Sometimes God uses people to encourage and open doors for us; other times he throws obstacles in the way to get our attention or redirect us. Today, author Dani Pettrey shares how a difficult time in her life brought her back to writing. Enjoy! ~ Dawn
Dani Pettrey’s Journey to Publication
I’ve always loved daydreaming and telling stories—much to my teachers and parents’ chagrin. I started jotting down story ideas in high school and continued with creative writing, poetry and journalism into college. I met my husband, we got married and started a family, and I set my love of writing aside. It wasn’t until the birth of my youngest daughter and a bout with a serious illness that things started to change.
The illness began during my pregnancy and continued for over a year. I had Graves’ disease, but, unfortunately, it was misdiagnosed for so long that by the time my fabulous doctor at Hopkins caught it, my body was near to thyroid storm (shock). My husband and I had two young children at the time. I was living away from all my family and it was a very difficult period. My mother ended up moving near us, which was a tremendous blessing, but the biggest blessing by far was coming to know Christ during this time. We had been attending church for a couple years and I had prayed the sinner’s prayer, but quite honestly, I was terrified to give my life over to Christ. The Lord used this time, this illness, to show me my great need for Him and even more, that He could be trusted with my life. I accepted Christ as my Savior, giving myself fully over to Him. God also used this time to renew my love for story. I read a great deal while my children were napping and I was recuperating. Through this, God brought my deep love of story back into my heart and as my children grew, I began to feel the desire to write grow and grow until one day I made the commitment—I’d write a novel.
When I first began, I spent a lot of time simply reading novels, as I had while I was recuperating, seeing how they worked, analyzing why I fell in love with certain characters and not others. I wrote for a number of years, entered contests, and worked with an amazing mentor as I honed my craft. I finished Submerged (my debut novel) just prior to an ACFW conference. I hadn’t been in a couple years, but I really felt led to go. I signed up last minute and put in for appointments with the editor and agent I really hoped to meet with. Since I registered so late, I didn’t get appointments with either. But God has a way of working things out. My first night at the conference I attended a Late Night Chat for Bethany House. I spoke with my editor afterwards and he graciously allowed me to send him the first three chapters. A couple weeks later, I got an email from him requesting the full manuscript. The day I got ‘the call' was amazing. I had received my share of rejections, so getting the ‘go ahead’ on a story I loved so dearly was pure joy.
Several years later, here I am, still desperately in love with my Savior, still dependent on His grace daily, and the author of three published novels. It’s so amazing to me how God works.
Tweetables:Dani Pettrey shares how a serious illness changed her life. Click to tweet.
God used a difficult time to renew Dani Pettrey’s love for story. Click to tweet.
God has a way of working things out. Click to tweet.
When Her Friend Goes Missing,
Every Minute Counts
Darcy St. James returns to Alaska to join a journalist friend undercover on the trail of a big story. But when Darcy arrives, she finds her friend has disappeared. Troubled by the cruise ship's vague explanation, Darcy uses her cover as a travel reporter to investigate further.
The last person Gage McKenna expects to see during his summer aboard a cruise ship leading adventure excursions is Darcy. And in typical Darcy fashion, she's digging up more trouble.
He'd love to just forget her—but something won't let him. And he can't help but worry about her as they are heading into more remote regions of Alaska and eventually into foreign waters. Something sinister is going on, and the deeper they push, the more Gage fears they've only discovered the tip of the iceberg.
Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the author of the bestselling romantic suspense novels Submerged and Shattered. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in the D.C. metro area with their two teenage daughters.
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