Friday, July 19, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature- Carla Laureano

Today I welcome an author who stopped by this website one Friday to read how God led a friend, Beth Vogt, on her writing journey.

This is what Let's Talk is all about. Bringing friends together and sharing God's blessings.

After learning Carla Laureano had a new release just last month, June 2013, I asked her to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. Here is what she said:

An Audience of One

I didn’t start out intending to write inspirational fiction. At the time I began writing novels and working towards publication over fifteen years ago, the Christian fiction market seemed to be mainly historicals, traditional sweet romances, and the Left Behind series. For a writer of fantasy fiction (and later contemporary romance) there didn’t seem to be a place for my kind of story.

So I spent almost ten years aiming for publication in the general market. I had some good responses on my work and some interest from big-name agents, but for some reason, I couldn’t make it that last step towards representation. Part of it may have been that my writing just wasn’t ready. But I believe a larger part of it had to do with the fact God had very different plans for my writing career.

I was slogging through rewrites on a novel and getting nowhere when the answer came to me in a flash. I wasn’t happy with my work because it was missing something. It had conflict, interesting characters, and decent writing, but it had no heart. Or more properly, it had no soul. My writing was informed by my Christian beliefs, but writing moral characters without addressing their spiritual beliefs left the story lacking. It was that realization—somewhere between a gentle nudge and a shout from heaven—that sent me in the direction of Christian fiction.

As I began to revise my work-in-progress for the inspirational market, I realized that God had a message He wanted me to deliver through my writing. The focus of my stories has never been winning non-believers to Christ, though I’m sure that God could use them for that purpose if He wished. Rather, I wanted to speak to believers going through hard times. I wanted to show the struggle of living a Christian life when it’s inconvenient or downright dangerous. The difficulty of maintaining faith when the horizon looked dark. The unending grace our Savior shows despite the fact we make mistakes—sometimes the same one, over and over again.

I still believe in those messages, but as I’ve written multiple stories and dozens of characters over the last five years, I have realized the audience for those lessons was different than I originally intended.
That audience is me.

It never ceases to amaze me how something I’ve written and completely forgotten will pop out to me while doing an editing pass or a read-through. I might not have seen the personal application at the time I wrote it—perhaps it wasn’t even an issue for me at the time I wrote it—but my own words often come back to challenge me.

It’s at these times that I wonder if God didn’t push me towards writing inspirational fiction for my own spiritual growth as much as others’. I’m sure He knew that in the craziness of juggling a family and a career, sometimes I’d get in over my head and this would be the one sure way to get my attention. After all, it’s pretty hard to argue with yourself, especially when the answer is written in black and white.

And it’s at these times I’m grateful for a God who always meets me where I am, whether it’s in church, through the example of another, or in the pages of a novel.

Five Days in Skye:
An American businesswoman falls for her celebrity chef client while on a business trip to Scotland. Will she find the courage to take another chance on love?

About Carla:
Carla Laureano has held many job titles—professional marketer, small business consultant, and martial arts instructor—but writer is by far her favorite. She currently lives in Denver with her patient husband and two rambunctious sons, who know only that Mom’s work involves lots of coffee and talking to imaginary people.

Connect with Carla:
Web | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest
Five Days in Skye is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBookstore (iTunes).

David C. Cook is offering "Five Days in Skye" for $2.99 or less during July, 2013. Click on one of the links above to purchase. Journey to Scotland and read Carla's exciting story. 

Join our regular discussions MWF
 become a follower of this site if you aren't already.

Thank you, Carla, for Joining us This Weekend!

Wow! I feel blessed just having read this story, Carla.

Reader, how about you? No matter where we are on our journey, isn't it such a blessing to know God will meet us where we are at each moment? 


Cynthia Ruchti said...

Beautiful story from a beautiful soul. Thank you, Carla!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Cynthia, so nice to have you here today.
Yes, I agree Carla's story is inspirational and a blessing and having friends like you stop by are also a blessing.

Unknown said...

Love this. I had a similar experience on the mission field. It's a humbling AND freeing thing to realize that God's bends down and speaks to me...and others might benefit from watching my life or listening to my stories. He's so gracious in His love and plan for us!

Also, if anyone hasn't read Five Days in Skye, wait no longer! Seriously. It's one of my new favorites...and I'm picky (though I like to think of it as discerning). *wink*

Thanks for the insightful conversation, Carla and Mary.

Mary Vee Writer said...

What a treat to read your comment today and how you related today's topic to your mission field experience. i think above all, is your recollection of the moments God bent down to speak to you and the benefit you witnessed in others.. Doesn't it just warm your heart, even today?

I'm so glad you stopped by and shared your comment, Bethany. This post is all the richer because of it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Cynthia. Coming from you, beautiful lady, that means a lot!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for having me! What a treat to get to share my story.

Anonymous said...

That's a story I would love to hear some day, Bethany! And thanks so much for your kind words. :)