Saturday, May 19, 2007

Novel Perspectives

Yesterday a writer friend asked for 'advice we'd give someone wanting to write a novel.' Here was my response:

Realize that as you sit down at your desk to pen the ‘Great American Novel’ you may want to write ‘the book of your heart’, but you must also write a novel that’s marketable to today’s readers. These two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive—you can do both. You just need to be aware of both facets as you write. Then once you’re done, you must somehow shift how you view your novel (easily said, not as easily done), because your novel, once published, becomes a product. And that product will be scrutinized, criticized, idolized and pulverized, all before the book even hits the shelves (you’ve heard of book reviews…)! You must learn to write your best with where you are now. You cannot write today’s story with the skills you will have acquired ten years from now. Write the story with the skill level you have today. That’s the only way to get better. So…write from your heart while knowing your market. And once you’ve written the book, release it and let it go, trusting it to the One who called you to write it in the first place.

I've learned much in these past two years about writing a novel, rewriting a novel, rewriting a novel again (I LOVE the rewrite phrase, btw!), and then finally 'letting it go.' It's a learning experience every time.

Before I shift gears a bit, I want to let you know that we're now inside the two week mark! On June 1st, my family and I will pull up stakes and head South to Nashville. Lots of packing and writing to do during this time and it's been a challenge to manage both.

The first draft of my next book is due June 30th and I'm determined to make that deadline. If you've ever done the "Experiencing God" study then you'll recognize this statement--When God leads you to do something it's never something you can accomplish on your own. It will always be a God-sized task that will require God-sized strength.

That's where I am right now...and strangely, at least this morning (check with me later!), I'm peaceful about getting it all done. Knowing it will be in his strength and not my own.

Now I want to let you know about a new book that's currently available. It will take you on a journey of unexpected love, new life, and renewed faith amid life's trials. Read on...

Drought has gripped the quiet Kentucky town of Hollyhill, and the town seems as if it is holding its breath--waiting. Jocie Brooke is nervous about starting high school. Her sister Tabitha is experiencing the weariness of waiting for a new baby. Her father David is feeling the timidity of those first steps toward true love. All of these pivotal steps in life are awaiting the Brooke family.

Into this cloud of tense anticipation, a black family from Chicago, the Hearndons move here to plant an orchard outside of town. Fresh off the Freedom Train, Myra Hearndon is sensitive to what the color of her skin may mean in a Southern town. Her family will have to contend with more than the dry ground and blazing sun as they try to create their ORCHARD OF HOPE.

Jocie finds herself befriending a boy that some townspeople shun. Due to unspoken racial lines in this southern town, the presence of these newcomers sparks a smoldering fire of unrest that will change Hollyhill..and Jocie...forever. In this close-knit community, everything is about to change.

Ann H. Gabhart has published a number of adult and young adult novels with several different publishers. The author of The Scent of Lilacs, Ann and her husband live a mile from where she was born in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. She is active in her country church, and her husband sings bass in a southern gospel quartet.


  1. Good luck with your move to TN! I may be biased but you will love it here. :)

  2. Thanks, Ruth! We're looking forward to it!


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