Welcome Carol Raj to Writer Wednesday!
When did you decide you would be an author?
When I was in second grade, my story about a duck received a gold star and a prominent place on the classroom bulletin board. I had always loved books and stories, but had never realized that real people actually wrote them.
What is my pet peeve?
The new practice of editors and agents not responding at all to submissions. It leaves authors hanging. How long would it take someone to type “No thanks” and hit “Send?”
What was my most embarrassing moment as a writer?
I haven’t had one yet.
What is my most difficult challenge as an author?
Marketing! It’s against my nature and my upbringing to draw attention to myself.
How do I take rejections and/or negative reviews?
My response ranges from stoic acceptance to internal grumbling.
What do I feel is the best success so far in my writing career?
I was very encouraged by a review calling my novel, “The Curious Prayer Life of Muriel Smith,” a “hidden gem.” It was very encouraging.
What is my current work in progress?
A Young Adult novel entitled “Charlotte Masterson Gets a Life” is under contract. I’m also working on another faith-based YA novel and a secular adult novel. I’m not yet sure which one will take off.
Amazon link for Muriel: http://amazon.com/dp/B07V39G9PR
My pastor made a cool statement in church recently. He had been talking about the respectable sins and how we all struggle with some of these in certain ways (i.e. materialism, pride, unbridaled passions). He finished up the series by saying words any writer would latch on to. He said “We are all a work-in-progress.”
It’s true, isn’t it? A writer goes through a long arduous process to get published. You will often hear a story that is being written as a WIP (work-in-progress). Because it is. The initial ideas gets written down, research needs to be done, extraneous adverbs deleted, plot twits tied up neatly and if you write romance like I do, a happily ever after that will satisfy. Ultimately though we want a character who starts out one way and grows through the course of the novel in spite of or maybe because of the challenges he or she faces.
God is working on us too. We are set apart as a story of His grace in our lives. He is the author that decides the plot twists we will experience and how we will grow through it all. The difference is that we don’t get a rewrite. We cannot edit or delete misspoken words. In one story I wrote I ended up deleting close to 8,000 words, taking my character back to one decision that changed the trajectory of the story. We don’t get to do that in real life although God, through the righteousness of Christ, erases our sins. We are still left with the consequences but he doesn’t leave us alone or without help to deal with them.
And like a loving author of a beautiful romance, we do have a happily ever after to look forward to.
Sometimes when life is hard I forget all of this and I need that reminder. Life isn’t whipping me around – but God is sovereignly writing His story of redemption and I get to be one of His characters, loved and important for the particular role He has placed me in.