Publications) and The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press). A print journalism major
in college, he works as a freelance
writer and editor after serving in editorial roles for more than twenty years.
He lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife, Kim, and his daughters,
Laura and Julia.
dreams about being a published novelist. Now that God has opened the door for
me, I’d like to pass on some wisdom I’ve learned over the years—often the hard
way. Sometimes we have dreams but no true strategy for reaching them. I hope
this strategy helps.
with your life. If your overriding desire is to write and you show an aptitude in that area, ask God
whether He has a future for you as a published novelist. He will confirm His
will by granting you publishing credentials, allowing you to win some contests,
or opening other publication doors. These are confirmations that you’re heading
in the right direction.
your motives. You may never be on the New York Times or
CBA best-seller list. You need to be okay with that. You may never be rich or
even make enough money to write full-time. You need to be okay with that. You
may never be a famous author or even be considered well-known or “successful”
as an author. You need to be okay with that, too.
write. If you knew your novels, stories, or articles would never be
published, would you still write them? Are you writing for your
own glory or because God has lit a fire in your soul you can’t put out?
being an author is not for the faint of heart. At times, you’ll walk a lonely
path littered by rejection letters, misunderstandings, criticisms, and
self-doubts. Countless voices (including your own) will tell you your writing
isn’t good enough. Don’t listen to those voices. Believe in the ability God has
given to you, seek to learn and grow (mostly out of failure), and do the best
with the ability God has placed in your hands. No one can do more than that.
Then pray, work hard, and leave the rest to God.
what God wants you to do. If He wants you to do something else, then run from
writing as fast as you can. But if you’re certain He wants you to write, take
steps to dedicate and commit yourself to that pursuit.
distractions and make writing your primary focus (after God and your family, of
course). If you’re multitalented, set other abilities aside for writing. Look
at your writing as ministry, as something God has uniquely called you to do for
His glory. The written word is a powerful tool you can use for the glory of
God—and yes, you can even do powerful things through stories.
location and set aside regular, consistent time in your schedule to write. Be
dedicated. You’ll never grow unless you write often. (Think of concert pianists
and how many hours they practice every day.)
misunderstood for your commitment. Friends won’t understand when you say you
can’t go to the basketball game because you need to write. Lots of people will
view your writing as a hobby and won’t take you seriously. Just keep working
hard, be dedicated to the craft, trust God, and don’t mind them. Someday, the
Lord willing, those same people will ask you to autograph their copy of your
defeated you feel at times, never ever give up.
God placed you on this planet for a reason. He began a good work in you. Be
certain He’ll complete it.
write the books you want to read. Also read the best writing you can find (not
necessarily what sells or is popular).
the author portrays his characters, draws his setting, structures the plot, creates
conflict, handles language, and builds to a natural and satisfying end.
books and read as much about writing as you can. Study the craft of writing and
always be willing to learn and change.
correspondence course. (Writer’s Digest offers online workshops. By the way,
Writer’s Digest isn’t paying me to promote their products and training. WD has
helped me tremendously; the folks there will help you too.)
skin. You’ll need it. (The ACFW offers some terrific groups.)
may share the same struggles and questions.
blazed the path you want to tread. Ask them questions. Read their books. Listen
to the voice of experience.
Conference held in Wheaton, Illinois, each summer) and talk to publishers,
literary agents, and established authors. Humbly learn as much about Christian
publishing as you can.
with the market you want to write for. By all means, become aware of what types
of books publishers are buying, but always write from the heart. In other
words, don’t just write what “sells.”
inspirational article. Submit it to a magazine for publication. Be prepared to
wait a while for a reply; the wheels of publishing can turn slowly. If you
receive a rejection letter, take another look at your work and see if you can
do something better. Then send the piece somewhere else. Repeat the process.
reaching your goal and not even realize it.
When their friend turns up dead, Marc and Gillian put their vacation on hold, enlist the help of a retired homicide detective, and take a closer look at the bizarre plagues as they escalate in intensity. Meanwhile, a stranger is after the Thayers’ newly adopted baby. Will they uncover the truth behind the bitter agenda before the tenth plague, the death of the firstborn son?