Thursday, March 10, 2016

Fabulous Friday Feature- Rachel McMillan-God Showed Me I Could Fit In

Today we welcome author:
Rachel McMillan

A commenter will win a copy of
Rachel's book:
The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder

Scroll down to see how.

Mary here. I'm so happy to welcome Rachel McMillan today. You will see from the spellings of some words that she is from Canada. What I like so much about her post is her drive to include those women who choose not to get married. Women can have careers. They can serve God in many ways. Amy Carmichael and...well, I'll let Rachel tell you her is very good. I asked Rachel how has God led you on your writing journey. Here is what she said: 

God Showed Me I Could Fit In

When I was 11 years old I read Vienna Prelude by Bodie Thoene. I was hooked. I loved the story. I loved the words and I became obsessed with Christian fiction. I bought and read every book I could. Jesus, too, loved story: often speaking through Parables. I found that within the pages of a book I could find Him clear as day. Words were grace and redemption. If I needed to find a way to Him, I could revisit old fictional friends who asked the same questions I did and struggled with the glass we see but dimly.

Even though my insatiable love of reading infused my own writing, I always was afraid to show anyone the stories I wrote: even though it became my dream to find a Christian publisher. I thought I was aiming too high.

A mentor’s encouragement inspired me to at least try. Three years ago after 20 years of writing novels (some of which will never see the light of day) I signed with an agent for a historical romance novel.  The first manuscript submitted to publishers gave me invaluable editorial feedback, and I spent the next several months watching the novel climb the various stages in the publishing consideration process before ultimately being rejected: By. Every. Single. CBA. Publisher.

Believing that a writer on a journey to publication always has to have something in their back pocket, I immediately worked on a new idea while my first manuscript was on submission. One day, my agent called and suggested I try my hand at a female Sherlock Holmes character. Having heard romantic suspense was a buzz topic, everything changed. I put my current story aside and began writing a book that, with a will of its own, coloured outside of the lines of traditional Christian fiction.

Mary here: A female Sherlock Holmes character? What a fantastic idea!

My series features two incredibly independent women in a society, age, and connection where a women’s sole purpose was to secure a good marriage and raise a family. My girls are strong and unconventional and unsure they fit into such a domestic role. As a minister’s daughter who grew up in Evangelical circles of a small town where this was the anticipated life course, I felt like I didn’t quite fit into the ideal of a married Christian woman. My stories give me an avenue to voice successful independent women characters.

The more I wrote, the more I recognized the fictional relationships I established in print reflected my own challenges and questioning as well as my feelings of inadequacy.  God never wants to be taken at face value.  God allows us to see through a glass dimly so we will pursue Him more.  God used Marys and Marthas but also Deborahs and Esthers.  God could champion a girl who wanted to use her pen to work out some of her own challenges, her feelings of insecurity, her belief she was an outlier in Church circles because she could never fit a feminine ideal of being married.

Not unlike an Edwardian woman in trousers…

God can use words and stories in so many different ways.  As a reader, I am challenged by the words of Christian authors who not only write from a Christian worldview but provide readers like myself with a glimpse into important themes and lessons: often through relatable and flawed characters.  

I never thought this small town minister’s kid would be blessed enough to find a publisher. I had years of doubts and unpublished manuscripts sitting in boxes: too afraid for them to see the light of day. But, God is beyond our human expectation.  He colours outside our limitations. He hears the desires of our hearts even if we cannot work up the courage to voice them: even in prayer.  He completely blows our minds: whether on a writing path, as a reader approaching a work and finding Him with in it, in our daily lives and day jobs.  

There’s a verse in Habakkuk----regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. 


Rachel lives in Toronto but is from a quaint town called Orillia. She likes nautical history, Sherlock Holmes, traveling, Canada and giggling. Rachel likes to write books. When she is not reading or writing or socializing or exploring the fact that she lives in the best city in the world, she works in Educational Publishing. Rachel recently contracted her Herringford and Watts series to Harvest House.

Rachel loves to connect with readers. 
You can find her at her:
Website | Twitter


The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder
In 1910 Toronto, while other bachelor girls perfect their domestic skills and find husbands, two friends perfect their sleuthing skills and find a murderer.

Inspired by their fascination with all things Sherlock Holmes, best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem launch a consulting detective business. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city's underbelly, where the high hopes of those dreaming to make a new life in Canada are met with prejudice and squalor.

While searching for answers, donning disguises, and sneaking around where no proper ladies would ever go, they pair with Jasper Forth, a police constable, and Ray DeLuca, a reporter in whom Jem takes a more than professional interest. Merinda could well be Toronto's premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever--if they can stay alive long enough to do so.


Enter the contest to win Rachel's book:
The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder
Canadian and US readers invited to enter!!

Here is how:

1. Leave a comment (and email address)

2. AND sign up to receive my newsletter -in the right column

    (subscribers to Mary Vee's newsletter will receive a special gift)

    AND/OR sign up to receive posts by email if you aren't already

Thank you, Rachel, for joining us this weekend!

We enjoy chatting with you, Reader, and look forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.

Thanks for stopping by!

Don't forget to comment!


Connie Porter Saunders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Connie Porter Saunders said...

Good morning Mary and Rachel. I fell in love with mysteries long ago and Nancy Drew was my first introduction to sleuths. Thanks for this inspiring interview. I especially liked your comment that 'God is beyond our human expectation'. He does know our hearts and our hopes before we do!
Blessings to both of you.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Connie, you came back! I saw the first comment and hoped you would. I see we have a common interest in mysteries. I still have Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon and Box Car and Hardy Boys in my library.
I so agree with you about God knowing our hearts and hopes before we do. In fact, He loves to arrange these blessing to happen because He loves us so. That is awesome.

Caryl Kane said...

Hello Mary and Rachel! I agree that a female Sherlock Holmes character is a FANTASTIC idea! Mystery/suspense is my go to genre. I'm excited about this book!
psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

There you are, Caryl...I told Watson you'd be sure to attend. We both knew you enjoy mystery/suspense stories....and were waiting to hear you weigh in on the subject. So glad you did. muwhahahaha.

Caryl Kane said...

The game is afoot! *wink*