Thursday, April 18, 2013

On Tuesday, Sandra Robbins dropped by to talk about making choices. Today, she shares how she's living her dream.

When I was a child, I had many ideas of what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was almost like I was planning the path my life would travel. First and foremost I wanted to be a wife and mother. Next I wanted to be a teacher. Then I wanted to write a book.  All were worthy goals.
The first two happened right on schedule. I married a wonderful man, we were blessed with four healthy children, and I taught in an elementary school. As my children got older, I thought now is the time to write that book I’ve always dreamed about, but another detour blocked my path. By this time I had risen through the teaching ranks and had become principal at a school. Between work and family responsibilities I had little time for pursuing anything else.
Time passed, but my dream didn’t die. One night in 2004 some unknown force guided me to my computer, and I began to write. I knew nothing about the craft of writing, but the words filled the pages night after night. That’s when the reality of what was happening to me set in—I had become a writer. I had never spoken to another writer. In fact I didn’t even know one. The only experience I’d had with writing was a course in writing fiction I’d taken in college. That had hardly prepared me for jumping into the publishing world.
By 2005 I realized if I was to write a book somebody might actually read some day, I needed help. I turned to the internet and stumbled on an organization called American Christian Romance Writers. It didn’t cost much to join, and so I did. I soaked up every post on the loop and began to get an idea of what I needed. One was to join a critique group which I did. Through ACRW (soon to become ACFW) I was randomly placed with a group of beginning writers, and we worked together over the internet. I was thrilled with my entrance into the writing world, but every morning I still went to my day job.
By the summer of 2006 I had gained a lot of confidence. I had attended several conferences and workshops, and my critique partners were helping me grow as a writer. Since two of them lived in Texas, we decided to meet at my daughter’s house in San Antonio for our first face to face meeting. The night before their arrival I had a heart attack while visiting the River Walk and was rushed to a hospital where an amazing cardiologist saved my life. The next day for the first time I met Janelle Mowery and Lisa Ludwig, my critique partners, when they arrived at the hospital to visit me. In the fall we attended the ACFW conference in Nashville, and I met the woman who would become my first editor.
I knew God had given me one more chance to follow my dream to write, and I resigned my job at the end of that year to pursue writing full time. God has blessed me greatly as I’ve followed His guiding on this wonderful journey. My books have been honored as finalists in the Daphe du Maurier Contest for excellence in writing mystery, the
Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for writing romance, the ACFW Carol Awards, and as a merit recipient in the Holt Medallion. Recently Angel of the Cove, the first book in my Smoky Mountain Dreams series won the Single Title Inspirational Category in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. This is given by the Birmingham Southern Magic Chapter of RWA in honor of multi-published author Gayle Wilson.
At times I still shake my head in disbelief at how everything has worked out. When I complete the three book contract I'm working on now, I will have published eighteen books. I never dreamed what was about to happen when I sat down at that computer one night and began to write some thoughts down about a story rolling around in my head. Now those ideas come all the time.
So when someone asks me how long I’ve wanted to be a writer, I can honestly say, “As long as I can remember.” It took a while for me to step out on faith and begin the work required to add author to my accomplishments, but I’m so glad I did. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. 

Sandra Robbins lives with her husband in Tennessee. In April 2013 Summerside released A Lady’s Choicewhich chronicles the plight of suffragists who picketed the White House to gain the vote for women.

Stop by tomorrow for a chance to win a free copy!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks so much for all the reviews.
    I have used your site frequently as a source for books to read.
    Best wishes in all you do.


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