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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest blog: Grace Burrowes

Hello everyone! Today I have a special surprise for you, as bestselling romance author Grace Burrowes kindly agreed to write a guest blog especially for us! And more importantly, she also had a surprise for one lucky commenter!


This is what Grace tells us about becoming an author:

The only person surprised when I became a published author was myself.

I’ve always enjoyed writing, enjoyed the feel of a pen in my hand or a keyboard beneath my fingers. I’ve enjoyed Once-Upon-Time-ing, and What-If-ing, and I’ve read voraciously.

I cannot recall when that impulse—to write down stories—shifted to a pursuit of publication. I had more than twenty completed manuscripts before I went to my first conference, and I’d heard more times than I can count, “When are you going to get those stories published?”

That never mattered to me as much as creating the stories. The impulse to make up stories probably came from two places. First, I needed an outlet for creative self-expression, and second, I needed a happy place.

Many of us ping from work responsibilities, to home responsibilities, to relationship responsibilities. Our day is filled with lists, obligations and deadlines. We lack someplace that isn’t work or home, where we’re accepted and affirmed for who we are.

The astute and the lucky build these places into their lives—the darts team, the church committee, the reading group, the gym. Many venues have the potential to become places of renewal, safety and honesty. The trouble is, you have to make time for those places in your life, you have to physically get to them, you have to be able to afford admission.

As a single mom running her own law practice, I could get to books. I could save them up for the last few minutes of a long, long day, and treat myself to an imaginary world where love conquered all, and courage of the heart was rewarded with a happier, more meaningful life.

I like that imaginary world, and believe it has a relevance to this other world, where bills must be paid and deadlines met. Writing is a way to hang out in that good place, and to champion its values in my life  

In my books, my identity and values are affirmed, and I get to express myself pretty much however I please to.

The difficulty is that many aspects of publication can kill the joy of writing—get-the-author reviews, contract wrangles, constant pressure to promote, and market uncertainties among them.
 

When those undertoads come hopping by, I remind myself that I love to write, and regardless of the vagaries of publication, I get to keep that love. That publication allows me to share it with readers, and maybe make a few minutes of their day more enjoyable, is so much butter cream icing on the dark chocolate cupcake.
 
And Grace also likes to ask you:
 

What do you love so much, you’ll pursue it without any thought of reward? In what places do you feel accepted and affirmed?


 And she promises:

To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy of “Lady Eve’s Indiscretion,” a tale about a two people whose love and courage did indeed, lead them to a happily ever after.

So please, leave as many comments as you like - the prize is worth it! And don't forget to leave your name + email addy, so Grace can contact you.

13 comments:

  1. At one time the answer to that question was ...education! I was a young divorced mother who found out that the promotion that I worked so hard for came with a whole new set of frustrations. My thought was that if I learned more the frustrations would go away. Several degrees later I realized that management came with frustrations.... just part of the job. However, I loved the education and the additional promotions that it allowed me! (I already have this book... LOVED it!!)

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    1. Betty, I've gone back to school twice, and enjoyed it both times. In both cases, it put me around people whose values were more compatible with my own than the crews I was working with at the time. Now I'm thinking about getting an MFA because I do so love the writing craft..

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  2. Like you, I write. Life at times can be a cold, hard, lonely place, and if I can keep the real world at bay, if only for a short time for someone else, through my stories, then I feel like I have acomplished something good. Your stories have done that very thing for me many times. I've already read this one, it was wonderful... thanks

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    1. Maxine, thanks, and you raise a good point: I started to keep a journal before I could write cursive. Writing was my friend for a long time before it was part of my livelihood, and I'd like to hope it will always be my friend.

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  3. I love reading fiction so much I don't need any reward for doing it. If I could do it for my job, I would be thrilled. I actually like administrative assistant work, before I moved to another state I used to volunteer at an animal shelter, doing a lot of their paperwork (like membership renewals, typing up grants, etc) as my contribution to the organization, as well as serving on their board of directors.
    I feel accepted and affirmed with my family, especially my son and sister. They accept me for who I am.
    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

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    1. Barb, there are editors who use professional readers to go through the slush pile. You have to read a bunch of straw to find the occasional nugget of gold, but you might consider it. As for the shelter work... they always need and deserve help. Glad you could oblige.

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  4. I love reading and being around books so about 10 years ago I was more than happy to take over the church library. I worked there happily until I was no longer needed. I miss that work but I still read a lot and much to my delight my love of reading was passed to my daughter and she passed it to her children. As for feeling accepted and affirmed I feel that way whenever I'm with my daughter and her family whom I dearly love.

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  5. My parents read stories to us, Molly, and I'm sure that's part of what makes a love of reading "hereditary." I've seen those pictures of you, a grandkid or two, and big story book open on somebody's lap.
    Rock on, Grandma!

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  6. I have six younger siblings. When I decided I had enough commotion for a while, Iwould take a book and lock myself in the bathroom! Many years later I still read voraciously. Regency romance is my favorite genre.

    Sue L

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    1. Sue, mine too! And I went from hiding with my books from siblings, to roommates, to Beloved Offspring, to whatever in the day didn't go my way.

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  7. Puttering in my kitchen and dancing when I can are things I can still pursue for the pleasure of it; serving the whims of my kittens and nose-first in a book are life long places of respite, portable sanctuaries.
    larisa.labrant(at)gmail.c0m

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    1. I love that term, "portable sanctuaries." Like the embrace of a good friend is a portable sanctuary...

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  8. I think that my one joy is my son. He is an only child and was born disabled. I fight tooth and nail to get him everything that he needs to thrive and be productive. I have cried many tears and have also been blessed to get him the help that he needs. My greatest joy is to see him happy, healthy and adjusting to his disability. My little reward is reading books, especially historical romance.

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