Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Looking Back ~ Looking Ahead by Marianne Evans

The Gems in the Attic welcome Gem-sister Marianne Evans today. Like the rest of us, she's been busy!

Twenty years. Don’t they go by in a blink? This month I celebrate my 20th anniversary as a published author, thanks to the series of romances called Precious Gems.

My writing journey began long before that milestone, though. Back in fifth grade, I’d scribble along the lined pages of a black-and-white spotted composition book. Each time I handed in my journal I received encouragement and praise: You show depth of feeling, so you drew me into your story. You utilize the senses very well. Your word-use is fantastic.

My love affair with words intensified. In high school I’d deliver hand-written stories to my friends in a chapter-by-chapter progression. These were sweet little romances, because even then, I was taken by the notion of a butterflies-in-the-tummy explosion of happiness when people find their way to one another. Added benefit? My friends read, my friends enjoyed, and my friends asked for more. Hey, who needs math?

Given hindsight, I suppose those prompts should have tripped a few wires about what I was meant to do in this life, but I never thought much about being ‘A Writer.’ I simply enjoyed observation. Word-crafting. Some of my most productive creative moments are the ones spent watching the world around me, absorbing people and snips of conversations then asking myself the all-important question: ‘What if?’ I translate those scenes into the written word because they come alive in my mind and refuse peace until I’ve somehow captured in story what I see in my mind.

At the start, storytelling didn’t strike me as being much of a big deal. Believe me, if I could do it, anyone could do it. I didn’t recognize the gift, and what I feel is God’s purpose through that gift. My love of romance, along with the voices in my head and heart, led me to publication with Precious Gems...twenty years to the date of this blog post. Friends & Lovers ‘dropped’ at Wal-Mart in November of 1996.

What a ride. Following three releases with Kensington, an explosion in e-book publication led me to The Wild Rose Press. I loved it, but I’ll be honest. I wasn’t fulfilled. Kensington and Wild Rose were wonderful, but God kept tapping my shoulder, urging me toward a different path. I longed to write Christian inspirational romance and fiction but couldn’t develop the right story to tell. Also, I wondered what qualified me to write stories from a Christian world view.

Coming to terms with those questions caused an explosive paradigm shift, a surge of both creative inspiration and a long-term relationship with a Christian publisher I love. As I move forward into the next two decades, I want to offer you what I discovered in navigating this long, tricky, draining, but oh, so fulfilling path. Don’t be afraid of that inner voice. Follow your calling. When instinct speaks up, when prompts refuse to be squelched, pay attention and move to new shores. Be brave and bold. Explore…succeed, fail, rise, succeed some more.

It can happen—I’m living proof!

BIO:

Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create.
Readers laude her work as “Riveting,” “Realistic and true to heart,” “Compelling.” Her Christian women’s fiction debut, Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Hearts Communion earned a win for Best Romance from the Christian Small Publisher's Association. She is also a two-time recipient of the Selah Award for her books Then & Now and Finding Home.
Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President.
SOCIAL CONNECTIONS

Twitter: MarEvansAuthor

BELLA NATALE BLURB

Ashley Coratini is bucking her family, and the odds, by embracing the chance to pursue a dream. During a three-week trip to Florence, Italy, she’s determined to immerse herself in the world of art and to explore the gifts God has given her.

Widower Luca DeRosa owns and operates a premiere art gallery at the heart of Florence. He’s just over a year away from turning forty, but doesn’t mind the milestone. He enjoys a life spent raising his five-year-old son and scouting artistic talent. When he comes upon Ashley, he’s captivated by her artistic skills and fluid grace, and he sees to it that Ashley’s dreams take off at high velocity.
But as love blooms, questions mount. Will Ashley embrace her gifts and a life in Italy that’s worlds different than the one waiting at home in America? Can Luca trust his heart and instincts enough to embrace the love of a vibrant young woman whose spirit speaks to him so deeply?
What comes next when the dreams they dare to dream really might come true…?


16 comments:

  1. We're so glad to have you with us today, Marianne. Merry Christmas, and good luck with Bella Natale!

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    1. Merry Christmas, Liz!!! Thanks for the well-wishes for Bella Natale - it was such fun to write. I'm thrilled to see 'gem sisters' like you all thriving and doing so well!! Onward we go!!! <3 xo

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  2. Hi Marianne, I love reading about other authors writing journeys. Thanks for the great post!

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    1. Thanks, Karen! I remember our connections all the way back to the PB loop, when we celebrated each and every edit!!! :-) So glad you visited!! <3

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  3. I'm with Karen. Writing is an interesting journey, and it's great to hear about the pathway of others.

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    1. I agree! We're all so connected in a way, right? Blessings to you, Kathleen, and thanks for the visit!!! xo

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  4. Enjoyed reading your interview. I thoroughly enjoyed Bella Natalia. It was a delightful read.

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    1. Awww, Ann, thanks so much for the compliment!!! I treasure your support!! Glad you enjoyed the interview. :-) <3 Merry Christmas!!!

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  5. Love your books Marianne!

    I have a lot to learn yet with my writing and reading about your journey brings me a little hope. I know that writing for Him is the important thing . Even if no one else reads it that's okay.
    I am so glad you learned what a wonderful talent He has given you and are so willing to share with all of us. You bless my socks off girl. Love and hugs to you. Rejoicing with you in all that he has in-store for you and your pen.

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  6. Renette, you're such a shining light - thank you for your visit!! I believe in, and have seen, your talent both as a writer and as a person who creates stunning graphics. You offer and GIVE so much to God -- keep shining, and many hugs! Merry Christmas!!!

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  7. Twenty years, yes. But I remember that crystal box presentation like it was yesterday. Love 'ya, my Critiquette!

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    1. GREAT times, eh?? Love you more, sister! xo <3 I swear I'll make it to an RWA conference soon and give you a great big hug!!!

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  8. I'm glad you found the place where you belong, Marianne!

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    1. Hannah, thank you so much for the visit, and a very astute comment. Somehow, some way, eventually, we see, to end up where we belong, don't we (even through hilly terrain!) Have a wonderful holiday season!!

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  9. How lovely to hear what's happened in your writing life in the past 20 years. Finding your writing niche is a gift so congratulations--and congrats on the new release. Merry Christmas.

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    1. Thanks for the visit, Joan!! Have a wonderful Christmas, and hugs!

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