Friday, March 7, 2014

The Writer's Journey ~ A Guest Post with Linnette Mullin

Linnette's novel. Don't you love the cover?
“Writers must pay their dues.”

“If you’re serious about writing, you’ll work hard to prove yourself. Eventually, people will sit up and take notice.” As a new writer, these words needled me. While it sounds like an excuse to ignore newbie writers, it rings of truth. However, I’ve since learned a more comforting truth:

You aren’t a writer because you write. You write because you are a writer.

Don’t let the need to prove yourself discourage you. Even in seasons of life where you have to lay aside the pen, know that if you’re truly a writer you will write. The delay is simply part of your journey.

My own journey is rather abnormal,
but then what is normal in this age of publishing?

While I haven’t been writing since I could hold a pencil and I wasn’t an avid reader in my early years, stories have always swam in my head. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a people watcher - an observer of life. If you ever received letters from me in my youth, you can attest to page after page of detailed accountings of my life. My brother once teased, saying I couldn’t sign a card without writing a book. So in my own way I’ve always been a story-teller.

I became chronically ill after the birth of my third son. While my body was broken, my mind remained active. I picked up the pen to preserve my sanity. I finished my first manuscript and then realized I didn’t know what to do with it. Thus began my foray into the world of search engines where I found an inexpensive on-line character building class with DiAnn Mills. She gave me encouraging feedback throughout the class, and guided me to Mark Littleton and HACWN where I officially became part of the writing jungle!

Due to certain providences, however, I set aside my manuscript. In an effort to continue honing my writing
skills I started blogging a short serial story. After a year and a half, I realized “Finding Beth” would be a full-blown novel! Three years of writing, rewriting, and honing the book, I began searching for agents and publishers. The thought of coping with my illness while landing a contract with a big publisher intimidated me. I didn’t know if I could handle the pressure of their timelines, so I also researched self-publishing.

December of 2011, Mark Littleton mentioned that writer friend Pamela Sonnenmoser was somehow connected to a small but growing traditional publisher. He encouraged me to contact her, so (still agent-less) I emailed a request for information. She in turn requested information about my novel. Little did I know she was the acquisitions editor! I sent her the information she wanted and continued my self-publishing research. Months passed and, forgetting about the publisher, I decided to self-publish.

One week in July 2012, I was preparing to set up a Kickstarter to raise funds for my endeavor when I received an email from CrossRiver Media Group. They wanted to see the full manuscript as well as the rest of my book proposal.

“God, what are you doing?”

I thought he wanted me to self-publish, yet I felt compelled to at least explore the CrossRiver option. So I sent them my proposal and full manuscript. After many questions back and forth, and much praying on both
our parts, CrossRiver offered me a contract which we signed in December 2013. After three years of searching for an agent and looking into different publishing options,

God dropped my publisher in my lap – incomplete book proposal and all.

It floored me! Getting a publisher just doesn’t happen this way. Yet, as I reflect back I see how God guided the publication of “Finding Beth”. The three years I spent searching, my publisher was getting established and I was gaining necessary insight to make “Finding Beth” exactly what God wanted it to be. As I still struggle with my health, I remind myself that book two will also be completed and published in God’s timing. That brings me such sweet comfort.

Are you discouraged by delays or rejections? I’d love to hear about your journey.



LINNETTE R. MULLIN is an author of life-changing romance. She has been married to her hubby - Johnathan, for over twenty years, and they've been blessed with four sons. Some of her writing credits include Charles Stanley's "In Touch" magazine, "101 Facets of Faith", Guidepost's "Extraordinary Answers to Prayer", and "Public Health Alert" - a nationally distributed newspaper for the chronically ill. She is the founder and coordinator of Palmetto Christian Writer’s Network in LexingtonSouth Carolina and she runs the “We Are Writers” group on Facebook. Her favorite things in life are her family, her church, reading and writing, and her Savior most of all. 


Linnette would love to hear from you. For more information about “Finding Beth”, Linnette or how to connect with her, please visit LinnetteRMullin.com.


28 comments:

Linnette R Mullin said...

Good morning Casey and other fellow writers! I'm so excited to visit The Writer's Alley today. I've already heard from one reader who was encouraged by my post and I'd love to hear from more whether or not it encouraged you. I just love to visit! ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by. I pray you have a blessed Friday!

~Linnette

Pepper said...

Linnette,
What a wonderful story of God's guidance and 'perfect timing'. Don't you love His surprise parties? :-)
I love the cover of your book. Absolutely beautiful!
I recognize those mountains. Smokies, right? My neck of the woods

Pepper said...

And welcome to The Alley - we're so glad to have you here

Katie Cross said...

Oh, I love this post for so many, many reasons.

I never knew that you and Finding Beth had such a great story! You may say it's not normal, but there is no established normal. Actually, I think yours is better than normal. It's inspiring!

Your healthy attitude and determination to get this done is what got you here, and God's help, of course. Thanks for being a light for the rest of us to look up to so we can be brave enough to take action!

And thanks for opening up your story like this. That is never an easy thing to do.

Katie Cross said...

Oh, I love this post for so many, many reasons.

I never knew that you and Finding Beth had such a great story! You may say it's not normal, but there is no established normal. Actually, I think yours is better than normal. It's inspiring!

Your healthy attitude and determination to get this done is what got you here, and God's help, of course. Thanks for being a light for the rest of us to look up to so we can be brave enough to take action!

And thanks for opening up your story like this. That is never an easy thing to do.

Linnette R Mullin said...

Hi, Pepper! Great to see your face! :D

Yes, that's the Smoky Mountains. I'm so glad you love the cover. That was one thing I was determined to have other than a great story - a great cover. Even when I was looking into self-publishing, I told my hubby that the one thing I MUST have is a great cover. The story behind the making of my cover could be a whole new post on how God works to answer your prayers and hearts desires. Totally amazing!

Thank you for the sweet welcome to The Writer's Alley. Casey is a sweetheart and was so patient about me getting the post in to her so late. Thanks again for the welcome! :D

~Linnette

Linnette R Mullin said...

Katie, you're such a sweetheart and quickly becoming one of my greatest cheerleaders. Thank you!!! I'm so glad the post encouraged you. Keep at it girl! Your day is just around the corner! :D

~Linnette

Mary Vee said...

Linnette,
Your words are so inspirational. Working through hardship, researching options, God plopping in your lap the exciting gift of a contract. Wow.
I could read this post several times and walk away inspired.
Thank you so much for joining us on the Alley today. May you find healing and the strength to pursue your second book.

Cathy Bryant said...

So happy for you, sweet friend! Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring journey. Much love!

Linnette R Mullin said...

Thanks, Mary Vee! You ladies are making my day! I might have to beg Casey to let me return. ;) Glad my post inspired you! :D

~ Linnette

Linnette R Mullin said...

Thank you, Cathy! You're such a treasure and encouragement to me!

(((Hugs)))

~Linnette

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Love hearing your story! And what a gorgeous cover! So excited to have your debut here on the Alley! Praying for amazing success!

Linnette R Mullin said...

Thank you, Amy! It's great to be here! I'm so glad you love the cover! It was late in coming. I thought we'd never have it ready, but I wouldn't change the delay for all the world. Not with the way it turned out! :D

~Linnette

Angie said...

Linnette,
What an encouraging story! I so needed to read this today. My writing journey seems to be hovering in one place and not moving forward as I would've expected at this point in the process. But just recently, I decided the most important thing to do, was not write a killer novel, but write for the love of writing! It is so therapeutic, and the very reason I started this journey in the first place!!
Thanks for joining us on the Alley today!

Angie said...

Linnette,
What an encouraging story! I so needed to read this today. My writing journey seems to be hovering in one place and not moving forward as I would've expected at this point in the process. But just recently, I decided the most important thing to do, was not write a killer novel, but write for the love of writing! It is so therapeutic, and the very reason I started this journey in the first place!!
Thanks for joining us on the Alley today!

Casey said...

Thank you so much for being on the Alley today, Linnette! I love how God uses our individual stories to encourage and strengthen us and those around us :)

Casey said...

Hello Katie! Thank you so much for stopping by to say "hi" on the Alley today! Glad Linnette's story here was an encouragement to you. :)

Casey said...

*waving* to Cathy! Been a while since I saw you around social media!! :-)

Susan Anne Mason said...

So great to hear your story, Linnette. Congratulations on your debut. Sounds like a great story.

Cheers,
Sue

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Sorry I'm just getting to the party! I took the day off, but had to have some holes poked into my right eye with a laser to relieve some pressure. Whew!

Thank you soooo much for sharing your experience. I love to see how God works in His ways and His timing. Gives me goosebumps to watch Him work! May God bring you success as you continue to follow His leading.

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Oh my goodness, Sherrinda - that sounds painful!! :O

Linnette, congratulations on your debut! I can definitely relate to the delays and rejections you speak about. So thrilled for you that your writing journey has led you to the place of blessing you're in now!

Casey said...

That does sound painful! Goodness Sherrinda, not my idea of a great Friday. :(

Linnette R Mullin said...

Thank you, Casey! I loved being here! Thank you so much for having me! :D

Linnette R Mullin said...

Angie, thank you so much for sharing that with me! I'm glad my story was an encouragement to you! ~Linnette

Linnette R Mullin said...

Hi, Susan! Thanks so much for joining me and for the congrats, as well! Blessings, Linnette

Linnette R Mullin said...

Hi, Sherrinda! As you can see, I'm a little behind myself. :) Thanks so much for your encouraging words! And I pray things have gone well since the laser surgery and that your eyes are healing. Blessings, Linnette

Linnette R Mullin said...

Thanks, Karen! :D
Blessings, Linnette

Linnette R Mullin said...

Casey, so sorry for abandoning the comments. I can't even remember what happened. I had to go out for a while and I wasn't feeling well. Spent the evening curled up resting. Thanks so much for having me and I would love to do it again sometime! :D

Blessings, Linnette