Thursday, March 7, 2019

Shifting Gears by Mary Alford

Starting out in a new direction in life can be scary. Whether it’s moving to a new town, buying a new home. Or starting a new direction in your career.  

Shifting gears in life can challenging, but sometimes you have to step out on blind fair and just go for it.   

This is kind of what happened to me. Last year, I finished my Scorpion Team series for Love Inspired Suspense. The series was about a group of elite CIA agents who fought terror here in the US and abroad. I loved the men and women of this series and saying goodbye to them was hard. 

So, when I thought about where I wanted to go next with Love Inspired Suspense, I remembered some valuable advice given to me when I first started writing. A wise author told me, write what you love to read.

Things became much clearer then. I loved reading suspense…and I loved Amish suspense in particular. 

By this time, I’d written a couple of Amish suspense stories. Two for Annie’s Publishing, a couple for another small publishing company, and one for a boxed set that will be out at the end of May.

I’m thrilled to announce my seventh Love Inspired Suspense, tentatively titled Plain Fear, will be out at the beginning of 2020. 


So, what about you. Have you recently shifted gears in your life?  If so, how hard was it for you? What advice would you give someone who is struggling to make a change?

All the best…
Mary Alford


  1. Hi Mary. Love your theme of shifting gears. Yes, I did that in 2011 when I retired from the federal government and decided to write full time. I had written short stories, articles, etc., for 20 years but authoring a book was entirely new. After several conferences, taking numerous workshops, and writing 5 children's books and 2 women's fiction, my 3rd inspirational was published. It was hard work, but well worth it, especially after the 3rd book hit the Publishers Weekly Best Seller List. My advice, go for it, you'll never know unless you do.

    1. Great advice, Marie. And congrats on making the PW bestseller list. That's quite an accomplishment.

  2. Congrats on your success, Mary!

    I like a change of pace at times. That's how I ended up writing Amish stories. I had done a medical suspense series and was working through 9 military suspense stories when I decided to create and include an Amish community located near the fictional Army post to bring something fresh to the stories. I liked the Amish newcomers and the readers did as well. From there, I moved into straight Amish romantic suspense, which I've enjoyed writing.

  3. Hi Mary. Great post! Shifting gears is so important as authors as the market is forever changing. I love the title of your LIS book. Amish is so popular so I'm sure your book will do really well. Blessings!

  4. I'm glad you're having success shifting gears in you writing career. I hope it pays off bigtime. I'm shifting gears in my personal life. Closing up the farmhouse that belonged to my mom and dad for 70 years and turning it over to the next generation.

  5. On January 1, 2018, we had a house fire that completely destroyed our home. EVERYTHING changed for me last year. Not only our address when we found a new house to rent, but also my clothes, my furniture, and even my vehicle. (My van was parked too close to the house.)

    For the first time in eight years, I wasn't taking care of my grandbabies on an almost daily basis. My best friend who had lived right across the road moved to Iowa when her husband got a new job. And my favorite hobby, working on my writing, had gone up in smoke. Literally. Over fifteen years worth of notebooks full of ideas, scenes, and partially finished novels were gone, the computers and backup flash drives consumed in flames. I was waiting for my grandbabies to go to school, and then I was going to get serious about my writing. I guess I waited too long.

    But in the midst of all that, God graciously reminded me that HE doesn't change. Ever. He gave me the grace to work on putting our lives back together again. And He gave me the courage to begin working on my writing again. Just a couple of weeks ago, I submitted an entry for the Great Love Inspired Author Search. I am eagerly awaiting the feedback promised by the editors and determined to do something with everything I write from now on. It does no one any good sitting in a notebook on a shelf.

    One thing that God has taught me over the last year (and the advice I would give others struggling with change) is that HE remains the same. He is faithful and true and always there for you. Reach out and take His hand, and He will walk with you through whatever changes come your way.


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