Stories that Matter

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Celebrating Life's Little Victories…

While it is hard to believe this picture was taken over a year ago, I still smile when I look at it. Because, if you can’t really figure it out, that’s me, signing a copy of my book, Yesterday’s Tomorrow. My book. For a “wannabe published” author, I have to say, yes, it’s everything you…
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Here She Goes Again…

At first I thought I’d title this post, “Where Have All The Good Books Gone?” But then I thought, no, that’s not fair. There are a lot of good books out there. I’ve read them. My friends have read them. My friends have written them. I’ve written one book which I’ve been told is good,…
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View From A Newly Published Author's Window – Katie Ganshert

Before I hand things over to Katie, I just want to say BRAVO to her! Wildflowers from Winter  is a wonderful debut novel. I read it in a few days and it is one of those stories that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go until you’re done. Maybe not even then, because…
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Too Tired To Write

Isn’t this the cutest picture ever? I laughed when I saw it, and then I thought, boy do I relate! A writer’s life is often perceived as a glamorous one. We flit through the day, stopping every now and then to wave to a fan or two as we weave in and out of expensive…
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Meet The Authors of Rainbow's End!

I don’t know about you, but I think anthologies are pretty cool! This week I’ve got a treat for you in the form of four very talented authors, here to tell you about their stories in a book called Rainbow’s End! Who Are You? We are Valerie Comer, Annalisa Daughety, Nicole O’Dell and Cara Putman,…
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Meet Nicole O'Dell!

Today we have YA author, Nicole O’Dell on the blog! I’m excited, and I do believe Nicole is the first author of young adult novels I’ve featured! Nicole has also graciously agreed to a GIVEAWAY of her latest novel, so be sure to leave a comment with a valid email, US/North America only please. Welcome…
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Random Fact Finding Session

If you’re a writer, you’ve probably heard how you’re supposed to interview your characters, right? Make lists, ask them a ton of questions, get to know them inside and out. Okay, I admit, I find this a bit anal. But then again, I find a lot of things anal so this should come as no…
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Meet Debut Author Pamela S. Meyers!

I met Pamela a few years ago at an ACFW conference and it’s been fun to watch her career take off over the last few years! Today I’m thrilled to have her here to share a bit about herself and tell us about her debut novel, Thyme For Love! Who are you? I am a woman, born…
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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

Okay, fair warning, this is shameless self promotion. Today marks the ONE YEAR anniversary of the release of my debut novel, Yesterday’s Tomorrow! And guess what? It’s STILL AVAILABLE!!! Hurry, get your copies now and help me celebrate! Vietnam, 1967.  Independent, career-driven journalist Kristin Taylor wants two things: to honor her father’s memory by becoming…
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If I Didn't Know Any Better…

I’m struggling. Chalk it up to age, (I do), but lately I have days when I just want to go back to bed and stay under the covers. All day. This is one of those days. And this is your warning. Read on at your own risk. My book will have been out a year…
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And So We Plant

October 2, 2017 | 4 Comments

It’s been a hard season. A scary few months. We began May with much joy, still celebrating the birth of our first granddaughter, Annabel Rose, born at the end of April. And she is everything we and her parents prayed for. She is beautiful. Perfect. All amazing baby cuddles and snuggles and sleepy smiles and…

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It's ACFW Conference Time!

September 15, 2017 | 6 Comments

I know, it’s been an age. And honestly, I’m not sure you’ll hear much from me around here anymore. I haven’t quite ‘hit’ the formulae that keeps people hooked. So this is more of a fun post that my friend Laurie Tomlinson has going, so I thought I’d join in the fun. It’s almost time…

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And So We Choose This Thing

June 21, 2017 | 6 Comments

Thirty one years. Today. I stood before him in a long white gown that cost more than my father wanted to spend, but he bought it for me anyway, because it was the one and he was ‘the one’ and my Dad would have bought me the moon if I said I wanted it. I stood…

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Is It Supposed To Hurt This Much?

June 8, 2017 | 7 Comments

That was a text I got from my daughter a few hours into labour. “Is it supposed to hurt this much?” I wanted to laugh, but I didn’t. Because, yes. It is. And it does. And it will continue to. With every challenge that comes with being a parent. Being a mother or father or…

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We're Waiting For You!

April 25, 2017 | 4 Comments

Dear Baby E, You’re late. I suspect this may be a good indication that we will get along well. (I think this trait may come from both sides!). As your grandmother, I reserve the right to tell you what’s up, and rest assured I probably will, whether you like it or not. Heads up –…

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Onward to 2017!

December 27, 2016 | 1 Comment

I hope your Christmas was fabulous! We spent a quiet day together, and then, in a shocking break from tradition, we went to a restaurant for Christmas dinner! It was lovely not having to spend the day chopping, peeling and cooking, constantly checking the clock to make sure everything was running on time. I’ll admit,…

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Where Is Your Identity?

August 29, 2016 | 17 Comments

I’ve just returned from a few days in Nashville, where I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference. I was trying to figure out dates in my head and I think this must be at least the eighth conference I’ve attended, and still, I’ll be honest, it’s the best of times and it’s the…

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Grace Awards 2015 Winners ~ in Faith Based Fiction

May 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

So honored to be a recipient of this year’s Grace Awards! And since I’m knee deep in edits this week, it gives me something to celebrate! And blog about. 😛

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Guarding The Writer’s Heart

May 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

Source: Guarding The Writer’s Heart

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SCAVENGER HUNT WINNERS!!

April 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

Thanks to all who took part in the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt over the weekend! It was lots of fun, and all the authors enjoyed it too! Here are the three overall Prize winners – First Prize: Crystal Balzer Second Prize: Jackie Wisherd Third Prize: Becky Mickels And the winner of MY giveaway – one…

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Celebrating Life's Little Victories…

While it is hard to believe this picture was taken over a year ago, I still smile when I look at it. Because, if you can’t really figure it out, that’s me, signing a copy of my book, Yesterday’s Tomorrow. My book. For a “wannabe published” author, I have to say, yes, it’s everything you dreamed it would be. And then it’s not.

It’s not immediate fame and fortune.

It’s not the phone ringing off the hook with your agent presenting you with ten different movie deals and a bazillion dollar check if you write five more books just like that first one.

It’s not the end of all your hard work, blood, sweat and tears.

It IS humbling.

It IS exciting.

It IS validating.

BUT…and I hesitate here, because I know I’ve written so much about this before and I hate to bore you to death…but I do believe this needs to be said again. So my BUT here is simply this:

Having one book published does not mean you’ve made it.

The sad thing is, I was really hoping it did.

I was hoping that as soon as one book got out there, people would be clamouring for the next. Publishers would be hounding my agent for my next book, asking for sequels from the first, the movies deals…you know. All the regular Joe Schmo stuff we all dream about every night.

None of that happened.

As much as I can wholeheartedly say I believe Yesterday’s Tomorrow was meant to be published, I’m still trying to figure out why. Because if I worried about my sales figures, let’s just say right now I’d be wearing a very form fitting white jacket, in a lovely padded cell. And I doubt I’d be offered any wine to calm me down.

Yeah. I kind of let the whole Amazon rankings thing fall by the wayside a while ago. The funny thing is, as much as my sales figures suck, people still seem to like the book. I’ve done well in the contests I’ve entered, in fact I’ve just been told that my book finaled in The 2012 Reader’s Favorite Awards, in the Christian Historical category. That’s pretty cool. It’s not a place on the NYT’s Bestseller List, but hey…it’s a little victory. And I’m okay with that.

So do figures matter when I know people are enjoying the story? Maybe even getting a message from it?

I would love to say they don’t. But I know that isn’t true. If I was with a big publisher and my book bombed, I doubt they’d be taking me on to write another one.

A year ago, honestly, I probably had much bigger hopes and dreams for my book. Today, I’m learning to be satisfied with my here and now. Because I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

I’m not sure what the future holds for me, Catherine West – Author. I pray I can continue to do this thing that I love – but I don’t know if that is my reality. Truthfully, I don’t know that in a year from now I will have another book with my name on it. And I don’t know that I won’t.

So for now, my choice is simple.

I celebrate the here and now.

I celebrate that I finaled in a contest that, at the end of the day, probably won’t mean that much. But for me, tonight, it does. Because it says that out of fifty or whatever books, mine was one of five that readers enjoyed most. And really, if I’m not writing books that readers enjoy, then I better stop writing.

This whole being published thing is an interesting journey, one I’m still trying to figure out as I go.

When I read about and look at pictures of the devastation in Colorado over the past week, my heart grieves. Who am I to even worry about my future as an author when my friends out there are worrying about homes, loved ones and where they are going to sleep tomorrow night?

They are faced with choices too. Grieve and cry “Woe is Me!” or stand tall and proclaim, “Blessed Be The Name of The Lord.” I am proud to say the latter is exactly their choice.

Blessed Be The Name of The Lord. 

So for now, for today, these are my thoughts.

I choose to celebrate the little things. Even when the world around me makes no sense.

I, like my wonderful brave friends in Colorado, choose to trust my God.

Blessed Be Your Name.