EMBRACING THE JOURNEY
by Sandra Orchard
"I wasn't going to be one of those people who died wondering what if? I would keep putting my dreams to the test - even though it meant living with uncertainty and fear of failure. This is the shadowland of hope, and anyone with a dream must learn to live there."
- Alex Haley
- Alex Haley
Haley’s quote is posted on the home page of my website, and is an apt description of my journey to publication. Thankfully, my shadowland of hope included the odd contest win or editor request and other timely nudges of encouragement from God to persevere.
The encouragements I most delighted in were the friendships God brought into my life along the way. I have no doubt He orchestrated the delivery of my Romance Writer's of America magazine to another aspiring writer in my small community. A writer who was so excited to discover another crazy person in town that she hand-delivered the magazine to my doorstep and invited me to attend a local writing group that I had no idea existed.
I was also profoundly blessed, long before I ever became published, to have the opportunity to minister through those writing relationships to people I might otherwise have never met.
I could fill pages recounting writing courses and workshops I’ve taken, craft books I’ve read, conferences I’ve attended, and critiques I’ve paid for, not to mention all the manuscripts I’ve written and rewritten. But from the outset I’d been warned that the journey is typically long and fraught with setbacks. As a result, my expectations were realistic, and the positive feedback—including signing with an agent following my first-ever conference—was super-encouraging.
But that elusive first contract was not to be for a few years, a few manuscripts and another agent later.
In hindsight I'm glad for this. I learned so much about crafting stories in those years. I was mentored by fabulous authors. And I proved to myself that I could write to a deadline. So that by the time Love Inspired Suspense offered me my first contract and asked for two books per year, I had the second in the proposed series finished and had plenty of time available to plot the third. It made the whole process much less stressful, especially as art fact sheets and marketing were added to my things-to-do list.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36
My advice to all whether published or pre-pubbed is enjoy the journey. See God’s hand in the little things. Embrace the friendships. And don’t give up.
by Sandra Orchard
Love Inspired, September 2011
Maintaining his cover cost undercover cop Rick Gray the woman he loved. Sweet Ginny Bryson never really knew Rick--he never gave her the chance. Not then, and not now, when he's back with a new alias to gather evidence against Ginny's uncle. The man's crimes led to Rick's partner's death, and Rick wants justice to be served. But his investigation is stirring up trouble, and Ginny is in the middle of it. Someone wants Ginny to pay the price for what her uncle has done. But how can Rick protect her without blowing his cover, jeopardizing his assignment...and risking both their lives?
Sandra Orchard lives in rural Ontario with her real-life hero husband, two of their three children, and a young husky with a fetish for rubber boots and remote controls.
Although Sandra taught high school math before starting her family, her childhood dream of becoming a writer never strayed far from her thoughts. She dabbled in writing how-to articles and book reviews, but for many years, needlecrafts, painting, and renovating a century-old farmhouse satisfied her creative appetite.
Then she discovered the world of inspirational fiction, and her writing took on new direction.
In 2009, she won the Daphne DuMaurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and the following year, on her “graduation day” as a home-educator (i.e. her youngest daughter’s first day of college), Sandra learned that Love Inspired wanted to publish her first novel. And so her Undercover Cops series began.
Sandra loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website, www.SandraOrchard.com. Romantic Suspense to Inspire the Soul