Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Call to Christian Fiction

Hi, Renee Ryan here.  This is a picture of my first Love Inspired Historical release in February 2009.  I've had ten releases since, but that first Love Inspired sale didn't happen overnight.  Nor was it my first published novel.  Even though I consider myself a conservative evangelical Christian, I sold my first manuscript to the secular market.  At the time, I didn’t see a contradiction in my faith versus my career.  I was proud of the fact that I was following Jesus’ command to “go out and make disciples of all nations.”
That first sale brought lots of validation.  All my hard work had finally paid off.  I’d arrived.  I was doing something important.  I was God’s vessel.  I was woefully misleading myself.
Within months of that first book hitting the shelves I was released by my publisher.  Enter a very long, very frustrating dry spell.  For months I rationalized why I couldn’t make another book sale.  It was everyone else’s fault, of course.  Westerns were dead, the market was shrinking and, my favorite reason, the editors didn’t like people with the first name Renee.
Long story short, the pursuit of publishing my second novel became my obsession, maybe even my idol.  Something had to change.  So I started working on my relationship with the Lord, something I had let lag to a dangerous level of indifference.  I began studying the Word on a deeper level and turning to God for answers, rather than myself.
It was around this same time that I decided, hey, if I was going to collect rejections I might as well swing for the fences and stop playing it safe.  The resulting book was my first attempt at writing Inspirational romance.  By the time I wrote “the end” I’d found my home.  Writing isn’t any easier, but knowing that I’m the quill and the Lord is the Great Author brings unspeakable joy (and peace). 
So what’s the point in all this?  Simple. Swing for the fences in everything you do, never play it safe and always put the Lord first.  The rest will work itself out in time. 

8 comments:

  1. Very nice post! Thank you. But I am not completely sure what you mean by swing for the fences. I have not heard that expression before.

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  2. When I started writing, Love Inspired wasn't around,and I didn't even know the term Inspirational Romance. Great post, really enjoyed it.

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  3. Hi Barbara, waving. I'm thinking you aren't a baseball fan? "Swing for the Fences" is in reference to a batter hitting a homerun (a shot so far, long and deep it flys right out of the ballpark and past the fences). In other words, the batter should try for a homerun everytime he/she is at bat. I like to think of that for every book. ;-)

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  4. And look where you are now, Pam!!! ;-)

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  5. Hello Renee Ryan and aren't we so glad that you kept on trying and finally got it right..love to read your books and enjoyed your comments here today with the Craftie Ladies.
    A great blog with some great Ladies, you are in good company.
    Hope the New Year gives you many more stories to write and you can bet your bottom dollar we fans will be right there to read them...

    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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  6. Amen! Your story is eerily similar to mine, except I took longer to figure out that God had to be in the driver's seat. I'm so glad you kept swinging for the fences, Renee, because I love your books.

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