If a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and every picture is worth a thousand words, then an author’s experience is worthy of a novel. When I began writing seriously in 2011, I never expected I’d be living the words I type on the pages.
It came as a shock, really. After writing my first Christmas novella Bright Copper Kettles in 2013, I received a contract a few months later. In the story, the hero’s dad suffers from a stroke at age fifty-five. My “word to live by” that year was believe. I was challenged to believe God’s will is perfect, just like my hero. During my first round of edits my dad suffered a severe stroke during a routine back surgery. He was fifty-five.
In 2014, my word to live by was trust. After an unforeseen set of circumstances knocked my world off axis, I clung to that word like a life preserver. Later that year, I signed a contract for Silver White Winters, where the heroine must trust God to repair the broken pieces of her life as she surrenders her talents and abilities to Him.
One year later, those same unforeseen circumstances returned to taunt me. As much as I wanted to take control, think I could fix the situation myself, all I could do was let God lead and continue following Him. In case you’re wondering, follow was that year’s word to live by. During that time I was offered a contract for How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart. The novel is symbolic to the Israelites wilderness journey to the Promised Land, as both characters experience times of rugged, barren unknowns. My life, at that time, was grueling and seemed to stretch in never-ending wilderness.
The great thing about my writing life is that I learn and grow along the way. The bad thing is that I have to endure some tough lessons. My Christian walk with Christ is better for it. Dan Balow said it best with his blog post titled “Writing From Weakness.” (http://www.stevelaube.com/writing-from-weakness/) He believes books written from pain and suffering have the biggest potential to touch readers’ lives. I agree. Not because I think my books are better than anyone else’s—or even comparable—but because it’s written from personal experience. If one of my stories helps someone who’s hurting than it was worth every tear.
Are you a writer? What stories have you lived? What lessons have you learned through your writing?
Readers, what stories have ministered to your heart lately?
Weddings are the last thing beekeeper Huck Anderson wants to be associated with, considering his past. So when he inherits a building occupied by a bridal boutique, he aims to evict the failing business and open a sporting goods store. Until his tenant ends up being Arianne Winters, a woman he’s indebted to from a mistake made years ago.
When a life-threatening injury derails Huck entirely, Arianne offers a compromise to keep her boutique, and her life, out of bankruptcy—she’ll aid in his lengthy recovery if he’ll allow her to remain in his building. But nursing her adversary proves challenging when her adolescent crush resurfaces.
Amidst a battle-of-wills, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, providing opportunity to overcome their pasts and start anew. Will this confirmed bachelor consider holy-matrimony, or will Huck’s choices sting them a second time?
Candice Sue Patterson studied at The Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in southern Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern-Vintage romance--where the past and present collide with faith. Visit her website at www.candicesuepatterson.com; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Candice-Sue-Patterson-Author-420360958035447/; Twitter: https://twitter.com/candicesue_patt; Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/CandiceSuePatterson