Marianne, how do you battle the doubt monster? We at the Scribes define the Doubt Monster as the nagging feeling while writing, that your prose is terrible, your plot is silly, your characters are insipid and no-one in their right mind would read this drivel, let alone buy it.
Isn’t it strange, and fascinating, the way self-doubts can materialize? My self-doubts don’t rear their ugly heads so much from doubts about my writing capabilities as the idea that my inspiration, my ideas, and the heart-touch my characters always deliver to me (and hopefully my readers as well!) will somehow, and in some way, disappear. How do I battle that demon? I WRITE. I place myself in front of the keyboard, listen to the scenes playing out in my head, and let my fingertips fly across the keyboard. Doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad yet—that’s what editing is for. Nora Roberts said it best: WRITE. If you don’t get the words out, you’re sunk before you even begin. Wise advice!
Have you thought about writing something that is completely different for you? Perhaps writing in a new genre or just taking a story someplace that you haven’t done before.
Actually, I made that decision and change a little over two years ago when I left behind the secular romance market. What a blessing that decision has become! I wrote for Kensington’s Precious Gem line of category romances and had a wonderful run with three releases. Nice, yes, but I always wanted to write Christian romance. Trouble is, I came up empty with regard to story ideas that took my heart by storm. Plus, to be brutally honest, I didn’t feel worthy of writing a Christian-themed story. Have you ever experienced the feeling that you’re just not good enough, and, why should you try to bring about God’s kingdom when you’re human, with failings, and sinfulness? I think God had to move me past that kind of devil talk. I found out about a writing contest sponsored by White Rose Publishing. The bare bones of an idea was given, and from there, contestants had to make it their own. My entry won, and the prize was publication! From there, a four-book inspirational romance series was born. But, even within the CBA market, there’s room to shift and change. Kellen Rossiter, a character you meet in my book Hearts Key, took on a life of his own as I finished that final installment of my Woodland series. He’s a devout Christian, charismatic and handsome—moving in big-ways to promote Christian music throughout the entertainment industry. He’s got a beautiful wife, a rock solid marriage…and he’s about to get blindsided. Kellen and Juliet’s story is titled Devotion, and it’s coming out in October not as a romance, but as a Christian fiction release. In fact, Devotion marks my debut in that genre. So, I suppose the moral of the story is there’s always room to grow!
I find this amazing! And what a comfirmation that you are doing exactly as God wants you to do, whether you think you’re worthy or not. Thank you for stepping out and obeying…and allowing Him to do the rest!
I’ve been most surprised by the fact that, if a story takes hold of my heart, demanding to be told, and I let it have its voice, the results are amazing. I’ve been told by numerous readers and by my editor that Devotion is going to be a breakthrough book. There’s a message in this novel that touches hearts and affirms faith and belief in the covenant of marriage. I pray that’s the case. It’s all up to God, but that’s something I’ve learned on my writing journey as well—God is in control, and God is good. He will lead the gifts and talents he has given me to where He needs them to be and in His perfect timing.
You mention your stories have a voice, but how about your own? The element that identifies the story as belonging to only you.
I can’t say that I’ve ‘come up’ with my voice as a writer. My voice is something that is a natural flow of the scenes and characters that come to life in my heart. I don’t think a voice can, or should, be derived, or it will strike readers as false, or somehow lacking.
All right, so here’s a fun one…What is your junk food of choice?
Yum is right! You made me hungry enough to make some of my own! And now with my bowl spilling over, I want you to spill about your book!
I’d love to tell you all about Devotion! This book is part of the special Fall Preview at Pelican Book Group, which means you can pre-order Devotion at a deep discount right now! If you do, you’ll be entered to win a Kindle or Nook!! Devotion releases on October 15th. Here’s the purchase link: http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/devotion-softcover
Be sure to enter the coupon code: FALLPREVIEW2012 to get 30% off!!
Here’s a glimpse at what Devotion is all about:
From This Day Forward
Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now.
Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that’s what she thinks.
For Better or Worse
But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation? How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?
‘Til Death Do Us Part
When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion.
The church space sang to Juliet in a holy silence that wrapped around her like a welcome embrace. She knelt to pray, heedless of the fact that there were no kneelers in the pews of Trinity Christian. The hard tile floor felt good beneath her knees, and somehow grounding.
“God, what did I do wrong? We didn’t argue, we didn’t fight, we moved forward together in our marriage. Why did he leave it behind? How was that even possible for him? How did I fail him? And You?”
She sobbed openly, speaking the words aloud, heedless of being overheard. The space was empty anyhow. She laid her head on her folded hands trying desperately to bring herself to a new understanding of her life.
My promises are unchanging truth, and life. Your faith will save you. Go forward in peace, and be cured of your affliction.
The words, the glimpse of sacred Scripture, resounded through the entirety of her being. The decree swept through her with such power she went straight, tears drying on her cheeks as she blinked, and assimilated. Had she not already been on her knees, the summons would have knocked her there like the weakened heap of humanity she had become. She pondered. Go forward? In peace? How was she supposed to accomplish that? In prompt, near supernatural response, she received the answer.
Know that I am God, Juliet. Know that I am God.
She bowed her head, drained and empty, submitting herself as best she could. Just then, the sound of footsteps echoed down the main aisle.
The call jarred her. She whipped her head around and gasped at what she saw. Kellen.
Did she simply think his name, or had she spoken it aloud? Stunned and overwrought, Juliet scrambled to her feet. In an untidy spin, she faced her husband. Just as quickly, she went weak, sinking onto the pew just a second or two after standing. She didn’t need a mirror to tell her that her makeup was smeared and her hair was a mess. She knew by the heat in her cheeks that her face was flushed; her eyes were probably red from crying. Kellen’s alarmed expression confirmed every one of her suspicions.
“Juliet, are you OK? Please talk to me. This is driving me crazy. What’s happened to you, love?”
Love. The use of that endearment caused her stomach to churn. Anger rose and obliterated everything else. “Don’t.” Kellen’s confusion intensified. “I mean it, Kellen. Do not call me that again. Not ever again!” She bit off the words; their bitter taste filled her mouth.
He reared back. Although he hesitated for a moment, he eased into the pew next to her. A mask of sorts, protective and inscrutable, now shaded his eyes. He didn’t speak. He waited on her, keeping to his corner of the pew. Juliet simmered and seethed. Just as quickly, though, the anger fled, washed away by a wave of sadness that stretched clear through to every cell in her body.
“This moment is killing me, Kellen, on so many levels. I’ve dreamed about it since the day we married, imagining it to be bursting with joy and anticipation. Instead, it’s breaking my heart. “
“What moment? What happened?” Generally fearless and confident, Kellen regarded her now in open trepidation. “I have no idea what to do to hel—”
“I’ll never have another chance to say this to you for the first time,” Juliet interjected, “or share this moment with you the way I had always envisioned. I’m pregnant, Kellen. I’m pregnant.”
A mix of emotions swept across his face. Disbelief came first, erased quickly by joy, then the most crushing visual of all: his love, intimate and rich. It had once made her feel so precious. Despite her vocal firestorm, his reaction was everything she had prayed for. This moment should have made her heart soar. Instead, she was shattered.
“You seem shocked.” The words came out sounding waspish. Juliet hated that fact, but couldn’t escape the rage and heartbreak. The venom inside her needed release.
“I’m very happily shocked.” His response came fast, but sincere. “We’ve wanted this for so long, I’m thrilled—no wonder you’ve been feeling—”
“I’m sure you’ll remember the night it happened.” Juliet cut him off once more. “It was spontaneous and heated and wonderful. Remember? There were no thoughts of anything else but each other. Or so I had believed. But if you do the math, you’ll realize we conceived the night you met Chloe Havermill.”
Kellen went pale.
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories she creates. Her acclaimed novella, Hearts Crossing led to the creation of the four-book Woodland Series. Next, Evans tackles the topic of a loving marriage in turmoil in her Christian fiction debut, Devotion coming in November, 2012 from Harbourlight Books. Also in 2012, Evans kicks off her second Christian romance series with White Rose Publishing. Search & Rescue will be book one of theSales Placeseries, which revolves around the folks who frequent a cozy and historic riverfront diner in downtownDetroit. A lifelong resident ofMichigan, Evans is very active in a number of RWA chapters as well as ACFW and the Michigan Literary Network.
CONNECT WITH MARIANNE:
Readers: Marianne would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, ask a question, or just say hi!