Monday, June 9, 2008

Call Story: Carla Capshaw

Guest Maven Carla Capshaw Welcome, Guest Maven Carla Capshaw!!!

Hi all you marvelous Mavens! Thank you so much for having me here today and a special thanks to Erica for inviting me. It's an honor. You Mavens are amazing. :-)

I have to be honest. When Erica asked me if I'd like to blog about my "call", I thought it would be a snap. I was wrong. How do you pack almost a decade of blood, sweat and tears into a semi-short, hopefully interesting blog? Well, after much debate and backspacing, I decided to hit on a few of my journey's peaks and valleys and give some honest commentary that, unless you're one of those (disgusting ;-) people who sold your first story on partial to your dream editor and went NYT bestseller before the age of twenty, will encourage anyone who hasn't sold yet to keep your fingers to the keyboard until you have your own call story to tell. :-)

So...

Once upon a time, I decided to write a book. I call this stage my Age of Innocence. My first manuscript was a short contemporary full of passion! drama! and enough backstory to sink an ocean liner. Needless to say, it didn't sell, which deflated me a bit at the time since all my friends and family loved it. But I'm stup...I mean tenacious. I started another book, finished it, didn't sell and started another. When the third time wasn't the charm, I hit my first real valley. I didn't want to quit writing but I was discouraged.

Fortunately, it was around this time I joined Romance Writers of America. No longer was I a lone writer slaving over my computer from 10pm 'til 2 in the morning, every morning (I'm a single mom with two day jobs). I was surrounded by other crazy women with the same dream I had--some of whom had even achieved it already. I wanted to be one of them.

For the first time, I was hearing about "craft", "finding your voice"and "marketability". Unfortunately, all that wonderful info seemed to conflict with other great advice like, "write the book of your heart" and "just write a great book and it will sell". I mean, wasn't that what I'd been doing for the past three years? It certainly hadn't been my intention to write crappy books from my ear canals, but the great books from my heart still weren't selling. The short contemps I favored only had a few publishers to submit to and once rejected were dead in the water. If I wanted to be published, I needed to change course.

But what to do? I'd always loved history and Historicals, so in my usual fashion, I said, "Why not? Let's give one of those a whirl." Excited and armed with all the advice and notes from numerous RWA meetings, I chose my favorite time-period (Colonial America), picked my location (my fav city, Charleston, SC) and researched the Revolutionary War until I knew more about the Southern campaign of 1780-81 than my college history professor.

THE FOX, as I called it, was my first , invaluable experience with critique groups and contests. FOX went on to final in fifteen of them. Won seven first places, including contest overall wins in the MARA, The Golden Rose, The Happily Ever After and the 2004 Golden Heart for Best Short Historical. I had found my voice. I was a contest diva and I was feelin' pretty good. ;-)

It was my best of times and worst of times. Things were happening. I'd hit my first real peak. My wonderful agent, Michelle Grajkowski at 3 Seas Literary signed me and though I got a few rejections, they were 'good ones'. After a few months, though, those rejections began to point out a stomach-churning trend. The Historical market had nose-dived and Colonials were at the bottom of that sinking barrel. Editors said they loved my work, but couldn't buy my time period. Sadly, nobody wanted the book I'd spent two grueling years working on. I had no where to go--again.

Directionless, I'd tumbled into my second valley. In fact, except for a few sprinting starts, I didn't write for a year. What was the use? Why take away time from my family and exist on four hours of sleep a night when I'd written what I thought was the best book I could, had numerous contests and editors validate my writing ability, and yet I remained unpublished? I began to hear whispers like, "If it's such a great book, why doesn't it sell?" or "Maybe she can only write a good partial."

Disheartened, I really did almost quit. :(

Happily, I didn't. My turning point came when my wonderful friend Tammy Johnson emailed the guidelines for a new line Steeple Hill was starting called Love Inspired Historical. As I read the list, my heart started to pound with excitement. Even though I was hesitant (did I truly want to go through that whole roller coaster ride again?), I really wanted to write something for them. After praying about it, I got the idea for a story set in ancient Rome about a wealthy young Christian who's sold into slavery and her master, a yummy ex-gladiator who has everything except inner peace--and the woman of his dreams. ;-)

Though I worried about taking the chance on another "off" time period, the synopsis flowed and the first three chapters were the easiest I've ever written. I submitted TO WIN A GLADIATOR to Michelle who thankfully hadn't ditched me. She called a couple weeks later, said she'd read it that afternoon, loved it and in her enthusiasm emailed the partial to Melissa Endlich (the line's editor) that same day. Crazily, Melissa had asked for the full that same day! Did I mention, I only had the partial? That I'd sent it to Michelle just for feedback? That I'm a S-L-O-W writer? This was in June 2006, I believe. I ended up finishing the manuscript the day before the Golden Heart deadline and got the retitled THE HEART BECKONS in on time thanks to Express Mail.

But, I thought the second half stunk like a rotting corpse. I wasn't about to send it to Melissa yet. I ended up rewriting the second half and got it turned in to Michelle (agent) about three weeks before National 2007. Melissa (editor) met with me at National. She asked, "Where's my gladiator?" Since she'd been waiting almost a year for the full, that felt great. I promised her Michelle had it and she would have it soon. She said she couldn't wait to read it.

To my surprise, considering the garbagey ending I'd submitted, the manuscript won the Golden Heart for Best Inspirational in 2007. Was I happy? Yes! But I couldn't shake the niggling fear I was on the same road FOX had dragged me down. The two manuscripts had followed the exact same path. Months went by. The niggling fear turned into something much darker. I began to give up hope...

And then the phone rang. My agent was trying to reach me. It was November 15, 2007 at like 2:37 in the afternoon. To be honest, I didn't look at the clock, I was too busy reaching for my phone. I called her back. Michelle said, "would you like to sell a book today?" I said, "sure, why not?" The rest I can't remember. I was too excited. :-D

So, it finally happened. I got "the call" I'd been waiting on for too many years to admit, proving that anybody who doesn't quit can succeed. My as yet untitled debut will be out with Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical in September 2009. Currently, I'm working on a sequel and buried back in ancient Rome. Come visit me at www.carlacapshaw.com and/or befriend me at Myspace http://www.myspace.com/carlacapshaw .

Most importantly, don't give up on your dreams. They're waiting for you to make them come true.

Thanks again for having me here! I'm giving away books throughout the day to four blessed posters.

Have a fabulous week!

Carla Capshaw

Thanks, Carla, for sharing your call story--We can't wait to get our hands on The Heart Beckons!!!

YOUR TURN: You're on, MaveFaves! Questions or comments for Carla? Post 'em here and win fun prizes! Carla is giving away four new releases!! Thanks again, Carla!

107 comments:

Anonymous said...

Carla, I am so thrilled for you. I've always loved your writing and knew you would 'make' it. A big hug and congratulations. You go girl!

Mary/colargsmommy

Tawny said...

YAY Carla! I'm so excited for you and cannot wait until next year when your book is out. Your call story -- and all the hard work leading up to it -- are so inspiring. You are such an amazing writer and going to wow the readers!!!

Ruth Axtell Morren said...

Hi Carla,
Great, inspiring story! Mine's probably just as long :-)
Your story & time period sound very intriguing. Can't wait to read it.
Ruth

Gillian Layne said...

Great post, Carla!

I am hearing the most exciting things about Love Inspired Historical. I enjoy the comtemp Love Inspired as well. I really hope the rest of the historical community sits up and takes notice of the wide variety of settings in the LIH line.

I love call stories, especially ones that reward hard work! I can't wait to read your books. :)

Gillian Layne said...

Oh, and I visited your website--absolutely gorgeous!

Helen said...

Carla way to go girl never give up this books sounds fantastic and all the hard work you put in will be worth it. Congrats

Have Fun
Helen

Ausjenny said...

well done Carla, I enjoyed hearing your story and cant wait to read you book when it comes out. Im sure the sequal will be great also.
congrats

Tina M. Russo said...

That is such an encouraging story, Carla. I needed to hear that. And I am so glad you persevered to a sale. Looking forward to your book release dated.

Victoria Bylin said...

Great story, Carla! What I love most is that you were true to your voice. You didn't decide to write a certain time period just because it was more likely to sell. I really believe God honors that commitment, that we're in fact called to it.

Our daily reward comes from writing what we love. Of course selling is cool (more than cool it's fabulous!) But it's a flash in the pan compared to the daily grind of telling a story. If a story isn't coming from the heart, it's not much fun to tell and won't be fun to read.

I can't wait to read your book! And the one after that . . . and the one after that . . . I live in northern Virginia, so I'd like to see that colonial setting get picked up : )

Janice Lynn said...

Carla, I love reliving your "CALL"! Such an exciting time--and so proud of you for persisting toward your dream. There are going to be a LOT of happy readers out there that you did. :)

Terri said...

Persistence pays off, doesn't it, Carla? I can't wait to see your gladiator story on the shelves! And I think The Fox is going to be there someday, too. :-)

Oh, and I'm really glad you decided not to write crappy stories from your ear canal, and went with great stories from your heart instead. LOL Such a way with words you have... ;-)

Barbara said...

Carla,

What a wonderful story. Just the type of story a newbie writer like me needs to read and keep. Thank you for sharing!

Barbara Burnham

Debby Mayne said...

Carla, I'm really looking forward to reading your book. I have no doubt it'll be fabulous because you're a wonderful writer who works hard!

CherylStJohn said...

Fabulous story, Carla! I had a similar experience with a WWII story, which was my first huge finished project and a period nobody was touching at the time. I may still rewrite it someday.

I know the lowest of low feeling of almost being ready to throw it all in, but something inside just won't let you. Glad you perservered and ran the good race!

Tammy Doherty said...

Great story, Carla! Too bad it takes so long for books to make it onto the shelf (after they've sold, I mean), 'cause your Gladiator sounds very intriguing. I checked out your website awhile ago - it is beautiful!


Question for you - did you get an agent through your contest wins? Seems to me that getting an agent is almost as difficult as selling a book.

Bill Clark said...

Michelle said, "would you like to sell a book today?" I said, "sure, why not?"

Now that's what I call a call!

Lisa said...

Carla,

I'm so excited for you! Thank you for sharing your story.

Janet Dean said...

Carla, your book sounds wonderful! I can't wait to read it!

Your story reminds me so much of mine. I, too, wrote historicals when the market was dead. I was beyond discouraged. I remember that heart stopping moment when I first heard Steeple Hill's plan to launch an historical line. I sent the partial of my Golden Heart finalist manuscript in April of 2006. A little over a month later, Melissa called to say she loved it and wanted to see the complete. She bought the story in June. That book, Courting Miss Adelaide, will release in September. Proof that things can change overnight. Writers have to hang in and never give up.

Janet

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Everyone!

Wouldn't you know this morning would be the day I'd have computer trouble. So sorry I'm late!

I'm so excited to see Mary here. She was one of my very first critique partners. I think she even read through one of those short contemps way back when. She and I lost touch due to a series of computers breakdowns, but a mutual friend brought us back together on Sat. I was SO happy to hear from her and here she is my first poster. THANK YOU, sweetie. I'm thrilled to have you back in my life. :-)

Jane Myers Perrine said...

Carla--how much fun to hear your story--it sounds a lot like mine, except, of course, for the two Golden Hearts! I've always said, "If you quit writing, you never will publish."

Thanks for sharing!

Jane Myers Perrine

Carla Capshaw said...

Yay, Tawny Weber is here! Tawny's my "ish" partner. She lives in California, while I'm in Florida, but we write together almost every night, pushing each other to get pages done. If you love racy, sexy Blazes make sure you give Tawny's books a try. But make sure you have ice cubes near by --her books are hot stuff! :-)

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Ruth!!

Thanks for stopping by. :-) Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't you found in slush pile? Now there is an encouraging story for any aspiring writer. Especially since you've gone on to write nurmerous, wonderful stories!! Isn't the next one out pretty soon??

Erica Ridley said...

Hi Carla!! Thanks for guesting. What a great call story! I can't *wait* until The Heart Beckons hits the shelves...

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Gillian!

Thank you for visiting my website--and for the compliments. Did you know you're my new favorite person. ;-)

Serioulsy, I really appreciate you taking your time to visit me. :-)

You're right. LIH is boldly going into time periods where other publishing houses have been too chicken to tread of late. Hopefully, we'll start a trend.

Thanks for watching out for my book in Sept. 2009.

Hugs!!

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Helen!

Thank you for being here today! I appreciate the encouragement! :-)

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Jenny & Tina!

I'm so glad to see you!! Tina, honey, your day is coming very soon. I remember people used to say that me and I wanted to smack 'em ;-), but it *really* is true. You and your writing are awesome!!

Jenny, thanks for visiting all the way from Australia this morning. I always love seeing you. :-)

Btw, these ladies are a couple of wonderful women from the The Seekers, a fabulous blog I visit almost every day. In fact, if you have a few minutes after visiting the Mavens, their addy is: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/

Carla Capshaw said...

Victoria Bylin is here! YAY!!

You are so right about the sale being the (fabulous :-) flash in the plan compared to all the work that goes into a story. Still, that's a hot flash I wouldn't mind having about once a week. lol

And I have to tell you all, I have Victoria's latest book, a Love Inspired Historical called The Bounty Hunter's Bride in my TBR pile. At least I did until my mom snatched it up. She's loving it! It's a May release, so if you hurry you might still be able to get it at your local bookstore. If not, don't miss it on Amazon.
:-)

Anne-Marie said...

Hi, Carla. What an amazing call story. You deserve it girlfriend. You're an inspiration that just maybe my ship will come in. H.O.P.E.F.U.L.L.Y someday. I can't wait to read your gladiator story. Woohoo.

Carla Capshaw said...

Terri, Janice & Lisa, three of my bestest play pals from Writers At Play. Thank you guys for coming over!!

For anyone who loves spooky Paranormals, Terri Garey's new book is out in 2 weeks and an anthology she's in just came out last week. She's one groovin' woman and a DOUBLE RITA finalist this year. Woo hoo!!!

And don't forget Janice Lynn, one of the most amazing women I know. She has about a dozen kids (4), is a full-time nurse and still manages to write rings around everybody I know. Plus, her Harlequin Medicals are super good!

Lisa writes wonderful Sci-Fi Romance and amazing thought provoking blogs!!

I tell you it's the joy of my life to always be surrounded by such talented and fun people!! And not to keep suggesting Maven readers go to other blogs, but if you have a minute *after* visiting the Mavens, please check out my home group blog Writers At Play http://www.writersatplay.com/. Donna MacMeans is visiting today. :-)

Anne Barton said...

Carla, I loved hearing about your journey and your call story. And I'm glad you never gave up - I'm looking forward to the gladiator book!

Thanks for sharing. - Anne

Jessica said...

Oh my goodness, what an awesome blog! And what a rollercoaster ride. It made me cringe :-). Thanks for sharing Carla, and thanks Mavens!
Oh, now I hope you sell the Fox, since historicals are coming back!

Missy Tippens said...

What a great call story, Carla! I've never heard how you sold. So cool! And all in God's perfect timing. :)

Missy

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Barbara!

Thanks for visiting today. I don't think we've met before, so I'm so pleased to 'meet' you. :-)

Keep writing. Everybody is a newbie at some point. My email is carla@carlacapshaw.com. Keep in touch and let me know how you're progressing from time to time. :-)

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Debby Mayne!! So glad to see you.

Everybody, Debby's one of TARA sisters. She's a fabulous author with Barbour. Her characters have so much depth. I read a blog of hers the other day on The Seekers about characters interviews. I've heard of people doing those to dig deep and find out their character's motivations, but I hadn't tried it before. I used Debby's questions and low and behold, my current gladiator opened right up and just started talking and talking to me. :-)

Thanks Debby!

Carla Capshaw said...

Cheryl St. John!! Woo hoo!!

Everyone knows Cheryl, right? If you don't you need to.

Long live the difficult time periods. lol Cheryl, sweetie, I can't believe you haven't rewritten that WW2 baby and sent it in to LIH. I know it's not an era they're afraid of like so many other houses. You should give it a try if you haven't already. :-)

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Tammy,

Thank you! It's always nice to see you!! Thank you so much for signing up for newsletter.

To answer your question: "...did you get an agent through your contest wins?"

I wouldn't say Michelle signed me *because* of my contest wins, but those combined with my GH win gave me some credibiltiy with her so that when she read the full of THE FOX she was willing to take a chance on a newbie with a difficult time period.

I'll say this about contest finals and wins, I love 'em. :-) They are useful for so many reasons. They provide unpublished authors with a writing resume, get you to the top of slush piles with agents and editor and provide encouragement while you're writing 'in the dark' so to speak, meaning you don't yet have a contract to fulfill and you're really just hoping you're going in the direction an agent/editor will love. That said, contests are also tricky. You've got to develope what I call rhino skin and learn to toss the dross to get to the few kernals of really good feedback. Once you do that, the comments can really help you make your manuscript shine.

Hugs!

Carla Capshaw said...

I'm tellin' ya, Bill, that really was the best call of my life.

Thanks for stopping by! :-)

Darcy Burke said...

Welcome Carla! What a wonderful and inspiring story (guess it's fate you're writing for Love Inspired!). I totally teared up reading this. I can't believe you can operate on so little sleep - you sound like Wonder Woman! Congratulations and thanks for sharing with us.

Marlene said...

Your story is such an inspiration to all of us who dream of getting published, Carla. It goes to show that if you work hard and have good friends to help you through the rough patches, you can accomplish your dreams. I've read your pretty words and cannot wait to hold your book (autographed of course) and read it in its final copy.

What I love the most about your writing is the way you so easily pull the reader into your story and then they are hooked, can't put it down until they read the end. Congrats on your sale and good luck on breaking into the world of being a pubbed author. You rock!!

Phyllis J. Towzey said...

Great call story, Carla! I'm so glad you stuck with it, and I can't wait to read The Heart Beckons!

Carla Capshaw said...

What a great story, Janet! I loving hearing call stories. They're so fun!

BTW, Janet just got her new cover. It is absolutely gorgeous!! And she's blogging on The Seekers today. A great post about making choices and attitude. :-)

Carla Capshaw said...

Jane Myers Perrine, my blog buddy. Last month, Writers at Play hosted Melissa Endlich on a May day blog and Jane was kind enough to partner with me for a giveaway.

Thanks for stopping by! When's your LIH out and what's it about?

Hugs!

Carla Capshaw said...

Erica! Thanks again for inviting me today. I'm having a great time. :-)

Anne-marie, your ship's headed straight for the harbour. You better get writing instead of spending all your time coordinating the TARA contest, though. ;-)

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Anne, Jessica and Darcy!

I'm so happy to meet all three of you. Thank you so much for dropping by.

Anne, thank you or looking for my book. I tell you, my heart flips with joy each time someone says that. :-)

Jessica, I hope Fox sells to. That really is the story of my heart. I read it to myself sometimes just for fun. lol Hey, maybe you, Cheryl, Vicki and I should start some sort of petition to bring in more off time periods or something... :-)

Oh Darcy, big hugs! I didn't mean to make you tear up, but thanks so much for telling me you *did*. lol
I don't live on 4 hours sleep anymore. My son's out of school now, so I don't get up til 8. So I get six hours. It really does make a difference. I highly recommend sleep. ;-)

Hugs to all three of you!

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Missy!

My first Myspace buddy (other than Tom. lol) and a wonderful new Love Inspired author. Thank you for blogging with me today!

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Marlene,

The finest quilter, laugher, encourager and Gerry Butler fan I know. :-)

Oh, and did I mention one of the VERY best critique partners on earth? She is, really.

Thanks for posting!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a job well done!! Thank you for sharing your story with us - and I'd love to read your Colonial story too. Amazing how life is like a marathon rather than the 100 M dash. God bless, Glee

Rashmi said...

Congrats, Carla!! The book sounds fantastic and I look forward to reading it.

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Phyllis!

You are so great to come by and post today. I know you are one busy lady lawyer.

I appreciate you and hope you're having a great day!

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Glee and rashmi!

Great to meet you!! So glad you stopped by. :-)

Carla Capshaw said...

Ok, I did a drawing for my first two giveaways. I'll be doing more throughout the day. :-)

The first book is from debut author Beth Andrews. It's a SuperRomance entitled Not Without Her Family and it goes to Barbara.

The second book is one of one of the June Love Inspired Historicals, The Redemption of Jake Scully by Elaine Barbieri. It goes to Anne Barton.

Congrats you two! Just send your name and mailing info to carla@carlacapshaw.com and I'll get your books right out to you.
:-)

Rae Monet said...

Carla, you deserve every success. It's been a pleasure to join you on your journey to get yourself on the web. :)

Debbie P said...

Hey, Carla! So excited about your upcoming book--and enjoyed hearing more about your call story! I love how creative Michelle gets. Can't wait to see how she surprises me. ;)
Weird tho this may be I was most inspired by you saying you didn't write for about a year. I know that feeling. I had a year like that, where, though I was writing, I wasn't very productive. Like you, I got back at it finally, but it's always good to here I'm not the only one. Thank goodness for encouraging friends and a faithful agent.
Thanks for sharing!

Vicki said...

Carla, thank you for sharing your story with us. You give us the hope and determination to never give up doing what we do. :)

I can't wait to read your story!!!!

Karen Lingefelt said...

Carla, I love your post. I had no idea you were so funny, but I've always known you were talented and driven and that you'd make it. You continue to inspire me. I've always loved that you go for the unusual settings, and I still hope that one day we'll get to read THE FOX. In the meantime, I eagerly await THE HEART BECKONS.

Anna Sugden said...

Aww Carla - what a fabulous call story. I'm so thrilled that your gladiator book sold and that everyone will get a chance to read your wonderful writing. I still have hope that The Fox with have its day in the sun too.

Congrats again!

PS Cheryl St John - WW2 is my favourite period too. One day, maybe.

Keli Gwyn said...

Carla,

Thanks for sharing the story of your call and the hard work, heartache and heart that went into making your dream of being published come true. What an encouragement to those of us writing historical Christian romances and waiting for our own calls. I love the Steeple Hill historical line and will be awaiting your release.

Kathleen Long said...

Carla, I am so proud and thrilled for you! What a fabulous call story -- and a fabulous testament to a wonderful lady filled with talent, faith and dedication. Congrats, baby!

Anonymous said...

Great news, Carla!

You have encouraged me a lot. I stopped writing but now I may begin again thanks to you.

Pat

Renee Ryan said...

Carla,

Wow, now that's what I call a happy ending. I'm so glad you persisted (I love Roman time periods). You are an inspiration! And a reminder that nothing good comes easy! Thanks for sharing!

Abby Gaines said...

Carla, what a lovely story! I'm so glad you didn't give up, and I can't wait to read your book.
Abby

beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

Sorry, that deleted post is mine. I wasn't who I posted under - the problem with having too many identities :-)

Carla, what a fantastic call story! I'm so thrilled for you - and for me since I'll get to read your wonderful story when it's released *g*

Do you ever think about writing a contemporary again? What did you do to celebrate when you got The Call?

And thanks for giving away a copy of NWHF!

Stacey Kayne said...

Wonderful post, Carla :-) A rough road...one I was privileged to share with you :) WE MADE IT *g* I cannot wait to hold a copy of your gladiator in my hands!!! Here's hoping FOX won't be far behind---ALL of your ms's are amazing!

Mesu Andrews said...

Hi Carla!
Had to drop by and say "You go, girl!" So excited about your upcoming release! I'm so glad our paths have crossed in this great big writing world!

lacey kaye said...

This story came at a really great time in my call career, so thanks! What's even better than this story, though, is the support I see here. What a special and supportive group you have! I'm touched :-)

Barbara said...

Carla,

You are very sweet. I will keep in touch. I have been writing for just over a year now.

You are right about Janice Lynn's books. I just finished "The Heart Surgeon's Secret Son" and it was fabulous. I love the Harlequin Medical Romances.

I will have to check out Victoria Bylin's book. And, I am looking forward to your book, too! Who wouldn't be intrigued by a sexy gladiator? Take care.

Barbara Burnham

Anonymous said...

Hi, Carla!
The Fox is an outstanding story and I really enjoyed helping with the critique. I am so looking forward to reading your gladiator story.
I'm glad you stuck with it. You are an excellent writer.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to sign!

Lydia Filzen aka Lydia Hawke

Hi, Carla!
The Fox is an outstanding story and I really enjoyed helping with the critique. I am so looking forward to reading your gladiator story.
I'm glad you stuck with it. You are an excellent writer.

Carla Capshaw said...

Wow, I come back from work and there's lots more posts. YAY!!!

Hi Rae, thank you for coming. Everyone, Rae Monet is my web designer and she is AWESOME. Not only did she design my site, but she went above the call of duty and helped with my Myspace page, designing my email signature and all kinds of stuff! She's just wonderful! :-)

Cheri2628 said...

Carla, this was such an interesting story about your journey as a writer. I am so glad that you hung in there and didn't give up on your dream! Best wishes to you as you continue your career! :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Carla, great story and an inspiration to all of us lingering on the sands of Unpubbed Island in Seekerville.

But we've got some great pirates keeping us company and a fresh crop of coconuts so life isn't all bad, LOL!

Bless you, kid. You done good.

Ruthy

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Debbie! Great to see you. Michelle is the best --ever patient and creative. Just keep writing and your day is bound to happen.

I'm so glad you were encouraged by year of living...not writerly? Sometimes that sort of thing just happens. You just have to get back in the saddle again. So glad you got back on the trail. :-)

I can't to hear about your call story when, not if, it happens.

Hugs!

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Vicki & Karen!

Vicki, you're awesome --always!

Karen, if I'm funny it's cause you've rub off on me.

Hugs to both of you! See you Saturday. :-)

Cheri2628 said...

I am back with another comment because I just read through all the replies. One thing I have noticed on this site, at Writers At Play, and other blogging sites is how supportive you authors are of each other. I have seen you ladies follow each other around the sites and post replies whenever one of you is guest blogging somewhere. I think that it must be a wonderful feeling to have that friendship and support from other authors.

Carla Capshaw said...

More of Playground buddies! YAY!!!

Anna, Kathleen, and Beth, thank you for posting. :-)

Beth, I'm thrilled to offer your debut today. I'm so excited about it and for you.

Kath, I started Cold Case Connection Friday night. I'm hooked!

Anna, Mz. Multi-GH finalist, you know you're incomparable, right.

Love you guys!

Carla Capshaw said...

Keli,

I'm so glad you were encouraged. That is exactly what I wanted to do. You know Inspies are the new black. :-) Our market is flourishing and LIH is great proof of that. You just keep writing, polishing and submitting and you'll be getting your own call before you know it. :-)

Thanks for stopping by!

Carla Capshaw said...

Wow, Pat! Thank you. You made my month!!

Now, get thee to the computer and write. :-)

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Renee!

Thanks for posting. Renee's another LIH author! And she's such a cool person!! One of the best things about being a writer is meeting such nice, creative and wonderful people.

Renee, come tell us what you're book's about. When is out?

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Abby. Thank you! That's a real honor coming for you. :-)

Carla Capshaw said...

It's time for another drawing. This time I'm giving away a copy of Stacey Kayne's new western, The Gunslinger's Untamed Bride. Drum roll please...

And the winner is Lacey Kaye. Lacey, just send your name and addy to carla@carlacapshaw.com and I'll send Stacey's new book out to you right away. :-)

Carla Capshaw said...

Mesu, Barbara and Ruth,

You all are so sweet to come by and say hi today. THANK YOU.

Mesu, I'm so glad we met too. I forwarded your message, btw. :-)

Barbara, I hope you will keep in touch. I'm so glad you love Janice's books. She's awesome. Did you see the blog on the Medicals yesterday at Writers At Play?

Ruth, you're always a joy. Thanks for always being so encouraging. About the pirates, one of them isn't Johnnie Depp, is it? If so, don't tell Tawny Weber, she'll kidnap him. :-0

Hugs!

Carla Capshaw said...

Cheri, you are so right. As I've said a couple of times today, the friendship really is the best part of being a writer, imho. If it weren't for my friends, my year off might have to turned into ten for all I know. I *do* know, my buds are what keep me going a lot of the time. :-)

Which reminds me. I need to go read Donna MacMeans blog on Writers At Play. Eep! I'm late.

Thank you for posting!!

Carla Capshaw said...

Lydia!!

LOL Thanks for signing. :-)

Hey folks this is another of my friends and critique partners from way back, the mutual friend who brought Mary and me together again this past weekend.

Big hugs! Thank you for coming!

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Carla,

What an inspirational call story. Well done for forging on through the dark days and making your dream come true!

Merrillee said...

Carla,
Loved your story. It sounds so familiar--the ups and downs and almost quitting. I judged your gladiator story in one of the many contests you entered. I'll be waiting to read the rest.

JulieLeto said...

I had the pleasure of reading an excerpt of The Fox as a contest entry, I believe. It was so spectacular. One day, the tide will shift in terms of time periods and that book WILL get published.

In the meantime, I can't wait for that story of ancient Rome!

Great blog, Carla!! We're all so proud of you and excited for you. That booksigning is going to be a BLAST.

Anonymous said...

Howdy again!

Remember the evening we spent on your couch with your laptop beating up on a synopsis for Fox? What a great story.

Lydia Filzen aka Lydia Hawke

Anonymous said...

What a story!! It makes me want to start all over again. I know I can do it too. I know I can. I will try longer.

Allen

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Helen!

Lovely to see you. Hmmm...I believe you have your own recent call story to tell, right? Congratulations!!

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Merrillee!

WOW, thanks for saying that!! What contest was it? Inquiring minds want to know. lol

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Julie!

Are you wearing my sandals? She has *the* coolest pair of gladiator sandals. Unfortunately, she has tiny feet and an I'm a whooping size 9, so I can steal 'em. :-(

Thanks for posting, sweetie!!

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Lydia!

I do remember. Ah...those were the days, no? What fun!

Hugs!

Carla Capshaw said...

Allen,

Yes, you can do it. Don't ever give up. :-)

Ausjenny said...

Carla you have had a wonderful day with all the posts Im excited for you.
i have to go to work but will be back later to read the rest of the posts.

Debby Giusti said...

Carla, congrats on your success!!! I'm so happy for you!

Keli Gwyn said...

Carla,

I checked out your website. Wow! It's beautiful. I love the graphics and the gorgeous font for your name.

I read the excerpt from The Heart Beckons, and I'm totally hooked. You have a great voice and that all important grab-your-reader beginning.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Really looking forward to your book. Given the historical time period, I am really, really, really looking forward to it. I believe stories that help us to imagine when the Christian faith was more new than not also help us to look at our faith with new eyes...and a good love story to boot!

Peace and blessings, Julie Steele

Santa said...

As usual, I am the last to post as my writing day starts about now (it's 10pm ala cyberspace time). What a wonderfully inspiring call story you have shared today! I know a few people I can send this to who are at one of the same valleys you write about here. Their peaks are coming but it's been such a long road and yes there are a few who hit it right out of the gate - then there's the rest of us who keep plugging along -- some more than others but plugging along nonetheless.

I'll keep my eye our for your book. I've been wanting to dip my reading toes into the Love Inspired line and this has been a catalyst in that.

Santa
Off to get Melissa and Jake out the ruddy door!

flchen1 said...

Wow, thanks for sharing your story, Carla--it's always encouraging to be reminded that persistence pays off, and sometimes God's timing is not the same as ours. Glad we'll be able to read your gladiator's story--not until next year??!! Rats! But congrats to you!!!

Anonymous said...

Carla,
I'm glad we finally connected too. I don't mind telling you--the thought of walking all the way to Florida from Oregon and then knocking on doors until I found you was a wee bit daunting.

Short contemps? Are you talking about the Spaniard Story. That was a killer story. I'm still in love with him . . . Louis? Was that his name? Gosh, that's been a while. I read one set in England too, didn't I? Mary/colargsmommy

louisa said...

Carla, what a wonderful call story and what a great inspiration to keep in the game! I am currently doing pretty well on the contest circuit, but I have that "this is too good to be true" feeling rolling over me like a steam roller. I feel better after reading your story. At least if this year is a bust I know there is life after fame, winning and then falling back into the slush pile!

Carla Capshaw said...

Jenny, have a great day at work.

Debby it's always a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for posting!

Keli, THANK YOU for checking out my website and reading my excerpt. That's the start of chapter 2. Poor Caros, he really does get put through the wringer. lol

Carla Capshaw said...

Hi Julie, flchen, Santa & Louisa!

So glad to see you. I went and took a nap before I start writing and saw you visited. Thank you!!

Julie, that's what I love about the Roman time period too. I think it does modern Christians good to be reminded of what our forebearers did for us.

Santa, don't feel left out because you're staring cyber late. ;-) It's 1am and I'm just now going to ish with Tawny. I happen to think the best creativity happens after midnight. lol

flchen, God's timing sometimes seems to take forever, but it really is always best. It's just that seeming to take forever part that's tough. lol Whenever I've been waiting for a looong time for something, I say to the Lord, "Please don't make me wait 'til I'm 90, like you did poor Sarah." lol I'm sure He just laughs at me. :-) About my book, yes, it comes out Sept.'09. See, sometimes it's not even God who makes us wait forever, it's Steeple Hill. Ugh! ;-)

Louisa, honey, congrats on your contests! You just keep doing well and plug away. Let me know when you sell! :-)

Carla Capshaw said...

Mary, I can't believe you remember Luis. Yes, I'm still in love with him too. Sigh, he really was my favorite hero. :-) Thanks for making me think about him.

Hugs!!

Carla Capshaw said...

OK, it's 1:08am and I'm off to write. Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to Erica, The Manuscript Mavens and everyone who visited today. My last book give away is the other June LIH, Masked by Moonlight by Allie Pleiter.

The winner is Julie Hilton Steele.

Thanks again everyone and have a fabulous week!

Linore Rose Burkard said...

Dear Carla,
You are an inspiration to writers everywhere. A real trooper. I loved your story, and the valleys only made the "mountain-top" of that first sale all the sweeter. Congratulations for a well deserved contract! May there be many more.
Blessings and grace,

Linore
http://www.LinoreRoseBurkard.com
Inspirational Romance for the Jane Austen Soul

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