July 2021 Featured Article
God’s Divine Design
Have you been writing or do you want to, but nothing is happening? Submitting or releasing book after book then being rejected or sales are so slow. Certainly, we’ve all experienced those awesome miraculous times when God shows up and shows out!
I’m here to tell you, keep at it, and don’t worry! If He has called you, He has a plan and will see it through. Maybe it’s for one reader to get what you wrote into their hands then into their hearts. It may be to pad your bank account one day. Who knows?
Do you have a vision? In Habakkuk’s second chapter, second and third verses, it says, “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (my bold)
I experienced a time when Abba hit me over the head with His velvet hammer. It happened back in the last weekend of April in 2012 the time I met our NY agent, Mary Sue Seymour. She had her own agency and had agreed to be the keynote speaker at our small writers’ conference in Mount Pleasant, Texas. I volunteered to be her gopher throughout the conference then take her back to the DFW Airport at the end.
So, I went to pick her up at the hotel to drive her to the conference. She stepped off the elevator and surprised me so. Running to me, she hugged my neck—not what anyone would rationally expect from all the stories of New Yorkers, right? (to my New York readers: I’m certain the rumors are untrue!)
With her arms around my neck, she told me, “You’re the first McAdoo I have ever met who wasn’t family!” She grew up Mary Sue McAdoo!!! What a divine appointment! ❤ I knew that minute God was in it but had no idea as to His plan.
At our pre-scheduled agent’s meeting time, she said she couldn’t find one error and had not one thing to suggest to make it any better. Yay I thought but she popped my bubble! She’d have trouble placing the male-hero story CHIEF OF SINNERS so did not request the manuscript.
Hmm, what was God doing? I had thought . . .
On the way to the airport, we were talking, and Mary Sue lavinshed compliments on our writing, declaring, “If you and Ron will write me a ‘historical Christian romance’ set in the 1800s, I’ll sell it.” My husband helped with her luggage, and we hugged goodbye with a promise to write her a story.
We went to a Taco Bueno close to the airport—one of my favorite places—and brainstormed our story. The next day, the first of May, we started writing VOW UNBROKEN, our first historical Christian romance ever.
We sent Mary Sue the manuscript nine weeks later. She signed us to a contract, and just as she’d promised, sold our story to Simon & Schuster within two months!
That means that from our meeting to her selling VOW UNBROKEN, less than six months had passed! In this wonderful publishing world I’m so blessed to be a part of, anyone would say that was practically impossible, but God . . . I love that phrase. But God . . .
Y’all, He does have a plan. Maybe He’s just testing your obedience, taking your temperature in trusting Him, in waiting . . . Our God is all together trustworthy. I will sing and shout and give testimony to His faithfulness at every opportunity!
It took almost two years (March 4, 2014) before the book hit the shelves. We wrote book two and book three for that family saga series during those years—and at least three or four more stories. My editor never even wanted to see them until VOW launched. (All pertinent because I couldn’t sell a book for that two-year period because contractually, they held the option on our next book.)
They had until VOW had been out for six months to tell us yay or nay. (September fourth) They declined to exercise their option on book two. ‘Why’ is another story, but that book was HEARTS STOLEN, and it’s done very well.
On hearing the news, writer friends offered sympathy. My response to their kind words? “Don’t be sorry for me! I know God has another plan.”
On September fifth, I self-published HEARTS STOLEN, the day after I’d fulfilled my contract. God orchestrated all of that . . . and oh, He threw in lots and lots of wonderful blessings along my-independant-publishing way—Sandy Barela at Celebrate Lit is one, the brainstormer who founded and produces #BecauseFiction!
Since then (seven years this coming September) I’ve ‘Indie’ published fifty-one titles! So that’s a bit more than seven new books a year average, and I love it! No way would I ever think of signing a contract for another of my stories!
I’m right where God wants me doing what He designed me to do. If He wants me to do something else, when His time is perfect, I’m confident His divine design for my life will be accomplished.
Yours, too! Just show Father how much you love Him by your obedience to Him. Any good mentor will tell a writer “show, don’t tell.” God wants that, too. Show Him, don’t just tell Him.
Wow, that isn’t what I expected for this article, but that’s how it is. I pray He spoke to you somewhere amongst the paragraphs!
I have arranged for DUPLICITY to be free from July 28th through the 1st of August! It’s my first Cross Timber Mystery. It’s set in 1866 Dallas, Texas and has a bit of romance as well. How can I leave out the love?