17 January 2017

A Simple Message

I had a really bad day yesterday. Yes, a really bad day like the book says . . . the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It was that bad. I won’t go into the details, but I will say, afterwards, I was in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mood.

Then early this morning I signed onto my author email. I don’t get much traffic on my blog, so I don’t check my email too often. Today something told me to check it, so I did. I am learning to listen to that little voice that gives you direction. Call it intuition or whatever, but I listen to it now.

Well, I checked my email, and there was a message from a friend I haven’t heard from in a long time—asking about my second book.

What a way to cheer my heart.

Today I can move forward with a lighter heart. My friend never realized what a lift in spirit she gave me with that simple message, but now she does.

10 January 2017

Revisiting My Genre

Sometime last year, I changed my author bio from Author of Contemporary Catholic Fiction to Author of Catholic Fiction. It is a subtle change but a significant one.

When I began writing book three, I discovered I was branching out. In a way, Vocation was a continuation of A Future Spring, not so much in plot but in style. And both books were safe, meaning, I was a bit timid in allowing the creative juices to flow. I actually held myself back.

Incorruptible has changed all that. I was less timid when I wrote it, and the plot has a different tone. I also delve into the supernatural, moving beyond what we experience in the natural world. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it doesn't mean New Age. It means I dive into the spiritual nature of things, the unseen world, but I still do that through my Catholic vision. That is one thing that has not changed.

After I wrote my third book, I started thinking about why I call myself an Author of Catholic Fiction. Why do I choose to write my stories around my faith?

Well, there are two reasons, really.

First, I see the world through the eyes of the Church, and there are things that have happened in my life that force me to write the way I write. I don't think I can really write any other way. If I try to write in a different way, my stories will become contrived.

Second, I find the genre lacking. There are "clean reads," meaning books without sex and violence. And there is "Christian fiction," usually written from a Protestant worldview. But there isn't a lot of Catholic fiction out there. In fact, there isn't even the genre on Amazon. Sure, there is Catholic fiction, but you have to hunt for it.

So why did I decide to drop the Contemporary from my genre? Well, like I said, Incorruptible changed the rules, and I plan to branch out even more with book four. I no longer want to be limited to contemporary themes and settings, and I will be moving to the past with book four.

Yes, there is a book four already making itself known to me.

I am just about finished with the novella that will be included with Incorruptible. There was more to tell of that story, and without giving out spoilers, I had to make this last part of the story an entity all its own. I thought about writing it as another novel, but you must read the novel, Incorruptible, before you read its companion novella, Corruptible, so I settled on a novella included after the main novel. I didn't want someone reading Corruptible first. It gives up too many of Incorruptible's secrets.

So, in order for my readers to know what they are getting themselves into, I will retain my own branding as an Author of Catholic Fiction. It may be limiting in some ways, but in other ways it opens up a whole new world.

01 January 2017

My Goal For 2017

I came across this quote a few years back, and I found it to be interesting. It goes against the grain, so to speak. I thought I would write my first post of 2017 around it, since now is the time people make resolutions and goals for the year. 

Here is the quote from actor Greg Kinnear . . . "Setting goals can blind you to opportunities. You might be trying to get to point C; when opportunity B comes, you don't even look at it because you're going straight to C. I've never had a clear road map. When things come along, I benefit."

I find this quote to be filled with truth. He doesn't say it here, and I don't know if he was even thinking on these lines, but to me, it means God is in control. God takes you places you are never prepared for and can never plan for. If you are seeking your own goals, you cannot see the plan God has laid out for you. Why have a clear road map of your own when God is driving? 

So, for me, 2017 will not be filled with resolutions or goals. I guess my only goal will be to sit back and let God do the driving. I won't say I will relax, because I need to be alert to the signs He places along the road. But, this year, I will try to trust God's road map and not my own.