Friday, September 3, 2010

A Forty-Year Apprenticeship by Laura Frantz

Welcome to another Fortifying Friday! I’m thrilled to have author Laura Frantz with us today. (Dawn here.) Our friendship began after reading Courting Morrow Little (which I loved) and discovering that she also lives in western Washington. I’m blown away by her journey to publication because it’s a little different from what you hear from most authors. It’s a reminder that we need to do our part, but God is really in control, and will bring us to publication when and if He desires. Enjoy!

A Forty-Year Apprenticeship

I sometimes feel like I came in the back door of the publishing world. You see, I had no writing conferences under my belt, no blog/website, no writing friends or contacts, no agent, etc. All I had was a passion for writing since the age of seven – and a belief that the Lord had gifted me to write. Since I’d never been very good at anything else, I knew writing must be something I’d been hardwired to do. I simply wrote stories, all historical, for the joy of writing. Publication was not something I seriously considered until my late thirties. By then I was married and had two young children so the dream was more distant than ever. But I kept writing as I’ve never been able to stop writing, unaware that the Lord had me in an apprenticeship program that would last forty years!

When I remember that Moses and Joshua had their own forty year travails, I almost smile. Though I’m no biblical hero, I think we are all in training to fulfill our purpose in this life. Mine involves writing and yours might, too. If it’s not writing, the Lord has in mind some specific purpose for you. Let there be no doubt. :-D But the length of the apprenticeship varies. I am somewhat in awe of authors who come to writing later in life and find a publisher in a few years, even months. That’s not how it happened for me. But looking back, I see the experiences God tailor-made for me during my lengthy apprenticeship to enable me to write the books I write.

Here are a few examples – I’m a Kentucky girl, born of a family who has been in Kentucky since the 18th –century, the very era I write about. When in college I was able to major in English, specifically 18th-century authors and their works, which enabled me to become familiar with that time period and all its aspects. Later, I moved to the woods of Washington and experienced what life had been like for a woman in history. I gardened extensively, built a house with my husband, made jerky, tended animals, butchered beef, pressed cider, canned and preserved, lived without a phone or TV or other electronics, and kept writing and reading. These are just a few of the things that the Lord built into my life to enrich my writing, but at the time I didn’t see that I was in training! I won’t even elaborate on the work God was doing in my heart. I had to come to the place where I yielded to Him in all things, putting my writing dream on the altar to let Him determine the best future for me.

When the time was right, He placed the book of my heart with an editor of a major publishing house. I went from a small blurb on the Writer’s Edge, a manuscript submission service, to a three-book contract in less than a year. But it took forty years to get there. So when other writers stop me in surprise and think I just appeared on the scene without paying my dues, I think of that long apprenticeship and just smile. :-D

"The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the words of Your hands." ~Psalm 138:8

Laura Frantz credits her grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with Kentucky history. Frantz's ancestors followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in the late 18th-century and settled in Madison County, where her family still resides. She is a member of the Kentucky Historical Society, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Romance Writers of America. Frantz currently lives in the misty woods of northwest Washington with her husband and two sons.

Please visit her at her blog/website: or contact her at


  1. Dawn and Annette,
    Bless you both for hosting me at your wonderful blog! It's been such a pleasure to meet you online and I hope and pray we are able to connect in person in future. My prayers are with you both in your own apprenticeship! I am still in mine:)

  2. Laura, thanks so much for visiting Seriously Write and sharing your story. Sooo looking forward to reading the series you just contracted. Just wish I didn't have to wait for that first book to come out! ;-D

  3. Laura, thank you for sharing the inspiring story of your writing journey. I learned some new things about you today. You are always such an encouragement. As you know, I too, have had a long apprenticeship. The reminder that the Lord has a unique path and purpose for each one of us is something to hold on to.

    Thank you, Dawn and Annette for having Laura on your blog today. She is a treasure!

  4. Thank you, Laura, for your kind words and for visiting Seriously Write. It's been a pleasure. I'm so thankful this apprenticeship is one we can walk with fellow writers under God's loving guidance. All His best to you.

  5. Thanks, Carla, for reading. God bless!

  6. Carla, You always bless me when you come round:) Thanks for being one of my best writing friends ever!

  7. This was such a nice column about the gifted Laura Frantz. Beautiful blog site, too!

  8. Thanks for visiting, Carrie! We appreciate the comments. :-D

    I agree - Laura is a wonderful writer - and she's also a sweet person.


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