Today I welcome an author who discovered his gift for writing after an a crisis. His journey is one we can identify with: Daniel Patterson.
Enter to win an autograph copy of Daniel Patterson's book,
My Situation Made it Difficult to Surrender
As I sat in that conference room chair, I couldn't help but look around the room at my colleague's faces. Were they feeling as shocked as I was? The news shouldn't have been a surprise since there had been much discussion about the company being sold, but when I heard the actual words, it was as if I none of the previous information had registered. After eight years at the company, in a few short weeks I would be out of a job.
For the past fifteen years, my world was computers. I went from being a web designer, to a creative director, and then to managing an entire IT Department, which also included the engineering and web development teams. I loved my career and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie of my fellow co-workers. But then the news hit, and just like that, I was faced with a new world where I had no job and feeling very apprehensive about what the future held.
During that time of uncertainty, I prayed all the time. I knew in my heart that God had other plans for me, but the day-to-day reality of my situation made it difficult for me to surrender and let things unfold the way they were supposed to.
I grew up knowing the Bible, but I never had the relationship with God that I wanted. It was time to trust in God's plan and I made a commitment to renew my faith. I began by reading the Bible my father gave me, and as time progressed, the scriptures seemed to come alive for me in a way that they never did before. One verse in particular stood out, 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." Suddenly I was experiencing God's power as never before.
As my faith blossomed, so did my life. I decided to take a break from the technology world and focus on my creative side. While I've always enjoyed telling stories, I had trouble with the writing. Instead of giving up, I pushed myself to try new techniques. I began by noting down characters and outlines for fictional stories, and then filled in the missing pieces. But it wasn't until I had a heart-to-heart with an author friend, that I ever considered writing Christian fiction. When he suggested that genre, it all made perfect sense. This was what I was supposed to do.
In 2012, I put my writing in front of a major audience and published One Chance. This book is a Christian story about family, friendship, love, honor and courage. It's a fictional tale that is one part mystery and one part romance. I am humbled by the amount of people who have purchased my book and for those who have given me such amazing feedback.
The combination of God and my wonderful readers led me to continue writing. With my next book, I did something a little different. Instead of just writing and publishing, I used a formula that I was familiar with when I was designing and creating websites.
First, a website is in its "alpha" phase where the site functions, but it still looks a little rough. For the book, this was the time that I was writing a rough draft of the story.
Second, a website goes into "beta" mode. This is the time period where others will use and critique the site. After I finished my first draft, I sent it out to many of my readers on Facebook and they in turn provided me with fantastic suggestions and ways to improve upon the story.
Finally, once all the improvements and edits have been made, the website will goes "live." This collaboration has come to fruition with my second book, The Devil's Game, which goes "live" Fathers Day weekend on Amazon for the Kindle and through Barnes & Noble for the Nook. It's a Christian suspense thriller about a young Pastor and how his work takes an unexpected turn when a man shows up claiming to be the devil himself.
I am grateful for my life and give thanks to God for where I am today. I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow. This gives me great peace, especially during the harder days.
I am constantly reminded that everything we need will be added into our lives and that no matter how dire a situation, to just remember that Jesus is by our side.
Here is how to contact Daniel Patterson:
You can also go to Amazon and search his name.
To enter the contest for a copy of Daniel's book: "One Chance":
leave a comment (and email address)
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U.S. residents only.
Winner announced on my facebook page.
Thank you, Daniel, for Joining us This Weekend!
Wow! I feel blessed just having read this story, Daniel. Reader, how about you? Have you or a friend struggle with a huge change in your life, one that stretched your coping skills? Have you seen God's hand in helping you walk through the shadows of the trial?