Regency romance writing called me. Not the calm drawing room conversations and country walks of a Jane Austen, but the swashbuckling romance such as Sylvester or The Wicked Uncle by Georgette Heyer, or even better, the “Sanguinet” series by Patricia Veryan. I wanted spies and dead bodies amidst the glitter of the haut-ton. Who needed to find God’s Grace more than the decadent members of the British upper class?
As a friend of mine says, “Why would you write about people who would be dead now if they ever existed?” The Christian market also believed that no one wanted to read about these people dancing the Roger de Coverley in my head. My first novel targeted for the Christian market received several resounding rejections. They ranged from, “This has potential”, to “Laurie Alice can really write”, to “We can’t sell a Regency”.
So I tried what everyone seemed to be selling at the time–a women’s fiction with romantic elements. The less said about that contemporary attempt the better.
Disconsolate, discouraged, and several other disses later, I, at my agent’s advice, wrote a secular Regency romance for the one “sweet” market left, and sold it. A year after its release, it won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency.
But I thought God called me to write Christian fiction.
Yes, He did, and he had numerous things to write upon my heart first. What those are subjects for other posts. At the same time He made me wait, he gave me promises–an article sale here, an essay sale there, and one story in a collection for Heartsong.
My baby toe was in the door. And sometimes it felt like publishers managed to slam that door on my entire foot.
And through it all, God continued to write. I continued to write, study, pray for God to give me the desire to do something else, and I then wrote some more.
To make a long and convoluted story short, I not only began to sell books in the Christian market, I began to sell the stories for which I carried a burning desire to tell. A publisher I never dared dream would think me good enough for them bought six books from me, amongst them, Yes! A Regency romantic suspense series.
Why hadn’t I dreamed that this would really happen? Because my dreams are smaller than God’s plan for my life and in that my writing career.
This week, as A Necessary Deception, Book #1 in The Daughters of Bainbridge House Regency series releases from Revell Books, I have been meditating on how God’s plan for our writing, as with all our lives, is so much bigger than what we imagine. I nearly gave up because I couldn’t sell what I wanted to write and had to write what would sell. Yet, when I was obedient to the Lord and the stories flowed from me in an act of worship to His goodness, I realized that he had made His desire for my heart the desire of my heart and has blessed me beyond what I asked to receive.
Award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes wanted to be a writer since knowing what one was. Her first book won the National Readers Choice Award in 2007, and her third book was a Carol Award finalist in 2010. Having her first book with Baker/Revell, Lady in the Mist, picked up by Crossings Book Club, and six of her books have been chosen for large print editions by Thorndike Press. She has been a public speaker for as long as she can remember; thus, only suffers enough stage fright to keep her sharp. In 2002, while in graduate school for writing fiction, she began to teach fiction in person and online. She lives in Virginia with her husband, two dogs, and probably too many cats.