Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fabulous Friday Feature - Kate Breslin-I Had Irish Stubborn Running Through My Veins

Today we welcome author:
Kate Breslin

One commenter will win a copy of
Kate's book: 
Not By Sight

Mary here. Word has spread about Kate's fantastic books. I am so excited to have her here today. THEN I read her post I can barely breathe. You're gonna love reading her God story. Here is what she said:

I Had Irish Stubborn Running Through My Veins...Until

Mary, thank you for hosting me this weekend! I’m so pleased to be here and to share about the way God has influenced me on my writing journey.

We are so excited to hear from you, Kate.

The fact is, I didn’t always dream of being a novelist. Growing up I only wrote two short stories: the first about a girl who loved her horse (I think we all wrote this one,) and the second was a whodunit, which is not surprising given my childhood compulsion for reading Nancy Drew mysteries. I also wrote poetry, and everyone in my family got a birthday card with my purple prose. The poetry came in handy when I was a youngster and got into hot water with my mom. I’d write her heartfelt verses and tuck them under her pillow at night. In the morning when she found them, all was forgiven. We still joke about how that poetry got me started down the road to publishing. J

It wasn’t until years later that I started writing my first novel. Always an avid reader, I discovered the world of historical romance and read every popular author I could get my hands on. When I’d finally exhausted my supply, I decided to try writing my own. Easier said than done, let me tell you! I’ve worked a few high-pressure jobs in the past, but novel writing is by far the most challenging…and the most rewarding.

I joined Romance Writers of America as an aspiring author, hoping to publish in the secular romance market. I had no interest in writing inspirational fiction at the time. I was the Prodigal daughter, having drifted away from my faith after high school, despite a good Catholic Christian upbringing. So I wrote my first novel, a Scottish historical romance I still affectionately call my “everything but the kitchen-sink” book. I received many rejection letters, but after countless drafts, polishing and revising, I entered the manuscript into RWA’s Golden Heart contest and became a finalist. I was thrilled—the years of hard work had paid off! I would win the Golden Heart and shortly afterward, an editor would hand me a publishing contract.

I didn’t win, nor did I get that contract. Even then God had other plans.

I did more revising on the manuscript, and my stack of rejection letters grew. I began to despair, feeling crushed and wondering if I was even supposed to be a writer. Still I wasn’t ready to give up. I buried that Scottish book in a drawer and began writing another story then another. I experienced a few hits and misses with agents along the way, yet nothing came of it.

During this time, I also returned to my faith. I was reading the Bible cover-to-cover, something I’d never done before, and I was attending church. My conscience began to work overtime and I questioned my secular pursuits. I even considered writing for the inspirational market, but like a fish on the end of a hook, I resisted. I decided to compromise with God; I would clean up the language, tone down the steamy scenes, but as I had Irish stubborn running through my veins, I was determined to do things my way.

So I ignored the little Voice inside that told me “uh-uh.”

It was several years before I finally reached a crossroad. I’d written a romantic comedy, and I was so proud. I’d accomplished writing the clean secular story I’d vowed to write, without the bad language or explicit scenes. I submitted my manuscript and was excited when I got “the call” from an agency interested in representing me. Finally God was going to give me my heart’s desire!

Then came the “…we love it, but…” over the line. I was told I really needed to add in those steamy scenes I’d left out, otherwise readers would be disappointed. I gripped the phone and my conscience teetered. I wanted to publish more than anything. But I’d made this pact with God, hadn’t I? Still, if I refused, the agency would move on to the next writer. I’d lose my chance to see my book in print.

In the end, I caved and added in the scenes. The agency then sent off my submission to twelve publishers (how Biblical is that?)  I felt awful inside, and recalled a verse in the Bible from Matthew 15, when Jesus talked about clean and unclean food. How what goes into a person’s mouth is fine, but what comes out, because it generates from the heart, can be sinful.

I asked myself what was truly in my heart. What word was I putting out into the world?
I don’t think there’s another author who would have been relieved to get back twelve rejection letters on a manuscript. But when I received the last one, I knew in my heart it was a Sign, one of many I’d received, and this time it stuck.

But my journey wasn’t over. Though I’m certain now God had His hand on me when I got the idea to write my debut novel, For Such A Time, a retelling of the Book of Esther set in the more modern venue of WWII, I still had reservations. Writing about my story characters, I found their struggle with faith, fear, and uncertainty resonating with my own. I’d been at this writing business for what seemed an eternity, and without success. Now I was embarking on a writing genre completely foreign to me, leaving my pack to follow a new path. Would I succeed or would I stumble? Was this new course I’d set myself upon God’s intention for me?

Yet as I finished writing For Such A Time, it felt right. I felt right. And through the process I’d come to more deeply understand God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. I couldn’t say that about the other stories I’d written. I knew that even if the novel never published, I was at peace for the first time in a long while. To my delight, For Such A Time did publish and I’ve been amazed at the abundant blessings I’ve received. With the recent release of my sophomore novel, Not By Sight, I continue growing in my faith and love for God, and putting good words out into the world.

Wow! What a testimony and inspiration, Kate!


Former bookseller-turned-author Kate Breslin enjoys life in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and family. A writer of travel articles and award-winning poetry, Kate received Christian Retailing's 2015 Best Award for First Time Author and her debut novel, For Such A Time, is a Christy award, RITA award, and Carol award finalist. Kate's second novel, Not By Sight released in August, 2015. When she's not writing inspirational fiction, Kate enjoys reading or taking long walks in Washington's beautiful woodlands. She also likes traveling to new places, both within the U.S. and abroad, having toured Greece, Rome, and much of Western Europe. New destinations make for fresh story ideas.

You can learn more about Kate by going to:
Not By Sight
In the spring of 1917, all of Britain's attention is on the WWI war front and the thousands of young men serving their country on the front lines. Jack Benningham, dashing heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, is young and able-bodied but refuses to enlist despite the contempt of his peers.

A wealthy young suffragette, Grace Mabry will do anything to assist her country's cause. Men like Jack infuriate her when she thinks of her own brother fighting in the trenches of France, so she has no reservations about handing him a white feather of cowardice at a posh masquerade ball.

But Grace could not anticipate the danger and betrayal set into motion by her actions, and soon she and Jack are forced to learn the true meaning of courage when the war raging overseas suddenly strikes much closer to home and their fervent beliefs become a matter of life and death.


Enter the contest to win a copy of 
Kate's book:
Not by Sight:
leave a comment (and email address)
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US only

The winner will be announced on my Facebook page

Thank you, Kate, for joining us this weekend!

We love chatting with you and are looking forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!


Loraine Nunley said...

Wow. I really loved reading publishing journey, Kate. It is truly inspiring and I am looking forward to reading your books (which are now on my TBR list). Thanks for the giveaway!

Mary, thank you for hosting Kate. I follow your blog and am sharing this on social media.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Good morning! I'm so glad you came. While setting up Kate's post today, I was really taken with her testimony, too. I agree with your word--Wow!
Thanks for coming today and chatting with Kate and me!

karenk said...

a wonderful posting....thanks for the opportunity to read Kate's latest novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good Morning, Karen!
So nice to see you here on this lovely day. And you are welcome. I'm so glad you could participate in this drawing. :) Be sure to grab some virtual sweet tea and pastries.

Patty said...

I too enjoy reading about an authors journey to publishing! I'm glad Kate persisted because I have read great things about her novels.

I follow via e-mail


Kate Breslin said...

Thank you for posting, Loraine. I hope you enjoy both stories!

Kate Breslin said...

Patty, thank you! I've heard it said that everything happens in God's time. This has certainly been true for me. Blessings!

Kate Breslin said...

Thank you, Karen!

Unknown said...

Good interview.
Redeemed1ruj (at) comcast (dot) com

Unknown said...

Above should read redeemed1ru (at) comcast (dot) com

Amy Putney said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Kate! I can't wait to read Not By Sight!
And thanks for hosting the giveaway, Mary!

amyputney89 [at] gmail [dot] com

Unknown said...

I read For Such a Time and can't wait to read Not By Sight! Nice giveaway.

Unknown said...

Kate Breslin said...

Thanks for stopping by, Ann!

Kate Breslin said...

Hi Amy, so glad you posted! Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the story! :)

Kate Breslin said...

Laurie, I really appreciate your kind words! And I do hope you enjoy Not By Sight just as much. Blessings!

Sharee Stover said...

I loved For Such a Time and Not by Sight is on my TBR pile. Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway!

Kate Breslin said...

Oh, Sharee, thank you! Your words warm my heart. I hope you'll enjoy Not By Sight!

Pam K. said...

I'm glad you decided to do things God's way, Kate. I loved your book, For Such a Time. I read a lot of good books; I'd place it near the top of my favorites. My book club enjoyed it too (after I recommended it). I'm looking forward to Not By Sight. I'd love to win it here.
Mary, I receive your posts by email.


LeAnne said...

Not By Sight sounds like such a wonderful book! I am really excited for a chance to enter the giveaway! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have Irish blood running in my veins. I love reading an excellent book that really captivates me, which this sounds like it will do .
I would love to win this book by his new to me author.mary Vee it's always a pleasure to visit your blog and I'm a follower as well.
Cnnamongirl at aol dot com

Trixi said...

Only one word will suffice here....WOW! What an awesome testimony (writing and personal) you have Kate. I've read of similar authors who have started out writing for the secular world in romance, but God kept tugging at their hearts until they finally listened to that still small voice. And how He blessed them through it! Not only did they feel right & clean but their writing took off :-) I'm so glad you finally listened and are now writing stories to glorify Him. I admire authors who keep true to their faith in their stories! Those are the only kind I will ever read, they bless me as much reading them as I'm sure they do you writing them!
Thank you for the chance to win a copy of "Not by Sight", sounds like a great story. Historicals are my favorite!

Trixi said...

I forgot this:

teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

Morgan said...

Wow! What a great testimony! That's awesome. I can't wait to see how God works through your most recent novel. It sounds great!! Mdp94 (at) bellsouth (dot) net

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read. I have never read your books before but after reading about Not By Sight I must add it to my TBR list.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi, Patty,
I had to step out for a bit, but was so happy to see you came when I returned. Don't you think an author's journey like Kate's inspires us to pursue the things God calls us, too? Yeah, me too.

Thanks for coming! I look forward to seeing you again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi, Ann!
I'm so happy you made it. I know about the typos. Each time I'm convinced I keyed in the correct thing then looked, amazed at what printed on the screen. No problems :)
Loved chatting with you. See yah again soon.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good afternoon, Amy!
I love meeting new people here at Let's Talk. As you can see, there are many great friends to make.. By the way, we always keep fresh virtual sweet and speciality coffees ready. Help yourself. :) Looking forward to your next visit.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Laurie!
So nice to meet you. For Such a Time is a fabulous read. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, too--and the fact that you are excited about reading Not By Sight is so very encouraging to Kate. Thanks for chatting with us today. I'm so glad you came.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Sharee, Thanks for joining us today. I really enjoy meeting new people here on Let's Talk. Historical novels are so exciting to read. I find that in addition to getting caught up in an amazing story I actually learn some new facts about the period of time, don't you?
I enjoyed our chat today. Looking forward to seeing you again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh, Pam, this is such wonderful news. You not only read and enjoyed the book but encouraged your book club to read it. I know I always appreciate hearing when someone is enthusiastic about a good book. Sometimes--yah never know. We get a few pages in, close the cover, and set the book aside. But when someone recommends a book, we are confident it will be great read. Thanks so much for spreading the word!
I really enjoyed chatting with you today.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you, LeAnne. I think it sounds so inviting, too. We have a great gathering of friends here today, Be sure to grab some virtual pastries, sit, and chat with the others.
Looking forward to seeing you again.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Deanne, You're an Irish girl too, eh? My daughter's name is Katy. She is soon to marry an Irish boy. The funny part is, she has always loved Ireland and felt she was Irish inside, even though her heritage is something else. I feel left out. Can I be an honorary member?
Thanks for stopping by. Loved chatting with you.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I know...see? Her testimony is something else. I'm so glad Kate share with us today. I think she is inspiring many readers by her example and her books.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Trixi. Loved chatting with you.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for becoming a follower. Oh, and I totally agree. When I first read Kate's testimony, I had to pause and be amazed at God's love for all of us. And you make a good point. I'm sure this testimony carries through in her books. Aren't you excited to read it? Yeah, I agree.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for joining us today. I absolutely agree. The blurb does open the doors for a great read that will rise to the top of a TBR pile quickly. Thanks so much for joining us today!

Trixi said...

I think I was supposed to add that I have already subscribed via email :-) And I agree with you, Mary. She is an inspiration to us all!

kim hansen said...

Sounds like a great read. Nice post. kamundsen44(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh, Trixi, I know you subscribe. I've enjoyed getting to know you here on my blog. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Welcome Kim! So nice to have you on the email list. I'm so happy to meet new people. We have a great time here on my blog. We met fabulous authors like Kate every weekend and on Tuesdays, I share my own post.
Love to have yah. There are plenty of virtual drinks and desserts. Help yourself!

Lis K said...

So inspiring! Although it's not fun getting rejections, I'm glad your secular book was rejected so that the world got to read For Such a Time! It was one of my favorite books of 2014, I loved it so much! I wonder if you will ever write a romantic comedy???
garfsgirl AT hotmail DOT com

Kate Breslin said...

Pam, thank you for your wonderful post, and for getting your book club to read For Such A Time! I hope you enjoy Not By Sight as well. And yes, I'm so glad to be doing things God's way now. :) Bless you!

Kate Breslin said...

Thank you, LeAnne!

Kate Breslin said...

I love hearing from a fellow Irish woman. ;) Blessings to you, Deanne, and I hope you'll get the chance to read Not By Sight!

Kate Breslin said...

Trixie, thank you! It was a long journey, but I'm so grateful that I finally reached the destination God had in mind for me all along. And you're right, I'm so uplifted writing inspirational fiction, and then being able to share what I l love about my faith with others through story. I truly have the best of both worlds. :) Blessings to you!

Kate Breslin said...

Morgan, I really appreciate your post! God is amazing! He is at my side always, and gives me courage and inspiration in my writing. I hope you enjoy reading Not By Sight!

Kate Breslin said...

Thank you kc! I hope you enjoy the story!

Kate Breslin said...

Hi Lis! Thank you for your post! I am glad for those rejections now, because I feel very good with God about the published work I have now. And I did write a romantic comedy a few years ago, but for the general market. One day I hope to take that manuscript out of the drawer and revise it from a Christian perspective. I love a romance that makes me laugh!

Kate Breslin said...

Thank you, Kim! :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for coming today! What a great question. I think we all enjoy stories that make us laugh. Hopefully Kate will find time to revise that manuscript in her drawer for the Christian market. Who knows. Maybe your question will be the incentive. :)

Abby B said...

Hi Mary & Katie!! Thank you so much for sharing, I really needed this tonight!!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Kate, the story of Esther and her brsvery has always been one of my favorite stories in the Bible and you certainly did her story justice. I am looking forward to reading Not By Sight and I am so glad that you have found the market for your writing. There are so many Christisn readers who desire fiction that doesn't offend.
Mary, thank you for another great interview.
Blessings to both of you!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh, Abby, Thanks so much for sharing that comment.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Connie, So nice to see you again. I absolutely agree about the the story of Esther. Quite truthfully, this is a story that could be told over and over and never get old. What an inspiration.

Kate Breslin said...

Connie, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading For Such A Time, and I feel blessed to be able to write stories that inspire others, as well as learning from them myself!