The Creative Outlet of the Written Word
By Janet K Brown
I’ve written all my life. When my girls were little, I began selling a few short stories to Christian periodicals. I still do that. I love it. Once back in the eighties, I wrote a novel, submitted it to one publishing company, had it rejected, and I stopped writing novels. My day job became so demanding. My girls were graduating and marrying. For awhile, I wrote nothing but my daily prayer journal.
In 2006, I retired from my medical bookkeeping job so that I could spend more time with my grandkids and more time writing and submitting. I joined Romance Writers of America. Multi-published author, Margaret Daley spoke for our local chapter and told us about American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). I attended the conference that year, and God ignited a fire in my heart for writing inspirational fiction.
Since then, I’ve attended several writing conferences, some Christian, some not. I’ve written eleven novels. Most of them need major rewrites. I took author Debra Clopton’s advice. Every time a manuscript got rejected, I started a new one. I got enough rejection letters to paper my study.
I wrote a short story titled “Victoria and the Ghost,” and submitted it to World Wide Communications. A helpful editor said she loved the concept, but asked if I had ever considered using that as a chapter one to a novel? I liked that idea and began the longer manuscript. It was my first and only young adult.
In 2011, I attended, for the first time, the Oklahoma Writer’s Federated International (OWFI) conference in Oklahoma City. I read that Vivian Zabel of 4RV Publishing was looking for children’s and young adult books, so I made an appointment at the conference and pitched to her. By summer of that year, I had a contract. It’s been a whirlwind of excitement since Victoria and the Ghost released in 2012. This is a story of rejection, pain, and adventure for a young girl touched by the sorrow of a ghost.
Next came Divine Dining 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness, I fought compulsive overeating for years. God healed me emotionally. I lost ninety-five pounds and have kept it off nineteen years. This is definitely a book straight from my heart. It tells the good, the bad, and the ugly of my life.
When the 2012 OWFI conference came around, Duke Pennell had begun his own publishing company, Pen-L Publishing, and he made appointments for pitching especially for motivational and self-help books. I talked with him when I had about three hundred devotions completed. He was interested. I wrote the other sixty-five devotions and submitted the full manuscript to him ending up with Pen-L rushing to release the book in time to start the new year of 2013 with the devotions.
Now two years late, my first women’s fiction, Worth Her Weight, has just released. Divine Dining was the springboard to tell a story about a woman who deals with the unfairness of life by turning to food for comfort and love. Guilt riddles her. Low self esteem drives her to the brink of suicide. The desire to be worthy makes her a devoted friend, daughter, and employee despite how she’s treated. This book takes place in the fictional small town of Wharton Rock, Texas.
Is God trying to tell me something? I started writing romances, but so far I’ve published a YA, a devotion book, and now a women’s fiction. Following Christ is always an adventure.
What’s next? 4RV Publishing should release the sequel to my YA, Victoria and the Ghost , hopefully, sometime in 2015. The name of it is A Ghost for Shelley. My editor and I are busily working on edits together for it.
Meanwhile, I’m writing on a new addictions story set in Wharton Rock, Texas.
Writing is my only creative outlet other than singing. I use to sing solos before my asthma and medications played havoc with my voice. If I weren’t a writer, I think I would be a painter. Though I have absolutely no talent in art, I love paintings. I love perusing galleries. I envy the painter’s talent.
One time, my husband and I spent more money than ever before on a painting by Jesse Barnes. It was in a gallery in Eureka Springs, Ark. We were on vacation and going through a rough time in our lives. His painting “Out of Ashes” spoke to me. It still does. He used the light of the fire to destroy the old and make room for the new.
I once wrote a blog post on my “Writing with God’s Hope” blog about that painting.
I would love to paint like that. I can’t. But, praise God, I can write, and I love it. Everything I hear and see and read sparks ideas for writing, whether it’s a walk through a cemetery in a Texas ghost town, or my experiences with food addiction.
Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. Writing became her second career after retirement from medical coding.
Worth Her Weight will be the author’s debut inspirational women’s fiction, but it makes a perfect companion to her recently released, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Both books encompass her passion for diet, fitness, and God’s Word.
Worth Her Weight marks Brown’s third book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.
Janet and her husband love to travel with their RV, visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three perfect grandchildren, and work in their church. Find her at http:/ /www.janetkbrown.com
on Twitter at https://twitter.com/janetkbrowntx