Please welcome this week’s guest Angela Strong for The Journey. She answers the question: How have you seen God work in your writing journey?
I’ve always been a writer. Whether it started when my mom sold a story about me as a five-year-old to Women’s World or in my 4th grade creative writing class or during my position with the high school newspaper or after I sold my first story to a national magazine for $100 at the age of 16, it doesn’t matter. That was the fun part.
The hard part came when I decided to write a novel. When I went to my first writing conference expecting to be “discovered.” When finally an editor liked my manuscript and asked for revisions but then decided not to buy it after all. And then an editor did offer to buy my book. But they went out of business before it was published.
I didn’t give up. I got an agent. Who got me a contract on a proposal. But that was the hardest part of my career. Because then my ex-husband left me, and I had to write a romance novel while my own marriage fell apart.
I was NEVER going to write romance again.
If my life were a novel, that would have been the black moment. That would have been the point where all hope seemed lost. But see, God is the author of life, and he knows that the darker the black moment, the more powerful the resolution will be.
I met my real-life hero at a BBQ. There was a second where our eyes met over the campfire, and I thought, “If anything happens between us, I will remember this moment forever.”
Falling in love with Jim was wonderful. But scary. And there was a time where I didn’t know if I could do it. I thought he deserved more than I had to offer. “Part of my heart is still dead,” I told him. But he loved me anyway. And the next day at church we sang, “My dead heart now is beating.”
There’s nothing else I’d rather write about now. There’s nothing else more powerful than love. And my romance novels are going to be even more powerful because I’ve learned this the hard way.
But guess what. It gets better.
Remember that first manuscript I sold but never got published because the publisher went out of business? Well, it was based on a short story that ended up getting picked up by the New York School Board and printed in over half a million tests. And not only did I sell the novel a second time, but I sold three more in a series for ages 8-12. Plus, as I write this, my husband is in this same office, illustrating book #2, The Snowball Fight Professional.
We are a team. And though I wouldn’t have plotted my life this way, God knew from the very beginning exactly what I would need. And when. And how much I would learn. And how much more I would have to offer because of it. And how much I would absolutely love being on a team with Jim.
It would be easy if we could keep all the drama on the pages of our manuscripts, but then our own personal stories wouldn’t be worth telling. And I definitely wouldn’t have become Mrs. Strong.
Angela always loved writing, which influenced her study of journalism at University of Oregon. She released her debut novel Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho in 2010 and is the middle of her Fun4Hire series for ages 8-12. When FBI agents started showing up in her novels and her characters insisted on jumping out of planes, she figured she better write romantic suspense. She founded IDAhope Writers to inspire other writers to pursue their dreams and is thrilled to be on Team Love on the Run.