A special friend and writer on the blog is here to share with us about her journey to publication. Lynn Donovan amazes me with her creativity and prolificness, which isn’t a word, but should be! Anyways, I wanted to help celebrate the release of her latest novella, Christmas Grace, Signing Seeds, so invited her to share a little about pursuing her dream. So without further ado:
Please welcome Lynn Donovan!
Thank you, Jennette, for having me on your blog today. I am honored and appreciate you helping me get the word out about my novella, Christmas Grace, Signing Seeds.
Jennette asked me to address pursuing our dreams. And I have to admit, I cringed at first. Not that I cannot talk about pursuing my dreams, and not that I can’t encourage others to pursue their dreams. It’s just that my “dream” process took thirty years to come to fruition and I feel like those who hear that will equally cringe and sigh and think to themselves, “Good Grief, I don’t want to wait that long!!!”
But the truth of the matter is, I wanted to write thirty years ago. I didn’t have a clue how. But I wanted to. I took a creative writing class with a neighbor friend of mine. She did great, I did mediocre. So that idea was neatly placed at the back of the closet of my mind. I was in the throws of raising babies, divorce, remarriage, another two babies, moving back home, survival, etc. etc. etc. You know how it goes (not personally, but everybody knows somebody…)
Still the little voice of my dream whispered to me from time to time. I tried to fulfill it at work by volunteering to help with technical writing (which, by the way, is NOT creative writing!) I attended college classes trying to get that illusive Bachelor’s degree and excelled in writing papers, especially in the English classes. I thought about majoring in English, but found out you had to take five semesters in a foreign language. I don’t want to do that! I no hablo Espanol bueno, and don’t want to!!! Call me stubborn!
So tomorrow kept becoming today, and one day the kids were grown, I was home (not working outside the home), my mother and special-needs sister needed to move in with us. Mother was so far gone with dementia, she couldn’t properly oversee my sister’s care. And I had a lot of time on my hands. So I said, “Why not?” and sat down to write.
The first thing I wrote was an outpouring of anger, fear, emotions for the difficult things that had happened in my life, with an every-other-chapter point of view from a guardian angel I named Palo, and what was going on where he was, on the spiritual side of this earthly plane. It was therapeutic, to say the least. But then I had another story I had carried with me for over twenty years. I’ve talked before about how the song, “If You Could Read My Mind, Love” by Gordon Lightfoot, inspired The Wishing Well Curse.
I completed the first autobiographical manuscript and realized I actually could put that many words down in a document and call it a book. So I started working on this other dream-story. The Wishing Well Curse was the title from the very beginning but research was needed to totally pull the story together. I got through to The End and had no idea what to do. So I contacted an author friend I knew from a camping forum. She referred me to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) which lead me to Jeff Gerke, which lead me to a writer’s discussion forum, where I met Kessie Carrroll who invited me to join a critique group. There I met Jennette and several others, including Pauline Creeden. My story was not well written. I had made every rookie mistake known to mankind. But y’all kindly help guide me and educate me in the “way to write and be publishable.” Pauline put out a call to write short stories, and Jennette and I answered with some stories which are now published in The Clockwork Dragon.
Then Pauline asked me if I had a full—length manuscript I wanted to publish. I was floored, honored, scared, every emotion you can imagine! I just couldn’t believe it was for real. But she was sincere, and so I submitted TWWC. She accepted it with a condition of some major changes in the main character. This was the impasse that could have prevented me from every stepping over that threshold of being a published author. I could have refused to make the changes, sticking with my original idea. But I didn’t. I trusted her judgment and made the changes. That next spring, the book was released. Pauline says I’ve been her top sale author and it’s all just so…unbelievable and amazing.
I’ve published three books since then, some with her and some with Astraea Press, along with another anthology, Different Dragons II. Pauline will be releasing the third book in the Spirit of Destiny Series (The Wishing Well Curse, Thorns of Betrayal, and Secret Voices) next spring.
…and I just keep writing. I have no idea how long God will let me ride this surf board, but I’m hanging on for dear life and enjoying every minute of it. I have met some amazing people/authors during this time; you, for one, and others from all over the USA and the globe. I still shake my head with amazement that this dream is real and I’m experiencing it every day. I have to say, God is good and even though we have to wait for things we dream, it is SO worth the wait because His timing is perfect and when He delivers, He delivers with abundance.
Thank you for having me here today. I pray many more and continued success for your writing career and raising those precious kiddos! You have your hands full, but you are doing a beautiful job!
You’re welcome! And thank you!
Lynn Donovan spends her days chasing after her muses, trying to get them to settle down and behave long enough to dictate their words and actions. The results have produced The Clockwork Dragon, a collection of nine short stories in which she wrote half (4.5 stories), The Wishing Well Curse, and Thorns of Betrayal, Rocking Horse Shadows, and Christmas Grace, Signing Seeds. A speculative fiction called Fertility Pirates is hovering out there somewhere. Lynn enjoys reading and writing Christian fiction, paranormal, and speculative fiction. But you never know what her muses will come up with for a story, so you could see a novel under any given genre. All we can tell you is keep your eyes open, cause these muses are not sitting still for long! Oops, there they go again…
Where to connect with Lynn:
Christmas Grace, Signing Seeds
Grace Avery’s husband was her rock, the foundation to her faith and her life. Now a young, grieving widow, she longs to have his baby, but artificial insemination fails her again and again. How far will she go to have his baby? She cries out to God, but He isn’t listening. When the Worship Team Leader asks her to come back and bless the congregation with her gift of sign language during the Christmas Eve Program, her stifling grief holds her back. Can sharing her gift be the seed needed to reap the harvest she so desperately wants? Is God’s grace sufficient? Is there Christmas Grace?
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