Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hey Girl, Time to Write Another Book

I have some exciting news to share.  I am writing a second book.
This is really not something I ever expected to do, to tell you the truth.  When Finding Grace was published in 2012 (after I worked on it sporadically for almost five years), a girlhood dream--to write at least one novel in my lifetime--was realized.  I was perfectly content to be the author of one book and focus my writing efforts on blogging and reviewing the Catholic fiction works of others; I really wasn't all that sure I had another book in me.  I used to kick around the idea of a sequel, but then decided that FG is a stand-alone book, and that I'd rather have readers imagine for themselves what becomes of all those characters in the following years.
Finding Grace truly was "my baby," the book I always dreamed of writing.  I put everything in there that was near and dear to my heart, thinking that if I never wrote another book, that one would encompass everything I would have ever been interested in writing about.  (Irish-Catholics; a family with five sons; the city of Plattsburgh, NY, where I grew up; Notre Dame, which is my husband's alma mater, and Holy Cross, which is mine; a love interest very much modeled after my own high school boyfriend/now husband, as well as a second very likable guy, so readers would wonder which one my main character would end up with--because I love a great "will the girl get the boy?" storyline; the lives of the Saints; devotion to the Blessed Mother; and dozens of other people, places, things, and events that are hidden in little references, specifically for my family and friends.)  I knew that book would never make me rich; but I hoped it would bless even a handful of readers--especially impressionable teen readers, for whom I was inspired to write it.
Well, when I was least expecting it, I was recently approached by Cheryl Dickow and given an amazing opportunity to write another YA novel for Bezalel Books--this time a shorter work, and definitely appropriate even for younger teens, middle-school and junior high readers who might not be quite ready for Finding Grace.  (Because FG deals with out-of-wedlock teenage pregnancy, underage drinking, abortion, and the Holocaust, it is really for older teens and adults--and I believe a parent should read it first before giving it to her young reader.)  This time, I'm also working with deadlines, so I have to carve hours out of each day to sit at my laptop and work.  I must treat my writing as a job rather than a hobby.
So I tell you, I've been typing away like a madwoman Ron Swanson.
I've been going over each page with a fine-tooth comb, trying to make sure I don't have any grammar boo-boo's.  Because Ryan Gosling has a point when it comes to this subject.

He really likes to give advice on writing, I've noticed (among other things--his "Hey girl" memes are literally all over the Internet).
I actually like that one.  He makes writing fiction sound so easy.  And FUN!  Cheryl told me to have fun with this project, and that's what I intend to do!

I'm not going to divulge what the new book will be about.  But I will say that there might be an historical fiction component.  And because I'm so fascinated by all things Celtic in nature, there might be an Irish character or two.  For now, the book's working title is Erin's Ring.

I told my husband that although I do love to write, I worry that being "a writer" means I'm a little strange.  (As Ryan Gosling so aptly points out, I'm playing pretend and then sharing it--not the most normal way to spend one's time.)  But here's what I need to remember, I guess:
ER is slated to come out sometime in early 2015.  Until then, please keep me in your prayers, as I'm a little nervous about this project; I so want to do a good job with it, to reward Cheryl's faith in me.  But if I can give greater glory to God through this book, then no matter what happens, I will think of it as a success.


  1. I can't wait to read it!!!

  2. This is so exciting!! I can't wait to read it! Prayers coming your way :)

  3. Praying for you! And congratulations on being chosen for this wonderful opportunity! I am so excited (as usual) to read your book and to share it with a few middle school girls I know who would love your characters!! Ready to preorder it. No pressure! ;)

    1. Natalie, thank you for your constant enthusiastic support. :)

    2. By the way, are you a middle school teacher?

    3. I wish I was! My husband taught middle school, but now he will be teaching at a high school. I know many young girls who would benefit so much from reading books that will inspire their life and faith. I'm a SAHM and I'm in a few homeschool online groups where parents are always asking for recommendations for books for their teens. I can't wait to share the title of your book and a review with them next year! Praying for you!

  4. Yay - hooray! This is all such wonderful news.

  5. How exciting! I enjoyed FG so much but wished I could have recommended it as an addition to the Catholic-school library where I volunteer. I look forward to ER for that reason. If you need a beta reader, don't hesitate to ask. You and your work are in my prayers!

  6. Congratulations!!!!! So excited for you!

  7. Readers, I'm so sorry! I just showed this post to my son, because I know he loves Ron Swanson and I figured he'd get a kick out of the meme. He read it out loud, and it was then that I realized the last word Ron was typing was NOT "buttonhole," which is what my brain saw when I chose that meme to post on this family-friendly blog! Mea culpa!