Please welcome Barbara J. Scott to my blog. Barbara has graciously offered to give away a print or ebook copy of Dreams of My Heart, her historical romance set in Montana Territory in 1875. Be sure to read the bottom of her post on how to enter.
My Ozarks momma always used to say, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” I wasn’t very good at following her advice. Impatience was my middle name.
Since the time I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be a writer. My grandmother wrote her first novel at the age of seventy, but I certainly wouldn’t be that old before I published my first. Grandma would even save up all her Writer’s Digest magazines for me to read when we drove from Dallas to Independence, MO to visit her. Yes, I was learning the craft of writing at the tender age of eight, so I knew it wouldn’t take me as long as her to write my first book.
In school, I excelled at every writing assignment, worked on the school newspaper, and my English teacher wrote “Keep writing!” beside my yearbook picture at the end of my junior year. In college, I got a job at the local newspaper, writing obituaries, then Lions Club stories, weddings, features, and by my senior year in college, I was an editor, supervising several reporters. I wrote magazine stories in my spare time but published few. Surely though, even working forty hours a week, I’d finish my first novel by the age of twenty-one…at the latest.
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. I was thirty when I wrote my first novel, Love’s Golden Dawn, but it’s never been published. I still have a copy stashed away in my file cabinet.
Marriage, work, stepchildren, illness, job loss, and a whole lot of life came between me and my writing. How long did I have to wait, for Pete’s sake?
In the mid-1990s, I partnered with co-writer Carrie Younce to write two bestselling spiritual warfare novels for Thomas Nelson—Sedona Storm and Secrets of the Gathering Darkness. But I shared the credit. It wasn’t my novel. It was our novel. God needed to whittle down my pride.
I wrote another novel on my own. It was rejected. That manuscript languishes in cyberspace. Then I ghostwrote non-fiction and work-for-hire gift books after that. Lots of words. No credit.
I stopped counting chickens before they hatched altogether. By 1998, I was employed as a full-time editor for Christian publishing, working for Honor Books, Zondervan, and finally Abingdon Press as the senior acquisitions editor honored to publish several authors you know who have gone on to publish multiple novels and winning lots of awards along the way. They were my baby chicks.
I no longer needed to see my name on the front cover of a book, but I thought when I retired at the age of sixty-two, my dreams of publishing a novel would come true. Like the Israelites, I had wandered in the desert for forty years, witnessing the miracles of God, and then I caught a glimpse of the Promised Land. I would now have time to write.
No, I didn’t. I still needed income and continued to freelance edit book manuscripts for other authors. I even did a stint as an agent for WordServe Literary during that time. And I wrote a novella to be included in the Sleigh Bells Ring collection of Christmas stories.
I gave up on my dream. Evidently, I didn’t have anything of great import to share in a novel, or I would have published a book long before this. Then one day, I heard the peeping of a baby chick—a story that wouldn’t let go. Fully formed characters told me about themselves. Soon a swoon-worthy hero, Texas cattleman Buck McKean, and a feisty Irish heroine Kate O’Brien trying to hold onto her dead brother’s homestead in Montana Territory wanted me to forget all my failures and sit my bottom in the chair to tell their story.
That day, I decided to write for the sheer joy of putting words on paper and let my God-given gift have full rein. Once I polished up the manuscript, my dear friend and agent Greg Johnson shopped the novel to every major Christian publisher—to editors I knew on a first-name basis. Even though I was told they liked me and my writing, they didn’t have room on their lists. Someday, I thought, I’ll publish it myself. Then Greg called and asked if he could send the proposal to Miralee Farrell at Mountain Brook Ink. I said yes, she said yes, and Dreams of My Heart released in both paperback and ebook on Amazon April 1, Easter Sunday.
I’m sixty-nine years old, almost as old as my grandmother when she published her first novel. As my momma always used to say, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” But I would add, “Never lose hope.” God has a plan and a purpose for your life. Sometimes it just takes quite a while to hatch an egg.
What dreams of the future do you carry in your heart?
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment along with your email address to enter and win a copy of Barbara’s novel Dreams of My Heart!
Can a Reluctant Bride and Her New Husband Fall in Love
Despite Their Wounded Hearts?
Plucky Irish immigrant Kate O’Brien struggles to hang on to her brother’s homestead after his death in a suspicious cattle stampede. If she’s unable to pay off the loan that paid for her ticket to America, she will be forced to marry the banker’s rogue son, Rafe Hamilton.
When Kate is attacked by a drunken gang, salvation comes in the form of a total stranger—Texas cattleman Buck McKean. He drives the men off her ranch and spends the night in her cabin to keep her safe. However, his act of kindness poses a profound threat to her reputation, and the two marry to prevent the impending consequences.
Kate makes it clear to her new husband that because of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather, she’ll never allow another man to control her life. Left at the altar in Virginia City, Buck has made his own vow never to give his heart to another woman.
When Kate asks Buck for the unthinkable,
her choice endangers both their lives.
Can God mend their hearts and save their love?
About Barbara: After a career spent acquiring and editing books by numerous bestselling Christian authors, Barbara Scott has returned to her true love—writing. Barbara and her husband Mike live in the Nashville area, with their two Chihuahuas, Riley and Sissy, both rescued from puppy mills. Reading, writing, and research are her passions. Want to know more? Connect with Barbara at www.BarbaraJScott.com, https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraJScott01, https://twitter.com/BarbaraScott01.