Friday, April 5, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature-Tina Radcliffe

Today I welcome a fantastic author who is funny 
and a super friend: Tina Radcliffe 

Enter to win Tina's latest book, 
Mending the Doctor's Heart.
 International readers may also enter! 
(see end of post) 

I met Tina at ACFW. After a meeting, I happened to step into the same elevator as Tina and a group of conferrees. We went up a few floors. The others stepped off the elevator leaving Tina and me, but we were not alone. Before the door closed, Tina looked at the inebriated man mumbling to himself, grabbed my arm, and said, "Mary remember we were going to  talk with a few friends first?" She grabbed my arm and the two of us escaped. Tina is a lot of fun. I highly recommend you introducing yourself if you ever see her. Warning: be prepared to laugh. 

I asked Tina to share how God has led her writing journey. This is what she said:

These Books Aren't Mine, They're God's

Mary, thanks so much for having me on your blog today.

I started my writing journey as a short story writer. I had a nice side income with sales to publications such as The Star (the tabloid used to pay $300 for a short story), and Woman’s World (when I started they paid $1000 for 1000 words) and The Trues (True Confession, True Story, True Romance). By the way, The Trues aren’t true and besides their scintillating cover stories they buy sweet romances as well.

My foundation in short stories taught me a lot about publishing. I learned how to track my submissions. I learned how to handle rejections. If I was rejected, the story was immediately rewritten and sent to another publisher. If I was asked to revise, I revised, with no questions asked. I learned to always have at least four to six stories circulating at one time. I learned not to take anything personally and to keep an eye on the editorial staff. When an editor moved on I resubmitted something that was previously rejected. That’s how I first sold to Woman’s World. Four editors later, the same story that was rejected by one editor was a sale to the new editor.

I also started my idea box at that time. Snippets of conversation, magazine articles, and bright ideas go in this box. It’s a physical box.

There’s some amazing stuff in there like this newspaper clipping. Doesn’t it just scream a story to you?

Sometime the stories that the ideas hold are longer than a short story. That’s when I began writing novel length fiction seriously. I joined RWA and began to learn exactly what I didn’t know. Quite a bit it turns out. I started writing short contemporary and single title romance, but when Love Inspired launched I knew that the merging of faith and romance was where I wanted to be. I wanted to write about normal people whose faith walk is part of their life. Like me.

My plan at that time was to enter the Golden Heart with a new manuscript each year. In 2005 and 2007 I finaled. Contests are great, but if you are consistently finaling and winning, but not selling, there is a problem.

I had a problem, so I hired a professional editor to look at my work. A former Pocket editor, she had edited New York Times best-selling authors. That edit taught me things that I will apply to my manuscripts for the rest of my career.

My next step was to reevaluate my submissions to Love Inspired. I read books from the line again, listened to the editor podcasts, and then submitted a query. The query met with a request for a partial, then a full, then a revision letter and then a sale in January 2010.

An amazing thing happened after that book debuted. I got reader letters. When you get a letter and someone you never met tells you that your words changed their life, well that’s quite a responsibility. For me, that was the point where I realized that these books aren’t mine. They’re God’s. That’s actually been freeing. God graciously opened the door for me to write novels and sell them, and it’s his job to help me write the next book and the next synopsis. My job is to be willing and obedient.
Tina Radcliffe draws from her idea box and her many careers to write her stories. She’s done a tour of duty with the US Army, been a certified Oncology R.N., a library cataloger, and a tech at a national mail order pharmacy. She’s from Western New York and has lived in Oklahoma, Colorado and now Arizona.  Mending the Doctor’s Heart is her third Love Inspired release and it hits the shelf this month.

You can find her at or in Seekerville.

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Tina Radcliffe's latest book, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Include email address in your comment. GUESS WHAT? International readers may also enter! Winner announced on my facebook page. Kindle book will be given to International readers.

Thank you, Tina for Joining us This Weekend!

Reader: Have you had a situation where you realized the task your tried so hard to do on your own belonged to God? How did/does this change your approach to the task?


Diana Montgomery said...

I believe so. If we put it in His hands and are obedient to His will for us it sure works out a lot better. Sometimes we do task and they are not in God's will. Love to read this book.

Anonymous said...

Hi Diana! You certainly are right!

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Tina!!!!

Thanks for the look at your writing journey. I think all of us can learn plenty from how you wrote, persevered, studied, learned, sought help and targeted your publisher.

And now we're still learning from you as you pass on knowledge and encouragement to us newbies :)

And I agree with Mary - meeting Tina is a highlight of ACFW!

But you asked "Have you had a situation where you realized the task your tried so hard to do on your own belonged to God? How did/does this change your approach to the task?"

Yes - first in having my children (infertility is no fun), then in schooling them, and now in watching them as they find their own way in the world. Plus many, many other situations. Those lessons have helped me trust Him for the work He has given me now.

Thanks, Tina!

Mary Vee Writer said...

So nice to see you today.
I agree. Diane. Especially when our own will clouds our judgement and makes us believe we are doing God's will. Good words, Diana.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great to see you again.
What a perfect example. Having children is a huge endeavor, but adding infertility is even more so. I am so glad you were able to have children and watch them grow. What better way to learn lessons of God then from children:)

Anonymous said...

Jan! Great to see you this am. My motto. Never give up. Never surrender. Well me and Galaxy Quest.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I love that movie! I think I once found a similar verse in the Old Testament. My students loved it! Gave them the oomph to keep going:)

Janice said...

It would not be considered a task, but trying to forgive in my own power does not work. I am weak in that area so that is where God shows His strength. It is hard to let go of bad feelings toward someone who hurts my feelings. Somehow, amazingly, God makes forgiveness happen. I have to praise Him for the peace that comes to my heart when I realize the forgiveness has occured and I am no longer feeling badly toward a person. He gets all the glory for making that happen.

I would really like to read this book. I enjoyed hearing about the start through short story writing and the use of the idea box.

Blessings, Janice jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Awww, I love Tina! I had not heard about your success as a short story writer, and I loved how that taught you so much in the areas of management and rejection. Fascinating!!!!

And yes, I find that many tasks are beyond my ability and control and I must let go and give God control. It's a daily process. :)

Can't wait to read your next story!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Wow Janice.
God has blessed you with a wonderful peace.
So nice to see you here tonight.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Me too, Sherrinda. Tina's publication process is a great lesson for me as well.
I think one of the things we all need to realize is any good and great task will be beyond our ability and require us to seek God's help.

Anonymous said...

Hi Janice! Thanks for the kind words. Short stories are actually a lot of fun and there are still quite a few markets out there such as Woman's World and Saturday Evening Post.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sherrinda! Good to see you again. I want to know what is going on with that historical of yours I had the good pleasure to read part of and LOVED!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mary and Tina. I enjoyed this interview of Tina. Was interesting that she sold stories to these magazines. I didn't realize they paid that much. Seems that is a good way to get started. I know sometimes it is hard for me to figure out if something is my idea or GOD's. Especially if things don't seem to be working out very good. I do know HE is real and listens to our prayers, tho sometimes we may feel He isn't. We have to remember in HIS time and not ours. AND, sometimes HE is saying no just as we did many times with our children. HE for sure knows what our needs are. I know HE does hear us tho, for HE has given our family so many miracles through the years. So many near death accidents that HE let our family live through. One most recent was one of my great-grandsons that is 2 years old now. He was born with so many problems. A missing ventricle on his heart. Problems with his digestive track and no rectum and a short colon. He had to have surgery as soon as he was born for a colonoscopy. His little heart was so strong that they put the surgery off until just past 10 mo..He is in the Hosp. now after getting a rectum built and colon extended, and yesterday had his first bowel movement in a diaper. That was answer to many prayers and GOD guiding the hands of the doc. They had told his mom that he might have uncontrollable diareah or stay constipation too much. Was very scary, so many interceded in prayer for him. One thing he has always been a very active little boy and always smiling always. I told her I felt GOD has great plans for him. And, his single mom has been so strong through all of this with GOD's help. This was this baby's 5th surgery. Ask, believing and you will receive. GOD is great! I want so bad to win Julie's book. I am a follower. MAXIE mac262(at)me(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Hi Maxie!! Wow so many miracles is right. Praying for your grandson.

Now for the bad news. I'm giving away my book, not Julie's. But if you go to Julie's website. -you can get in on a drawing for her book.

I love Julie's books too.

Mary Vee Writer said...

So nice to see you today. What a blessing to see the miracle with your great-grandson.

Writing short stories is a great avenue to start publishing. I've also been told several articles/stories published actually gets into the hands of more readers than books. So if you have a topic you can share through the means of a story, this would be a good way to go.

You are entered into the drawing for Tina's book:) Thanks for stopping by.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Well, God has told me to set aside my writing for awhile. I was getting out of balance in my life and needed to get my priorities in line. Hindsight is showing me that the timing is perfect because of some family situations I have had to deal with. So I've been resting, creating artisically, and waiting for the go ahead on my writing. :) Thanks for made my day.

Mary Vee Writer said...

You are so thoughtful to consider the current needs of your family. God's blessings on your current work. I, too, look forward to the day when you can continue writing, but until then, resting, creating artistically, and waiting are wonder places to brew future stories. ::)

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Good morning everyone!
Thank you for hosting TINA!!!!

Hey hey Tina. LOVED this post.
Especially the part about knowing what you don't know.
This happens to me frequently on this writing learning curve, though it seems not quite as often these days.

Your career is what is making your books so interesting. You bring a WORLD of experience to your stories and that box idea - YAY!

Do you still submit to the Trues, etc? That was also interesting!
Thanks for sharing!

Mary, so glad to find you. Thanks for your story. I can just see y'all on that elevator. Do believe that's a story in itself! :)

As far as doing something that ultimately gives God the credit because there was no way you could have done it yourself... Oh. My. Yes. Many times in my life with several exclamation points!

His Grace continues to prevail.
Nice to find out about you, thanks to Seekerville!

Mary Vee Writer said...

So nice to see you.
I have seen you elsewhere, not sure if MBT or through ACFW, maybe it was Seekerville since I am there often as well. Anyway, so happy to have you here today.

There seems to be no greater earthly story than the unusual circumstance. I seem to find myself in crazy circumstances too often. I prefer the reflection moments instead of the experience itself....LOL

God's grace does continually prevail.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love to go wherever Tina goes, I'm such a stinkin' Radcliffe GROUPIE!!!! :) Seriously, paying your dues is a huge part of writing and has been for a long time and I kind of cringe every time I see folks say that there are short-cuts...

Generally speaking if something seems too good to be true, it is, right? So Tina worked hard, took her lumps, paid the price, edited, changed and edited some more, then submitted, and got published... That's huge. That development (THICK SKIN, SO NECESSARY!!!) is huge if you want to make it in this biz. Tina has taught me so much over the years (being that much older than I am) that I owe her.... I won't pay her, but I do owe her. ;) Mary Vee, you're the sweetest thing with a heart of gold, and the question.... Oh my stars, I'm a stubborn Celtic girl, so backing off and realizing I needed to rely on God applies to just about everything my bossy, know-it-all nature attempts. (tiny sigh inserted here for effect) Bless you for having such a nice party going over here. I did bring some milk chocolate treats from Easter... you will love them, guaranteed!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I do. love the chocolate. I mean, I did. They're gone already. :)

I find non writers have such a respect for "authors". I don't think they understand the long road to get to that status, but there is something there they pick up on. When one of the workers at a hotel saw me writing a smile popped on her face and she said, "You're an author?!" I had to confess, "No. Not yet. I am a writer and some day, I will be an author." Her smile widened. "Let me know, I'll buy your book." What a sweetheart. Confession with a blessing:)

I'm still paying my dues, but I started later than you and Tina. I'll have to get crackin' to catch up before I bite the dust.

Anonymous said...

I do occasionally submit to the Trues and now that I work from home I am sending, sending, sending to Woman's World. Good to see you, K.C. and my favorite barker.

Anonymous said...

LOL. I believe you are older than me, smarty pants.

Anonymous said...

(I'm also slightly OLDER than you. )

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Y'all are FUNNY... and PAWSOME!
And Mary, I think at Seekerville!

Congrats again Tina - you're doing ALL the good.

May sends her very bestest sniffs and greetings too! ("") ("") 2 paws, WAY up!

Mary Vee Writer said...

cute, KC:)

squiresj said...

Hop I made it in time to enter this. Haven't heard your name in awhile - not since I started reviewing books. But I have read your books. Would love to win and review this. jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Hello, Squiresj. Haven't seen you in a bit either. How's it going???

Mary Vee Writer said...

So happy to have you join us again. You will definitely enjoy Tina's books. They are masterfully crafted and downright fun to read. You are entered in the book, along with the others in this book drawing.