Please welcome Susan Karsten to Faith in Writing. She has written a guest post for the Gratitude Fridays Feature.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
The brief blurb below captures at least six years of concerted effort. In the fall of 2011, someone (the sands of time obscure exactly who) told me about the National Write a Novel in a Month experience. I did not “win” as they call it when one completes a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. But, I had about 11,000 words of what became my (yet-unpublished) children’s chapter book, a novel entitled “Five Months in the Sweet Life of Ashley Amberly”.
Next came the conviction that I could write a full-length Regency romance. That effort became my debut novel, “A Match for Melissa”, which released July 7, 2017. Nights of ideating the plot, soon led to words on a page—many pages. I shot for 60,000 words. Done! Went to a writing conference, gave my pitch, and secured a contract with a legit “New York agent”. Meanwhile, I wrote Book #2, “A Refuge for Rosanna”.
My agent and I traveled the road to publication together for three years. Three years in which I discovered some things. One very important fact was that my first two books were too short. Then I began the rich learning experience of lengthening the books to a more marketable 85,000 words. The rejection letters became more kind and respectful, however, and I think we could have made it to a publishing contract, but before that could occur, my agent became ill, and passed away. I’ll always be thankful for the way she saw my potential and for her encouragement. I treasure her words to me, “Susan, you’re a good story-teller.”
By early 2016, I was working with an acquisitions editor from Prism Book Group. I signed a contract with them for my three-book series – “An Escape for Ellie” having now joined the two aforementioned novels. Several rounds of edits later, Prism was shuttered. Gasp! But, shortly after that, Pelican Book Group took the reins and resurrected Prism within Pelican. My contract was alive again!
All the while, I strived to trust the Lord with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding. He never failed me. And so we arrive at publication. I have accomplished a life goal with God’s help, gratefully using the gifts he gave me, and with the support of my family. My husband especially did much to assist my efforts and I dedicated my first book to him. I am now wading into the waters of book promotion and looking forward to my first library event at which I will share about this journey to publication, the writing process, and about my book.
“In everything, give thanks.”
Melissa Southwood’s wealthy merchant father desires her to marry into the aristocracy, and he arranges for an aristocrat to court her. Melissa submits to the plan, but retains the right of final refusal. Another nobleman learns of her fine qualities from some mutual friends, and belatedly throws his hat into the ring.
A shocking event throws all into question. Traumatized by abduction, will she be able to grasp true love?
A few biographical notes: Well over age 50, Susan lives in a small Wisconsin town, wife of a real estate broker, mother of three, grandmother of two, mother-in-law to one. Her hobbies include fitness, quilting, and reading.
Susan’s love for writing and research developed during college where she earned a BS degree in Home Economics (Apparel Design & Manufacturing), with a minor in Speech. A brief career in design and manufacturing was followed by 24 years as a stay-at-home mom and home educator.
With three contracted Regency historical romances, a humorous chapter book, and a cozy mystery complete, Susan is currently writing a Regency novella. Her personal blog can be found at Graciouswoman.wordpress.com.
Follow Susan on Facebook – Susan Karsten – Author