Friday, March 29, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Missy Tippens


Today I welcome author Missy Tippens 

Enter to win an autographed copy of Missy's latest book, Georgia Sweethearts.  
(see end of post) 

I met Missy through ACFW and through my friends at the Writer's Alley. She is one of the Seekerville writers with a  a gift for writing Christian Fiction romance. I finished my copy this week. 

AND Missy received THE call from the RITA awards. Oh, slap my mouth, I need to let her tell the story.  

I asked Missy to share her writing journey with us. Here is what she wrote:


My Long Writing Journey

I’d like to thank Mary for having me here to talk about my writing journey. This journey has been a long one, one that started with a love of reading and, oddly enough, three weeks on bed rest. 

I’ve always been a big reader. But in 1994, while pregnant with my second child, I had some complications that led to me being put on bed rest. Since my oldest was four at the time, I had my hands full and hadn’t read much in previous years. So rather than let frustration drive me crazy, I decided to try to enjoy the time off my feet. A friend brought me a bag of novels, and I dove in. By the time I had my son three weeks later, I had decided I wanted to try my hand at writing a book. 


Over the next several years, I moved, bought a computer, wrote, joined writing organizations, took online writing classes, had another baby, moved again, got invited to join a local critique group, and entered my first writing contest. The first contest results were devastating (tied for 35th place out of 36 entries!).  

When I reviewed the judge's feedback, I decided I must not be able to write. I wondered if I should quit. But after spending some time with my critique group, I braved entering another contest.  Yet I’d begun to wonder if God was telling me I was heading the wrong direction. I had three young children who needed me.
Mary Vee here. Yes this was taken this week. 
Yes that is ice behind me. I finished my copy
 of Missy's book and enjoyed it.:)
I feared I was spending too much of our family income on my writing expenses. Feared I was spending too much precious time on writing. And I’m talking a large chunk of time—writing well into the night after my husband and kids went to bed. I finally made the decision to quit…and then received a call. I was a finalist in the second contest I entered.

I took that as encouragement from God. I wasn’t supposed to give up.

But still, anytime I submitted my work, I received rejections. In the beginning, they were painful form letters (Dear Author, we’re sorry to inform you we can’t publish your book). Eventually, I began to get personalized rejections with a little feedback. Each positive comment was a morsel of hope that kept me going, offering the encouragement I needed at that moment.

As time went on, though, and I got more contest feedback, some of which was crushing, I once again got discouraged. The financial pinch of conferences and meetings became difficult to justify. It had been over ten years since I got that first computer! How long was too long? At what point should I throw in the towel?

One day, I received particularly painful feedback from a published author who’d read my work in a contest. Honestly, the most painful part of the critique was that I knew she was exactly right. I had failed on that story. And I couldn’t take the disappointment anymore. I prayed and cried and poured out my heart to God. I made the decision that it was time to give up my dream.

And wouldn’t you know, about thirty minutes later, I got a call that my manuscript was a finalist in another contest? I’ve always pictured God sighing and wondering when I would ever learn to trust Him.
I knew right then (as I sobbed my gratitude to the contest coordinator on the phone!) that God must want me to hang in there no matter what. I needed to trust His plan.
Two years later (yes, two more years passed!), I sold a short story to BellBooks for Blessings of Mossy Creek, and I was so thrilled for the opportunity to see my name on a book (even if it was on the back cover). :)

Nominated for RT
 Reviewer's Choice Award and
Romance Writers of America's
RITA Award.
Then a year later, on January 30th 2007, I got The Call. The call I’d hoped for since 1994. Love Inspired wanted to buy my novel. Once I dove into working on everything that goes along with the production of a book with Love Inspired, I realized there was no way I would have been able to handle the rigorous schedule when my kids were young. God knew that, of course, and was looking out for me the whole time. 


This writing journey can be long and twisted and filled with potholes. But isn’t it nice that God knows exactly where we’re heading? We can rest in Him knowing He wants the very best for us.


Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


Missy Tippens is a pastor’s wife and mom of three and lives near Atlanta. Her novels have been nominated for the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year (now called the Carol Award), the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Bookseller's Best Award and The Beacon. A House Full of Hope has been nominated for an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award as well as Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. Missy’s next from Love Inspired is titled Georgia Sweethearts and is available now. 


Visit her at  www.missytippens.com


To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Missy Tippen's book, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Include email address in your comment. U.S. residents only. Winner announced on my facebook page.


Thank you, Missy for Joining us This Weekend!



Reader: Have you had a situation where you felt discouraged but realized, later, that God had been there with you all along?

48 comments:

  1. I loved reading about your writing journey. Many times in my life I get frustrated and feel that maybe God has forgotten me. However, it is during those times that He shows me that He is still in control and that my patience needs work. I will have to find your books and read them. I do love the Love Inspired books. Thank you! Melissa L. rackylemaire@gmail.com.

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    1. Melissa, what a wonderful comment, especially for this Good Friday. And He is not only in control, but He loves us. :)

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    2. Melissa, I've decided that learning patience will be a life long learning process. :)

      Thanks for looking for my books! I hope you enjoy!

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  2. Yeah, just checked my library and they have some of her books!! Now if they weren't closed today :-((

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    1. Always a detail LOL. But Monday comes soon:)

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    2. Wow. They must be taking a long Easter weekend.

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  3. It was a long journey but always headed for a blessed outcome! Thank you for sharing. Since I have lived in Georgia all of my life, your book has special appeal to me. I look forward to reading it. The Love Inspired line is definitely heart-warming and the kind of books I enjoy.

    I have been waiting and waiting to see if an article I wrote and had purchased is going to come out in print. I hope it will soon because that will encourage me to write more. It seems people need little stokes along the way to help them be enthusiastic in pursuing goals.

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    1. Janice, how exciting! I hope you get to see the article soon. It's definitely a great motivator to see your name in print. :) When I opened my first box of author copies of my first Love Inspired book, I sat in the kitchen floor and bawled like a baby! There's nothing quite like that feeling.

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    2. Janice,
      I could hardly speak (and that is a rare moment for me) when I saw my first article published. I can't wait for the moment I can sit on the floor like Missy. Some day.

      Blessings on you both:)

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  4. Love Inspired was one of the first books I started readling many years ago. My favorite is Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense, and Love Inspired Historical. I agree with Melissa. There are times when I am waiting for an answer and think God has forgotten me. But, I know He is working it out according to His plan, not mine. I've learned to be patient while God is working. His ways are not always our ways. So, we sometimes just have to sit back and wait.

    strgth4yu@hotmail.com

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    1. Linda, that's so true. We can't begin to see the whole picture, only have our limited human view. I also struggle with trying to insert my selfish desires into the picture.

      Lately, I have this sense I need to wait and watch the story unfold. Or at least I'm trying! :)

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    2. I watch my mom put a puzzle together. She worked the frame first, then a flower section, and while she worked those sections she found the right piece for the tree. She didn't wait, but put it in place before continuing the other sections. As time went by the whole puzzle was assembled. Lovely. Complete. As will be all our journeys:)

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  5. Mary, I love the photo of you holding my book!

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    1. Thanks, Missy. My teen daughter took it for me. And I did love Lilly and Daniel's story.

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  6. Not only did she get the call. SHE GOT THE RITA CALL.

    Woot!!!!

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    1. AND we know her!!! Not quite the same as getting the call...but it's something. Hey Everyone I know Missy Tippens and she got the RITA call!

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  7. Congrats, Missy!!! I'm so excited for you! And of course I'd LOVE to have a signed copy of your book! :D My email addy is lr dot mullin at live dot com.

    My writing journey started from being in bed, too. I became chronically ill after the birth of my third son. I thought I would lose my mind. I didn't know a lot of Christian authors then, so my reading was limited (15 yrs ago). But I had story ideas that took seed and slowly blossomed into a novel (which is currently in the drawer - for now).

    Then, job crisis hit and my life became a blur. "Finding Beth" - to be released the end of this year, was born out of this job crisis. I had no time to write. I'd just learned about blogging at my writer's conference and I decided in order to keep honing my skills and make myself accountable (hopefully to my readers), I would blog one or two mini chapters a month. At that time, anything was something. I didn't have time for contests or critique group then, either. Yet, here I am five years later with a contract. Yay, God! Two or three years into writing Beth's story, I chose to discontinue publishing it on the blog so I could hunker down and write. I finally had more time.

    And I know exactly what you mean about waiting for God's timing. There were things I needed to learn about Beth and what she had to overcome that could only come from sharing her with a friend. My writing grew by leaps and bounds over those 5 years, as well. AND my publisher didn't exist five years ago, and I know CrossRiver Media was hand-picked by God for me! Like you said, it all works together for good. I have to keep reminding myself of that and to trust Him. :)

    I loved reading your writing journey! I always love comparing notes and seeing how differently God works in each of our lives! (((Hugs))) dear friend! :D

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    1. Congratulations Linnette on your book contract. The end of the year will be extra exciting for you. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. God certainly had his hands directing the route of publication of Beth's story. :)

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    2. Linnette, that's amazing about the timing of your contract. I'm excited for you! It is interesting to compare notes. And nice for me to watch how God works in others' lives. I learn from those journeys as well.

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  8. Loved reading your journey to writing, Missy! And what a great writer you became....love your books....trying to get the cold/virus germs out so can get to Walmart and purchase your newest.....that is, if I don't win...lol
    Happy Easter to all!

    Jackie Smith
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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    1. Hope you feel better soon, Jackie. Sure happy to have you with us today.

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    2. Get better soon, Jackie! Thanks for reading and for your support.

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  9. Missy, so excited about the news of your RITA nominations! I love your books! I have a daughter named Missy so I've always felt a special "kinship" with you :) In answer to your question (above), I have chronic migraines (have had for over 23 years) and that can be pretty discouraging but lately I've realized that God has been with me in all those years or I never would have been able to raise 3 kids, work full-time some of those years, lead a full life or be as active as I have been until recently when it just caught up with me and became too much to handle but He was there when I REALLY needed him and now that my life is slower, I can handle a slower lifestyle. I'm grateful!
    Valri Western
    westernaz@msn.com

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    1. Vairi,
      Welcome!
      You have done so much! Hopefully the migraines will disappear and allow you to enjoy new ministries.

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    2. Valri, I'm so sorry to hear about your migraines. I get one every so often, and I just can't imagine having that pain (and nausea, etc) chronically. I'll be praying for relief for you. You've done an amazing job to have pushed through for so many years.

      Thanks so much for the good wishes on the RITA! I'm beyond thrilled. :)

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  10. Missy, I am so happy things are going good for you. There have been many frustrated times in my life that I have felt like GOD wasn't hearing my prayers, but guess maybe He was just saying no, or not yet. BUT, I know He is always there so the problem must be with me. He has given us too many miracles to not know He is always looking out for us, tho it doesn't always seem so. I would love to win your autographed book. Would be neat. Thanks mary for having Missy here. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Maxie
      Nice to see you again this week. You always light up the room.

      Life seems to toss many challenging and down right unfun things at us. Thanks be to God He is with us, life would be unbearable without Him. Hold on to your faith, sweet Maxie. God loves you.

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    2. Maxie, thank you so much for stopping by. You're right about Him always looking out for us, even when we can't see it.

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  11. Congratulations Missy. House Full of Hope is still my favorite but so looking forward to reading Georgia Sweethearts. Your story is so encouraging. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. Welcome Cindy!
      I've read Georgia Sweethearts, but am adding House Full of Hope to my nightstand. Sounds like we are recommending the books we read to each other:) So nice to see you here today.

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    2. Cindy, thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it. I hope you enjoy Georgia Sweethearts as well. Instead of small children, in the new story I have teenagers. And they're always fun! :)

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    3. Having read the book already, I totally agree. She does a great job with the teens.

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  12. Thanks, Mary! I still have two teens at home, so it was a natural fit. :)

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  13. Missy-
    Hope you and your family are all well. I love all your books. Looking forward to this new one.
    grandb90@bellsouth.net
    If I don't win a copy, I may be contacting you. Love you and yourfamily.

    Linda Berry

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    1. Linda,
      So nice to see you here today. Thank you for stopping by and chatting with us.

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    2. Linda, thanks so much for stopping by! And thanks for reading. :)

      I'll have to head over your way sometime for a visit. I miss all of you!

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  14. HI Missy, Happy Easter!

    You said -

    "This writing journey can be long and twisted and filled with potholes. But isn’t it nice that God knows exactly where we’re heading?"


    So true. That's how I feel about all the years I spent writing for the secular market. God knew that wasn't the place for me. It just took me awhile to recognize it.

    Congrats again on the RITA nom. I'm so excited for you that it's this year when RWA is in Atlanta. So cool!

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    1. Mary,
      I've enjoyed getting to know you through other ministries, I think MBT? I'm so glad you have joined the CBA and look forward to reading your works.

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    2. Mary C, thank you! It took me a while to recognize where my writing fit as well. An author I worked for as an office assistant was the first one to read one of my synopses and tell me I was writing an inspirational.

      Thanks so much for the congrats! Yes, I'm thrilled the conference is near home and my husband will be able to attend the awards ceremony with me. :)

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  15. Hi Mary. I didn't mean to ignore you in my comment above. I keep meaning to come by here on Fridays because I love your interviews. It took til Sunday, but at least I made it. :)

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    1. Yeah!
      I don't feel ignored, always happy when great authors like Missy receive nice comments like you wrote. Loved seeing you today and looking forward to the next time.

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  16. This looks like a good book! I've been going through a health situation where I've been feeling discouraged for a while now and I keep reminding myself that God is there and He'll bring good out of this. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Veronica,
      So nice to see you here again. Always love your visits.
      I'll be praying for you, in fact let's do it right now:
      Dear Jesus,
      Veronica is having such problems with her health. I don't know what the issue is but I do know your healing hand can ease her discomfort. I pray your mercy and ask you to heal her.
      In your precious name,
      Amen.

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    2. Amen. Thanks for praying, Mary.

      Veronica, I hope you find encouragement and comfort in the fact He's with us and is in control.

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  17. Mary I forgot to mention that I am a follower of this blog. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Oh, Maxie. I know you. You are a friend who lights our chat time. Gotcha covered.

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Thank you for commenting! Your thoughts add a lot to our conversations and the Never Give Up Stories