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September 2011

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A lifetime of pruning

Over the past 10 years, numerous rejections have led to a lot of change. Each rejection has shaped Mateer’s writing by making her want to get better, to overcome whatever weaknesses led to that rejection.

In life, she’s gone through years of struggle in her marriage and parenting that exposed great weaknesses and inconsistencies in her spiritual life. God did some serious pruning in her over the course of those years that have, of course, shaped her writing as well.

The whole writing journey pushes Mateer into a deeper relationship with God. She has to depend on Him for creativity, for story, for time, and for security to weather rejections. Her writing is not only birthed out of her relationship with the Lord, He is the reason it continues to have any life at all.

My First Sale: Anne Mateer

Anne MateerAnne Mateer sold her debut novel, Wings of a Dream, in May of 2010, and it releases this month. The same day she arrived at her daughter’s dorm room to move her back home, Mateer received a phone call from an editor at Bethany House. She plopped onto her daughter’s bed and listened, open-mouthed, as she was offered a two-book contract—which she accepted.

As her husband and daughter moved her daughter’s dorm room to the family car, Anne—known to many in ACFW as D’Ann—called her family and friends to announce the great news. In no time at all, the car was packed, and they headed out for a dinner celebration.

A lifetime of writing

Mateer has been writing since she took a two-week poetry class during the summer between fourth and fifth grade. She wrote all through middle school, high school, and college, taking several creative writing classes.

But it wasn’t until her youngest child went to kindergarten in 2000 that she got serious. And now, with only the youngest of her three children living at home, her schedule has opened up considerably.

Having that much solitude has proven beneficial. Despite being an intuitive writer for whom classic literature has been a strong influence, Mateer realized crafting characters that live and breathe on the page isn’t enough. Charlene Patterson, the editor who called her, agreed.

“I loved Rebekah’s narrative voice and was a big fan of Anne’s style and characters,” Patterson said. “But the story’s plot wasn’t quite working. So, we brainstormed some revisions, and Anne did several rewrites for me. She was such a trooper and I was impressed with the finished product.

“Anne has this wonderful ability to create characters firmly entrenched in their period, yet who are people with whom modern readers can identify. Historical fiction readers of all ages will delight in her stories.”

Mateer’s husband and agent, Jeff Mateer, celebrates his wife and client’s dedication.

“It has been an amazing journey,” Jeff Mateer said. “Anne is an awesome wife and mother to our three children. She consistently puts us before her own needs. In the midst of raising our family, she found the time to purse her dream of becoming a published writer. Her dedication, commitment and perseverance is inspiring and a testimony to the faithfulness of our Lord and Savior.”

A lifetime story

Wings of a Dream coverThe story of Wings of a Dream is her grandmother’s story—and it’s been rolling around in Anne Mateer’s head since her grandmother passed away in 2000. While knowing enough to create the characters in the story, she didn’t have the meat and plot of the book until she attended a history symposium and heard a lecture on aviator training in Dallas during World War I. Suddenly, the story clicked into place.

In Wings of a Dream, Rebekah dreams of a life beyond her family’s farm in Oklahoma, and a dashing aviator named Arthur just might be the answer. But The Great War, the Spanish flu epidemic, and the death of her aunt changes everything. Add to that Arthur’s indecisiveness and four children who have no one else to care for them, and Rebekah is torn between the desire to escape the life she’s always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart.

Mateer hopes readers will come away from Wings of a Dream with a willingness to follow where God leads in their lives, even if it means accepting a change of heart—and a change of dream.

A lifetime persevering

Others in Mateer’s life are a reason for her success too.

Mary DeMuth“Anne impressed me with her prose, and she was a quick learner,” said author Mary DeMuth (right). “It’s been rewarding to watch Anne navigate this fiction journey. I feel privileged to be a small part of this new release, and I can’t wait for others to read her book. I know it will entertain and bless many.”

Leslie Wilson, a member of Mateer’s Life Sentence critique group, admires Mateer’s tenacity. “She plugged away at novel after novel, honing her craft, learning everything she could about characterization, plot, setting, etc. When any normal, rational person would have given up, Anne persevered until she landed a two-book contract.”

Her second novel, as yet untitled, will release in September of 2012. Learn more about Mateer by visiting her on Facebook.

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