It’s been ten years since I connected with Seekerville as an aspiring author. This month my debut historical novel When Valleys Bloom Again launched. Today as a new novelist, I’m delighted and honored to be here and to see another dream come true. Over the years, I’ve learned much from the teaching, sisterly encouragement and your steadfast examples. Truth be told, there were days I wanted to finally abandon my dream of being a published author. Then I’d check in with the Seekers and the topic under discussion spoke to my need in that moment. All this to say “thank you” for the instruction and encouragement you’ve given.
What I’ve learned while on the path to publication?
All aspects of my life are to be placed before a loving Heavenly Father who holds me and His promises are sure. He withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly. I remind myself that I’m a work in progress. This writing experience is also part of my walk of faith and that, too, requires patience, perseverance and prayer. That with God’s help and guidance it’s never too late to follow your dream.
Do you, too, yearn to obtain a heartfelt goal? Do you cherish a life-long dream—one that you’re convinced God placed in your heart—that seems impossible?
If that dream is to be an author, the journey toward publication may take a long time. I know first hand the disappointment when a positive answer you hoped to get on your work is not the one you receive. When the goal you’ve set for yourself seems unobtainable. Remember our chief goal is to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We’re in sync with God’s perfect timing when we ask Him to direct our path.
I’ve been listening to a book on Louis Pasteur, a believing scientist and the founder of modern medicine. He never gave up in his quest to discover what caused food and wine to spoil. If he had, we would not be benefiting from his discovery of what has come to be called pasteurization. How many lives have been spared and other lives made more bearable through the dogged persistence of scientists and inventors. Is there an author whose words have impacted your life? As a writer, your words can broaden your reader’s horizons or they may touch your reader’s heart and mind and greatly impact their life for good.
In When Valleys Bloom Again, my heroine, Abby, speaks with a stammer. She loves children and dreams of becoming a teacher. She does exercises to overcome her speech impediment and attends college to receive the instruction necessary to qualify as a teacher. Whether we want to be a scientist, a teacher or a writer, we need training. A new writer must learn the craft through taking courses, studying the work of other writers, attending conferences, getting feedback from writing contests, having her work critiqued and through critiquing the work of others. While waiting for “the call” from an agent or editor, work on another novel, or write an article or short stories.
When an opportunity to submit your writing comes your way, be ready. And be prepared to face rejection of your work and not become discouraged and continue to submit elsewhere. I’ve come to appreciate even more the wisdom in not having high expectations but to keep the feeling of anticipation nonetheless.
Work with an editor and take direction when given. You may cringe when told to rework a paragraph or get rid of a sentence or scene. Your editor is only helping your work to shine and you to become a better writer. I’m thankful for the numerous critiques from editors and other writers. Wherever possible try to reciprocate.
When your dreams are yet unrealized and you’re tempted to despair, pray for patient perseverance while you wait on His perfect timing. Share you dream with close family and friends and let them cheer you on. In my novel, Abby confides in her beloved Uncle Will when she begins to doubt. He reassures her, “You’ll make a fine teacher. Remember that determination is half the battle.” He patted her hand. “The other half is jolly hard work.”
We should praise Him for His unfailing promises. When we believe in God we have the certainty that what He has promised is true, has occurred, and will happen in accordance with His Word. We also can praise God for His plan, purpose, protection, power and His peace.
My prayer is that after you have done all that is required to achieve your dream, you may experience a renewed perspective and that you keep anticipation alive.
Do you have a dream that you’re pursuing? What are you doing to realize that dream?
As war approaches in 1939 Abby Stapleton’s safety is under threat. Her father, a British diplomat, insists she go back to America until the danger passes. Abby vows to return to her home in London—but where is home? With her family facing mortal danger so far away and feeling herself isolated, she finds it hard to pray or read the Bible. Did she leave God behind in war-torn London too? Abby becomes friendly with Jim, a gardener on her uncle’s estate.
Jim can’t get Abby out of his mind. Did she have a sweetheart in England? Was it foolish to think she’d consider him? He curses his poverty and the disgrace of his father’s desertion and drunkenness haunts him. Can he learn to believe in love for a lifetime and to hope for a happy marriage?
Abby couldn’t know the war would last a long time, nor that she would fall in love with Jim—soon to be drafted by the U.S. Army—or that she’d have to confront Henri, a rejected suitor, determined by his lies to ruin her reputation and destroy her faith in God’s providence. Will she discover the true meaning of home and find happiness with Jim?
Giveaway! Pat is giving away one print copy of When Valleys Bloom Again to one US resident. Please comment for a chance to win.
PAT JEANNE DAVIS lives in Philadelphia, Pa with her British-born husband, John. They have two grown sons. She enjoys flower gardening, genealogy research and traveling with her husband. She is a volunteer in the nursery at the church she attends and at the local chapter of MOP’s.
Pat published essays, short stories and articles online and in print. She has a keen interest in mid-twentieth-century American and British history, particularly the period of World War II. Pat’s father-in-law served in the British Eighth Army during the war. When Valleys Bloom Again is her debut historical romance set in that era. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Pat loves to hear from her readers. Subscribe to her newsletter here www.patjeannedavis.com
Now let's give Pat some love and celebrate the release of her debut novel:
When Valleys Bloom Again
Congratulations, Pat! I have your book on my TBR and cannot wait to read!ReplyDelete
You're been my biggest champion while trying to break into WW. Without your critiques I wouldn't have had the determination to try. Someday maybe that dream'll come true too. Thank you for your support on my novel.Delete
Welcome back to Seekerville. The first thing that occurs to me is to ask about your contest experience. For many years the Seekers were really into entering contests. I found contests to be the most helpful thing I could do.
I'm very interested in your book as I am a livelong student of WWII. I was supposed to be born on D-Day but it was Braxton-Hicks and I had to wait a few days more. Growing up I read every new WWII pocketbook that came out. I'd run right to the book spinning kiosk in drug stores looking for new war books. My father would buy them for me since I was actually reading them.
I've toured Europe looking at battle sites. I have a question: I was in London the day England won the World Cup. Was your husband there too? If not, did he get to see it on the telly?
Wishing you the best with your new book.
BTW: Did your heroine take inspiration from how hard the King worked to deal with his speech impediment? Just had to ask.
Vince, we had so much fun with contests, didn't we???? We actually hosted a bunch of them and it was a pleasure to send folks on to publishers and watch them get published.Delete
Indie publishing has changed the aspiring author's contest picture. A lot of folks go straight to self-publishing and miss that honing time... And then readers are all too happy to let them know what they did wrong. :( That's a hard way to learn the techniques of storytelling and polishing.
Gosh I ran contests and entered them and it was the OKRWA chapter that got me on Melissa Endlich's desk and got my first contract... Now I am 50 books in and still loving the ride.
50 books.... that seems unreal but also a dream come true.
I think the best thing we can teach aspiring authors is to keep writing, don't slow down, don't rock on your heels or rest on your haunches if you love this job. Because there are dozens of folks lined up, ready to take your spot.
And I was just plain crazy excited when this happened for Pat Jeanne because she's just the nicest person... and she persevered.
Ruthy said: I think the best thing we can teach aspiring authors is to keep writing, don't slow down, don't rock on your heels or rest on your haunches if you love this job. Because there are dozens of folks lined up, ready to take your spot.Delete
And this is true for an author at any stage of her career. Okay, maybe not someone who's become a household name, but for most of us, we have to keep producing quality work ... as we should, of course.
Ruthy, I love contests, always have. It was a contest that brought me to Seekerville! I love the "honing" process. I'm between contest "levels" right now, I'm contracted so a lot of "Unpubbed" contests aren't open to me, but I don't have the physical book yet, so I can't enter "Published" contests. But still looking for that window of opportunity, and mining skills from my crit partner and your instructional posts. We never stop learning.Delete
Happy for Pat in NH
Good Morning, Vince. To answer your last question first. I wrote my heroine with a speech impediment a few years before the King's Speech was released. The film had no bearing on that I knew Churchill had a stammer too. I'm told my sister-in-law struggled with a stutter. Knowing this may have had some bearing.Delete
Yes, I entered contests and gained much insight into what I was doing wrong. All that fantastic feedback is especially valuable if you're not in a critiique group. I highly recommend entering as many as you can for the positive reinforcement you will get as well.
Hubby was a young lad when England won the World Cup in 1966. He lived in Manchester and he and his father supported United and attended the games at Old Trafford when it was free. Can you imagine that! I'm quite sure they watched the Cup on their telly.
There is a scene in Valleys that takes place on Normandy beaches on D-Day. There are two battle scenes, the other in North Africa.
As you can guess, I'm an anglophile and watch a lot of British programming and films while living in Phila. with my Brit.
Pat, that's fascinating that you have your own personal research material. So cool. :)Delete
Have you any books on Kindle? I'd love to read one of yours but I don't even know you author name. I like your posts, I'd like to read one of your books.
When I first came to Seekerville, about the time it started, I picked you to be a most prolific writer based on the extreme originality and creativity of your posts. I actually could tell one of your posts from across the room. I also wrote in a post, you can look it up, that once you got off the island, the dam would break and you'd be publishing one book after another.
It happened that way. (Well, I didn't expect multi-book contracts to happen so soon!)
As for chapters in Oklahoma at, WIN, the Tulsa Club, the one Myra was in, I sat at a table with a 100 book author, a 50 book author, and the president of the ACFW. If an aspiring author can get to a chapter of the ACFW, go!!! What a joy!
Oh, my, would I love it! Man U v Man City, the best derby in the whole world!!!
We watch so much BBC we actually use those strange words for things! Even watching New Zealand tv has us turning some 'e's into 'i's.
Have you seen "800 Words"…about a writer form OZ who moves to Kiwi land? Some of best writing I've ever seen on tv.
Hi Vince, A few of our friends in the UK are fans of Man City while hubby is a Man U supporter. When he and his friends start talking football, I leave. They are too passionate about the sport for me. I do watch Foreign Correspondent and Four Corners on ABC, but nothing out of New Zealand. In films,I have difficulty with the Aussie accent most of the time. I'm happy to know you like "800 Words."Delete
My wife likes "800 Words" a little but thinks it's a romance for men. Five beautiful women all with their sights on one guy. I think, "What's not to like?"
I thought a real funny scene was when the New Zealand girl said she, "could not understand the Aussie chick."
My wife has been to both New Zealand and Australia and she really likes "Dr. Blake", I like "Miss Fisher", and we both love the settings.
If ACORN puts it out, it just has to be good.
Pat, we are so proud of you and happy for you! What a thrill this is for all of us. The best part of Seekerville is watching dreams come true...ReplyDelete
Thank you for this beautiful post and allowing us to share in your success. You've been a true friend to all of us for years and your joy only makes us happier!
CHAMPAGNE FOR ALL!!!!!
And coffee, too, for us folks who need that caffeine shot!
Thank you so very much, Ruthie. I wrote that post hopng to enncourage another writer who was feeling defeated today. It was last year when the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl and demonstrated an underdog could come out on top that I decided to submit my story another time. That decision got me a contract.Delete
Ruthy, I so much appreciate your kind words and your sincere happiness for me. I'm so blessed.Delete
Congratulations, 🎉🎈 Pat. I’m so glad our loving Heavenly Father has helped you achieve your goal. Great words of advice. BlessingsReplyDelete
Thank you, Lucy, for being here and for your words.Delete
Congratulations, Pat!! We're so happy to have you in Seekerville today and so excited for your new release. Can't wait to hear all the exciting details of your sale! :)ReplyDelete
Congratulations, Pat! So happy for you and can relate to MANY aspects of your story. It's worth waiting for, isn't it?ReplyDelete
Also a debut author in 2019
Kathy said: Also a debut author in 2019Delete
This makes me smile! So happy for you, too, Kathy! :)
Pat, also love any story about the Brits in WW II. That truly was their finest hour. I'm obsessed with British television about the period, including "Land Girls," "Home Fires" and the "Guernsey Literary Society." Also books. When I think of what England did to hold off Hitler it sends chills up my spine. And there are still stories to be told, including yours.ReplyDelete
Respecting the Brits in NH
Kaybee, Congratulations to another soon-to-be author. I know you can relate to some aspects of my journey. I'm with you.I've watched all of those you've mentioned. One of the very best made about ten yrs. ago and extremely popular was Foyle's War. Have you watched BBC Wartime Farm in eight parts? Can be viewed on Youtube.Delete
Thank you so much for sharing these reminders to not give up when our dreams look impossible. And congratulations on your debut novel!ReplyDelete
Glynis, I appreciate your best wishes. Don't give up on your dream!Delete
This morning I'm overwhelmed with all your good wishes. Thank you so much, my friends.ReplyDelete
We love to offer support and encouragement here in Seekerville, just like your post is giving back to us. So much good advice there. We need to "Be..." doing something all the time. Reminds me of the Beatitudes.Delete
Pam, thank you for calling my attention to our Lord's words in the Beatitudes.I've received so much good from the generosity of others since my book was published that I feel more like a taker than a giver. I want to always remember that and reciprocate.Delete
Congratulations, Pat! Such a wonderful debut story! I think it's important for historical authors to keep writing about WW2 because so many of our veterans are dying now and their memories are going with them. This past Remembrance Day we had the privilege of meeting a WW2 veteran who was a pilot and flew in the Battle of Britain. He's 100 years old as of 2018 and it turned out he's the father of someone who goes to our small church! He had a clear mind and gave a great speech. But these vets are leaving us and so I think authors such as yourself are so important to keep their history alive. May we never forget.ReplyDelete
Laurie, thank you for being here. I couldn't agree with you more. It was for that very reason that I wrote Valleys. My father-in-law was conscripted in 1939 after being married only two months and was away fighting for Britain for six long years, not seeing his wife for very long stretches of time. After Dunkirk, he was home for a short time, but there were many long years between that and the liberation of Europe. May we never forget.Delete
What a fascinating and brave generation of men and women. Your in-laws sound like amazing people.Delete
Pam, my blogpost is enhanced by your efforts. It looks so lovely! Your choice of what to highlight in verses and pics is perfect. Many thanks.ReplyDelete
You're welcome! Dreams, beautiful valleys full of wildflowers, your post and book cover just all seemed to fit perfectly together. :)Delete
Pam, You said it perfectly too.Delete
What a delightfully encouraging post, Pat! Congratulations on your book and I'm looking forward to reading it!ReplyDelete
When we lived on our ranch, my nearest and dearest neighbor was an English woman married during WWII when her husband was stationed in England! I loved her stories, her homemade donuts and her gentle reprimand that I might not want to dig up all my daffodils. She said when the first one blooms and there's still snow on the ground, I'd be happy to see such color. Since I was new to the area I quit and left the rest. That winter was long, very long, and bitterly cold. The sight of a little daffodil poking through the snow brought tears to my eyes and gratitude for her kindly advice! (Her front yard looked like an English cottage garden!)
Have a tea-riffic weekend! Thanks again for the reminder to keep our dreams and trust our God!
I love seeing the first daffodil every spring here in Mississippi. While we don't have the long, harsh winters others get, the bright pops of color after a dull, grey winter are welcomed. :)Delete
Pam, I do too. There's just something so special about springtime. Last year in early spring, I was anticipating our trip to the UK. We'd be escaping the long extended winter here on the East Coast and entering a country with gardens of daffodils, tulips and hyacinths in full bloom and windowboxes overflowing with colorful flowers. But that wasn't the case. Spring was delayed by about 3 weeks there. Instead the days were for the most part damp and grey. Still, we enjoyed yourselves and stayed mostly indoors.Delete
Kathryn, thank you so much for being here. Such lovely memories you have of your neighbor. One of my neighbors was a war bride. She and my British hubby would reminisce about the old country, she being 30 yrs. older. Daffodils are everywhere in the UK. Yesterday I picked up a bouquet from Wegman's for that taste of spring I longed to have. Flower gardening is in the English blood. I'm drinking a cup of brewed Yorkshire tea now.ReplyDelete
Pat, Congratulations on your debut! Thank you for reminding us that our dreams will come to pass in His timing!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Caryl, for leaving a comment on my piece and for the congrats. I feel like a celebrity today.Delete
Pat and Kathryn, my daffodils are in bloom! Sadly, yesterday's heavy rain has the flowers drooping. Hopefully a little sunshine will help them revive!ReplyDelete
Love your post, Pat. Congrats on your debut. The story sounds delightful! And the cover tugs at my heart! So proud of you, Pat. I had a long journey to publication filled with numerous rejections. Sometimes it's hard to keep moving forward. So glad you did! Your determination and perseverance paid off! Lucky us who get to read your first story...and the many more to come!
Debby, Thank you too. You and the other Seekers have been a huge source of inspiration. I'm looking at the Writer's Prayer you sent my way long ago as I type this. All of you have been so generous too. Lucky you with flowers in bloom. May your daffodils bounce back soon.Delete
Very good advice, Pat, no matter what your aspirations. Congrats on your debut novel! This one will always be the most special.ReplyDelete
Mindy, thank you. Seeing the story in print, seems rather surreal at times.Delete
A quick queston, please. Someone I know from the UK who reviewed Valleys there told me she tried to leave a comment, but it disappeared. Can only those living in US post to Seekerville?ReplyDelete
Chrome seems to be the best for leaving a comment. See if she can download Chrome. It's free...and works well.ReplyDelete
Debby, I'll let Barbara know that. It's getting on to 10 PM there. Thank you,ReplyDelete
Congratulations Pat! This is so encouraging, to hear your story. I have learned so much from the Villagers here and aspire to become a published writer myself. Thanks for the timely encouragement.ReplyDelete
Congratulations, Pat. The book looks good. I always enjoy hearing about other author's as they pursue their dream. I am still working on mine.ReplyDelete
Stay with it, Sandy! The Villagers are here to encourage you too. Thank you for your congratulations.Delete
Congratulations Pat, I can only imagine how proud you are and how very thankful also. Your book cover is lovely and the blurb suggests a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing your advice with us and thank you also for your giveaway.ReplyDelete
Connie, thank you for your kind words about Valleys. My privilege and an honor to be here with everyone and to give just a little back for all I've received over the years.Delete
I very much appreciate your letting me know my words encouraged you, Lee-Ann. Keep your dream. Your day will come. All according to His timing.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the encouraging comments. Congratulations on your published work. It sounds like a great read!!! Thanx for the giveaway!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Pat, for sending me a digital copy of ‘When Valleys Bloom Again’. Pat and I are both members of the Facebook group for the ‘Woman Alive’ magazine book club, so Pat contacted me when I saw her request for someone to read her debut novel and post a review. As I am an American by birth, but English by choice for over 40 years, I was very interested in reading her book. It was such a pleasure and I enjoyed every minute! I found it interesting to see WW2 from the American perspective as well as from the British view. Pat’s characters were wonderfully drawn, and their inner dialogue of made for a great story. I look forward very much to a sequel, Pat!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for this post, Jeanne. I needed to hear it today after a frustrating week. God bless you and congrats on your debut novel!!!ReplyDelete
Darlene, I'm so pleased to know you were blessed. May God be praised. He knows what we need in the moment.Delete
I am blessed to have Pat in our Women's Bible Study. This article is so encouraging to all believers because everyone has a dream. Whether it is to write a book, to begin a new chapter in life or to see a broken relationship healed. Patient perseverance, as we are seeking the kingdom of God, is the key. Thank you, Pat! I can't wait to read your book, When Valleys Bloom Again.ReplyDelete
Vicky, many thanks for your loving words here and for your support of my writing. God bless.Delete
Barbie, I'm so happy to see you here. I appreciate the extra effort it took for you to post here this morning. Thank you again for your support of my writing. It's been my pleasure to make contact with you through Amy's FB group for readers.ReplyDelete
i like the cover and the story sounds good. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) comReplyDelete
Pat, I'm so sorry I missed coming by on Friday!! I was out pretty much all day and was cooking for a special event while home.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing your encouragement. And congratulations on your debut book!! :)