Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature - Becky Wade

Today I welcome an author who shares her hilarious adventure as an author: 
Becky Wade

Enter to win 
Becky's book
Meant to Be Mine

Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

I met Becky at ACFW this year. Her gracious and perky spirit immediately struck me. This is one lady you will want to meet. She generously shares the smile you see in the photo. You'll enjoy our chat today!  I asked Becky to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. You'll laugh at her answer. Here is what she said:

Headstrong Manuscripts

I'm a mom of three.  And let me tell you, all three of my children are completely different.  One is mellow, sweet, and obedient.  One is scrappy, social, and creative.  One is persistent, smart, and headstrong.

Well, in my writing life the same has proved true of my manuscripts.  My Stubborn Heart and Undeniably Yours were like the first child I mentioned.  They were sweetly obedient.  Both books came together without a fuss.  From the very beginning I saw how the story would unfold and the whole way through, the story unfolded just that way, in orderly fashion.  When my editors read those manuscripts, they responded with very few revision requests.  I happily breezed through the edits in under two weeks.  Smiles all around.  Time to pass the chocolate.

Then came Meant to Be Mine.

Meant to Be Mine was like my headstrong child.  When and if you read the book and meet the handful of a hero otherwise known as Ty Porter, you'll understand.  This story I saw from the beginning, just like I had the other two.  But as I was writing the rough draft I began to feel like a person thrown overboard and treading water.  I took detours, unsure of myself.  I wrote too many scenes.

It's not my habit to stop halfway into a manuscript and reassess.  Thus, I told myself to press through to the end of the rough draft and trust God that God would show me how to fix it at a later date.  So, I pressed on.  And on.  And on.  I zoomed past my goal for the book's length with much more story to tell.  I worked like crazy on the nights and weekends, making myself and my family nuts, because I was so determined to finish the thing.  I went 50 pages past my goal, then 100 then 150+ before finally typing The End.  

When I read the book back through, I realized I needed to add even (gasp) MORE.  New scenes.  New sub plots.  And yet, I had a hard time discerning what I could cut.

My official deadline arrived and I gave the manuscript over to my editors.  They came back with heavy revision requests.  To be honest with you, I was already up to my eyeballs with Meant to Be Mine's disobedient nature by that point.  The story had tried my patience and danced on my last nerve for months.  I'd already given it every ounce of energy, patience, and care I had to give.

I took a week to think about the revisions my editors wanted.  They'd left me with a lot of leeway as to HOW to go about implementing their ideas.  So I had to do the hard work of reimagining the story in new ways. 

Without any enthusiasm, but with plenty of commitment and grit, I rewrote the book.  It did not take two weeks.  Oh, no.  It took an entire summer.

At one point, I wrote down each of the book's scenes on strips of paper, laid them all out on my kitchen table, and swapped them into a completely different order.  I compiled a file full of one hundred and thirty pages of deleted material.  I added even MORE completely new scenes.

And you know what?  Here's the thing I marvel over.  In the end, I love Meant to Be Mine every bit as much as I love my obedient books. 

Yes, Meant to Be Mine gave me a run for my money.  It made me want to pull my hair out at times.  Made me want to cry in frustration at times.  It took hard work.  It demanded my best.

But when all was said and done Meant to Be Mine grew up, graduated, and left home just like my other books.  I'm every bit as proud of it and then some, because I know just how much it took to get there.

Through it all God reminded me that:

*Following Him is humbling.  If we're not feeling humble at a given moment, we can trust Him to find ways to humble us.

*Good editors are a book's best friend though they can seem like a book's enemy on occasion.

*Some books come together easily.  And some don't.

*Quitting is no option.  There are things to learn from headstrong manuscripts, valuable things.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3 

Here's to perseverance, friends!  And to disobedient manuscripts that will one day cause us to burst our buttons with pride.

~ ~

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins.  These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending.  She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas.  It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing.  She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it.  She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market.  Her CBA debut, My Stubborn Heart, was a finalist in both the RITA and INSPY awards.  Undeniably Yours kicked off her Texas-set Porter Family series.  Her newest contemporary romance, Meant to Be Mine, has just hit shelves!

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.
Want to connect with Becky? Here's how:
To enter the contest for an autographed copy of 
Becky Wade's book: "Meant to Be Mine":
leave a comment (and email address)
AND become a follower of this site, 
OR sign up to receive posts by email
if you aren't already.

Sorry  US  only

Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Becky, for Joining us This Weekend!

We've all had those wayward projects assigned to us by God that forced us to use more than a normal dose of determination.  Care to share an amusing one?

I'll start. I'm answering this one as I think my mom would. "Pinning my daughter, Mary's, hair with bobby pins use to be the worse chore on Saturday nights. Her hair was straight as a stick and more stubborn than she--although I hardly see how that could be possible. I must admit, the curls on Sunday morning were well worth the fight." (our little secret--I hated the curls.).

Your turn. 

Or just say howdie doo. :) We love to chat here.


Sandi said...

I am currently in Disobedient and Obnoxious manuscript territory. lol I've written more than 25 complete novels but this is the one that I will sweat over more than any other, by the time I've done. But the story will be the story that had to be told, and that's worth it, right?

I'm so glad, Becky Wade, that you persevered and were so creative as you edited. :) May your diligence be rewarded.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Absolutely, Sandii. I'm convinced the projects that take the most amount of sweat tend to benefit the most people. Thanks so much for stopping by. And let us know when your Disobedient project is finished. :)

Rebecca said...

Thank you for the interview Becky Wade and Mary Vee. It's always interesting hearing the story behind the story. rdewey17(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Welcome Rebecca! Thanks so much for stopping by. We enjoyed chatting with you. Looking forward to seeing you again.

Valri said...

I enjoyed your interview, Becky! I love to hear the process that writers go through. It fascinates me that each book has such a life of its own! Can't wait to read MTBM, as you know!

Valri said...

Oops, I forgot my email address!

Melissa Oldaker said...

I love Becky's books. Thanks for the interview. It is always interesting to hear the story behind a book.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Valri.
I'm so glad you could join us today. Not only does the book take a life of its own, but also the characters. Sometimes it's like dealing with egotistical coworkers. Sheesh! Then again, this is what makes writing a book fun. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Melissa,
Welcome to our group. It is thrilling to hear the story behind a book, isn't it. Thanks for joining our conversation. Hope to see you again!

Beth said...

Loved this look at how,the manuscript came together. I am always in awe of an author's work!

Something that took a lot of my determination was studying for and taking the GRE (today, in fact!). But I made it through and the world didn't end ;)

Thank you for the chance to win Meant to be Mine, I'm so looking forward to reading it. I'm a GFC follower!


Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Becky & Mary,

Am I mean because your confession made me feel better? I'm not the only one who sweats over some stories!

I can't wait to read this one since I loved the other two, and now I will appreciate your genius even more!

Sue (don't enter me as I live outside US)

Becky Wade said...

Thank you, Mary, for inviting me to guest-post here at your blog. Thanks for stopping by, Sandi, Rebecca, Valri, Melissa, Beth!

Nope, you're not mean Susan Anne Mason. I'm glad my confession made you feel better. When other writers share their struggles it always comforts me in a way, too. It's great to have others to relate to on this sometimes very difficult writing journey!

Kara Isaac said...

Oh, Becky. You give me hope that my current headstrong non-compliant "child" may have a happy ending yet! Fingers crossed it's before I my laptop gets turned into a missile. Don't enter me because I live outside the US plus it's already winging me way :-)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I remember taking the GRE. Oh baby, that was a tough test. I totally empathize with you. Just think of what you'll be able to do now that the test is over. I wish you well in your pursuits.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Sue, I'm so glad you came!
Hah, I think misery loves company :) But if we didn't have these challenging projects, we wouldn't need chocolate!
Don't be a to see you here again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

One of my greatest pleasures is hosting fabulous authors such as yourself. I've truly been blessed by your visit.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Well, now. Sounds like that non-compliant manuscript is about to get some loving discipline. I can't wait to hear you've finished. Keep us posted.
Looking forward to seeing you again.

LJ Bayer said...

Very interesting learning how the book came about, now I can't wait to read!! Thank you for the opportunity to win!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi LJ!
I'm so glad you joined us today. I, too, love hearing the story behind the story. I even enjoy watching deleted scenes from movies. Don't you? :)
Hope to see you again!

Anonymous said...

Please enter me to win Becky's book, Meant to be Mine. I enjoyed reading of its conception.
Thank you, My

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi My!
So glad you could come. I'd be happy to enter you. Thanks again for subscribing to posts.

Unknown said...

Well, this seems silly, but my hair has been my struggle lately. I had an allergic reaction to some shampoo and lost a lot of my hair. And us ladies love our hair, right? Well, the Lord has taught me a lot of patience waiting for it to grow back out. It always had a little bit of curl in it. And now that it is growing back it has tons of curl! not sure what to do with it at this point, but looking forward to a new hairstyle!
Can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the opportunity to win!
candicervaldez at gmail dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Candice, What an ordeal you've been through with your hair. You have such a sweet spirit about the situation. Something I can learn from you. I'm so glad you stopped by and shared with us.
Looking forward to seeing you again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary. This doesn't show when it ends so will just take a chance and enter anyway. I have really been trying to win this book of Becky's book. Please put my name in. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Maxie
Hope all is well with you. I will be doing a book review in early June and doing another give away of this book. Make sure you stop by to enter then. Unfortunately, the drawing for this post has already ended.