Many of us have discovered that this writing gig is not for the faint of heart. It’s not easy to create something that will entertain or inspire readers. Besides hard work, it takes courage. The kind that author Kim Vandel has discovered. ~ Dawn
The Story Inside
I felt the call to write more than a decade ago. The first draft of my novel began in a spiral notebook and migrated to a laptop. I had two young boys, so I wrote during naptime or when my husband was able to provide a child-free evening. The words came slowly, but finally I finished. My novel was complete, and I was ready to become a published author.
Then, like most budding novelists, I slammed into the brick wall of reality. I learned my work was just getting started.
I rewrote my novel and submitted query letters. The rejections came, and discouragement set in. Being a mom required most of my time and energy, so with nothing more than rejection to show for my efforts, I gave up.
The urge to write never really went away though. Eventually I returned to my novel, and I wrote and rewrote until I couldn’t stand to write another word. I felt totally burned out and decided I needed to work on something different for a while. I’d get my creative juices flowing again, and then I’d finally be able to finish those revisions.
A story concept had been simmering in the back of my mind, a sort of mash-up between the Old Testament judges and the X-Men. It was completely different from the novel I’d been working on. Just the change I needed.
I started working on that new idea and never looked back. Over the next couple of months I got to know a girl named Kate, and I fell in love with her story. Her story resonated with me, down to the very depths of my soul, because in so many ways it was mine. As I wrote about Kate’s struggle to fulfill her calling, I discovered a truth about my own. It’s a truth for all of us who are called to write.
With every word, we reveal a little bit of ourselves to the world. We reveal the glorious story burning inside us—the one being written by the Author of our souls. It’s a story only we can tell, and it’s a brilliant flare of light in the darkness around us. We just have to find enough courage to persevere through the fear and rejection and days when words refuse to come.
Finding courage feels like an impossible task sometimes, but now that I understand the truth of my calling, I don’t stop writing. And I know I don’t have to make my journey alone. I have the promises of my Author’s Word to cling to. He’s also brought some amazing people into my life, both family and friends, who constantly encourage me and remind me my story is worth telling.
And then there’s a girl named Kate. She may be fictional, but she inspires me. I know that if Kate can learn to be brave, so can I. So can you.
When courage is hard to find, keep writing. Keep revealing your story to the world. It’s a story worth telling, and it will shine like a star in the universe.
Chosen by God. Hoping there’s a way out.
When Kate meets Nathan, he reveals the existence of the Guardians—men and women with God-given “superpowers.” Nathan’s touch leaves Kate with a flame-shaped mark on her wrist, the sign she’s been chosen as a Guardian. Suddenly she finds herself in the middle of a conflict that’s been burning between the Guardians and their Fallen brethren for over a thousand years.
While Kate waits for her dormant ability to emerge, she has to endure combat training with Hassan, an ex-terrorist who enjoys taking shots at her already low self-esteem. He also draws out the side of her that wants to fight back, and if Kate can find the courage to believe God is offering the life she’s always wanted, Hassan might just be the one to help her start living it.
Kim Vandel grew up on a steady diet of Saturday morning Justice League cartoons and Sunday morning Bible stories. She worked in the field of environmental science before staying home to be a full-time mom and writer, and she now uses her science background to bring the speculative element of her fiction to life. Kim lives with her family in the Seattle suburbs, and when she’s not reading or writing YA fiction (or getting distracted by Netflix), you can find her hanging out on social media. Learn more about Kim at her website: http://kimvandel.com.
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