Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In A Writer’s Life, Nothing Is Wasted by Susanne Dietze

Whether a writer or not, sometimes things don't work out quite the way we'd like or in our timing. Today, author Susanne Dietze shares how one idea took eight years to come to fruition. -- Sandy 

Susanne: My first novel releases this month, and I can tell you precisely where I was and what I was doing when the idea of it first sprouted in my head. I was pulling my car into my driveway, and a song on the radio mentioned rain. Suddenly, in my mind’s eye I saw my hero, dressed in black, standing out in the rain at night, looking up at his heroine’s window.

This happened over eight long years ago, by the way.

At the time, my hero was a secondary character in a novel that never worked out. He had a different name and I had a different plan for him. I don’t know quite why he popped into my head at that moment, but when he did, I couldn’t help wondering, why would he stand out in the cold rain like that, dressed in black?

Answering that question resulted in The Reluctant Guardian, but like I said, it took a long time.

My first attempt with the story of the man in black finalled in a contest, but something wasn’t quite right with the story. As time went on, I set it aside when I received other writing opportunities. Nevertheless, that story about the man in the rain was still in my heart and I wrote, rewrote, tweaked and revised as I was able.

About a year ago, after a conversation with an editor at Love Inspired Historical, I submitted the manuscript, and a few weeks later, I was offered a contract. It all happened quickly, but the years leading up to it had me wondering if the story of the man in black would ever be seen by anyone but me.

It’s been a reminder to me that nothing is wasted in God’s economy. In the years between parking my car and imagining of the man in black to the day when my book hits shelves, I’ve learned about storytelling, the industry, plotting, dialogue, and setting. Writing my first failed novel was excellent practice. Rewriting and tweaking The Reluctant Guardian helped me grow as a writer, too, and it’s comforting to know that our mistakes and detours are still important parts of our journey.

That’s given me fresh perspective on my writing tasks. Rejections can be tools for learning; postponements can be valuable teachers. Nothing is wasted if I view obstacles as ways to guide my thinking and growth.

And it’s made holding my book all the sweeter.

Is there a dream you never thought you'd see realized that was only a matter of waiting?


Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances. A pastor's wife and mom of two, she loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her on her website,, and sign up for her newsletter for an occasional cheery hello:

The Reluctant Guardian Blurb:

When Gemma Lyfeld inadvertently interrupts a dangerous smuggling operation in her English village, she's rescued by a mysterious Scottish spy. Now with criminals after her and her hopes for an expected marriage proposal recently dashed, she will make her society debut in London. But not without the man tasked with protecting her… 

Covert government agent Tavin Knox must keep Gemma safe from the criminals who think she can identify them—a mission he never wanted. But as he escorts her and her rascally nephews around London, the lovely English lass proves braver than he ever imagined. Suddenly, the spy who works alone has one Season to become the family man he never dreamed he'd be.

Twitter @SusanneDietze