A Time For Change
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” From the time I was seven, there was only one answer: I wanted to be a writer. The question became, what kind of writer, and the answer seemed to vary by the day.
In grade school I wrote and produced two plays, both of which received enormous critical acclaim. Admittedly, that might be a slight exaggeration, but “All About Thermometers” and “Hawaii: The Fiftieth State” did play to sold-out audiences. (Translation: everyone in the fifth grade had to attend.)
I also dabbled with creating and publishing a neighborhood newspaper – no competition to the New York Times, I assure you – but what really caught my fancy was fiction. And so I gave myself the goal of selling my first novel before I turned thirty.
I met my goal. I was one of those lucky people whose manuscript sold to the second editor who read it. At that point, I was sure my career as a novelist was established. I was wrong. Oh, how wrong I was! My first book was released the same month that the publisher decided to discontinue that line in favor of spicier books. Since I wasn’t comfortable writing stories with explicit sex scenes, I didn’t sell a second book to that editor.
In fact, for a number of years, my writing career consisted of collecting a truly impressive number of rejections. Eventually I sold my first historical romance. Unfortunately, the month that book was published, my editor was fired. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Was God sending me a message that this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing? If so, I wasn’t listening.
Over the years, I sold a number of books to various secular publishers. Many of those books received good reviews, but none came close to the bestseller lists. In fact, the comments I received most often from readers were, “You ought to write for the Christian market.” Each time, I shook my head. “Those books are too preachy,” I declared and continued plotting and writing secular books.
And then everything changed. One month after my husband and I achieved our lifelong goal of moving to a home in the West, I got a call from a dear friend from college. My friend's leukemia, which we had thought was in remission, had recurred. Jean Ellen had only two months to live. Talk about a wake-up call!
Though we were separated by thousands of miles, that summer brought Jean Ellen and me closer than we’d ever been. Knowing we had only a few months left together, we spoke of many things. For the first time in the more than thirty years we’d known each other, we spoke of what was truly important: faith, love and hope. In our lighter moments, we spoke of the final gift she had for me. Though she was referring to a piece of French porcelain, what she gave me was of far greater value. Her last months on Earth brought me a stronger faith and the realization that it was time for me to write about God’s love.
By the end of the summer, I had changed and so had my writing. I took a new look at Christian books and discovered that they’d changed – or maybe it was only that my perspective had changed. Instead of considering them preachy, I now realized they were life-affirming.
More than that, I recognized that they were the kind of books I wanted to read … and write. It had taken me a long time, and there were numerous detours along the way, but I finally had the answer to that question I’d asked so many years before. It wasn’t what I wanted. It was what God wanted. When I grew up, God wanted me to be a writer, a Christian writer. And so I am.
|Amanda Cabot and friend, Jean Ellen at a Victorian Tea|
Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels including the Texas Dreams trilogy, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. A former director of Information Technology, she has written everything from technical books and articles for IT professionals to mysteries for teenagers and romances for all ages. Amanda is delighted to now be a fulltime writer of Christian romances, living happily ever after with her husband in Wyoming.
Here is how you can connect with Amanda:
In Firefly Valley-Released May 2015
|CLICK HERE to buy or see In Firefly Valley|
In Firefly Valley-Released May 2015
She’s lost her dream job—but has she found the man of her dreams?
Devastated by a downsizing, Marisa St. George has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it means a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow’s End resort. The only silver lining: Blake Kendall, a new guest who might make her believe in love at first sight. But will Marisa’s dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers Blake’s real identity?
This warm and witty story of dreams deferred and mistaken identity will have you believing in second chances.
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