Hello, Katy Lee here, along with the wonderful author of My Stubborn Heart. I was blessed to review a copy of this book a few weeks back, and when I finished I immediately invited the author to share the day with us. I’m so excited she said yes! But more than that, like any good storyteller, she came prepared with a story!
So, Becky Wade, take it away!
Imagine a princess who set off on a journey toward a pink and glittering castle. She’d fallen in love with the castle through her recurring dreams of it and so she worked for years to reach her destination, overcoming obstacles, honing her navigation skills.
At last — finally, joyfully — she arrived! She lived in the castle for a few years, enjoying its splendor. But on one fateful afternoon, the owners of the castle came for her, politely escorted her across the moat, and raised the drawbridge against her.
Bitterly confused and disappointed at her banishment, the princess settled into a cottage in the village. A benevolent town Elder gave her a miniature pony as a gift. The Princess adored the pony, so she decided to pour all her heart and attention into the care and raising of miniature ponies. She tucked away her dreams of castles.Years passed.
The town Elder paid her another visit. He showed the princess a beautiful drawing of a castle constructed entirely of flashing diamonds. He spun enchanting stories about the place.
Her old hopes stirred. She wanted, down deep within herself, to see the diamond castle. But she knew firsthand how perilous and difficult the expedition would be and how disappointing the destination might prove.
The Elder reassured her. He promised to walk beside her and to help her across every mile of their joint quest. All that He required of her? To expend the effort the trip would demand.
So, taking her ponies and her frayed courage in hand, the princess set off into the woods behind the Elder in pursuit of a castle of diamonds.
Princess: Me. (Don’t you love being a writer? One can give oneself the role of Princess!)
Pink Castle: Publication of historical romance novels for the general market.
Ponies: My kids.
Diamond Castle: Completion of a manuscript for the Christian market.
The above tale is, in a nutshell, how I found my niche in the world of books and publishing. I first set out on my writing journey eighteen years ago and, as you can see, I took a circuitous route! Here are a few of the lessons I learned in the woods….
- The first time I chased the dream of publication I took a traveled road. I studied the craft. I joined writer’s organizations and local chapters. I was desperate for someone to read my work, so I enlisted critique partners and entered contests. I traveled to conferences. I practiced hard by churning out one manuscript after another. Lesson #1: The traveled road is one route to publication.
- I never felt right about some of the content in my secular romance novels, yet I managed to rationalize my concerns away. Well, God Himself eventually stepped in and closed that door firmly. Lesson #2: If you don’t feel 100% right about some facet of your work and/or have to rationalize away concerns — you’re headed in the wrong direction. Stop and reassess.
- The second time I set out, this time with the goal of writing a novel for the Christian market, my instincts directed me to veer off the traveled road and to follow instead a narrow pathway. I wrote the book in a solitary way, just me and God. No organizations, no critiques, no contests, no deadlines. Lesson #3: Follow your instincts because God speaks to you through them. Narrow pathways can also lead to publication.
- Since I only had an audience of One to please, I wrote the book of my heart, the way that I loved it, and exactly as I wanted it to be. I stumbled backwards into a modern setting, which turned out to offer a great backdrop for humor, which turned out to suit a quirky, casual, wry author’s voice I’d never known I possessed. Even better, though? The writing brought me such joy! The most joy I’d ever encountered in a project. Lesson #4: The real blessing isn’t in the destination of publication or happy readers or career success. The real blessing is the satisfaction that’s found en route, in the doing of the work. So choose a trek that deeply delights you.
What have your instincts told you about your writing journey in the past? Or what are they telling you now? Have you made any wrong turns along the way? Or have you reached a goal only to find you might have been slightly off-course the whole time?
And let me just add my two cents, Becky…I totally felt your joy in writing this story! It came through perfectly on every page. And readers, it’s got a hot hockey player in it…what’s not to like?!
My Stubborn Heart is available now from Bethany House Publishers and you can purchase it here through Amazon!
Kate Donovan is burned out on work, worn down by her dating relationships, and in need of an adventure. When Kate’s grandmother asks Kate to accompany her to Redbud, Pennsylvania, to restore the grand old house she grew up in, Kate jumps at the chance.