Everyone’s Story welcomes author Norma Gail this week. If you’re new to this blog you’ll see that my continual theme is uplifting each other up in spirit, whether you’re a reader, a writer, and all those in-between. The power of story throughout history has inspired many to either forge ahead despite obstacles, to try something new, and certainly to reach out to others. At best, storytelling is a simple means of illustrating a valuable and necessary lesson, one in which the Great Author chose as His instrument. That’s why I’m glad to host Norma this week: within her novel, Land Of My Dreams, as well as within her words below, Norma shares the power of story in making dreams become a reality. Both Norma and I would enjoy hearing from you to learn of your dreams and whether a particular story was behind the inspiration for you.
Also, do check out Norma’s BookGiveaway and her excerpt.
Norma is offering 1 signed copy of her novel Land Of My Dreams to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, January 22nd between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment (you may choose to use the Contact form on the Contact Page to privately send me your email address).
Here’s an excerpt from Norma’s novel:
When Life Throws Out a Good Surprise by Norma Gail
Life often takes me by surprise. Like a character hit with a plot twist, I seldom see what’s coming until it lands in front of me and says, “Now, what are you going to do with this?” I didn’t start out to write a book. Had I known where I was going, I would have paid more attention.
My family grumbles about my over-planning. Alone in a group of spur-of-the-moment, wow-that-would-be-fun enthusiasts, I alone have a goal. When it came to planning our thirtieth anniversary trip, I did my research. So much, in fact, that I began to dream about Scotland before we even left.
The image of a Highlander, the stereotypical ginger-haired, Highland Games hunk, with a kilt and bagpipes, remained in my mind, standing high on a misty hillside surrounded by sheep. I searched for him all through Scotland, from the moment we got off the plane. There are many kilted men playing bagpipes and the Highland Games are full of hunks, but no one brought all the traits of my Highlander together in one neat package. This particular Highlander insisted on popping up my mind at random moments for two years, but when the idea of a book crossed my mind, I wondered when I would ever have the time.
Two years later, a broken foot trapped me in a wheelchair for eight weeks. Piles of books were not enough to keep my busy brain occupied for that length of time. Soon, that Highlander began to whisper, “You could write a book. My story should be told.” At long last, I complied and Kieran MacDonell came to life.
Writing kept me occupied through weeks of forced solitude. When I resumed my busy schedule, working on my story became my relaxation in the evenings while my son and husband watched hours of “Ice-road Truckers” and “Swamp Loggers”. One day, I gathered the courage to admit that I was writing a book. If I was ever going to find out if I had the talent to convince a publisher my name should be on the spine of a book, the time had come. I wasn’t getting any younger.
I fell in love with Scotland when I discovered an old family tree where my grandmother recorded that my paternal great grandmother came from Scotland. That hint never produced a single lead, but another branch of the family yielded gold in a titled, infamous member of Scottish nobility from the 1700’s. I lived and breathed Scotland in my mind for years as I worked on my story. Since Scotland was the land of my dreams, and a dream had sparked the book, it seemed a perfect title.
Four years and two writer’s conferences after I began to write my story down, I received a contract on Land of My Dreams. Writers struggle for years to find a publisher, but the Lord blessed me early, and long before I realized all that being published entailed. It’s harder work than I ever imagined it could be. The hours of editing, marketing and social media took me by surprise, but it is worth it when someone says they enjoyed my book. It’s even better when the spiritual truths speak to the heart of one of my readers.
My Scot met an American, Bonny Bryant, who fell in love with his country before she fell in love with him. My fascination with the land of my dreams has not faded, even ten years after our trip. I hope to return later this year and sit on the porch of a guesthouse on Loch Garry, gazing at the scene my characters brought to life, the site of a real home with sheep grazing in the yard.
If you have a dream, follow it. If you think you’re getting too old, ignore the mirror. My book came out six months before my sixtieth birthday. I know writers who began their careers in their 80’s. Take some classes, attend some writer’s conferences, visit the site of your dreams, and give it a shot. Perhaps a plot twist waits around the corner as it did for me, and your dreams will all come true.
Norma’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Author @Norma_Gail: When Life Throws Out a Good Surprise! #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)
Everyone’s Story: @Norma_Gail wants to know if you think you’re too old to follow a dream? (Tweet This)
Win @Norma_Gail’s #BookGiveaway of LAND OF MY DREAMS. (Tweet This)
Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, released in April 2014. She led women’s Bible studies for over 21 years. Her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 39 years. They have two adult children.
Places to connect with Norma:
I’ll be on Patti Shene’s blog, Patti’e Porch, on Saturday January 16th. Hope you will visit!
Additional Fun and BookGiveaways from Elaine:
In addition to Norma’s lovely Giveaway, you also have a chance to enter the BookGiveaway I’m offering to win either 1 copy of my debut novel Always With You (upon its release) or Christmas Treasures. Just sign up for my NEWSLETTER/Mailing List found on the ABOUT ELAINE page–click on the MAILING LIST house icon on the top right-hand column. US entries will receive a printed copy. Outside the US will receive a digital copy.
I’m so looking forward to this Giveaway!
I also hope that you will sign up to receive Everyone’s Story blog in your inbox. The SUBSCRIPTION BOX is on the top of this page on the right-hand column. Previous subscribers on the former Blogger blog have not automatically been transferred.
Norma and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. Click “Comments.”