Friday, April 15, 2011

My Writing Journey by Laurie Kingery

Have you ever wondered if you're qualified to write and be published? Guest author Laurie Kingery wants to help dispel your doubts. Thanks, Laurie, for joining us today and sharing a part of your writing journey.

My Writing Journey
by Laurie Kingery

Do you have the desire to write? Did you ever hold back because you don't have a college degree in English literature or American history, because you've never been a journalist? I have or have been none of those things—I'm an E.R. nurse--and I recently finished my twenty-first published book, and I sold the first book I submitted, DEFIANT HEART, back in 1987 when I was writing historical romance as Laurie Grant.

Don't envy me for that, because I've had a few years-long droughts where I couldn't sell a paragraph. I just don't want you to think you can't be a published author just because you don't have a lot of initials after your name or work in a writing field.

The qualifications that I have are qualifications you can have too, if you're willing to make some sacrifices, even if it's as simple a sacrifice of choosing one activity over another.

I believe it's necessary for a writer to have a love of reading. You gain a facility with the language and a large vocabulary in no other way. You absorb correct grammar and punctuation much more easily than being taught it in school. You learn what works in a plot and what doesn't. You learn genres and eras you like, and what it is in a plot that makes that book memorable to you forever.

Secondly, simple as it may sound, you have to love to write, and be willing to write even when you aren't inspired. It's lovely when you are, of course—the hours pass like minutes--but you can't wait for it. You have to be willing to write even when you'd rather watch TV/go shopping/sleep/talk on the phone/play on the Internet—name your particular weakness/es. You may have to write when your family doesn't believe in you, especially before you've sold something.

You have to be fascinated, with the subject you write about. If you choose to write about something only because it is selling, your lack of passion will show. I write about Texas history because, as a native Texan, I find it fascinating. I write about the Hill Country because it's the terrain that calls to my soul. You may not care about Texas, but find the era or the place or the profession you do care about and make it your own.

And finally, you have to protect the work, as famous author Susan Elizabeth Phillips says. I have only a limited amount of time every day to write, and that does not leave time to serve as an officer of the writing organizations writers belong to. I am deeply grateful to those who can do both, especially those who make American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW, the wonderful group that it is. For now, I have to choose writing. I'm hoping I have more time to give back when I retire from nursing and only have one job, writing.

Laurie Kingery is an Ohio author who writes for inspirational historicals for Steeple Hill. She won the National Reviewers' Choice award for historical romance in 1994 (writing as Laurie Grant) and has been nominated for Best First Historical Romance and Career Achievement in western romance by Romantic Times, and was a finalist in the Carol Awards by American Christian Fiction Writers in 2010. Her current series is called "Brides of Simpson Creek," set in the Hill Country of Texas. Her next release from Love Inspired Historicals after THE SHERIFF'S SWEETHEART is THE RANCHER'S COURTSHIP in mid-November 2011.

To find out more about Laurie and her books, please visit