The Over 50 Writer

WELCOME AUTHOR CARRIE STUART PARKS
7/16/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Patti Shene

Featured book: A Cry From the Dust

Author’s name:  Carrie Stuart Parks

Publisher: HarperCollins Christian (Thomas Nelson)

Genre: Mystery/Suspense Forensic

Stand alone or series: Debut novel, first in a series

Target age: adult

AUTHOR CARRIE STUART PARKS VISITS THE OVER 50 WRITER TO SHARE HER SUCCESS STORY. WELCOME, CARRIE!

CARRIE’S PUBLISHER, THOMAS NELSON, IS OFFERING A GIVEAWAY OF A CRY FROM THE DUST. CHECK BELOW TO SEE HOW TO ENTER TO WIN.

 

 

I sold my first novel at the tender age of sixty.

It took me four days to find and sign with my agent, Terry Burns of Hartline. Twenty-seven minutes after he sent out the proposal to a select group of top publishers, one express interest. Within three days, several publishers asked for the full manuscript. In less than a month, five publishers were chomping at the bit, and in a scant thirty days from first sending out the proposal, offers started coming in. I ended up with a three book deal, sold at auction, with the highest bidder being Thomas Nelson. Before the ink dried on the contract, the first nibbles came in on movie and television rights. Pretty heady stuff for a debut novelist! I was an overnight success, heading for the big time.

It only took me ten years to get here.

I didn’t think I could write, or at least write fiction. I’d penned how-to drawing books, but how difficult is it to write, “…be sure to sharpen your pencil before you draw…?”

Over ten years ago, I scratched out a short story for my girlfriend. She, in turn, read it to her husband, who found it promising. A phone call later, he came over and said I had some talent as a writer, and that he would “teach me to fish.” His name was Frank Peretti, the New York Times bestselling author. His wife, Barb, was my best friend.

Oh, I was overjoyed! How often do you get a talent like Frank Peretti to mentor you? I was going straight to the top.

Not quite. God has a funny way of keeping me humble. Less than two months after I started working with Frank, I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. My mom had been bed-bound for several years with emphysema. Between taking care of her, surgeries, chemo, and my work as a forensic artist, with Frank’s help I fleshed out and finished the story I’d written for Barb. I researched agents and selected one to be the recipient of my masterpiece. Sending it off, I waited for her to leap through the phone to represent me as the next undiscovered talent.

Ah, no. Instead she called me up and yelled at me. Come on, I’m bald, sick, and everything hurts, and this lady is being mean to me! Don’t I get a break just for trying? She said I had talent, but I had much to learn.

Once the tears dried, I plowed on. I arranged to attend writer’s conferences by offering to talk about forensic art.

My chemo ended. I typed on, buying writing books. Lots of books.

Mom passed away and I was the executor for her estate. In my spare moments, I plowed through chapter after chapter and signed up for on-line writing classes. Once again satisfied that the writing was great, I sent the manuscript to a big-time, New York agent. Another rejection.

Maybe the middle of the book needed work? After re-writing it, I entered writing competitions and waited for the awards to flow in. Not quite. Some of the scores were appallingly low. More editing, more re-writing.

I hated this book.

We bought mom’s house and started the remodel, which went on for close to two years and double the budget we’d planned. I found an agent who finally, finally said she’d represent me. But my writing needed work.

Really?

More editing, more fixing, more learning. I continued with different on-line classes and attended more writer’s conferences. My agent shopped the manuscript around. Thirteen publishers, thirteen rejections.

If I ever saw this book again, I’d scream.

Joining a writer’s group, I listened and learned from their work. Frank continued to encourage me.

My agent folded her agency. I threw the manuscript against the wall and declared I’d never write again. Eight years wasted on a stupid idea.

But another story was nudging at my brain. So I started over. This time it was easier. Those years of sitting with Frank, reading books on characters, scenes, and conflict, listening to speakers talk about tension on every page, finally started to click. I finished the new book and, well, I’ve already told you the ending.

Once A Cry From the Dust was sold, I went back to the eight-year project. It had promise, but the middle sank like an anvil, the characters were less than one dimension, and the ending left you unsatisfied. I’d finally learned SOMETHING about writing.

For those of you struggling with your craft, think of it as an adventure. Oh, I don’t mean it’s all fun. There’s bound to be an evil empire or flying monkeys along your path, but the only way you’ll get to the end is to keep learning and keep trying. And God bless.

-Carrie Stuart Parks

 

LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE PLACED IN THE DRAWING TO WIN A COPY OF A CRY FROM THE DUST BETWEEN NOW AND WEDNESDAY, JULY 30TH AT MIDNIGHT MST. DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE YOUR CONTACT EMAIL SO YOU CAN BE NOTIFIED IF YOU WIN!

 

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

Mentored by New York Times best-selling author, Frank Peretti, Carrie began writing fiction while battling stage II breast cancer.

Connect with Carrie:

 

Web site                                

Facebook Author Page 

Email


Comments

Marcia Gunnett Woodard From Swayzee, Indiana At 7/28/2014 12:06:57 PM

Hi, Patti and Carrie! Thank you sooooo much fir this blog post! It's just what I needed today. I'm 55 and shopping my first novel to agents. And feeling ike the devil's tackling dummy. Over. And over. And over. Thanks Carrie, for having the courage to keep going and to share your journey. Marcia

Patti Shene From Colorado At 7/20/2014 4:44:33 PM

Hi Ada. Thanks so much for stopping by to leave a comment for Carrie. I'm sure her book will not disappoint!

Ada Brownell From Missouri At 7/20/2014 4:36:38 PM

What an amazing, encouraging blog post! I'd love to win your book. I can already imagine dead bodies and a forensic artist is in there somewhere doing her marvelous work. Add a handsome man who drives her nuts, but yet she's attracted to him. I need to look at the book summary. Blessing for sharing

Patti Shene From Colorado At 7/19/2014 5:08:24 PM

So true, Carol. Thank you for stopping by The Over 50 Writer.

Carol Crigger From Spokane Valley, WA At 7/19/2014 4:59:54 PM

Wonderful interview, Carrie. Something perhaps even your publisher doesn't know is that you're paying it forward with the help and advice you give to other would-be writers along the way. Can't wait for the book, then the next, and the next one after that.

Patti Shene From Colorado At 7/19/2014 8:55:18 AM

Hi Elaine. Thank you so much for your comments and for stopping by. I enjoy doing the interviews because they keep me fed with encouragement as well.

Elaine Stock From NY At 7/19/2014 7:19:23 AM

Carrie, wow, you've opened my eyes to several things (it's nice to have connections, but it's no overnight guarantee) and my heart to encouragement (when it's His time for each of us, He'll make a way). Thanks for sharing your story. Patti, another great interview. estock(at)fairpoint(dot)net

Joy persoon From Kellogg, Idaho At 7/17/2014 11:54:40 AM

Carrie is a personal friend of mine. Not only do her talents know no end but she treats, others with respect and love. I have been so excited to read this book and I am so proud of this woman.

Linda Daley From At 7/17/2014 11:02:07 AM

Many of us are looking forward to your new book. This subject has been a fascination of my husband, John, and mine for years. Congratulations on your newest success. I still love the Misssion and Native American paintings the best. Best of luck, Linda

Carrie Doss From Milwaukee, WI At 7/17/2014 9:17:58 AM

I am waiting anxiously for the book's sell date! It can't get here fast enough!

Norma From Miami At 7/17/2014 8:55:12 AM

I have everything Carrie has ever written, including a piece of her wonderful watercolor art. She is a wonderful person and long distance friend. I am so proud of all her accomplishments. She has (to me) always been a great mentor and example to follow. I can not wait to read her book.

The Over 50 Writer


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Confessions of a Reluctant Reader
5/9/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR LENA NELSON DOOLEY
5/2/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

WELCOME AUTHOR KATHI MACIAS
4/24/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Review of Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle
4/18/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

I'm back
4/11/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author JoAnn Durgin
2/14/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Award-Winning Author Susan Page Davis
2/7/2013 12:01:15 AM  by: Patti Shene

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
1/30/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Introducing Jeanette Windle and Congo Dawn
1/23/2013 10:22:45 PM  by: Patti Shene

Author Carole Johnson on Perseverance
1/17/2013 12:24:00 AM  by: Patti Shene

The Value of Social Media
1/9/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

A Glimpse Into the Future
1/2/2013 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Jo Huddleston
12/20/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Give Some Holiday Hope for Just $3.99
12/14/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Great Christmas books from Lena Nelson Dooley
12/7/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome to Author Jude Urbanski
11/13/2012 12:59:21 PM  by: Patti Shene

A Writers Journey Part IV
11/13/2012 12:55:36 PM  by: Patti Shene

Interview with Author Kelly Irvin
11/13/2012 12:50:08 PM  by: Patti Shene

Whose prophecy do you believe?
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Michal J. Webb
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Welcome Author Lillian Duncan
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene

Meet Author Sharon Shrock and the Women of Valley
11/13/2012 12:00:01 AM  by: Patti Shene