Jesus.

    Will you be at RWA in July? If so, I'll see you there.

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    1. Hi Debby! Thank you. I'm a beach person too. I'll be heading that way soon, unfortunately not to RWA. My daughter just graduated high school and we are taking her on a senior trip to Orlando...Wish I could meet up with ya'll but we have a full week packed and then in a blink she's off to college. Perhaps it is confirmation. We all battle fear! Amen, we do need to all keep our eyes on Jesus! Thanks for commenting! :)

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    2. Enjoy your summer vaca with your sweet daughter. They grow up too soon...and go off to college! :)

      Hugs!

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    3. Congratulations on your daughter's graduation. I love Orlando and Disney. BUT IN FEBRUARY PEOPLE.

      I'll be in Denver and NYC for RWA!!

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  7. Hi Jessica,
    I ran across this version of a familiar verse on pinterest the other day and liked it so well I printed it out and read it every day.

    This One Thing

    Yes hope remains when
    I remember
    this ne thing
    The Lord's unfailing
    love and mercy
    still continue
    fresh as the morning,
    as sure as the sunrise.
    The Lord is all I have,
    and so in him
    I put my hope.

    As far as Deep Waters goes, this is at least my fourth contest I've entered to win it :) I love your LIS books, was thrilled when you started writing them after I read your indie books. Hope Under Mistletoe is still one of my favorite books of yours, such an original storyline.

    Thanks for being here today and the encouragement to keep on walking!

    Lamentations 3:11-14

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    1. That is a beautiful version and reminds me that God's compassions fail not, great is His faithfulness and His mercy new every single morning. I sure need it! I'm so glad. you enjoy the stories! Goodness, after 4 tries, you're due, right? :) I have a Goodreads contest to give 5 copies away, if you haven't entered yet, there's still time! Thank you for coming by and I'm glad you've been encouraged!

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    2. Oh yes, I've entered on Goodreads. One of the things I like about that site is once you put a book on your want-to-read list, they'll email you when there is a giveaway for it. You have a nice giveaway going on your blog too!
      I don't know what it is about winning a book that's so much fun...it just is!
      But come release day, if I don't win it, I'm buying that baby, lol!

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    3. I didn't know that??? Thanks for the heads up, Tracey.

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    4. I love that feature on Goodreads too. I get frequent emails and I jump right to entering the contests for some of my favorite authors! I'm so glad you entered! And I agree, there is something fun about entering to win a book, though I never have. :( waaah!

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    5. I have won a book twice on Goodreads,
      so keep entering, eventually the odds will go your way!

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    6. You're welcome Tina, we book addicts have to share the good stuff, some people get excited when they win the lottery, I get excited when I win a book...priorities people, priorities!!!

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  8. Jessica, thank you for the reminder that we are not in this alone--or for ourselves. "Walking on water" is a metaphor for just about everything in the Christian life--pastoring, being a missionary, Christian marriage, Christian child-raising. And writing. We need to step out in faith and leave the result to Him. Good.Stuff.Here.
    Please enter me in the drawing, I am always up for LIS.
    Thanks,
    Kathy Bailey

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    1. Kathy, you nailed it! Walking on water can be used for pretty much everything in our lives! Everything, every day is step of faith! Thanks for stopping by and entering!

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  9. This is a great analogy, Jessica. I really like what you said about trusting Him for what is yet unseen. I'm still on THAT water - but I am walking on it! Wishing you much success with Deep Waters

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    1. Thank you, Cindy! I think we're always on THAT water! Uncertainty is soooo tough! Keep walking. Thank you for the best wishes! :)

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  10. I always thought that writing was more like climbing a mountain. You struggle to get to the top, but then you finally make it to the peak and you celebrate and do your happy dances. Then you realize that now you've got to climb back down (drafts and revisions), but its still much easier than climbing up.

    My verses would probably be Psalm 23:4 and 1 Peter 1:3-9

    I love a good suspense, and yours looks interesting, please enter my name for the drawing.

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    1. Nicki, that is a great comparison! I love it. It's always up and down. Thanks for stopping by and entering! :)

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  11. Hi Jessica, Welcome to Seekerville and what a great post. I love the analogy of writing to walking on water. It is true in all aspects of life that if we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, we won't sink into despair etc. Really love this and it is very inspiring for me today. Thank you again. Have fun today.

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    1. I'm so glad you were inspired today, Sandra! Thank you so much for commenting! :)

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  12. Wonderful post, Jessica! I love suspense with the ocean as setting--there's such a symbolic sense of life in large bodies of water. I'm looking forward to diving into your latest book. So many lessons for Christians from the verse about Peter! I compare writing stories to constructing a strong building. My favorite verse keeps me focused on the Lord and trusting Him so I read it first thing in the morning.

    Psalm 143:8--Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. NIV

    Please add my name to your drawing.

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    1. Thank you, Darlene! I like your comparison of writing being like constructing a strong building! I love this verse. I have it posted on my cork board so I can see it and pray it over my writing each day. :)

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  13. Hi Jessica. I truly enjoyed this post and I plan to keep it to read again. I have always loved Jeremiah 29:11 but I also have these two verses saved in my notes.

    Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.
    Proverbs 16:3 NIV

    We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9

    They remind me to seek God's will and accept that His Will may not be our first choice.
    I would love to be included in your drawing.

    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Connie! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. I also love this verse about committing all things to the Lord so He can establish our plans. Blessings to you, too!

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  14. Welcome, Jessica, and thank you for this encouraging and faith-filled post!

    I'm also a beach person. In real life, though, I prefer to stay close to shore and avoid those "deep waters" where you can't see what's lurking beneath.

    But I know that in the writing life--or any other area of our lives where challenges abound--staying on dry land isn't always an option. Stepping out in faith is the only way to move forward.

    Whenever I need that kind of courage, the passage I have leaned on for many years comes from Exodus 14:13-14, Moses' admonition to the Israelites:

    "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. . . . The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

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    1. Thank you, Myra! In real life, I don't like to get out where I can't touch either. I've seen JAWS too many times! lol

      LOOOVE this verse in Exodus! It's powerful and faith-building for sure!

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  15. Hello, Jess! *squish* (You know what THAT is!) :-)

    Welcome to Seekerville!

    I love, love, LOVE this post. Great encouragement to take us into the remainder of the week. I really like your analogy of Peter and Jesus- Can't we all relate? I know when I take my eyes off Him, that's when I start to feel vulnerable and discouraged.

    Congrats on the release of Deep Waters! I love the premise. I also really like the hero's name - Shepherd Lightman. Perfect!

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    1. Hi Cindy! I know *squish* and a big *squish* back! I think we can all relate! Thank you. I'm partial to his name too! A bit of Jesus wrapped up in there! :)

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  16. Oh - and a favorite scripture I love is Jeremiah 29:11 (although, like you, I am partial to Hebrews 11:1, too!) It's tough to just pick one. :-)

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    1. It is tough to pick just one! Both are strong and comforting!

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  17. Jessica, welcome! What a great post. I especially loved this quote: "You can bow to the criticism of man and not surf on the approval of God."

    This is such a great reminder to me. Thank you for sharing today!

    Oh, and my favorite Scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 just like Cynthia!

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    1. Thank you, Missy! It's great to be here! It's my pleasure. I am seeing a lot of Jeremiah 29:11. Because I know we all know God has great plans for us, we just need to be daily reminded!

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  18. I see others also listed Jer. 29:11! :)

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  19. Good Morning Jessica:

    What a surprise to wake up to your wonderfully inspired faith-filled post this morning. From time to time I felt I was back reading "The Pilgrim's Progress" . I even expected to encounter Goodwoman Writer at any moment.

    You asked what we would compare writing to. Well, walking on water is a little more than I would want to tread. It assumes it would take an on-going miracle to get me into print!

    I like comparing writing to scuba diving or flying. Both offer great rewards and real world risks. Both require skill, planning, study, and courageous faith. Both require going where we were not designed to be. My flight instructor would often tell me, "you're not a bird. Don't trust your body...believe your instruments." I'm also not a fish. I just can't dive for as long as I want to. There are limitations. (Publisher guidelines?)

    I also think it takes a sense of humor to face the slings and arrows of outrageous reviews and contest comments!

    Plan your dive and stay alive
    never pantser it instead
    'cause when the bends come calling
    it's the pantsers who wind up dead

    Oh, you can fly by the seat of your pants
    and it might even get you to the dance
    but when comes inclement weather
    instruments work a whole lot better.


    Just playing. : )

    Favorite Bible quote:

    " For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)

    I find it comforting that God has all these wonderful thoughts for us and He wants us to reach our goals. I also love the KJV! I wouldn't change a word!

    Please enter me in the drawing. There is just not enough flying or scuba diving in romances!

    Vince

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    1. Vince, your comment made me smile for sure. I loved your analogies. Scuba diving is for sure in this romance! Ha! I agree about humor too. Laughter does make the heart merry like good medicine. :)

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  20. Okay, Jessica, you have two different images in your profile pic. How'd you do that?

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    1. I have a twin and we're tag teaming this morning! HA! Just kidding! I signed in with one email earlier and then I signed in with another later. The twin thing sounded cooler though. :)

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    2. Now there's an idea for a series.....

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  21. Is Deep Water the first book in the Security Specialist series. I notice it's the first book with a flash on Amazon. Can you share what Security Specialist is?

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    1. Yes! It is my first series. In fact, right now at harlequin(dot)com you can read a prequel to this series on the ONLINE READS page. They'll post a new chapter each week for 8 weeks! Readers will get to meet Shepherd Lightman from Deep Waters.

      The Security Specialists is about an elite private security team that works from an old plantation home in Atlanta. the group is made up of former SEALS, and Shep--who is a Marine. The CEO of the company, Wilder Flynn appears in Final Verdict--the book the released this past April. There will be 3 books in this series. I just finished writing the last book which is Wilder's story!

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    2. Well, we need to post that in the blog. I'll go do that now!

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    3. Plantation home in Atlanta...love it! And it's a security team. You've hooked me! :)

      Ok, where in ATL? That's my stomping grounds. Do you get specific in your series?

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  22. Wow, Jessica. I didn't realize how much I needed this post until I began reading your words. You share so much truth! The reminder to keep my faith in and my eyes on Jesus is what I need to cling to right now. And I need to step out of the boat (again) and trust Jesus on this journey. Thank you, Jessica!

    Your book sounds SO good!

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    1. Jeanne, I am soooo glad this post spoke to you and encouraged you to step out (again) and trust & cling! That's all we can do, right? Thanks about the book! :)

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  23. Jessica, welcome to Seekerville! Thank you for this beautiful, inspiring reminder to keep my eyes on Jesus and trust Him with the timing, the outcome.

    Deep Waters sounds exciting and unique! Congrats on the release of your fifth LIS!

    Blessings, Janet

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    1. Thank you, Janet! It's been wonderful to be here.

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  24. Jessica, great post! Thanks for being on.

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    1. Thank you, Mary! It's great to be here!

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  25. Jessica, are you a Southern gal? How did you first sell to Love Inspired Suspense?

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    1. I am! I live in Northwest MS right by Memphis. :) My agent, Rachel Kent, asked me if I wanted to write a LI and I said I'd give it a try. We'd been pitching since 2011. I write both contemporary and suspense. In the middle of my LI manuscript I saw a contest for Killer Voices. I asked my agent if I should stop the LI and write a suspense since it was clear they were searching for more LIS authors. She said to go for it and she would send in a proposal. Three months later, Shana Asaro called me with my first sale! It's been the best experience!

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    2. So glad you entered KV. So glad LI snatched you up quickly!!!

      BTW, I love Memphis. That city is rich in history and with an interesting mix of cultures. Great place to set a story...hmmmm? I'm thinking! :)

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    3. High five from another MS gal! :)

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    4. Yay for MS gals, Pam! Debby, it's a great place to set a book! My debut and second book is set here. Lots of spooky places too! If you come back, let me know so we can meet up! I'd love that.

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  26. Thank you, Jessica! Such a powerful, inspirational post. You said: "But tides change. Be flexible to go with the flow of God’s plan." I needed that reminder today. And thanks for telling us about your book, "Deep Waters" sounds so interesting!

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    1. Thank YOU, Laura. I'm glad you got what you needed today. God is so good to provide for us. :)

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  27. "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it;" Rev 20:13.
    Okay, this is not the verse I use for inspiration, it's just what comes to my mind when I think about being on the ocean. Like when I take a cruise. And yes, I do think of Peter when walking on water too.

    Deep Water sounds scary! Oxygen tank fails 30 ft down!

    I didn't learn to swim too well as a kid. I finally learned to "kind of" swim as an adult. 2-3 years ago I took private swimming lessons. It helped, but I still feel like I'm drowning. I fight the panic. My instructor says adults are much harder to teach to swim.
    I went snorkeling on a cruise and the waves were choppy. Again, had to fight the panic.
    For some, death by drowning would give them a minute or two to contemplate their death. Mine would be a 5-second demise.

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    1. I didn't learn to swim well either. It was mostly self taught. I think I could save my life and maybe a child, but I'm not sure about another adult, unlike my husband who was raised in a pool. He's like a fish. I envy him a little. When we went on a cruise, he snorkeled and I didn't even try b/c I was afraid and yes, the waters were choppy. Maybe you can stay away from water, but if not, remember that "in the multitude of my anxieties, Your comforts are my delight." Psalm 94:19

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  28. Love this post Jessica. I've never thought of writing as an act of Faith (like the kind required for walking on water). A new perspective. As a scuba diver, I can totally relate to what Vince wrote in his comments. As for a favorite Bible verse, I go to Psalm 139:13-16, the part talking about being fearfully and wonderfully made. I also lean towards Jeremiah 29:11.

    Your book (and series) sounds very cool. I will need to put your book on my LIST of must get books (which is way too long *sigh*).

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. I was JUST quoting that Psalm about being fearfully and wonderfully made the other day! You should see my TBR pile. It's so long I'm not sure I'll ever get them all read, but man I want to! There are just so many good books out there!

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  29. LOVE this post, Jessica! The analogy of water walking is spot on and it made my view on this writing journey so much more fun. I have thought about it like being a roller coaster - the long climb to finish, the rush of finishing, then the long climb to edit, then the rush of finish, etc... There have been times when it has felt like quicksand, a slow death in the muck; then times when it has felt like a hot air balloon, just floating with the wind.

    I have to confess that I have never read an LIS. Gasp! I know, I know. It is rather shocking. I'd love to have my name in the drawing! ;)

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    1. Well you will have to remedy that ASAP, Sherrinda! :) I like all of your comparisons too. I can relate to each one!

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  30. If you turned in the last book of this series...well, what's next? What sort of fun suspense ideas are you working on? Plotter or Pantser?

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    1. I haven't turned in the last book just yet. I finished the first draft; it's not actually due until Dec. 31st. I'm working on a 3-book proposal for LIS about storm chasers that my editor would like to see, and a proposal for a trade length suspense series about a special unit of FBI agents who investigate strange crimes. :)

      I used to be a Pantser all the way, but Harlequin doesn't really allow that. You know this! They want those proposals with the full synopsis. So I've become pretty good at plotting ahead of time, even though some things change or pop up new. With this new trade length series, I'm going back to my old ways and pantsing it just to see where it might lead. No deadlines mean I can just surf those waves. ;)

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  31. I love the freedom to pantser. Oh, yes, I plot and then I pantser my plotting. Sigh.

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  32. And both your new ideas sound totally cool!!!

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  33. Welcome, Jessica! I LOVE your books and am really looking forward to reading this one. This post speaks to me in *very* specific ways so thank you for heeding the Holy Spirit in writing it for us today...I needed this like a balm to my soul. That's all for me today, but please throw me in the draw and if I win, I'm Canadian and am happy to receive an ebook version. P.S. Your cover's gorgeous as someone already said, and I LOVE that LIS is starting to put people on the covers as well as the atmospheric kind like Deep Waters.

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    1. Hi Laurie! Thank you SO much! I am super blessed that the post ministered to you. God is faithful! And so good! :) If you win, I'll be sure to send you an e-book!

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    2. Thanks Jessica. :) I've saved this post for the future and I'm pumped to read this new series. I'm terrified of being under water so scuba diving etc's never been something I've wanted to tackle. The closest I've come is snorkeling on a cruise, lol.

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  34. Jessica!! So great to see you in Seekerville! Deep Waters is a great story!! I compare writing to running.

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    1. Sally, that's interesting because I do as well.

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    2. Hi Sally! Thanks! That's a great comparison.

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  35. Hebrews 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

    ... let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith

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  36. Hello, Jessica! Welcome to the Seekerville village.

    Your post reminds me that the minute I give into my writing fears, my feet start sinking. Thank you for reminding me to keep my eyes focused on Him.

    ~ Renee

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    1. Thank you! I love being here. Stay focused! :)

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  37. Hi Jessica: I was recently introduced to your books through a dear friend who mailed me Final Verdict. I downloaded Fatal Reunion on my Kindle so plan to read these VERY soon! I definitely want to read Deep Water, also ..thanks for your giveaway!
    My favorite verse is Ephesians 3:20!

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    1. Oh how wonderful! Please thank your friend for me. I hope you enjoy them all! Eph. 3:20 is a wonderful verse. There's nothing He can't do!

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  38. HEY, JESSICA, WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE!!

    Great blog, girlfriend, and I like several commenters mentioned, I LOVE how you tied the water theme of your book into this inspirational blog!

    Love, Love, LOVED this: "Don't watch the waves -- walk on them!"

    The thing about walking on water for writers is we all sink from time to time, so perfection not needed, only faith!

    Hugs!!
    Julie

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    1. HEY JULIE!!! Thank you. Preach it! I always tell my kids, we are progress not perfection. You'll make mistakes. So true in writing as well. Hugs!

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  40. Hi Jessica! I absolutely loved this post. Writing is so much like walking on water and you’ve done a great job of tying it all together. I can relate what you’ve said in many ways. Though I’m still on the pre-published road, I’m holding out hope and ANTICIPATING the fun while having fun. When I’m not whining and looking at those waves, jellyfish and sharks. 😊

    You said: “You can bow to the criticism of man and not surf on the approval of God.” Oh yes! What a perfect smack upside my head. We want the accolades but the criticisms can be tough. I am so glad to be accepted in the Beloved.

    I can’t wait to read your latest book so yes please toss me in the drawing.

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    1. Thank you, Sharee! Keep anticipating! LOL I think all of us writers have spent some time whining and looking at jellyfish and sharks! Us suspense writers find plots in it too. :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  41. Hi, Jessica,

    Getting here late today, but wanted to thank you so much for this timely post. I've been struggling with my first three chapters for what seems like years (and maybe it has been), and now I know I need to step off the boat and see where it leads me. I pray every day for clarity, creativity, stamina and inspiration, but maybe I need to take it a step further and really Believe I already have all those things abiding in me.

    I love all the scriptures mentioned here today, and one of my favorites: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...Proverbs 23:7.

    Enter me for your book, please.

    Blessings,

    Marcia

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    1. Marcia, thank you for your transparency. Launch on out and trust God for what you need. I'm praying for you. Love that proverb. Blessings to you!

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  42. Any small conferences you might be at this year? Or planning on ACFW Nashville or RWA Denver next year?

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    1. I am planning on attending ACFW Nashville! This year, I don't believe I'll be in Texas. I'll have to see closer to time to be sure. :)

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  43. I read this late in the day, tired from work, and it was such a nice, thoughtful, "devotionally" thing to read. You're right - writing is like walking on water. With cement shoes on. :) Thanks for the important reminder to always keep my eyes on Jesus!

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    1. Ha! You did post, Dana!! You are right, it is a good post (from our FB chat!)

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    2. Ha! It sure does feel that way doesn't it at times? Thanks for stopping by!

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  44. I like your analogy to walking on water. My favorite mental analogy is tightrope walking, because there's so much to pay attention to, to balance, and some people just make it so effortless... My favorite writing verse is 2 Corinthians 10:5, because that's what I'm in the business of doing.

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    1. Tightrope walking is a good one! Excellent verse. I have to take negative thoughts captive often.

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  45. Welcome to Seekerville, Jessica. Such a thought provoking post.

    I suppose it's natural to avoid anything that instills fear in us, but that's where our faith and determination shines. Goodness, I'm thinking that the story of Peter walking on water wasn't so much about actually DOING such a thing as it was just what you said... keeping our eyes on Jesus ... and trusting him in everything, big and small.

    I'm walking on water, with my eyes fixed on Him.

    There are several great songs on youtube about walking on water. I can't find my favorite right now, but some of the others are awesome. :)

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    1. Oooh... I found it. Jessica, if you re-purpose this post, then embed this video in your post. Wouldn't that be cool? Audio Adrenaline singing Walk on Water ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1GHO_md0uo

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    2. OH I will! Great one, Pam. Thanks for having me today!

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  46. Sorry, I'm so late in the day commenting. I've been traveling today, taking my daughter and grandson back home after a nice long visit.

    Wonderful post, Jessica! Thanks for the reminder to keep our eyes on Jesus and the goal. I know that personally, when I hit big waves on the writing journey, I tend to take my eyes off the goal, and then it takes me awhile to get back on track. The next time this happens, I'm going to remember your post and fight harder to stay focused.

    Please enter me in the drawing! You know I love your books!!

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    1. Thank you, Rhonda! I'm glad to hear you had a nice long visit. Now time to rest! :) Thank you for taking time to come by. Better late than never!

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  47. Hi Jessica, love this post! Writing is a LOT like walking on water. There are so many unpredictables that a LOT of trust in God is needed in order to weather the road. Today, my husband said to me: "I can see you getting stronger with your writing journey." I was like: "Really?" Things that would've caused me to flail my arms in despair don't faze me as much (emphasis on "as much" anymore :-) ) God knows what He's doing with this writing thing, and I trust Him wholeheartedly! It's fun to watch Him at work in my life.

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    1. Preslaysa, what a fantastic attitude! It's all about trust and growth! :)

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  48. Jessica! I know it's getting late in your corner of the world. Here in AZ it's dinner time. Thank you so much for spending the day with us and for this valuable reminder.

    If you have time tomorrow, do stop by to say hi to the evening folks.

    But in the meantime, we pray for continued success for you and I'll see you at ACFW NASHVILLE!

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    1. Thank you, Tina! I will definitely do that and I appreciate you having me. It's been such a treat!

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  49. Hi Jessica, your new book sounds thrilling! I would be terrified if in water thinking I was about to run out of oxygen.

    Great blog post. I had never thought of writing as water walking. Yet, I can see too many instances where I've let fear or rejection send me flailing about and sinking. Not a pretty picture, but one I needed to envision.

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    1. And now you can focus and keep going. Blessings on your writing! Thank you for coming by!

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  50. Jessica, thank you for the encouraging post. Hmm, walking on water and writing. Great analogy. As far as Bible verses, the one I know by heart and often recite to myself is Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Thanks Jessica.

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    1. This is such a great verse, Tanya. I quote this one often. Thank you for coming by and commenting. So glad you've been encouraged. :)

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  51. "But there are no uncharted waters for God." Love that. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Glynis! I appreciate you coming by and commenting!

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  52. I love books that pull you right into the story on the first page. Being under water and about to run out of oxygen is the kind of opening that grabs you by the collar and won't let go :)

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    1. I think so too, but unfortunately that's not the opening! hahahaha! However, the scene the story opens with will pull you in too! Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  53. Thank you for your post, Jessica!

    I just like writing. It's a part of me. Not inclined personally to create an analogy for it, although I did enjoy yours.

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

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