Friday, March 29, 2019

A Dream That Became Something Entirely Different by Mikal Dawn

Mikal Dawn

Here at Seriously Write, we celebrate the ways our writers’ lives are similar—yet, often different. For some, the journey to publication is straight ahead, but for others, the road may take them into unexpected areas. Author Mikal Dawn shares her personal experiences. 
~ Dawn 

A Dream that Became Something Entirely Different

It was three years ago, right around this time, that I finally started to take my writing seriously. It wasn’t that I thought I was good, or that I had dreams of fame or fortune (um, especially no dreams of fortune—that is definitely a very rare occurrence!). It was the quiet, gentle, constant voice of the Lord nudging me.

Can I admit that, when I joined the American Christian Fiction Writers association, I felt like a complete fraud? I knew everyone starts somewhere, and I knew it would be a process to build up to publication, but I thought everyone else had it all figured out immediately. It wasn’t until a well-known bestseller told me her first drafts were “downright ugly” that I realized every writer starts from the same place. And wow, did that make a difference. But it was my first critique—my first, very brutal critique—that pushed me out of my comfort zone.

I had no idea what she was talking about when the editor told me I had too much “telling” and too many clichés. I didn’t understand about “head popping” and the difficulty of writing a character who was mute (what was I thinking?!). I left that meeting feeling down, but I knew it wasn’t over. That meeting fanned a small flame that turned into a raging fire.

I joined a critique group through ACFW and met ladies who are now lifelong friends. They taught me, helped me through the rough few chapters of that original story before I set it aside and began a fresh story. And then after a few chapters of that story, they rolled their eyes behind their backs (I’m absolutely positive they did) as I started a third manuscript. This third one is what became my debut novel. I wrote it over the summer in 2016 while my kids were out of school, right before the ACFW conference. I finished that baby, polished it, and brought the first three chapters with me to the conference. And much to my shock, had interest from everyone I’d presented to! When I came home, however, there was that quiet, gentle voice again, telling me “No.”

What had been a dream to be traditionally published became something entirely different. I never did send my manuscript in to the agent and editors. Instead, I pursued indie publishing. It’s a lot of work—all creative decisions are yours (yay!), but so is the financial obligation. The support of the indie publishing community, however, is rich and powerful and oh-so encouraging. If this is a route you’re considering, please reach out to authors you know are indie published, including myself!

Publishing, no matter which road you take—traditional or indie—is hard work with little financial reward, but knowing you’re following the road God has laid out for you, knowing He is pleased with your obedience, is absolutely priceless. So go, follow that road.

“Write this for the next generation, that a people yet to be created will praise the LORD” Psalm 102:18 (International Standard Version).

He’s a board game champion, but can he win her heart?

Lia Walker burned the bridges—and her boss’s tie—when she quit her job at a car dealership to go work for the chancellor of a prestigious university. But when she arrives only to find out she can’t start her job, she’s burning with only one question: how will she pay her rent?

Garrison McGarville returned from working in Europe a champion—of a Ticket to Ride board game tournament. But his latest job—informing a distressed beauty she doesn’t actually have a job yet—has him feeling more like a loser.

When Garrison comes up with what he hopes is a game-winning move, will Lia dare to accept?

Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and proud military (retired) wife. By day, she works as an administrative assistant for an international ministry, runs her kids to all their sports, and drinks lots of coffee. By night, she talks to figments of her imagination as she attempts to write while dinner is burning. And drinks lots of coffee. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Mikal now lives in Oklahoma (and praying it’s their last home!) with her husband, two of their three children, and one ferocious feline. Connect with Mikal on, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Romance Readers Café.