Guest Post: Heather Gray

Today’s guest host is fellow Astraea Press author, Heather Gray!

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I’m the Best Writer You’ll Ever Meet…

 

…NOT!

I had you there for a minute, didn’t I?  Admit it.  It’s okay.

No?  Well, that’s fine, too.  You’ve simply proven you’re a savvy individual who knows a hook when she (or he) sees one!

Before I go any further, I want to take a minute to thank Christi for having me on her blog today.  If you don’t know her very well, I’ll tell you she’s an exceptionally kindhearted person who is helpful, encouraging, and terribly creative.  And if you do know her well, you probably have even more great things to say about her!

I was recently pondering the question of why I even bother submitting anything to a publisher.  After all, I know how I write.  I know there are still flaws in my work.  I am intimately acquainted with many of my own literary shortcomings, and I’m smart enough to recognize there are many more I haven’t yet discovered.  Nothing I’ve written to date has been good enough, so why do I keep submitting?

It’s simple, really:  I’m not an objective judge of my own work, and I never will be.

My first novel, Mail Order Man, came out this past April.  I still don’t think it’s good enough to have been published…and it’s out there actually SELLING.  People I don’t even know are buying that book.  Granted, it’s not likely going to make it to the New York Times Bestseller’s list…but still, my publisher believed in my book, and now that book is selling.  (In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m completely in awe!)

So this is my philosophy:  Even when I think something I’ve written isn’t worthy, I still submit it to my publisher.  I let them decide whether or not it’s good enough to make it out there in the big bad (and by bad I mean wonderful) word of e-books.

The truth is, once I experienced what getting published was like, there was no way I could ever stop.  Why?  Fame and fortune?  Oh wow, I laughed so hard there for a minute I think I almost choked.  I’m not famous.  I’m not rich.  And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  So why do I keep at it?  I learn so much each and every time a manuscript goes through editing.  I can’t even begin to tell you all that I’ve learned and how much my writing has improved.  It might almost be an addiction.  I can’t wait for editors to tell me what I’ve done wrong in a story because I know it’ll make me better at what I do.  And I LOVE what I do.

I have been on the crazy wild journey of a lifetime.  After my release in April, I had a short story (available only through my publisher) called “Late for the Ball?” come out in June.  It’s gotten mixed reviews.  There’s a bit of a surprise ending, and readers have apparently not been nearly as fond of that twist as I am.  (Live and learn.)  I have an inspirational contemporary romance, Ten Million Reasons, which released in July.  Coming soon is my first Regency inspirational romance, His Saving Grace, and the second book in my Ladies of Larkspur series, Just Dessert.  And, if everything goes well, I will have a Christmas novel, Nowhere for Christmas, out this winter.

A year ago today I had a fledgling dream and zero confidence.  I didn’t even have a contract.  God willing, by the end of this year, I will have had six different manuscripts published, each one better-written than the one before it.  I won’t say my results are normal or typical.  We’re all different, and the pace at which we write (not to mention the genre!) reflects that.   There are amazing writers out there who publish a book every couple of years, not to mention stars-in-the-making who try for years before they get published.  I understand that.  I am so blessed to be on this journey, and I don’t take a minute of it for granted.  Whatever path you are traveling – whether it has to do with writing or something else entirely – I hope you’re as excited about it as I am about the one I’m on.

Thank you for stopping by and spending part of your day with me today – I appreciate it!  Now go out there and do something spectacular – I know you’ve got it in you!

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Author Bio:

Aside from her long-standing love affair with coffee, Heather’s greatest joys in life are her relationship with her Savior, her family, and writing.  Years ago, she decided it would be better to laugh than yell.  Heather carries that theme over into her writing where she strives to create characters that experience both the highs and lows of life and, through it all, find a way to love God, embrace each day, and laugh out loud right along with her.

Where to Find Heather:

My Website – http://www.heathergraywriting.com

My Blog – http://www.heathergraywriting.com/blog

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/heathergraywriting

Twitter – http://twitter.com/LaughDreamWrite

Goodreads –  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4051662.Heather_Gray

 

TenMillionReasons-HeatherGray-453x680Money talks, and the way she spends hers tells him all he needs to know…

Richard needs to find a woman he can trust, and he needs to find her fast.  He doesn’t have time to waste on getting to know people, which means dating and interviewing are out of the question.  So how can he get past that initial mask of good behavior to learn what people are really like?  Easy!  Give them ten million dollars and watch to see what they do with it.

Genevieve is a free-lance journalist who talks to herself, constantly forgets to put appointments on her calendar and can’t go anywhere without being asked to take a survey.  Why on earth is Richard interested in her?  She doesn’t know it yet, but he has ten million reasons…

Buy Links:

Amazon     Barnes & Noble    Astraea Press    Kobo     Smashwords

 

LateForTheBall_350X500Fulfilling one’s destiny has never been so…compelling.

Myra is cast aside by her parents, betrothed to a man she’s never met, and forced into a life she never wanted. In the midst of it all, she finds herself strangely drawn into something she doesn’t entirely understand.

The earl is mocking, demanding and entirely unwilling to break the betrothal.  He speaks in riddles, but by night’s end, one thing is clear: He is not who he seems.

Follow Myra into a world of intrigue and hidden meaning. Will she unravel the mystery before time runs out?

Buy LinkAvailable in all electronic formats (for Kindle, Nook & other e-readers) for only 50¢ from Astraea Press.   

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What about you? Are you an objective judge of your own writing, or do you have a team of family/friends/Beta Readers to let you know how you’re doing? 

 

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11 thoughts on “Guest Post: Heather Gray

  1. I am definitely not an objective judge. I think I’m the worst writer ever and yet, somehow, my first novel has had two contracts on it. I haven’t had any success with either of those contracts, but they were contracts nonetheless.

  2. Not sure if anyone is really objective. It’s like if you hear your own recorded voice and hate the way it sounds. Or how the most beautiful women will point out some supposed flaw that drives them crazy. You’re always more critical of your own work.

    • You know how, when someone points out a flaw in you, and it’s one you already know about, it somehow hurts worse than if they pointed out some imagined flaw? (I know what’s wrong with me, but that doesn’t mean I need you to TELL me what’s wrong with me…) We have to be so completely different in writing. If we know there is a weakness in our work, and a reader points it out, we have to find the strength to agree with them (silently is fine!) and learn from it. That’s been a lesson in humility for me. Now…if somebody starts telling me what’s wrong with my body, my children, or my husband…well, that’s a different story! 😉

    • Yes! Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t someday like to get a paycheck with more digits on the left side of the decimal than on the right…but that’s not why I sit down at the computer and tap out my ideas. Passion…what a great word to describe why we do what we do! 🙂

  3. Thanks, Christi. I am enjoying your guest Thursday’s and welcome reading about Heather. I have little or no objectivity about my work and rely on strong and honest BETA readers. Without the fun, the angst, the passion that drives us, there would be little reason for us to continue. There are a thousand other ways we can earn a paycheck, but even with the little bit we will see from our labors … we labor with love 🙂

    • Thank you so much for stopping by to spend part of the day with us! Writing is…well, it’s probably not the same for everyone…but it’s like a really good friend. Sometimes we fight with each other, disagree, or say ugly things we immediately take back…and sometimes we get along beautifully and share all the same tastes about everything…and I can’t imagine anyone else I’d rather spend my days (or late nights after the family’s in bed) with. 🙂

    • I wonder sometimes if those authors who have big contracts and sell millions of copies — do they ever shake their head and say, “I can’t believe that one got a contract. They must be banking on my name, because the story is nothing but drivel…” When my first book came out, I had to teach myself to stop apologizing to people. “Thank you for buying it, but don’t feel that you have to read it. Really, it’s not that good of a book…” I eventually realized that wasn’t the best promotional technique. 😉

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