Friday, June 14, 2013

My Journey to Publication by R.J. Larson



R.J. Larson
Does it ever feel like that no matter how hard you try to make progress in your writing life, you’re stuck waiting for doors to open? It can be frustrating at times. But we serve a God who sees the bigger picture and has a plan for us. Today, author R.J. Larson shares how God blessed her perseverance and faithfulness. ~ Dawn

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When I first resolved to write a novel for publication, I had no clue that my road to Published Author status would become an eighteen-year trek. Yep. Eighteen years. Granted, life itself often slowed my writing progress. During those eighteen years, I raised two boys, worked almost full-time, and—of course—paused quite often to spend time with my dear husband and my busy family and friends.  And, sometimes, rejections from industry pros would temporarily halt me in my creative tracks and make me question my sanity.

Why write full length novels if I must ultimately face defeat, with my manuscripts gathering dust in drawers and languishing in neglected computer files?

For love.

Love for the craft and for my gracious Creator, who wired me with such enthusiasm for the written word. Through my writing, I was able to study my faith’s history and fully articulate and realize the Lord’s role in my life. For every setback I suffered, I would experience more-than-equal joy to counterbalance my discouragement. A devotional would be accepted for publication. An editor would say, “Well done!” An author-friend would read my scribbles and say, “Wow…keep going!” Or, quite simply, I would be unable to resist my love for words and for my Creator.

I. Must. Write!

Professional connections were also vital to my arduous trek. After I’d been writing for sixteen years, my editor-husband came home from work and told me that one of my first devotional editors was now working with him, and she was now an agent and wanted to know if I was still writing. For my husband’s sake, I didn’t squeal like a kid and jump up and down. Nope. I remained composed, kissed him, and accepted my former editor’s new email address.

I combed through my submission and later that week, I sent off my then-current manuscript—The Heavens Before—a retelling of the Genesis Flood through the eyes of one of Noah’s daughters-in-law, the wife of Shem.

Upshot? My former editor became my agent. Five months later, Moody Publishers offered me a contract for The Heavens Before, and then requested two sequels! All three books were translated into Dutch, and The Heavens Before was also translated into Thai and Ukrainian. 

However, my author-trek continued. I took a four-year hiatus from writing to home-school Younger son through high-school. (Algebra and Trig, anyone? Anyone?) Following those four years, I felt as if my career had halted, and I’d been returned to my starting point, yet I persevered. I was working on a historical book, when I woke up one morning reeling from a bad dream, which forced me to email my current agent: “I need to write fantasy!”

Seven months later, I signed with Bethany House as R. J. Larson, and wrote the Books of the Infinite series, which concludes this month with the publication of King!

And…my author-trek continues. My advice?

Keep hiking, everyone. Let love of the craft and your Creator goad you onward! 



King
King

Akabe of Siphra is certain his people are insane. 

Why have they made him a king?

What, in the name of peacetime boredom do kings do?

Frustrated by a lengthy silence from his Creator, the Infinite, Akabe decides to prove himself as king by undertaking a monumental task, his own lifelong dream:  Rebuild the Infinites temple in Siphra. 

But Akabes impulsive decision sweeps him into a lethal storm of controversy. The Infinites enemies join forces in Siphra, and beyond, conspiring to destroy the emerging temple--and to kill their king, and his mysterious new queen.



R. J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals and is suspected of eating chocolate and potato chips for lunch while writing. She lives in Colorado with her husband and their two sons. The Books of the Infinite series marks her debut in the fantasy genre.

http://illuminatingthewordthroughfiction.blogspot.com/

8 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your writing journey. I'm at year ten this year. (I thought it had been eight years, but then I found some materials from a 2003 conference last month. That was a little bit of a shock.)

    Life does intervene, even when it seems you're finally making progress. All we can do is trust Him -- the One who called us -- to handle it. Thanks for the reminder. :)

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  2. What an inspiring story, R. J.

    I've also experienced the encouragement God brings after those times when I've received not-so-good news. It seems with every setback, days or a few weeks later, some type of good news arrives. I think it's God's way of saying, "Hang in there and be patient."

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    1. Sandra, isn't it amazing how often those small encouragements show up? Patience and perseverance are key--and the Lord is so gracious as He guides us onward!

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  3. Angie, I'm with you. My eighteen-year calculation was a bit of a shock as well, but life moves so quickly and we must LIVE along the way. Undoubtedly, when you attain your goal, you'll also look back and think, "Yes, this was worth every step of the journey!" Yay! Keep going!!!

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  4. I'm hiking along with you! Congrats on what sounds like a really good story.

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    1. LoRee, keep going! At the end of the hike, we look back and the view is amazing. :D

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  5. I was glad to discover your blog when filling out my Linked In details last week and had the opportunity to view some posts this morning. I am new to the writing profession, self-published "Winds Of Change" CrossBooks last November and my marketing efforts have been small but like the rest of us try to balance all that life hands one. I will be back to browse some more as I can benefit from hearing more than speaking. Glad this blog is here!

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    1. Mellow roc, blessings with the marketing! That's a challenge in and of itself!!!

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