Everyone’s Story gives a fond welcome-again to author and friend Patricia Bradley. Although I’m excited about all my guests, I’m crazy happy that Patricia is here once more. She’s been such an encourager to me through the years, as well as gave me a glowing endorsement for my debut novel, Always With You. In fact, we’re going to do something a wee different this week on Everyone’s Story: Patricia and I are sharing a conversation we’ve enjoyed, capturing the emotions and ups and downs of a multi-published author and a debut author. I just wish we’ve had more time and blog space. Then again, we wouldn’t be writing, right? Also, do check out Patricia’s BookGiveaway!
And to close this feature out, please check out my upcoming Goodreads BookGiveaway of Always With You that begins March 1st. Now, back to our regular programmed schedule…
Patricia is offering 1 copy of Shadows Of The Past, Book 1 of the Logan Point Series(the whole series is a terrific read!!) to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, March 4th 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).
Let’s Chat… A Conversation Between Patricia Bradley and Elaine Stock
Welcome back to Everyone’s Story, Patricia, a place you’re always invited to come sit a spell. I’d like to begin our chat with a shocking topic … well, at least for me, one I honestly wasn’t expecting. To be candid, prior to when my debut novel, Always With You, released mid January I thought for sure that release day would trigger perpetual cheers and happy sobs and maybe a jump or a thousand of pure joy. Of course I was thrilled, but the most unexpected sereneness filled me and I felt as if I was floating on a tranquil pond. I admit to a wee anxiety crawling in about a week later: I went from years of wondering if I’d ever publish a novel to does-anyone-care? to is-anyone-reading-this-book? I’ve heard that it “never gets easier.” I’d love to know what kind of emotional ups and downs a multi-published author goes through, if you’d like to share.
Oh, goodness. My release day was different from most people. It was the day we buried my mother. So it was bittersweet. She did get to hold a copy of it in her hands and read the beginning, but God had promised me that my mom would do that.
My most exciting day was the one when I receive the offer from Revell. That was my jump up and down moment. It was the moment that I realized I would live my dream. Every milestone after that—receiving the first copy of my book on Christmas Eve…(thank you Kristin!) to seeing the books in bookstores had been surreal. I have that sereneness that you talked about, but not jump up and down excitement. I’m glad you mentioned that because I wondered if something was wrong with me. J
Before you had a contract—because that’s when everything changed for me—how did you keep writing? Did you have people say things like, how can you justify the time you’re spending on writing when you keep getting rejections? Even I questioned myself about that.
My answer to them and myself was that I strongly felt God had given me the gift of telling stories, and if I didn’t keep working at it, I would be throwing his gift away. I also reminded myself that it took a certain amount of time to learn the craft, and if I did that, one day I would be published. For some reason, to me it wasn’t a matter of if but when I would be published.
Pat, that’s right—your debut novel came out on your mom’s burial day. So sorry—once again! I’m crediting my own mother for influencing me positively when it comes to the love of creating story worlds. Cyber hugs!
The carrot of novel publication dangling before my eyes—for years—served as both a goal and motivational source for me. Yet, it was a rough bunch of years. Emotionally, several people who praised me as having iron-clad perseverance also kind of took my writing as a “pastime.” They saw me devoting an incredible amount of free time to write, as well as hard-pressed finances to attend conferences, travel costs to these conferences, books, and so many etcs. I don’t think non-writers understand writers, especially pre-published ones. Americans are especially conditioned to see instant payoffs or forget it. However, I kept listening to the building voice within me saying to honor and glorify God and publication will happen, and not to worry about the date. Well, I confess to the inability of the not-worrying part. I am highly human with faults and weaknesses. I admire your strength to have a reply to these people, whereas I just sort of slunk off into a writer’s anonymous’ cocoon, waiting to hatch. Who knows about when my sophomore book will release … I’m finishing up that one … praying for His help.
And that brings me to my next question for you: if you’ve had any anxieties about whether your 2nd novel would “make it,” how did you deal with these turbulent emotions well enough to forge into writing the 2nd book or the 3rd?
About a quarter of the way into book 2, I had this overwhelming feeling that I must have been crazy to think I could write another book. It was horrible. I had no idea how I did it the first time, and I’d never finish it. But I did and it hit #19 on the CBA best seller list for April after it came out. This happens on every book.
That first time it happened and now, I just pray and tell God that He gave me this book to write and He was just going to have to help me get it written. And He always does. Sometimes it comes easier than other times. J As for “making it”, that’s not my job. That’s God’s. My job is to write the book and it’s up to Him how many sell.
One question I have—did you have any idea how slow publishing is when you started writing? How have you dealt with that?
Your attitude—about surrendering the “making it” part to God is beautifully healthy, both emotionally and spiritually. I’ll keep this in mind today as I continue writing my WIP, throwing in nixing any anxiety over the time it’s taking … sure wish I could snap my fingers and hit Submit. Double 🙂 🙂
As far as awareness of the incredible lengthy time factor involved with all facets of publishing, I have a yes and no answer. Prior to publication I read numerous warnings about the wait involved. So yes, in a way, I was prepared to wait and wait upon hearing a Yes from an agent and then from a publisher. What I wasn’t prepared for were other unexpected waits: the wait for receiving the actual contract after a verbal acquisition; the wait for the release date; the wait for readers’ acknowledgments that my book is being read; the wait for reviews to appear; the wait to hear back from promotional opportunity sources … every day I’m learning something more.
This forum has been a mind opening insight to me, Patricia, and I’m glad we’re sharing this honesty to help other writers, as well as readers who may appreciate what goes behind creating and publishing a novel.
To wrap things up, I have one last question for you: When writing a story that totally has grabbed you by the heart, do you get stymied worrying about whether it’s too gritty for a reader or any myriad of “too’s”?
Funny you should ask. 🙂 The book I just turned in has a man on death row. As I wrote it, I worried that my editor might shoot it down, or that readers might be turned off, but it was integral to the plot. And coming up, I have a storyline that involves sex trafficking. These are the stories that God has put on my heart.
One last thing—I want to thank you for having me as a guest on your blog again. I love coming here!
Patricia’s past guest appearances on Everyone’s Story:
Patricia’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Everyone’s Story: A Conversation between Published author @PTBradley1 & @ElaineStock (Tweet This)
What does multi-pub Patricia Bradley @PTBradley1 share with debut novelist @ElaineStock? (Tweet This)
Win #BookGiveaway of author Patricia Bradley @PTBradley1’s Shadows of the Past #suspense (Tweet This)
Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi and is a former abstinence educator and co-author of RISE To Your Dreams, an abstinence curriculum. But her heart is tuned to suspense. Patricia’s romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series—Shadows of the Past, A Promise to Protect, and Gone Without a Trace. Silence in the Dark releases April 26th. She has written two sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, Matthew’s Choice and The Christmas Campaign, available on Amazon.
Her workshops on writing include online courses with American Christian Fiction Writers and workshops at the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference in Collierville, TN. When she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens
Places to connect with Patricia:
Elaine Sightings This Week:
ACFW Fiction Finder Author Interview
Monday, February 29th