Friday, September 11, 2015

What's YOUR story?

It's been an exciting couple of months for me... starting with signing on with WildBlue Press to seeing the pieces of the publishing puzzle start to come together from edits to a title contest and off and running toward a cover design. It feels like I jumped the curb from the school zone to the NASCAR circle, but it's been one heck of a ride and I'm still flooring it with all I've got!

Yesterday something exciting happened. My very own bio page went live on my publisher's website. We've been all signed up and working toward this goal for a few months now but something about that made me feel rather official. Validated.

Silly, in a way, I suppose. It's not like having my backstory posted online means I've made it to the top, or any such nonsense. My book wont be releasing until the end of October and this was merely one more lap in the race. But I think it's special because I'm a story-teller. I tell stories about fictional people. Their struggles and triumphs. Their fears and aspirations. I love that I have a passion for it. I count myself privileged to have found something I love doing that I seem to not stink at, and even when I did, to still find enough love and joy in it to keep working to get better. :)

And yet, I forgot what a simple pleasure it is to tell a piece of my OWN story. I got to write a brief snapshot of my journey and others actually read it and cheered me on. People may think writing is a solitary venture, but while our laptop might often be our closest companion (though admittedly a pretty lousy conversationalist) most writers long for actual community. Not just to have a following of readers--sure it would be really nice if people actually read my book when it came out so I don't feel like a giant flopping failure. But like any other dream so closely tied to your heart, we need encouragement, congratulations, and commiseration. Sharing yourself in open forum for the world to pick and poke at can be a pretty intimidating thing. We realize not all books are for all people. Everyone has a different opinion and not everyone who reads my book is going to think I'm Houdini with words.

But to know that my story, MINE, encouraged someone? Made them smile or believe in themselves even just a smidgen more, well... it just makes me feel honored to be heard. To have a moment. A moment, maybe small to others, but big and wonderfully thrilling for this humble writer making strides toward a bigger goal.

If you want to read my story, it's here.... but I also want to read yours! It doesn't have to be long or eloquent, but it might just encourage someone else barely clinging to a dream.

So tell me about your dream... What's YOUR story?

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Amy Leigh Simpson is the completely exhausted stay-at-home mama to the two wild-child, tow-headed boys, one pretty little princess baby, and the incredibly blessed wife of her hunky hubby.
She writes Romantic Mystery chalked full of grace that is equally inspiring, nail-biting, and hilarious. And a little saucy! Okay fine, a lot saucy. :) She is a member of ACFW, and now uses her Sports Medicine degree to patch up daily boo-boos. Her greatest ambitions are to create stories that inspire hope, raise up her children to be mighty warriors for Christ, invent an all-dessert diet that works, and make up for years of sleep deprivation. 
Look for her debut novel due out this October with WildBlue Press!

4 comments:

Lorna Woods said...

I told stories to myself, my family and my friends, from the time I was five years old.I wrote stories and dreamed of writing novels, but life happened, and not until I turned 70 did I realize my dream. I live in Oregon so I joined Oregon Christian Writers and attended my first OCW conference in 2012. I soon realized I didn't have 10 years to work at breaking into traditional publishing. So I stuck my toe tentatively into the icy, scary waters of indie publishing. I wrote a novel based on my cult experiences, Escape the Dragon, and my memoir. I sold a few copies. I kept on honing my craft, worked in critique groups and writing my stories. I studied other successful Indie authors without a lot of money to market books or great computer skills. 2 years and 5 eBooks on Amazon that sold about 10 copies each-and then I wrote and published my 6th eBook, Hideaway, in 2013. Inspired, I emailed the woman who owned the cattery where I bought my 2 cats.I told her about my book (it features a woman with a cattery) she loved the book and emailed all her customers about Hideaway. I sold over 100 copies in one month. Hideaway made the top 100 for a couple of weeks in Christian books on Amazon kindle books. At 73, I have 13 published eBooks and they are all selling-I'm not rich or famous, but I have readers and I'm doing what I love and living my dream. So don't give up, traditional or indie, write and publish however God leads.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Wow! What a story! And what a beautiful testimony!!! Love this! Gonna go look you up! Keep on dreaming big!

Patricia Beal said...

Great story, Lorna.

Amy, you're an awesome Cinderella. Wow!

Here's my story:

Patricia Beal writes contemporary fiction and is represented by Les Stobbe.

She is from Brazil and immigrated to America in 1992. She fell in love with the English language while washing dishes at McDonald’s, and she learned enough to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). She put herself through college working at a BP gas station, and she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature. She was the news editor of the university newspaper for 2 years.

After an internship at the Pentagon, she worked as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Army for 7 years. She was a spokesperson for five general officers, providing statements for television, radio and print. Patricia was in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when the first Operation Enduring Freedom detainees arrived, and the stories she filed during the early days of the detention operation there gained national attention. Writing from Iraq in the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom, she focused on feature stories for Army newspapers, and a feature on a day in the life of “Bad Luck Squad” won her a Keith L. Ware award in print journalism.

She fell in love with a handsome airborne infantryman during a stint at Fort Bragg, married him, and quit her special operations speechwriting job to have his babies. Soon came the desire to have book babies, too. Gloria Kempton and Writer’s Digest author Jeff Gerke have been great coaches and mentors. Patricia is an American Christian Fiction Writers member and a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist. She became a Christian as an adult and writes about searching for God with compassion, humor, and understanding.

She has danced ballet since her childhood and has performed with pre-professional companies in South America, Europe and the United States. Her dance experience brings great flavor and authenticity to her first novel, A Season to Dance. She’s been stationed in Germany twice, and that experience, too, brings great flavor and authenticity to that story.

In addition to becoming a published author, Patricia aspires to become an advocate for Autism awareness. She and her son have Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.

And she wants to be an alleycat one day!

Love the Alley :)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Patricia Beal!!!! Oh. My. Word. I was so not expecting that! I might be speechless. (That never happens to me. In fact, I tend to have the opposite problem and can't shut up!) I LOVE this story. I feel like it has to be written. You need to write it. So amazing! Thanks so much for sharing it with me!