Thursday, May 4, 2017

I Really Am a Writer—Watching the Dream Unfold

Edie here. Today I'm excited to introduce you to my friend, Erynn Newman. She's a gifted editor and also an incredible writer. I invited her here because her debut novel is just now releasing and I wanted a chance to give her a great send-off. Be sure to welcome her and share in her big day!

I Really Am a Writer—Watching the Dream Unfold
by Erynn Newman 

I have always loved 
writing. Big surprise there. But having to write on topics provided by other people sucked the love right out of me. So, it was actually an extra spot for an elective in my schedule during my senior year of college, and an amazing Creative Writing professor, that reminded me.

Still, I probably wouldn’t have ever done anything with my love of words had it not been for my roommate at the time, who once had a dream...

The two of us started writing a rambling tangle of stories based on the characters in this dream, and I’d never had more fun in my life. But then I realized, and you probably already know this, writing takes a lot of time.

The First Step
We were spending hours in this make believe world, writing a story that no one outside our close circle of friends would ever see. Then one day, my author friend Sue called me on the carpet. She said something along the lines of “you’re a writer. Now do something about it.” So I decided to pray about taking my writing seriously, and maybe writing something worth showing the world, something that might even make a difference for the Kingdom.

And that was the first step in my journey. I toed the water when Sue invited me to join her critique group, waded in a bit at my first conference, and finally dove headlong into the waves of sending out proposals and meeting agents and editors and author friends.

I’ll never forget the experience of that first writers’ conference—being completely overwhelmed but at the same time validated. “Oh my gosh. There are more people like me. This is who I am. I’m a writer.”

Moving Forward
My first critiques were painful. I fully expected people to read my beautiful writing and gasp. “This is ready to be published right now. I wouldn’t change a thing!” Instead, they ripped it apart at the seams. It turns out I had a lot to learn. That’s what this journey has been about—learning. And just continuing to plod forward. Sometimes it’s running and hurdling. Sometimes it’s crawling.

Along the way, I’ve been so incredibly blessed by the community of writers. People who don’t (or didn’t) know me, who have gone out of their way to help me. Writers helping writers. Being there to talk each other off the ledges so there’ll be someone there when we need to be talked off the ledge.

Seeing my words in print, being able to share my characters and my stories with the world has always been my dream. And though I write about worlds where dreams come true, I live in a world where disappointment is more common.

I signed with my dream agent almost five years ago, and I thought it would just be a matter of time until I was published by my dream publisher. But publishers closing, the birth of my son, and my husband getting sick put those dreams on hold. I started editing full time to make ends meet, and I watched all of crit partners and clients launch their book babies into the world. I cheered for them, but it was always bittersweet. When would it be my turn?

A perfectly timed conversation with my sweet friend Lynn reminded me that God had not forgotten me. I just had to trust His timing. Maybe He was holding back from giving me the desires of my heart because my focus needed to be on my family for this season. And she was so very right.

The Dream Unfolds
Now, just weeks away from the launch of my debut novel, I can’t help but look back at all the blessings God has heaped upon this journey. The very One who created story gave me mine, the One who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine.

He’s the Author, and my story is His.

Are you a writer? Share the moment when you realized it in the comments.

I really am a writer—watching the dream unfold - @ErynnNewman (Click to Tweet)

Out of Darkness
A bride and a widow in the same day, Elisabeth’s prayers are about to be answered . . . if the CIA, international arms dealers, and her best friend don’t stand in the way.

Elisabeth Allen gave her heart to Jesus as a little girl and to Drew Marek as a teenager. When their wedding day finally arrives, it’s the happiest day of her life—until a bomb transforms her dream come true into a living nightmare.

As Best Man at the wedding, Gabriel Di Salvo promises Drew—his best friend and CIA partner—he’ll look after Elisabeth, but he never dreams it will become necessary so soon. As Elisabeth struggles to put the pieces of her life back together without Drew, Gabe becomes her rock, and as they share their grief and begin to heal, their friendship gradually deepens into something more.

Three years later, Gabe and Elisabeth are planning a future together when he receives a shocking call from the one man who can upend his happiness: Drew. Suspecting someone at the CIA is behind his abduction, Drew refuses to come home. Instead, he asks Gabe to bring Elisabeth to him. Now Gabe just has to figure out how to let her go.

Drew and Elisabeth race across Europe, dodging international arms dealers and attempting to reclaim what was stolen from them. But years of captivity and torture have left their mark on Drew. He is no longer the same boy Elisabeth fell in love with, but he is still Elisabeth’s husband, and she is determined to build something new and not allow her relationship with Gabe to come between them.

When their enemies close in and the threat of a terrorist attack escalates, Gabe may be the only person they can trust. Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe are thrown into a fight for their lives—one that will test their loyalties to God, country . . . and each other.

Erynn Newman is a pastor’s kid, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. She writes heart gripping romance with a dash of seat gripping suspense. Though she has never worked with the CIA, her DVR contains a veritable Who’s Who of international spies.

She lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her best friend (who is also her husband), a very busy little boy who calls her Mommy, two cats, and a ceaseless parade of characters who are all waiting for their turn to have their stories told.

Join me on the journey…

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  1. I hate when people read my blog and never leave a comment so I've decided I won't be one of those. My epiphany happened during the last night of a writers conference four years ago. I was still wondering why I was sitting there--besides the honoring-my-wife's-desire thing. The plenary speaker told a story about counseling married couples who are getting last minute jitters. He ended with, "So, if you can imagine spending the rest of your life without writing your thoughts for others to read, then leave now. It's far easier. But if not, you're a writer." He got me. Since then, I have taken writing more seriously and have gone through the painful process of getting my manuscripts print ready. I was about to the point of giving up again when my wife suggested I enter a call for short story devotion. My normal response is my wife is the fiction writer in this household, but I actually had a story in mind I wanted to tell. Then a few more came to mind, and our critique groups can't wait to hear my next one. Looking back, I remembered telling stories to my neighbors when I was in first grade and a writing assignment in high school that the class went crazy over saying I should write more. I had buried my stories and talent under the dampening book reports which convinced me I hated reading. The writing adventure is not an easy outing, but I'm enjoying it more these days as I discover I have more stories I never imagined possible.

    1. Love this. How great that your wife has been such an encouragement.

  2. Congrats on the upcoming debut, Erynn! The premise of "Out of Darkness" is intriguing, to say the least. I can't pinpoint a particular moment the realization of being a writer emerged but I'm pretty certain it happened while at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer's Conference. Praying for your launch day and release!

    1. Thanks so much. Blue Ridge is magic. So many God-ordained moments there.

  3. Wishing you all the best on the launch of your debut novel, Erynn. The first of many, Lord willing. :)

  4. I remember that conversation. I was so afraid you were just being polite and nodding along, but that you were secretly thinking that I was a real jerk. After all, it's a lot easier to trust God's plan AFTER the fact than it is in the middle of it! It wasn't an easy conversation and the way you received it with grace is a testament to what God has been up to all along!! I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! Love you, friend! Oh - and I don't have a singular "I'm a writer" moment, but I do have a very specific "This is what I want you to do" moment while I was at Blue Ridge. I've never forgotten it.

    1. I was so excited to get to be there that night (smack in the middle of my season of stagnation), and I THOUGHT I knew what brought me there. But really, I think it was for that conversation. Crazy we had to go to another state to have it, when you live right down the road.
      So thankful God made our paths converge

  5. Congratulations on your first novel seeing the light. I have a feeling Out of Darkness will shine brightly.

  6. Congratulations on your first novel seeing the light. I have a feeling Out of Darkness will shine brightly.

  7. Congratulations, Erynn. I pray God blesses you and your book sales.

    1. Thanks Bruce. Praying God's blessings on you as well.

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  9. This is wonderful. Congratulations!

  10. Thanks so much! It's all pretty exciting. I can't believe there are only 3 more days.