Friday, August 27, 2010

Because of the Martians by Joyce Magnin

Welcome to Fortifying Friday. Today, author Joyce Magnin shares her journey to publication. (Dawn here.) I was blessed and encouraged by reading her story – and I think you will be too!

Because of the Martians

It all started in the third grade at Westbrook Park Elementary School. My teacher, Mrs. Nichols asked us to write a story. I wrote about Martians who came to Earth to knock over Fort Knox and steal the gold. Apparently, Martians eat gold. Who knew? Mrs. Nichols liked my story so much she asked me to go from classroom to classroom and share it with the entire school. I was so nervous I shook. And back then I had a sweaty palms issue so by the time I made it back to my classroom the story was gone. The moisture in my hands had totally smeared the pencil. I was devastated and cried—embarrassing myself even more.

But that was when Mrs. Nichols took me aside and said, “You have a gift for words.” It was at that moment I felt God’s presence as sure as any handshake or slap on the back. There was no doubt in my mind that I was a writer.

But, my road to semi-stardom was not paved in glitter. It was rough and took many years of writing and rejections until I hit what I consider the jackpot. I met a group of writers who bonded together to encourage and counsel and support each other. It was because of this group that I found my editor, Barbara Scott of Abingdon Press. My dear friend Nancy Rue—our group leader, told Barbara about The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. And the rest, as they say, is history. So it only took a little over forty years to reach over-night success status. It was a very long night.

Through all the ups and downs of those years—the rejections, the days when I wanted to toss my computer out the window, the looming sense of failure and questioning if I had actually heard God correctly back in the third grade all threatened to make me quit. But God is faithful, his people are faithful and every time I prepared to quit, the desire returned even stronger.

When God gives you a gift there is no returning, or re-gifting allowed. Oh, it might take a while to get it completely unwrapped but when you do, prepare for blessings you never expected or imagined.

Mrs. Nichols listened to God’s nudge to tell me what was on her heart. My friends listened to God’s nudge to encourage. God never stopped nudging. I am so glad I listened to all of them. If you feel that nudge, that desire to put words on paper to tell a story then I say listen. Listen and follow. If it is meant to be. It will be.

Joyce Magnin is the author of the popular Bright’s Pond Novels—The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow which was named one of the top five titles of 2009 by Library Journal and currently a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award (formerly Book of the Year) and Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise releasing September 1, 2010, and Griselda Takes Flight releasing Spring 2011. Joyce also runs Narrative Destiny, a unique manuscript critique/evaluation service. You can catch up with Joyce at or
or Facebook and Twitter.
Stop by and have a piece of pie.

1 comment:

  1. Good for Mrs. Nichols for encouraging you! It sure helps to have people like that in a writer's life. :)


We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!