Our pastor has been doing something interesting lately. We are a fairly new church, about 4 years old. He started calling people up front of the church to let them and the congregation know how much he appreciates them. He started with the beginning members. So after such a fun week with Laurie Alice and having her launch party I decided to mention some of the people who have been instrumental in helping me along my way.
What is amazing to me is that the people who have helped me get to where I am today in my writing are more than acquaintances. We serve such an awesome God that He cares about friendships. The people that have impacted me the most have ended up to be my closest friends. People I can count on for prayer, accountability, encouragement, and rejoicing with me. I thank the Lord for each of these ladies.
The first person I contacted when I was about halfway through my first novel was MaryLu Tyndall. I’d just finished reading her Pirate series and fell in love with her writing. I emailed her and to my surprise she emailed me right back. She was so sweet and I discovered a real person. LOL. She recommended that I first join the ACFW, which I did and am so glad she gave me that advice. She and I emailed back and forth and she helped me really understand the ins and outs of getting published. She guided me in my writing, was a wonderful encourager and mentor. That relationship grew into a friendship. Through our friendship we began praying for each other’s family. She’s been a blessing to my life on so many levels.
I joined a critique group with the ACFW. It was supposed to be a group of 5. It ended up being a group of two. My crit partner Kathleen L. Maher is the second person who really helped me along the way. Being critique partners is just a small part of our relationship. We’ve become the closest of friends even though Kathy lives in New York and I live in South Carolina. Kathy is not only great about going through my manuscripts with a fine tooth comb but she has been an awesome cheerleader, encourager, prayer partner and friend. Together, she and I have started CROWN marketing and Fiction Addiction Fix Blog. I couldn’t have made it this far without her.
MaryLu recommended I hire Susan Lohrer. Well, Susan got more than she bargained for with me. My goodness, that woman is a saint! She edited my manuscript and I’d fix it, send it back to her, ask a million questions and she’d answer them all and edit what I sent back. I learned more from her than I did all my English teachers, high school and college. Susan has become a true friend. We even became grandma’s around the same time. If you need a great editor I highly recommend Susan.
Linore Burkard and Melanie Dickerson were two of the next important people I met on my journey. We started doing some critiquing and reading for each other. Three-way phone calls became a monthly thing as our critiquing grew to friendships. We shared our lives with each other on the phone. Shared our struggles with writing and life in general, had prayer time together and lifted each other up. These two ladies have blessed my life in so many ways. Our friendship is precious to me. But they are also great prayer partners and women I can count on to lift me up and keep me accountable.
Laurie Alice Eakes is another lady that has taught me so much. It started with Laurie Alice answering so many of my questions on one of the loops we belonged to. That grew to her mentoring me and that mentorship grew into a wonderful friendship. She taught me how to polish my manuscripts and hopefully make them shine. She’s always there to answer my questions whether they are historical, grammar, or writing related like the time she emailed me and said, “Tell me you did not just kill the cat.” J I’m happy to say that the cat did make it, thanks to Laurie Alice.
Thanks to each of these ladies I am represented by another wonderful lady. Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency.
I am truly blessed!