Monday, November 23, 2015

Thankful for Inspiring Authors

Last week and this one, on the Alley, we're taking the time to share our thanksgiving for those who've influenced, shared, or encouraged us in this writing journey.

Today, I'm going to share my gratitude for those authors who have inspired me!

It would take a novel to fit, on one blog post, all the authors who have inspired me and touched my life.  So instead I decided to write a "thank you" post for those who've inspired me the most in very different ways. I was going to limit my list to three… Then I expanded it to five… I think I've finally gotten it to nine? and I'm not going any further, though there are plenty other names I can add .

And that's not even including the AlleyCats. Ashley posted a great blog about the sisterhood of this group and the blessing they are in the last Tuesday's post,(to which I greatly agree).

So today, I'm sharing my thankfulness for Inspiring Authors.

About eight years ago I was introduced to two different authors of two different genres at about the same time. If you guys know my typical ADHD writing pattern you'll understand how special that was!! Within the same month I picked up Mary Connealy's novel, Petticoat Ranch, and Siri Mitchell's book, Kissing Adrien.

For the first time in this crazy journey I realized there were stories out there like mine. Stories with adventure, drama, humor, and… Jesus. Its was the 'aha' moment in my writing journey where I realized..."Oh, there are other people out there like me." (Not too sure how Mary or Siri would feel about being compared to me ;-)

Thankfully neither one of those authors minded being stalked by me, and they even helped guide me into making some connections that I might not have made otherwise. Siri Mitchell met me at my first ACFW conference and took me out for coffee. She prayed God would help guide my writing future and gave me such warm encouragement as a kickstart to the journey. Mary Connealy introduced me to the lovely ladies of Seekerville, where I garnered knowledge and support in my early learning phases of writing.

Seekerville led to a trio of more inspiration in the forms of Ruth Logan Herne, Tina Radcliffe, and Audra Harders. These ladies came alongside me and gave fantastic advice. Mama Ruthy even became something of a mentor for a while, urging me to pull up my big girl panties and take the punches with the praises. And, to this day, I'm known to Tina as the elevator stalker. At least I can provide her with a good story to share ;-)

Then I read Julie Lessman and KNEW I'd found a kindred drama queen and borderline overwriter :-)! Not only did Julie's writing inspire my tremulous attempts to write 'on the edge' but Julie's heart of encouragement continued to help me dream that this writing gig might actually happen one day. (In case you didn't know, I'd been writing novels for 20 years and actually pursuing publication for 11 years before I got 'the call', so encouragement was vital. The writing journey is not for the faint of heart or will)

And, of course, there is Beth Vogt, who has continued to be a sweet, calming sounding board and prayer warrior in my life. Her gentleness has mentored me through many trials on this journey. I can't imagine this path without her consisitent support...(and she gives great hugs)

Janice Thompson came next (notice my continued genre confusion ;-). Her generous nature, humor, and compassion are amazing. After reading one of my manuscripts, she said "This is better than anything I've ever written". Needless to say, I hung that quote up on my computer screen for weeks!! I'll never forget spending an evening with her in Houston and gleaning from her kindness and wisdom! (and she didn't mind my genre confusion, because I think she has it too).

Last, and certainly not least, I'm inspired by Laura Frantz. Her writing, almost poetic in its beauty, makes me study the craft to become better and better. And her heart is just as beautiful as her stories. The fact that she endorsed my debut novel still leaves me in a complete stupor of gratitude and awe!! It was a fantastic culmination of a long journey.

There are so many other inspirational people in my life (Julie Gwinn, my granny, my parents, my cousin, Ashley, my friends Jessica, Teresa, Lindsay, and Marie, my brainstorming team....and the list goes ON) who have all contributed in large or small quantities to inspiring me in this writing journey, but today I devoted my attention to the authors!

And there are many other authors who have touched my life. These 9 ladies, though, made a lasting impression on my writing, and my heart.

So....which authors have inspired you? Either through their writing or their lives?


Anonymous said...

Love this! :) I think it safe to say all the writers here at The Alley inspire me... ;) (my family says I've always been a suck up. LOL But I do mean it genuinely and couldn't *not* say it)

Laura Frantz's work causes me to do the same and I've only recently been introduced to her. Her work is so lovely, a breath of fresh air while at the same time a study, a challenge for me and my writing as I glean from her.

I'd have to say my top two inspiring authors would be Joanne Bischof and Jocelyn Green. If I could just magically make a formula To Write between both their writing styles and impart it onto me, I would. LOL The simple poignancy of Joanne's deeply heartfelt historicals, plus Jocelyn's hard-hitting historically rich novels (set in my favorite era--the Civil War) have never ceased to impact me and influence my writing since I began reading both of them a few years back.

(Thank you too, Pepper, for sharing your story here--even just saying, "I'd been writing for 20yrs, pursuing publication for 11 years..." is an encouragement to me. :)

Anonymous said...

Well you sweet elevator stalker you! What a kick to see you blazing the publishing trails!

Julie Lessman said...

PEPPER!!! What a great post to wake up to, my sweet friend -- thank you SO much for your kind words and especially your friendship.

I count it a great honor to be "a kindred drama queen" with you, which is probably why I love your writing so much and always have. :)

Soooooo freakin' proud of you, Pep, and love watching you blaze a bright and blinding trail through the CBA skies!

Hugs and more hugs,

Laura Frantz said...

Dr. Pepper, You have one of the most overflowing hearts I know & continue to bless me over & over again. I'm still spinning @ your beautiful contemp coming up & wanting to share some cover love ����! Hugs & thanks to gracious Meghan & others here for finding merit in my words (thank you, Lord)! And that Julie, doesn't she say it best with blaze a bright and blinding trail through the CBA skies! ����

Beth K. Vogt said...

Pepper, It is a joy to celebrate you -- and you inspire and bless me.

Gabrielle Meyer said...

I loved reading this post and seeing all these beautiful ladies honored with your words. Many of them would also be on my list and they continue to leave a legacy, not only with their writing, but with their kind and gentle hearts. Such a wonderful tribute!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Love this! And I'm on Team Beth too! Such a blessing, that one!

Susan Anne Mason said...

What a lovely post! I agree with everything you said!

Pepper Basham said...

Meghan, you are SO sweet!! I do so love these cats! They've made my writing journey much more of a sweet walk with friends rather than a lonely path.
I'm glad we've been able to share some of that encouragement with you.
You've chosen two very inspiring authors!

Pepper Basham said...

At least it gave you a great story to share ;-) I was SOOOOO happy to see you in person :-)

Pepper Basham said...

SEE! You are such an encourager!!
And as far as 'bright and blinding', it might be more of a hazy rose color, but I'm all for seeing what's going to happen with writing in 2016. It's been such a blessing to have the encouragement of so many wonderful writers!!

Pepper Basham said...

I count it a blessing you've allowed me to be a part of your 'world' as you have. It's an utter delight and honor. Some day....we'll have that writing retreat!

Pepper Basham said...

Words can describe what you've been to me. Thank you!

Pepper Basham said...

These ladies certainly are leaving a legacy...of grateful recipients of their encouragement and kindness.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Seeing this today, but love it! I have garnered encouragement from several of those on your list. So many lovely servant hearted people in the writing community (including you!). Your story gives me encouragement too in the season I'm in to dream big dreams with God even if the time right now is consumed with other things.