Shannon here: Carole Brown shares her journey to publication, along with a chance to win a copy of her Romantic Mystery, Knight in Shining Apron. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a copy. U.S. only. Deadline: May 9th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Carole:
Five steps It Took for Me to Become a Real Live Author by Carole Brown:
I didn’t always realize I’d someday become an author, but I’ve always LOVED writing. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been interesting, and sometimes hard work.
Here’s what I went through to become who I am today:
As I said above, I’ve always loved writing and making up stories. The way I hear it, I was always an expressive child, using my hands to help with my dramatic reactions to life, venting with emotions that conveyed to those older than me how I was feeling. That carried over into my grade school years where I was assigned fun writing projects such as creating a week-long diary of a cave man’s life. Or where I read from the scriptures to a room full of classmates. I don’t remember what I read or how, but it must have been quite impressive because I received a round of enthusiastic applause.
This step found me in high school where I was best friends with one girl who loved to create tragic and romantic poetry as well as I did. You want some samples? Okay.
Partial Tragic example from years long ago:
A wetness on my face was hot
and sticky. My heart gave one jot
I lay still
on the hill.
And a partial Romantic example from long ago:
Somewhere, you’re kissing someone.
Somewhere, you’re holding her tight.
Somewhere, your eyes are upon her.
Somewhere, far out of my sight.
I still had far to go!
Years later, after I was married, I began to be interested in serious writing—children’s books. I took a course which helped me tremendously. I did write several short children’s stories, that someday I may revise and see them published, but this genre didn’t click.
This is the step where I moved into serious writing. I talked with my husband one day and told him if I was ever going to pursue writing, it was time. I joined a writing group where I found some wonderful critique partners, and yes, they were giving me critiques that discouraged me, but also advice that was helpful and taught me to keep moving forward. I entered contests, signed up for critiques from professional writers, and learned, learned, learned.
Somewhere around this time, I became REALLY discouraged. I thought I would quit, but! One older lady—Barb—where hubby and I were pastoring talked with me and pushed me to keep going. Her talk, her encouragement, her assurance that I could do this, helped me over the most serious hurdle I had faced in this challenging career.
I kept writing. I gained an agent. I finished one book, two and began others. I started a mentoring group of local people. One day my hubby suggested an idea for a book. It was different, combining women’s fiction with suspense and romance, dealing with a hard subject and yet bringing in scenes of romance and warmth to ease the hard places. My hubby was with me the whole way through the writing of it. His suggestions, his listening, weeks at a time, while I read and he’d listen, passing on his thoughts to me, all the while making me a better writer, making the book real-life.
I went to one conference where I talked with an editor who was very interested in my book and asked me to have my agent submit it. I was literally on pins and needles for a few months. And then came the word. MY manuscript was accepted. Months later it published, and it went on to achieve a measure of success, winning a multitude of awards and becoming an Amazon best seller.
Those are the five steps it took to bring me to the stage of becoming an author. I couldn’t have done it alone. Friends, critique partners, editors and most of all, the two people who encouraged me to not quit, to succeed and be who I am today. Barb, my friend. And Dan, my hubby, the love of my life.
About Carole: Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons? Learn more and connect:
About the book – Knight in Shining Apron:
Starli Cameron gave up her career plans to be a concert pianist to marry the man of her dreams. He turned out to be a nightmare. When he dies in a car accident, Starli takes the insurance money and builds a successful and upscale restaurant: Apple Blossoms in rural West Virginia. Threats from someone determined to ruin her life and the suspicious romantic advances from her new chef force Starli to search her heart and finally turn to God for real healing.
Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, top notch chef from England, is roped by his uncle, into filling in as head Chef at Apple Blossoms. Joel, with his sanguine-personality, has always laughed and flirted his way through life. But now, confronted with and attracted to the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, Joel has to prove his sincerity and depth of character to his icy-cold employer. Can his love for God and for this woman reach out far enough to rescue her from her own mistrust and bitterness? Will he learn that life is not all play?
And can they both work together to find the source of threats that seem to be coming from Starli’s past?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now! Knight in Shining Apron – Amazon
Interested in Carole’s other books? Check them out! Carole’s Amazon Author Page
Question for Readers: Is there a goal that has taken you a lot years and hard work to achieve? Or are you still working toward one?