Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Don't Give Up by Guest Blogger Tamera Kraft

Tamera and I have something in common; we don't give up. I posted on her blog recently (,NeverGiveUp) about never giving up and receiving my first book contract for The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. NOW she is seeing the results for never giving up. Hurray, Tamera!

Read on to hear a little about her writing journey:

Don’t Give Up!

“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill gave this speech at a college graduation. It was his entire speech. He knew what he was talking about. During World War II, the German Blitzkrieg on London was having a devastating effect. Great Britain, the last hope of Europe, was losing the war. That’s when Churchill gave another speech that inspired his nation.

“... we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” Winston Churchill

Any writer who becomes successful has to have a similar motto. In fact, any person who has a dream or vision worth fighting for can never give up. Many times, it is not the best writers who become well known authors but the most persistent. I know a little about that.

I have always wanted to be a writer, but I started pursuing it in earnest six years ago. My first step was to write a full novel. Some of you are involved in that process and are ready to throw your book through the window. Keep writing, and you’ll finish it.

After I wrote my novel, I found out I didn’t know that much about writing. I thought I did, but as I submitted my work to agents and critique partners, they gently, and sometimes not so gently, showed me what I was doing wrong. I read books, studied other authors, attended conferences, and edited my novel using the knowledge I’d learned.

I still didn’t find a home for it. It was a western with very little romance. I found out that some genres are almost impossible to sell. At this point, I could have thrown my hands in the air and called it quits. But I didn’t.

Instead, I wrote other novels and novellas. I started a series of three novels set around the Civil War about women who graduated college at a time when most women didn’t finish school. I’ve finished two of them – still working on the third.

After I wrote the first of this series, I began looking for an agent. I think I may hold the record for rejections, but the rejections were getting better. Instead of standard “no thank-you” form letters, agents were sending me suggestions. Then came the rejections that said my writing was great, but they weren’t interested for various reasons. One agent rejected my novel because she hurt her back reaching for a sweater while reading my submission and, after being in traction for weeks, couldn’t take any more clients.

Finally, an agent asked for a full read. I was so excited. We went back and forth during that time while he tried to decide whether to represent me. It seemed to take forever. It always does. This is where the story gets interesting. Another agent contacted me. I’d never submitted the novel to her, but an agent I did submit to left the agency. The proposal ended up on her desk a year later, and she wanted a full read. After I sent it, she offered representation within a few days. Linda Glaz from Hartline has been my agent ever since, and I couldn’t ask for a better one.

You might think this would be the end of my struggle, but it wasn’t. Linda’s had a hard time placing my Civil War series. So I decided to write some other things while I was waiting. I wrote a Christmas novella about the Moravians in Ohio during the 1770s. I’m also in the process of writing a post-World War II spy romance with another author. I kept writing, and I didn’t give up.

I heard about Murray Pura’s Cry of Freedom Civil War Anthology, and I was intrigued. With all the research I’ve done about the Ohio Seventh Regiment for my second Civil War era novel, I decided to write a Civil War novella. Murray Pura contacted me about it recently and liked the premise. I now have a contract with Helping Hands Press. My novella will be released in e-book format on November 1st.

This is my first contract, and I still have two full reads out for other novels. I know this is only the beginning. But only because I Never Gave Up!

ABOUT: Soldier’s Heart: A Civil War Novella from the Cry of Freedom Anthology

To Be Released November 1, 2013
After returning home from the Civil War, will his soldier’s heart come between them!

Noah Andrew, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.

But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction because there are so many stories in history. Her first novella is set to be released November 1, 2013.

Tamera has recently celebrated her thirty-fourth anniversary with her loving husband. She has two grown and married children and four grandchildren.

Tamera has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

Connect with Tamera here:

Word Sharpeners Blog



Thank you, Tamera, for visiting my blog! May God bless your continued writing journey.




Catherine Castle said...

What great timing for your Civil War novel with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War happening this week. Sounds like an interesting book. I wish you loads of success.

Tamera Lynn Kraft said...

Thanks, Catherine. And thanks, Carol, for inviting me.

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