Friday, October 26, 2012

Fabulous Friday Feature-Angela Breidenbach

Angie Breidenbach, Mary Vee, & Susan Hill. Montanan Gals

I met Angie at a Montana ACFW meeting held in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She is a sweet friend who is willing to help. A piece of trivia for you: Angie was Mrs. Montana. 

I will be moving this weekend, so no book drawing this time. I still would love to have you become a follower, though...pah leeze? See the upper right corner, below the About Me section.

I asked Angie to share something about her writing journey. So, Angie, tell us...

Often I Couldn't Figure Out Who I Was

I am a communicator, I talk a lot, write a lot, and connect.

There's irony in that statement because though we have natural talents and innate personalities, we still must learn the skills of how to use those talents to become who we are meant to be.

Coming from a home with a mentally ill mom, confusion reigned. Often I couldn't figure out who I was or what I was supposed to be. It seemed like the rest of the world understood how to interact in society and make friends. I couldn't even figure out how to talk to another person without being pegged an odd duck.

I learned to read and write at four. I'd journal, write poetry, and lyrics for songs. None of it done with any skill, just raw emotion. Emotion that had to get out to help me survive.

I married, too young, to escape.I didn't feel safe writing my thoughts or stories. I set all my writing aside, except for long letters home, for ten years in order to avoid arguments.

When my life changed again, I began journaling to ease my stress. For several months, I hid my writing. I still feared someone finding it and attacking me for my feelings or personal thoughts. About six months into being a single mom, I wasn't afraid any longer that someone would read it without my permission, but I still kept it hidden. My soul clicked back on. But I still had no skills, only the deep burning desire to write.

I searched for classes and support as a writer. I bought writing books and devoured them. I remarried and continued to take online classes while raising six kids and working full time. What I knew about me came from something I'd found in the Bible. I knew God knit me together in my mother's womb. He knit into me an all-consuming desire to write, speak, and share. I recognized one thing: A writer is who I am, who I was made to be. I still need skills, both in novel writing and in how to understand the publishing business world.

Friends materialized out of the fog. Friends that could bond with me on this road. I'd been so isolated, these special people helped me to build confidence, courage, and a sense of self. God poured into me through these beautiful friends at writing conferences and online. It started at the Idaho Writers League in 2004 where my contest submission actually won honorary mention. I wasn't a bad writer? 

Christy LaShae Smith, Me,
Mindy Obenhaus, Lindi Peterson, Jennifer Hudson Taylor
There I found out about RWA (Romance Writers of America) and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter for Christian writers. More friends added a rich quilt of love in my writing life, all writers running the same race. Here's a picture of the blogging buddies from our 2008 conference. Do you recognize any?

The Lord knew I needed mentors. It took many, many people to help me crawl on my path until I could walk on my own two feet. But still, I link hands with my friends, and hope I offer a hand to another as I was offered.

fans Julie and Karen
I met my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, because of another friend (Michelle Sutton). Tamela sold my first book, a non-fiction Christian living, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life. 

Creative Cooking for Colitis and Creative Cooking for Simple Elegance (coming soon to kindle) are books I'm also very proud to share.

Tamela Hancock Murray with me
at ACFW conference
Tamela called me a second time. My first novel was accepted for publication. It releases April 2013 in the  line from Abingdon Press. A Healing Heart is about a woman who has a similar problem, she's a workaholic just like me.

That last soul click taught me a missing link in my writing. Writing who I am is what I know and gives me a unique voice. I can write any genre, any location, anytime frame, any characters as long as I write from the depths of my soul, the depths of my experiences, the depths of my growth.

I have so much more to lean. But this late bloomer finally figured out that to live a fulfilling life, I have to be who God made me to be and write her into my books in order to make a ripple with my guppy tail in a great big ocean.

Interact with or learn more about Angela Breidenbach:

Inspire a Fire:
Angie's Place:  monthly feature column 

:)    :)    :)    :)    :)    :)    :)    

Thank you Angela for joining us today. No one could tell the struggles you've had from the smile you always share. God has certainly taken you hand and helped you walk in His ways.

Reader, please leave a comment to encourage Angela, or a question for her. Perhaps you'd like to know about her interesting cookbook mentioned in this post.


Susan Anne Mason said...

Congrats on your new contract, Angela. And thanks for sharing your journey.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for stopping by Susan. It's fun to congratulate others and the successes God brings them. Thanks for your comment.

Unknown said...

Hi ladies,

Thank you so much for having me, Mary.

Susan, it's a wild journey for all of us, isn't it? ;) And thank you so much for the well-wishes. I'm very excited to have A Healing Heart coming out! Woot! It's been a long journey, I'm sure like many others.

Lindi said...

Ang--I agree with everything you said. I've made so many friends along this journey. It's amazing. :) And speaking of amazing, Angela's book, A Healing Heart is amazing!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Lindi!! I'm so appreciative of your endorsement.

Missy Tippens said...

Great post! Angie, I can't wait for your book to come out. Lindi was telling me how good it is the other day!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you Missy, and Lindi for stopping by to enjoy Angela's company. She has been fun to have here this weekend.
I am traveling, but will continue to pop in to read your encouraging notes to Angie.
thanks again all.

Cynthia Herron said...

Loved learning more about your journey, Angie! So inspiring! You proved what I have suspected: you're just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside!

Congratulations on your upcoming release, and blessings on your writing career.

Thank you, Mary, for sharing Angela's story on here. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you Cynthia for stopping by.
And yes, Ang is as beautiful on the inside as the outside. I hope you get to meet her personally sometime.