Write More; Fret Less

Griep here introducing y’all to debut novelist 
EMILY WIERENGA. Grab a mug o’ joe, prop up your feet, and sit back for a fun interview. . .

A PROMISE IN PIECES is your debut novel. What sparked the story?
My Grandma Dow was very close to a
brother who was killed in combat during World War II. Also, my grandfather
served in the Second World War; I’ve always had a fascination with the time
period, and being a pastor’s daughter who’s not only battled disillusionment
with the church but miscarriage, the story about how God redeems broken hearts
and sets the lonely in families just wove together.
What would you do differently if you were starting your
publishing career today?
I would write more and fret less;
I would enjoy the process more, as it’s a journey and even those tiny
assignments are developing your style as a writer.
Share a bit of your journey to publication.
I received my B.A. in English at
King’s University College in Edmonton, AB, and then was hired as an associate
editor for a non-profit newspaper for three years. After that I resigned to
become a freelance journalist and columnist, and during that time was
commissioned to write a book for an organization. I discovered that I liked
writing books, and became a ghostwriter. I then wrote a couple of self-help
books, one with a doctor, the other solo, before venturing into fiction and memoir.
This summer my first memoir is releasing with Baker Books, entitled Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I
thought to Look.
Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy
I write with my sons on my lap. I
will attach a photo. I write in our office at home, or in a comfortable chair
in the living room, but with two young boys ages 2 and 4, I don’t get much alone
time. My best writing times happen during the kids’ nap, or in the evenings.
What issue makes you struggle as an author? How do you
handle it?
Insecurity makes it hard to market
myself. I also find it hard to know how much to self-promote as I am a
believer, and have been taught that the last shall be first. It is a fine
balance, walking this wire between humility and a calling. I handle it on my
What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? 
  1. Write
  2. Write
  3. Write.
 What 3 things would recommend not doing? 
  1. Don’t try to
    be someone you are not—don’t try to copy someone else’s writing style.
    Write as you feel comfortable and let your own style be birthed in the
  2. Don’t be
    discouraged by other people’s success; everyone has their season.
  3. Don’t edit
    your first draft before it’s done—just get it out there, and then go back
    and be critical later.
A blurb about A PROMISE IN PIECES:

Following World War II, Clara
Kirkpatrick returns from the Women’s Army Corp to deliver a dying soldier’s
last wishes: convey his love to his young widow, Mattie, with apologies for the
missed life they had planned to share.

Struggling with her own post-war
trauma, Clara does not feel prepared to handle the grief of this broken family.
Yet upon meeting Mattie, and receiving a baby quilt that will never hold the
soldier’s baby, Clara vows to honor the sacrifices that family made.

Now a labor and delivery nurse in her
rural hometown, Clara wraps each new babe in the gifted quilt and later
stitches the child’s name into the cloth. As each new child is welcomed by the
quilt, Clara begins to wonder whatever happened to Mattie—and if her own life
would ever experience the love of a newborn. Little does she know that she will
have the opportunity to re-gift the special quilt—years later and carrying even
greater significance than when it was first bestowed.

Emily Wierenga is wife to a math-teacher husband; mother and
foster mother to four boys; an artist, columnist and the author of Chasing
Silhouettes: How to help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder
, Mom
in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy
and A
Promise in Pieces
(Spring 2014). For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook.