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That’s What Friends Are For

by Sarah Sundin

When I started writing, I was alone. I’d never met another novelist, and I had no idea where to start. The first and best advice I received was to join a writers group and attend conferences.

Made sense. I needed to learn my craft. I needed to meet editors and agents so I could sell my book.

However, the greatest benefit was friendship. What a joy to meet others who think as I do! Others who talk to the characters in their heads! And the friendships grew. We support each other in prayer, serve as critique partners, and laugh ourselves silly late at night at conferences. This month, I’m thankful for two other gifts of writer friendship: collaboration in writing and collaboration in publicity.

Writing Buddies
Where Treetops Glisten
When I attended Mount Hermon Writers Conference for the first time in 2003, the speaker asked us to tell the person behind us what we were passionate about. The young woman behind me said, “I’m passionate about World War II.” She was? So was I! That young woman was Tricia Goyer. A few years later at the ACFW Conference, I met Cara Putman, who shared that passion. When Cara suggested the three of us write a WWII Christmas novella collection, I leapt at the chance.

The three of us had a great time writing Where Treetops Glisten and our friendship grew. I appreciated their freewheeling creativity, Cara’s ability to keep us energized, and Tricia’s phenomenal publicity ideas. For some reason, they even liked the nerdy timelines and character charts I used to keep us coordinated. Through that friendship, a book was born.

Publicity Pals

One of the most appealing facets of the Christian writing community is the genuine spirit of collaboration.

I’ve become friends with Karen Barnett, Regina Jennings, Joanne Bischof, and Amanda Dykes through ACFW and Mount Hermon, and this week we’re in the middle of our third blog hop, the Christmas Chronicles. Since we write historical fiction from different eras, we’re each sharing a Christmas letter from our heroines and giving away books, ornaments inspired by our stories, and more. Most importantly, our goal in the Christmas Chronicles is to spread hope and joy.

The idea came out of Amanda and Joanne’s warm hearts, and the mutual creativity of all the ladies has built this into a lovely event. Each of us gets to introduce our readers to new authors and books they would enjoy, and we also get to draw readers into our community for prayer and friendship.

So nourish those writer friendships. When we pray together and work together, everyone benefits.

Sarah Sundin green 1Sarah Sundin is the author of six historical novels, including In Perfect Time (Revell, 2014) plus a novella in Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook, 2014). On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. Sarah also works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school. http://www.sarahsundin.com.

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3 Responses to That’s What Friends Are For

  1. Amanda Dykes says:

    Sarah, what a fun article! Your friendship is a cherished gift. Did you know you were one of the very first people to welcome me at Mt. Hermon? I was such a newbie– didn’t know a soul, and had only just “met” you online a few weeks prior– yet you approached me to extend a welcome, which set me at ease and set the tone for one amazing conference. I’m forever grateful for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I love this, Sarah! You’ve talked me off of several anxiety-ridden ledges, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful. And “laughing ourselves silly late at night at conferences…” I think we just did that a few months ago in Monterey, but I’m already looking forward to next time!

  3. Sarah Sundin says:

    Amanda – I was so blessed by the warm welcome I received my newbie year(s), and it’s an even bigger blessing to pass it on!

    Karen – who better to understand those ledges better than a fellow ledge-dweller? And don’t worry – someday I’m sure you’ll get an opportunity to return the favor. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Here’s to many more laughter sessions!