Three years ago, Krista Phillips and I shared a journey — the journey to publication — when our books, Sandwich, with a Side of Romance and The Road to Mercy, were published by Abingdon Press (September 2012). During a recent conversation, Krista and decided it would be fun to celebrate again. And to talk about how publication has changed our lives, and where we are now as writers.
For Krista, that’s meant two spin-off novellas, and a third on the way, as well as additional projects now in the works. Her debut novel was also recently released as an audiobook.
Taking a moment to reflect on the past three years, what has been the most surprising/amazing/rewarding experience in your writing career?
I don’t think it was any one experience in particular. I mean, don’t get me wrong. There were some awesome stuff. My first book signing, while a little terrifying, was such a fun experience. And reading reviews of MY book, seeing my name on a book in a bookstore — all things that just felt so surreal.
But I think the most REWARDING part of the last three years is the perspective shift I’ve experienced. Looking back on what was instead of before, when publication was this big exciting unknown dream — it’s much different than I thought. It’s like I was looking at it through a pair of binoculars and it looked so HUGE and COOL and AWE-inspiring… But now I see it for what it really is. Another step on the journey that God has called me on. A fun and cool step, no doubt. I’ve grown a lot through the experience, learning a WHOLE lot of patience and renewing my need to trust in God for things like book sales and to find my VALUE in God and not author reviews, because there will ALWAYS be that person who doesn’t like your book.
So — I guess the most rewarding part was the growth in my spiritual life that I’ve experienced along the way.
What advice would you give to those just starting out as writers?
Enjoy the journey.
Keep your eyes on Jesus and don’t fret every rejection and stumble. God’s got this, in His timing and not yours. Publication isn’t the end all. It isn’t the top of the mountain. It isn’t the final step. It’s just a fun step in this journey of life.