Friday, January 31, 2014

One Writer’s Journey by Bonnie Doran

Bonnie Doran
Those who pursue writing careers don’t all start out on that path as youngsters. But when God has something planned for our lives, He utilizes a variety of things to make it known. Author Bonnie Doran discovered that for herself. Today on Seriously Write, she shares her personal journey and tips she’s learned along the way. ~ Dawn

One Writer’s Journey

I traveled a strange road in becoming a published novelist. I hadn’t planned on writing fiction at all.

In fifth grade, I wrote a poem about the planet Mercury that my school published.  I served on newspapers for junior high, high school, and community college.

I majored in chemistry, switched to journalism, and took a job as a secretary.
I wrote a devotional column for a weekly paper.

As a short-term missionary with the Far East Broadcasting Company on Okinawa, I served as secretary, scriptwriter, and programmer. Again, I wrote a devotional column for a local paper.

For the next 35 years, I worked as a secretary and/or bookkeeper in a variety of settings.

I attended various conferences for 17 years. I learned the craft, met new friends, and made contacts with people in the industry. I wrote a few magazine articles and took several devotional assignments.

One workshop leader challenged me to write science fiction. I finished a YA novel that might remain in a file drawer for a long time.

Members of my critique group suggested I write adult fiction. That’s when I started the science thriller that became Dark Biology.

I pitched to numerous agents and editors. Two of them wanted to see the manuscript. One problem: I hadn’t finished it.

Two years later, I finished the manuscript. At a conference in 2012, another agent and three more editors asked for it.

That fall, I signed with agent Steve Hutson. Two weeks later, Pelican Book Group offered me a contract. 

That’s not the end of the road, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1. Be obedient to God’s nudges. Switching to fiction was a scary step but now I realize it’s where I should be.

2. Keep learning through workshops, conferences, and craft books. And don’t think you know it all. Now that I have one novel under my belt, I cringe when I see how much better I could write it now.

3. Get into a writers group. No one but a writer understands when you tell him that your character won’t cooperate. We need that kind of support.

4. Join a critique group, especially one with members at your level or higher. Critters should encourage you when your writing sings and show you how to improve.

5. Trust God’s timing. Many of my friends were published long before I was, and some are still waiting. God’s path is different for every writer.

6. Never give up. 


Author Bonnie Doran shares 6 tips learned from her writing journey. Click to tweet.

God’s path is different for every writer. Click to tweet.

Be obedient to God’s nudges. Click to tweet.

Renowned vaccinologist "Hildi" Hildebrandt has set her sights on beating her brother to a Nobel Prize, and the opportunity to conduct experiments on the International Space Station might just provide the means to obtain that goal. Chet Hildebrandt should have had that opportunity. 

But now he'll teach a lesson to them all: his hot-shot astronaut sister, his philandering hypocritical father, and the CDC for not properly appreciating his work. 

One vial of a virus purloined from the CDC labs and released at his father's marriage seminar should do the trick, without hurting anybody. After all, it's only a mild influenza strain...Or is it?

Bonnie Doran’s heart is in science fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, and Sudoku puzzles. Her husband of thirty years is a Mad Scientist who owns a 2,300-pound electromagnet. They share their Denver home with two Siamese cats. Her debut novel, Dark Biology, released October 25 from Pelican Book Group.

Media Links:

Website: Where Faith and Science Fiction Collide:
Blog: The Mad Scientist's Wife:
Twitter: @bonniedoran
Twitter hashtag: #DarkBiology  



  1. Good morning Bonnie! I love reading people's journey to publication. You've offered some great tips. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great tips, Bonnie! Loved reading about your journey, and welcome to PBG. :)

  3. Thanks, Terri! Reading about other writers' journeys is an education all by itself. Dora, I'm happy to be a part of Pelican's family.

  4. Hi Bonnie! I'm a new author with the Pelican Group. Your advice is SO true for me. I could have written them myself.

    Best of luck!


  5. Enjoyed reading about you and your writing journey, Bonnie. Thank you for sharing those things you've learned along the way.


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