Thursday, May 12, 2016

Fabulous Friday Feature-Victoria Bylin-Raining Grace

Today we welcome author:
Victoria Bylin

A commenter will win a copy of
Victoria's book:

Someone Like You

Scroll down to see how.

Mary here. I'm so happy to welcome Victoria to Let's Talk. I only met her a short while ago, but in that time, I've seen a gifted writer who realized one day that life is short, and yah gotta go with your calling before it's too late. I asked Victoria: how has God led you on your writing journey? Here is what she said: 

Raining Grace

Do you believe in miracles? I do. There’s no other way to explain the fact that I’ve written eighteen books. I work hard, but I wouldn’t be published today if God hadn’t rained his grace on a girl who couldn’t test out of freshman English.

I blame that freshman English fiasco on not understanding passive voice. Somehow, in spite of being an honors student, I didn’t learn the writing basics. Now add in four years of college, where I learned to analyze, compartmentalize and scrutinize, all without grasping the beauty of concrete language. For example, if I needed to write the word “dog,” I’d say “canine” rather than “Chihuahua,” or better yet, “a feisty little dog with blond fur, sharp teeth and an attitude worthy of Elvis Presley.”

In college I loved fiction and wanted to write novels, but I didn’t have a clue how to tell a story in a compelling way.

This is when God entered my life. Everything changed on one of those dark nights of the soul, the kind where a person prays for the first time with a heavy, aching heart. “Lord,” I pleaded. “If you’re real, I want to know who you are.”

God answered that prayer fast and hard. In less than six months, I was a new Christian, newly married, and experiencing all the ups and downs you would expect.

My dream of being a writer became stronger than ever in those early days, and I tested the waters by sending a Letter To The Editor to Today’s Christian Woman. When they printed it, I took it as a sign of good things to come. Unfortunately, I still didn’t have the skill to write a novel. I tried, but my efforts were dismal to say the least. When life intervened (kids, jobs, and a cross-country move), I set the dream aside.

Everything changed on February 1, 1997. We were living in northern Virginia, three thousand miles from family and friends, when my father passed away. That’s the sort of experience that makes a person think about forgotten dreams. No way did I want to leave this earth wishing I’d written a book. I owed it to God, my dad, and myself to give it try.

I wasn’t capable of telling the story most on my heart, so I started with a western historical romance. I sat down at the computer, typed Chapter One and put a dead body in a barn. That first manuscript is now known at “The Plotless Wonder,” but God used it to teach me all sorts of things. My jaw drops when I think of how he’s guided my career.

—When I got stuck on Chapter Three of “The Plotless Wonder,” I discovered the writing section at the public library. Those books opened my eyes.

—When I submitted my second manuscript to publishers, I received what writers call good rejections and was encouraged. My second manuscript sold to Harlequin Historicals out of the slush pile, a rare occurrence according to my editor.

—When my next manuscript fell apart, my editor graced me with both a massive revision letter and three-book contract. We fixed the story together.

Those moments were only the beginning. I’ve written professionally now for seventeen years. Some books were easier to write than others, and a few were downright brutal. You never stop growing when you write with the sole purpose of sharing God’s love. It’s only by faith in Jesus Christ that I’m here at all. Thanks be to God for his grace!

Victoria Bylin is a romance writer known for her realistic and relatable characters. Her books have finaled in multiple contests, including the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and RT Magazine's Reviewers Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky, where their family and their crazy Jack Russell terrier keep them on the go. 

Victoria loves to connect with readers.
You can find her at her:


Some One Like You

Julia Dare is trying to run her own business, raise her young son, Max, and help her widowed mother. Her biggest worry, though, is keeping Max's father from being a bad influence while still allowing the boy to spend time with his dad. When an account from her event-planning business sends her to Caliente Springs resort, she's shocked to encounter Zeke Monroe, her college sweetheart.

Zeke is determined to keep Caliente Springs running despite financial trouble. When Julia walks back into his life, he's surprised at the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client's wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. With Zeke and Julia both pushed to their limits, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

Enter the contest to win Victoria's book:
Someone Like You
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, Victoria, 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!


Patty said...

I always enjoy reading about a writers journey to publication. So glad you didn't give up Victoria!

I follow the blog via email😀

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey, Patty!
Long time no see. But glad you stopped by today to chat with Victoria and me. What I especially enjoy are her easy to relate to characters. This is a huge component to a really good story.
Thanks for joining us, Patty!! Hopefully you'll be able to read one of Victoria's books soon.

Victoria Bylin said...

I'm glad too, Patty! I often say that inspiration is a gift from God, discipline is a choice, but technique is something we can study and learn. I wouldn't be published today if it weren't for the writing craft section at the public library.

Caryl Kane said...

Hello Mary and Victoria! Victoria, thank you for sharing your publishing journey. I'm amazed at the different paths the Lord has for each of us.

I follow the blog via email...psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey Caryl,
I must agree, the paths are numerous...all tailored by God to meet our specific needs. Each one exciting and encouraging to read.
Thanks so much for joining our chat today, Caryl.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Hi Mary and Victoria. Trying to catch up as we wait for our 2 year old granddaughter finish her Happy Meal and I am so glad that I could read this post. Victoria, I first "met" you online last year and immediately was intrigued because you now call Lexington home and I live about 60 miles away. Looking forward to reading this book. Mary, I hope you enjoy your Sunday.
Blessings to both of you.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks, Connie. It's sunny here which always makes my day.
One of the best parts of finding a connection, like you did with author Victoria Bylin, is the blossoming trust factor. Her books now have a reason to open the cover and read.
Thanks for stopping by and chatting with Victoria and me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us Victoria and letting us see how God spoke to you and blessed you with the gift of writing. I would love to read Someone Lie You.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Maryann, So nice to see you this morning. I'm glad you could join Victoria and me and the rest of the gang here. Be sure to grab some virtual tea and pastries then join us on the beach. There is plenty of seating. As you can see we've had a great chat about how God spoke to Victoria, helping her work through circumstances. Look at the fruit! God does this with all of us. Sometimes it's difficult to see while in the midst of the journey, though. But God is always here. I'm so glad you had a chance to stop by!

Victoria Bylin said...

Isn't it amazing? We worship an amazing God who knows us each so personally.

Victoria Bylin said...

Hello Connie! It's great to touch bases with you! Are you getting as much rain as we are in Lexington?

Victoria Bylin said...

Hello Maryann! It's nice to meet you. I'm so grateful to God for this amazing journey.

Victoria Bylin said...

Hello Maryann! It's nice to meet you. I'm so grateful to God for this amazing journey.