Thursday, February 9, 2017

My Journey to Publication by Dana R. Lynn

Thanks for the invitation to be here today, Terri. It’s always an honor to be asked. 

Anyway, I was thinking about what I wanted to say, and I thought about my own journey to publication. I had wanted to write since I was a kid. I can’t even tell you how many manuscripts I had started only to throw them out (cuz back then we used paper). Sometimes, I would get as far as the second chapter before life intruded. 

Could I have plodded along, writing little bits here and there? Well, yes, I supposed so. But you see, I had no idea what I was doing. And quite frankly, once I started a project, the idea of getting thousands of words down was intimidating. So, I would allow other things to get in the way. I was a wife and a mother. I could barely find the time to fit everything in. I didn’t see how I would be able to fit in writing. Eventually, I decided I was called to be a reader, not a writer. And reading was easier, anyway.

Easier, yes. But not satisfying enough to satisfy the desire to write, the itchy feeling I would get whenever a new idea popped into my head. One day, in 2013, I saw that Harlequin was starting their then annual So You Think You Can Write contest. I decided to give it one more try. Imagine my amazement when my chapter made the Top Fifty. Suddenly, I had a major publisher requesting that I send in a full manuscript. Umm…it wasn’t nearly ready yet. But I was motivated. In less than two days, I finished it and submitted it. 

I didn’t win the contest. I didn’t care. For the first time in my life I had finished a manuscript. And I had received feedback. Feedback that encouraged me to learn. And to try again.  Eight months later, I received a contract from Love Inspired Suspense. I will never forget the joy of hearing my editor’s voice on the other end of the phone. It was amazing.

I learned several things. If God gives you a dream, don’t give up. Wait upon His timing. He picked the perfect time for me to realize my dream. The second thing I learned is the need to continue to learn about the writing craft. Figure out what you want to write. And if there is a specific publisher, what are their guidelines? Another important lesson I learned was to find other authors and learn from them. I did most of this online, through Facebook groups. I also joined a small critique group. 

Finally, and this may be the most important, is pray. If God has a writing ministry in mind for you, then He also knows who He wants you to minister to. Allow yourself to be led by Him.

Thanks for letting me come today! I have a new novella out, The Heiress’s Timely Hero, loosely based on the characters from Pride and Prejudice. Plus, I added in a little time travel spin.


The Heiress's Timely Hero
Anne de Bourgh’s life is in danger. From her own family. Her only hope is a man who claims to be from the future. His story is impossible, yet her instincts, and her heart are drawn to this stranger. Will he save her? Or will trusting him cost her everything?

Morgan James has faced his own mortality. Now, he feels like a shadow of his former self. Without purpose. Until now.

Five years ago, his sister went through a time portal on the family estate in England, and returned with her husband, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam. He knows going through the time portal is dangerous. He also knows Anne will die a horrible death if he doesn’t.

He intends to save her. What he doesn’t plan is to fall in love with her.

But danger has followed them. Is there no time or place where they can find happiness?

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Dana R. Lynn grew up in Illinois. She met her husband at a wedding and told her parents she had met her future husband. Nineteen months later, they were married. Today they live in rural Pennsylvania with their three children, two dogs, one cat, one rabbit, one horse and six chickens. In addition to writing, she works as an educational interpreter for the deaf and is active in several ministries in her church.