I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Keli Gwyn's Writing Journey ... and a Winner!

Keli Gwyn graciously offered a DVD copy of the movie The Young Victoria to one of our guests this past week. One winner was randomly drawn. Drum roll please!

Congratulations Amy Campbell! (I'll be in touch with you!)

In addition to giving away the DVD, Keli has been kind enough to share her writing journey with us. I hope reading it encourages you as much as it's encouraged me.

My Writing Journey

I embarked on my writing journey January 1, 2006. During the next two and a half years I pounded out five historical romance manuscripts. Why historicals? The research is a blast. Plus I get a kick out of using words like addlepated, gewgaws, and smitten.

Contest fever grabbed me early on. I submitted 36 contest entries during those early years, receiving a wealth of helpful feedback from my generous contest judges along with a few finals. The most exciting was my double final in the 2008 Golden Heart®, a national contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America®. That led to my first blog guest appearance and introduced me to the wonderful world of writers online.

At that point, I learned how much I had yet to learn and spent a year studying craft. Armed with my newfound knowledge, I took a look at my stories to see which of them showed the most promise. I loved them all, but Miles and Elenora told me theirs was the story I should pick, and I listened. I’d rewritten it once, but I knew it needed more work, so I got busy.

That rewrite proved my characters were right. Miles and Ellie’s story won several contests, earned me requests from editors and agents, and led to my offer of representation. Rachelle Gardner made her offer on the eve of Christmas Eve in 2009. Talk about an amazing Christmas present!

I’d love to tell you that Rachelle sold my story right away, but I still had work to do. After spending several months making my story the best I possibly could, I sent it to Rachelle and held my breath. To my delight, she liked it and was ready to submit it, which she did. Six weeks later we had two offers, and I got a contract for Christmas.

On July 1, 2012, my debut novel was released, eighteen months after my contract offer. July is my birthday month, and I can’t think of a better birthday present than holding my debut novel in my hands. It was a thrill. I hope readers enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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http://keligwyn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/BrideOpensShop-Small-Web.jpgPlease visit Keli on her website, www.keligwyn.com, and be sure to check out her amazing novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California.

Widow Elenora Watkins looks forward to meeting her new business partner, Miles Rutledge, who owns a shop in 1870s El Dorado. But Miles is shocked to see a woman step off the stagecoach. His rude behavior forces Elenora to reconsider—so she becomes his competition across the street. Can Miles win her heart while destroying her business?

5 comments:

Suzie Johnson said...

Nice, Keli. Thank you for sharing with us!

Jessica Nelson said...

And I can't wait to read more from Keli!!! She has such a great journey story.

Susanne Dietze said...

Hi Suzie! Isn't Keli's story encouraging? I love to read about authors' writing journeys.

I'm so glad you could come by!

Susanne Dietze said...

Hey Jessica! I'm eager to read more from Keli, too!

Thanks for visiting.

Keli Gwyn said...

Congratulations to Amy! One DVD is heading her way.

Thanks for the kind words, Suzie, Jessie, and Susie. I really appreciate them.