Friday, November 16, 2018

A Lesson in Perseverance by Janet Grunst

Janet Grunst
Often times, the journey to publication is a long one, requiring patience and endurance. If you’re wondering if you should give up, author Janet Grunst’s personal experiences will encourage you to stick with pursuing your goals. ~ Dawn

A Lesson in Perseverance

Waiting thirty-one years to get that first story published isn’t something to brag about, but it is a lesson in perseverance.

As a stay-at-home mom in the early ’80s, I had a column in our community paper and in a regional tabloid. I sensed my writing was heading in a different direction. A story had germinated in my mind so I asked God if I could serve Him through writing fiction? Would He give me two or three hours a day to write if I would willingly put it aside after that time to take care of my family? I felt His confirmation and began researching and studying the craft of writing fiction.

Since the story was set in the 18th century it would require extensive research. This was pre-internet, so it meant visiting libraries. The more research, the more subplots developed. The most challenging task at times was to quit researching and get down to writing.

Each day, I asked for Divine direction and He faithfully furnished it. The story came together in six months.

I was encouraged by the two people who read it to pursue publication. Researching publishing companies, how to write and submit queries, synopsis’s, and proposals was another educational experience. There were many submissions and many rejections.

In 1993 my life changed, requiring full-time employment while raising my sons alone. Writing fiction was put aside for many years. I eventually remarried, retired, and relocated. My husband encouraged me to keep writing and to again pursue publication.

Christian publishing world had changed by 2010. I needed an agent and a social media platform, so I joined the ACFW, became a contributor to Colonial Quills, got on Facebook and created a website. I attended conferences and found an agent to represent me.  After more editing, my agent submitted the manuscript to publishers but to no avail.

The publishing world was changing quickly. Ebooks had gained in popularity and bookstores were closing. Many publishing houses were also undergoing changes including closing fiction lines. It was getting harder for unpublished writers to get contracts.  I was discouraged. By this time, the sequel had been written, but I needed to get that first story published. My agent mentioned Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas was taking a chance on unpublished writers and enjoying some success. In December of 2015, I received a contract for A Heart Set Free. In 2016 it won the Selah Award for Historical Romance. The sequel, A Heart for Freedom, was just published this October.

While I waited for my millennial to make it out into the world, a couple of popular Memes spoke to me.

All of your days have already been written in God’s Book.
When you go through a disappointment,
Don’t stop on that page. Stay the course. Keep believing.
You may be tired, discouraged, and frustrated,
but don’t give up on your future. Our God is faithful.


A Heart for Freedom

He longs for freedom, but he won’t risk those he loves.

Matthew Stewart wants only to farm, manage his inn, and protect his family. But tension between the Loyalists and Patriots is mounting. When he’s asked to help the Patriots and assured his family will be safe, he agrees.

She’s seen the cost of fighting England, and she wants no part of it.

In Scotland, Heather Stewart witnessed the devastation and political consequences of opposing England. She wants only to avoid war and protect the family and peace she finally found in Virginia. But the war drums can be heard even from home in the countryside, and she has no power to stop the approaching danger.

The consequences are deadly.

When Matthew leaves for a short journey and doesn’t return, Heather faces the biggest trial of her life. Will she give up hope of seeing him again? Will he survive the trials and make his way home? What will be the consequences of his heart for freedom?

Janet is a wife, mother of two sons, and grandmother of eight who lives in the historic triangle of Virginia (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) with her husband. Her debut novel, A Heart Set Free was the 2016 Selah Award winner for Historical Romance. A lifelong student of history, her love of writing fiction grew out of a desire to share stories that communicate the truths of the Christian faith, as well as entertain, bring inspiration, healing, and hope to the reader. 

Connect with Janet and learn more about her books here:

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