Friday, March 19, 2010

My Journey to Publication by Candace Calvert

This Fortifying Friday please welcome author Candace Calvert as she shares her journey to publication. (Dawn here) What a wonderful story of God’s hand moving and fulfilling His plan for this writer. It gave me chills! In a good way!
Enjoy . . .

My Journey to Publication

When people ask, “How did you get started with writing?” I’m tempted to offer the cotton-candy answer, sweet, fluffy, melt-on-my-tongue: I was a child with a well-worn library card, an adolescent filling countless diaries with felt-pen scrawl—little hearts dotting the i’s—and English essay assignments always made my heart go pitter-pat. But my journey to publication was jumpstarted by a close brush with death.

God blessed me with a quirky wit, buoyant optimism, and a contagious sense of fun--but I didn’t come to know Him until after the ugly Triple Whammy that turned my life into bad country song. A painful and unexpected divorce followed by the merciless Northern California floods of 1997, and then an equestrian accident that left me with fractured ribs, a bleeding lung, broken back, neck fractures and a spinal cord injury. The neurosurgeon said that I was millimeters from the same fate as my long time hero, Christopher Reeve.

I was suddenly helpless and facing my worst fear: loss of control. I’d given lip service to the notion of “Let Go and Let God,” but I’d kept a tight grip on the reins of my life, trusting no one but myself. Until a loving God yanked those reins from my hands and dropped me down into the dirt, to give me a better perspective. He had plans for me. In the months of rehabilitation, God healed both my body and my spirit. I learned that He was the true source of my strength.

The story of my accident and recovery became my first published work, “By Accident,” an inspirational essay in Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. When this collection of 101 stories hit the New York Times list, I felt like “almost one percent of a best-selling author.” I was hooked! I’d like to tell you that I started writing inspirational fiction immediately, but my first completed novels were sassy, comic mainstream mysteries. Fun, a good learning experience, and stories that attracted both top-notch literary agent and a publisher.

Still, I began to feel a strong, insistent call to go deeper with my writing, and an idea started to nudge. I’d long been disappointed with (very popular) TV medical shows that offered all the adrenalin-pounding action, but virtually no elements of faith. As a nurse, I’d seen countless prayers sent heavenward from patients, family members—and hospital staff. I decided it was time that, “Grey’s Anatomy finds its soul.” My Mercy Hospital series was born: Critical Care, Disaster Status and (coming in Sept. 2010) Code Triage.

My Tyndale House publicist says that I write medical “hope opera,”—I love that. And when people ask how I got started in writing, I tell them the truth:

“It was by accident”-- according to God’s perfect plan.

"For I know the plans I have for you, "declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer. 29:11 NIV)

Former ER nurse Candace Calvert gives readers a chance to “scrub in” on the exciting world of emergency medicine. Her new Mercy Hospital series for Tyndale House offers charismatic characters, pulse-pounding action, tender romance, humor, suspense--and an encouraging prescription for hope. Think “Grey’s Anatomy finds its soul.”

Candace Calvert Links
Web site:
Blog RX Hope:
Facebook Fan Page:


  1. Thanks for visiting today, Candace. You're story is truly inspiring. It's interesting to me how God lets us "fall in the dirt" and then uses that fall to heal us overall. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Dawn and Annette, what an honor to be hosted here--awesome blog. I'm delighted for the opportunity to connect with your readers.



  3. What a powerful, moving story, Candy. Every time I hear it, my heart goes out to you. I love hearing how God met you in your darkest days and used them for your good and His glory.

  4. Wow, Candace, I didn't know this! I'm so grateful it led you to writing, so we could meet! And people, she's not kidding about that buoyant personality! She's amazing.

  5. Thanks, Candace!

    We loved having you here. :-D

  6. Every time I read a blog post about you I learn something new, Candace.

    This is another blessed opportunity to know you better from a distance.

    "Hope opera" is a phrase that describes your medical dramas better than anything I've ever heard or even imagined. It's not only clever it is so true.

    Thank you so much for your friendship and even more for just being YOU!

    Much love!


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