Elaine: It’s time for me to level with my fellow authors and readers.
I have no superhero red cape with the letter A for author adorning its center. Nor drive a brand new shiny car or have quit the day job. I certainly do not wake each morning to admire shelves lined with trophies and plaques while waiting for my agent to phone with a movie deal. While I may have dreamed of becoming an author for years, I never did conjure up the above scenarios. Okay. I confess. I do daydream of quitting the day job, but doesn’t everyone?
Before my debut novel, Always With You, launched in January 2016 I’d read countless blog pieces and attended many writing workshops to hear others say life doesn’t change overnight and become perfect upon publication. And nodded my head in agreement. I’ve experienced enough ups and downs in life to get what others were saying: there’s no magic wand to happiness. Then why, oh why, do I ride the rollercoaster of shaky self-confidence since publication? How can I possibly go from enjoying a feel-good buzz of having my “story of the heart” novel successfully published as my debut novel to the low of fearing no one would read Isabelle and Tyler’s story to grinning silly because, wow, I received a 5-star review to the blues from the reality of the day job paycheck beating my book royalties to shedding joyous tears upon receiving word from a reader that my story touched her soul?
A quiet person by nature, I slip into my writing gloves and tap away at the keyboard to soar to places and circumstances I’d never dare to otherwise. Writing is the special one place where I can go where there’s no one monitoring my words or thoughts. Or quashing my dreams and hopes. I can live vicariously through my characters, experiencing the blessing of pure unconditional and always perfect love and conquering evil and hardships, once and for all.
In creating and living in my story worlds I’m never wrong. I’m never judged.
Until I submit my work. And wait. For writing critiques. For massive editing without promises. For acquisition. For reviews. For another book deal. For fans.
For that peace of mind that all will be well. And I can breathe my pent-up breath and relax.
Out of the many lessons I’ve learned this past year since becoming a novelist, here’s the most essential: my confidence and self-respect will NOT come from making a name out of myself as Ms. Big Author. Nor in how many reviews and book deals I have. Nor the ability to quit the day job. It will come from putting my whole heart and trust in God.
Will I one day walk through the gates of heaven because I’ve pleased Him as a beloved daughter or because I wear my flashy author cape? How about you?
Elaine Stock is the author of Always With You, which is up for the 2017 Christian Small Publisher Association Book of the Year Award. Her novels fuse family drama and psychological suspense. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and contributes to the international “Happy Sis Magazine.” Elaine hangs out on her active blog, Everyone’s Story, dedicated to uplifting and encouraging all readers through the power of story and hope. Look for a Christmas novella to release in the fall. And maybe more.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1JYAwNy
Buy link on Amazon: http://amzn.to/21uGtGF
Buy link on Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1PfRyXX
Always With You
Can she move forward without knowing her past?
Will he enjoy his present if he can’t free himself from what he left behind?
In the heart of the Adirondacks, Isabelle lives in the shadow of a dark family secret whose silent burden strips her family of emotional warmth and faith in God. Tyler belongs to the religious sect called The Faithful, which Isabelle’s father dislikes immensely. Yet, because Tyler belongs to this group, Isabelle sees only a man devoted to his family and faith.
She wants it; she gets it; they marry.
And when the truth comes out, Isabelle faces two choices:
Staying could endanger her child.
Leaving could cost her life.