Friday, September 17, 2010

Out of Sorrow and Loss by Amanda Cabot

Author Amanda Cabot is here this Fortifying Friday to share her journey to publication in CBA. (Dawn here.) I was touched and encouraged by her story, and I’m sure you will be, too. Enjoy!

Out of Sorrow and Loss

When people ask about my writer’s journey, I tell them it’s a long story. That comes as no surprise to my friends, who know that I’m challenged to stay within the maximum word count range for my books. The story of my move into the Christian market is a lot shorter. It can be summarized in one Bible verse: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, KJV)

Although I had written for the secular market for over twenty-five years, I had never seriously considered writing for the CBA. In fact, when readers suggested I do that, I would shake my head. “It’s not for me,” I would say. All that changed the summer of 2004 when a dear friend from college entered the final stages of leukemia. Though we were separated by thousands of miles, that summer brought us closer than we’d ever been. Knowing we had only a few months left together, she and I spoke of many things. For the first time in the more than thirty-five years we’d known each other, we spoke of what was truly important: faith, love and hope. We also spoke of legacies, and she insisted that mine would be the stories I told. In our lighter moments, we spoke of the final gift she had for me. Though she was referring to a piece of French porcelain, what she gave me was of far greater value, for her last months on Earth brought me a stronger faith and the realization that it was time for me to write about God’s love.

By the end of the summer, I had changed and so had my writing. My friend was gone, but in her place, God had given me a new direction. It was time to tell stories that would be a fitting legacy, not just for me, but for her. Paper Roses was the result.

The story doesn’t end there. Simply deciding to write for the CBA market didn’t mean it was an easy sale. It took me close to a year to write the book and another to find the right agent. Even then, we faced a number of rejections. Three years after my friend’s death, Paper Roses still had not sold. To say that I was discouraged is an understatement, and so I gave myself a deadline. If the story hadn’t sold by the end of 2007, I would accept that this was not God’s will for me, and I would return to writing for the secular market.

It was late September 2007 when my agent called with wonderful news. Two publishers were interested in Paper Roses. I had gone from rejection to acceptance – times two. My prayers had been answered, and something positive had come from my friend’s death. My career as an author of Christian romances had begun.

I have been richly blessed. Paper Roses has been well received by readers and reviewers, and it was a finalist for both the 2010 Booksellers Best and the Carol Awards. Its success has also led to contracts for other books, but the greatest reward has been the knowledge that I am following God’s plan for me. He turned my time of sorrow into something good.

With both parents avid readers, it’s no surprise that Amanda Cabot learned to read at an early age. From there it was only a small step to deciding to become a writer. Of course, deciding and becoming are two different things, as she soon discovered. Fortunately for the world, her first attempts at fiction were not published, but she did meet her goal of selling a novel by her thirtieth birthday. Since then she’s sold more than twenty-five novels under a variety of pseudonyms. Her most recent release is Scattered Petals, the second book in the Texas Dreams trilogy.

To find out more, please visit Amanda’s

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Amanda Cabot for sharing your writing journey. Tearfully touching, it reminds us that our paths are never straight and smooth. It's amazing how He guided you--an inspires us--when the paths are crooked, press ahead into purpose and joy.
    Love your books!


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