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Monday, May 19, 2014

Fiction With a Purpose - How a Debut Novelist Found Purpose Beyond her Dreams of Publishing in Fiction.

A native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, author Pamela S. Meyers lives in suburban Chicago, an hour's drive away from her hometown which she visits often to dig into its historical legacy. Her novels include Thyme for Love, and Love Will Find a Way,  contemporary romantic mysteries and her 1933 historical romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva,Wisconsin, released in April, 2013. She can often be found speaking at events around Lake Geneva or nosing in microfilms and historical records about Wisconsin and other Midwestern spots for new story ideas.


Pam Meyers here with my May post. I am pleased to turn this month's post over to my critique partner, Susan Lawrence who is celebrating the release of her debut novel, Atonement for Emily Adams, published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. In her article, she shares the process that led to her decision to designate the proceeds from her book to a very worthy cause. 



Fiction with a Purpose

by

Susan Lawrence





I sat at the dinner table of my friend, Bert, with tears rolling down my cheeks. Bert’s son and daughter-in-law are missionaries in Swaziland, Africa, and they were sharing stories of babies and children they met while ministering there. The AIDs epidemic has devastated this area leaving thousands of orphans with no one to care for them.

 
When Marcia shared how handicapped babies were wrapped in a blanket, turned to face the wall, and left to die in the hospital, my heart broke. I have a thirty-three year old son who was born with mild cerebral palsy. The thought of someone leaving him to die filled me with righteous anger.
 
Marcia’s husband, Scott, laid out their vision for building a village of homes for these abandoned babies, to be staffed and directed by Swaziland people. The orphans would be raised in a Christian home-like atmosphere. They’d formed a corporation, Pour International, using Isaiah 44:3 for their theme verse: For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground: I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. The land for the first home had already been purchased. They only needed funds to build it.
 
But what could I do? I am a retired elementary teacher, working hard at making my way in the Christian fiction world. At that time, I had only two out-of-print devotionals to my credit, and I had far more out-go than income with my current projects, including a novel I was shopping to publishers.
My husband and I left that night with our hearts full of the images of Swaziland. But, as so often happens, when we returned to our daily lives, Swaziland receded back across the ocean of our mind.
I continued work on my novel, Atonement for Emily Adams. I found a home for it at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and began the arduous task of editing and polishing. As the release date drew nearer, I began to realize my dream of a published novel was actually going to become a reality. People would buy my book and I would receive royalties.
 
And I thought again about the babies in Swaziland. I said nothing to my husband, Gary, just prayed and thought about what I was being led to do.
 
A few weeks later, Gary called me into the family room where he was sitting in his recliner, one of his favorite “thinking spots.”
“I had an idea,” he said. “Why don’t we take the proceeds of your novel and donate them to Pour International?”
 
How like our God to give the same idea to both of us! And so began our fiction with a purpose campaign. In all our marketing efforts, we partner with Pour International. I promise readers, a great read for a great cause.
 
Publishing and marketing in today’s market can be a monumental task. But we are confident that our hard work will sell enough copies of Atonement for Emily Adams to build a baby home. And we plan to be in Swaziland when that first nail is driven.


For more information on Pour International go to www.pourinternational.org
To read more about Atonement for Emily Adams click on the link.



Susan Lawrence, a graduate of Kansas State Teacher’s College, taught special needs children for thirty-three years before retiring to devote more time to writing, speaking, and storytelling. She has published two family devotion books, contributed to three anthologies, and has written articles for various Christian publications. Susan lives with her husband, Gary, and their yellow Lab, Annie. She is the mother of three and grandmother of seven beautiful and brilliant grandchildren. Contact Susan at: srlauthor@mchsi.com.

1 comments:

Normandie Ward Fischer said...

Susan, I love how God works, confirming His leading by speaking to more than one heart. I'm convinced that as we honor Him and turn over our publishing careers to Him that He will direct our paths and bring about the success He desires. And even if we give all that we earn away, we can't out-give Him, can we?