Friday, September 19, 2014

It Starts with a Dream by Mary Alford

Mary Alford

Most success stories don’t happen overnight. For many, it takes years of perseverance and hard work. But our goals can only be reached when we refuse to give up on our dreams. Author Mary Alford shares how her dreams finally came true. 
~ Dawn

It Starts with a Dream
by Mary Alford

It starts with just a simple thing … the dream.

I was about seven years old when my dream began. It started when I read my first Nancy Drew mystery and knew that I wanted to create stories when I grew up. That was it. Career settled. Life put neatly into place.

If only it were that simple. Fastforward six years and then I discovered Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt and became hooked on the romantic suspense genre. I had no idea when I decided to write that I was about to embark on a dream that would last a lifetime.

In the beginning, writing was a trial and error experience for me. I confess I tried other genres in the process before I came back to my first love, inspirational romantic suspense. Some wise author once told me, write what you enjoy reading and then perfect it. In other words, if you don’t read contemporary romance, then don’t try to write it.

Fast forward again many years later. For me, my ten years of writing came down to just five minutes in the spotlight. In 2012, I entered the Speed Dating Contest that editor Emily Rodmell hosted, and I was one of the lucky ones who got an appointment to chat with Emily. On the day of the pitch, I was on vacation in Colorado. At our cabin, internet service is nonexistent. I could have given up and said, well, that’s it, better luck next time, but I didn’t. My husband and I drove into the small town of Pagosa Springs where I did the entire chat on my laptop in the parking lot of the Ace Hardware Store.

Emily was kind enough to request a synopsis, although I was so nervous she probably didn’t understand anything I told her. I promptly sent the synopsis out to her. Then she requested the first three chapters followed by the full manuscript. With each request, I tried not to get my hopes up.

In December 2012, Emily called. To this day, I can’t tell you what she said to me other than that she wanted to buy FORGOTTEN PAST for Love Inspired Suspense. It was a surreal moment. One that still hasn’t fully sunken in yet. It's a great feeling to have your dream become a reality and even greater to hold your book in your hands.         

So my advice is simple to anyone whose dream is to become a published author. Keep writing through all the bruises and tough breaks the publishing industry can dish out (did you notice I said it took me ten years of writing seriously to become a published author?). Don’t give up when life gets in the way and makes it seem like your dream is a near impossible feat to accomplish. Keep writing because if you’re a writer that’s all you can do.    


It starts with just a simple thing … the dream. Click to tweet.

Keep writing through all the bruises and tough breaks the publishing industry can dish out.  Click to tweet.

Don’t give up when life gets in the way and makes it seem like your dream is a near impossible feat to accomplish. Click to tweet.

Forgotten memories.  How can you have a future if you can’t remember your past?

Two years ago, Faith McKenzie died. The woman who came back to life after a brutal attack that took her memory and the life of her best friend, Rachel Jennings, wasn’t the same person who died. Faith doesn’t recognize the woman she’s become. In fact, she doesn’t remember a single thing about her life before waking up in a hospital room in Austin, Texas and being told how close to death she’d come. Although her doctors believe the amnesia is temporary, when weeks turn into months, the detectives working her case are convinced Faith is hiding something significant about Rachel’s murder. A few days after her release from the hospital, someone begins calling Faith’s apartment. At first, it’s just a couple of random hang-ups, until one day Faith hears the words that send her running for her life.


Romantic Times: 4 1/2 Stars!

Fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat action and false leads make this a keeper that gets more engaging as the story progresses. Faith is a strong character who shows that, despite insurmountable odds, God is in control.

--Marion Faith Laird

Where you can purchase Forgotten Past: Amazon; Harlequin

Mary Alford is a Texan whose debut novel, FORGOTTEN PAST is now available at Love Inspired Suspense. When Mary’s not dreaming up people in dangerous situations and writing them down, she’s also a mom, wife, grandmother, avid reader, a proud geek-girl. For occasional updates and news about upcoming publications, please go to the contact form on her website: and subscribe to her newsletter!

You can learn more and connect with Mary here:
Twitter: @MaryAlford12