Friday, April 16, 2010

I Was Always a Writer by Wanda Dyson

On Wednesday, guest author Wanda Dyson shared important tips for writing suspense. Today she’s returned to Seriously Write to tell us about her journey to publication. It also happens to be a special day for her. Happy Birthday, Wanda! :-D

I Was Always a Writer

I was always a writer, working for marketing companies writing ad copy and brochures, but a published author? Not a chance. Never entered my mind. Sure, people kept reading what I was writing and telling me I should look into getting published but I didn’t take them seriously. Family and friends are one thing. The publishing world is a whole different matter altogether. But someone decided I should take it seriously, so for my birthday, they gave me two days at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference. I went, nervous and totally convinced that I was going to be laughed out of the building.

Everyone complimented my work and one agent actually offered to represent me. I was stunned. And still not convinced. Okay, I’m a hard sell, what can I tell you. I found out that Marlene Bagnull, the director of the conference, would evaluate whether you were really called to pursue writing as a career or not. Ah-ha, finally, an expert who could reassure the world that this is not what I was supposed to be doing with my life.

She didn’t write me back after going over my evaluation. She called me. Insisting that I needed to be published, she paved the way for me, helping me put together proposals. sample chapters. and query letters. She introduced me to a ton of editors, none of whom expressed much of an interest. Ah, to have your hopes soar sky high only to come crashing back down to reality.

But she wouldn’t let me quit. For three years, I kept trying. And failing. Then, in May of 2001, at a conference, I was talking to a published author, bemoaning my lack of success. The author asked me what I was working on, so I told her about two manuscripts I’d finished and one that was merely an idea. She didn’t think much of the two finished manuscripts, but she loved the idea for another book and connected me with an editor who also loved the idea and two weeks later, I was contracted to go write that book. I finished it the night before deadline and sent it out. A month later, they called me and asked me to change the ending so that the one book contract could be expanded to a three book contract.

Once you accept that fact that this is the road the Lord wants you on, you need persistence and patience. The Lord called you to write, so you write. He decides when He’s ready to take you to the next level. Until then, keep writing. You never know when someone will come along and grab that story and take it straight to an editor who will love it. And if they don’t? Write another story. You never know…

Best-selling novelist Wanda Dyson has authored six critically acclaimed suspense novels including Intimidation which was a finalist for the ACFW Book of the Year. She also wrote Why I Jumped which was featured on Oprah and Good Morning America. Her newest suspense title Shepherd's Fall was released last year and the follow up Shepherd's Run, will be released sometime next year. In the meantime, her stand alone thriller, Judgment Day, will be released on September 21 of this year. Wanda lives in Maryland on 125 acre horse farm and when she's not writing or serving on the conference committee for three writers conferences, you can usually find her out riding her quarter horse around the property or four-wheeling with her German Shepherd, Maya.

You can find out more about Wanda and her work at:


  1. Wow - that's quite the story! :) I love hearing writer's success stories, but they always seem to be stories of persistence. Overnight successes are few and far between. Glad Wanda kept trying and writing.

  2. You're right Koala Bear!

    Overnight success stories are very few. Hopefully we can be encouraged by this reality -and not discouraged! ;-D

    It shows that persistence and hard work DO pay off! And it teaches us that even though "success" may not happen as quickly as we might like - we shouldn't give up on our dreams. :-D


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