Have you ever had something happen and you knew without a doubt, it was all God? You know an Amos 9:13 kind of thing.
That’s exactly what happened last year when on a last-minute whim, I entered Harlequin’s Blurb to Book Contest.
In 2010, I entered the National Novel Writing Month Contest, otherwise known as NANOWRIMO. It’s held each year in the month of November. To win, you must write 50k words in 30 days, not quite traditional novel length, but a way to get a fast draft start to a novel.
Easy enough—so I entered. I wrote like a maniac every day. I knew as long as I wrote 1667 words a day, I could do this. Oh, by the way, I didn’t have an outline. In those days, I was a pantster.
I picked one of my favorite areas in the state of Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, created a hero and heroine and away I went. Did I know what I was doing? Heck no, but I kept writing. It was exhilarating slapping those words on the page. My adrenaline surged each day as I met my goal.
On November 28, 2010, I reached 52k words and do you know what happened…I ran out of gas. Exhausted, I turned off my computer and the story sat for five years. Sure, I tinkered with it here and there, but it was such a mess, I moved on to another story.
Over the years, the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and the two characters I created stayed with me. Often I felt like a failure for never completing the book. How could I just leave it unfinished?
In March of 2015, I heard about the Blurb to Book Contest and I knew this was an opportunity to finish what I’d started. I made up my mind, even if I didn’t advance through the stages of the contest, I’d rewrite this book to the finish, and so I did.
On August 17, 2015, a typical Monday morning at my day job, it happened. My cell phone, buried in my purse showed two missed calls from area code 212, which I knew was New York City. My heart pounded in my chest. Do I call the number? Do I wait? I remember sitting at my desk asking God if I was ready for this because I didn’t feel I’d paid my dues. I’d never attempted to seek publication, never queried an agent. I wrote because I’ve always loved to write.
When my phone rang a third time, I heard God speak to me. “You’re ready,” He said. I answered the phone and it was an editor with Harlequin offering me a contract on my book. I couldn’t tell you what she said or what I said. I was in shock. To be honest, I still am.
There’s no doubt in my mind, having advanced through each stage of the contest, and ultimately receiving a contract on the first book I’ve ever written was all orchestrated by God. He carried me through every stress-filled stage of the contest and in the end fulfilled a dream I never thought possible.
I’d love to hear a time when God took you completely by surprise.
***I’m at my day job today, so I’ll be around later this afternoon to chat.