August 2020 Featured Article

The Wee Thoughts

The first thoughts of my first literary “baby” was much like planning for the addition of a baby to a family. The hours, days, months, and sometimes years in my case before the birth of a child. It was six years for us. The commitment to a child is humongous and permanent. I now have adult children and the continuous cord is not broken. Either no one ever told me, or I didn’t listen to the warning that having a child is forever! I love it, though.

A novel shares some of the birthing characteristics of humans. The wee thoughts for my first novel began as dreams and questions. What? Historical Fiction. Who? Elizabeth and Louis. When? 1770s. Where? Charles Town, S.C. How? Write, just write, and then figure it out. Why? A heartfelt urge, a longing, a desire, write because I can’t not write.  See the connections? I asked all of these questions before I had children. As with parenting, I had no idea how to write and then publish a novel, yet I did it, depending on God and others to show me the way. It would take too long to list the people who encouraged me and directed and redirected me on this journey. Like bringing a child into adulthood, I have a feeling the publishing and marketing and even writing process will forever change. I will never learn it all.

The Birth 

The idea of a book became a 90,000 word manuscript. Hold Me Close, then Surround Me, existed in infant form, resting as so many pages of paper. I wrote three more books, joining my growing family. I did all of this when my own children left the nest for college. Now, after four published novels, they have morphed into mature forms compared to before.

Edited, rewritten, edited, submitted, edited, rewritten, submitted again. Along came awesome professionals to guide my education. Although, my novels would have been all right in their paper/computer form staying at home with me, it was time to move on.

Book One—the first Child

Hold Me Close, Book One in the Revolutionary Faith Series, found a home with Celebrate Lit Publishing in 2018! It has been very happy in its new form.

Here is the backcover:

The leisurely life Louis has intended does not include revolution.

Charles Town, South Carolina, 1772—Louis Lestarjette arrives from France without purpose or plans beyond reconnecting with family and making a profit. Finding the town questioning its alliances, Louis must make decisions about the direction in his life, even though he tries to avoid all political conflict. He wonders if he will be able to stay neutral in a battle for independence. When decisive events confront him, Louis finds himself torn between staying with the woman he loves or escaping the coming conflicts.

Elizabeth Elliott trusts that God will hold her close in uncertain and changing times. Faced with difficult decisions about her loyalties, she finds comfort in close friends, a devout sister, and her music. When the mysterious Frenchman with no commitment to God or Charles Town enters her life, he challenges her role in the political battle. She must decide what actions she can take for the cause, if any at all.

Still attached

As human children remain attached to their parents as they grow, so do authors and their novels. At least I’m still greatly part of the life of Hold Me Close. I’m watching it grow and experiencing the challenges of life in the published world. I’m eagerly waiting to see what God has in store for this child of mine.

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Latest posts by Marguerite Martin Gray