Friday, August 12, 2016

Stay True, Stay Strong by Gerri Bauer

Gerri Bauer

What do you do when you feel led to go in a particular direction with your writing but doors begin to close? Take encouragement from author Gerri Bauer’s personal journey to publication. ~ Dawn

Stay True, Stay Strong

Hi! I’m happy to join you on Fortifying Friday for a couple of reasons. To learn your stories after I share mine. And because I’m in need of some fortifying myself.

The short version of my publication journey: Closed doors. Opened doors! Closed doors…

The longer version:

I began to craft fiction with serious intent to take my mind off the heartache of infertility and miscarriage. At first I wrote non-religious historical romances. Then the sufferings of my personal crosses led me back to active participation in church after I’d fallen away.

The personal journey prompted a redirection of my writing. I continued to market the non-religious romances for a while. Then I set aside efforts to find an agent or publisher, because I had a chance to finish my education. For eight years, I added one class a semester to home and family responsibilities and full-time work duties.

As I neared degree completion, I started a new novel – and felt a strong push from the Holy Spirit. The inspiration was for me to write a Catholic romance- even though industry best practice calls for a nondenominational focus. Against the advice of just about everyone in my writing world, I soldiered on.

With every keystroke, I knew I was sealing my fate of rejection by the big CBA houses. Why continue? It felt right. Every part of me was immersed in that project, and the writing reflected the commitment.

Then, doors opened. My senior thesis was accepted for publication in the Journal of Florida Literature. One of the Catholic publishers I queried offered me a contract for the first book in the Persimmon Hollow series. A contract for a second book soon followed. At Home in Persimmon Hollow was published in summer 2015 and Stitching A Life in Persimmon Hollow in spring 2016.

It all seemed too good to be true. Part of it was.

My publisher has changed focus, and rejected the third book in the series. Instead of sharing a cheery note about my next publication date, I instead say I’m at a crossroads. What first? Seek an agent, try to sell directly again, go indie, or shelve the already completed first drafts of the third book and a novella and focus on nondenominational historical romance? Or all of the above? One thing is certain: I will continue to write.

So who’s fortifying whom today? It helps me to share. I hope it helps you as a reminder to follow inspiration from above. And as a reminder we all deal with an ever-changing publishing landscape no matter where we are on the writing journey.

As Christians we turn to Jesus, feel the power of the Holy Spirit, and have faith in the abiding presence of God the Father. It gives me comfort to write those words in a community of understanding. I also draw comfort from Joshua 1:9  - “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I don’t know yet what my next step will be. You may be pondering yours. I’ll pray for you, and ask that you pray for me.

In Christ.

Starry-eyed seamstress Josefa dreams of riches but uncovers a greater truth. Will she embrace it?

Gerri Bauer’s idea of a perfect day includes a book, preferably one with a happy ending. She writes what she loves to read: historical romances set in small towns filled with people of faith and values. A native of New York City, she found her own small-town haven in Florida many years ago. She lives with her husband, spoils her cats, keeps tabs on a far-flung extended family, and gets out into the garden as much as possible, although the plants question her dedication. Gerri has a B.A. in English from Stetson University, where she has a day job in social media and online marketing.

You can connect with Gerri and learn more about her books by visiting the following sites: