Maybe they were stuck in the valley.
My last book, Peril, was published in September of 2013. My latest book, Fractured Memory, just released this July. That’s nearly three years between books—certainly not ideal for building a readership. Every time I think of that gap between books, I cringe and shake my head. I feel like I’ve let my readers down and didn’t do anything to further my writing career.
Readers may be unaware of the tumultuous waters that have been the Christian publishing industry over this time frame. I think I “got in” right before the torrent winds struck the industry. Fiction lines closed down. Publishers merged and others simply closed their doors. The e-book craze pushed book prices down so revenue was less. Well known authors were getting dropped from their contracts.
After the Bloodline Trilogy released, I wrote another book proposal that wasn’t picked up. I loved the series idea so much that I decided I would release it as an indie series, but my mistake was not immediately putting together another book proposal with a new and better idea.
At the time, I was pretty confident I’d have to establish myself as an indie writer—a whole other learning curve I’d have to get over. If I’m honest—I also hit a psychological roadblock and wondered if I’d ever break through and have another traditionally published book.
I was in the valley. Lost. Struggling. Unsure what direction to go. I contemplated my nursing career and whether or not I needed to take steps there to further my education and forgo writing altogether.
But while I was stuck, I was also more open to things I wouldn’t normally have considered. Desperation tends to do that to a person. While my eyes sought heaven and my mind plotted alternatives to a writing career, God began to toss manna my way.
An editor from Guideposts reached out to me and asked me to audition for a cozy mystery series. Never did I imagine I would even try that genre. I’m a thriller author at heart.
But, what else was I doing? What could it hurt?
The series didn’t move forward based on reader feedback, but it did prove I could write something out of the thriller genre that an editor liked.
Have I also mentioned I don’t consider myself a romance author? In the valley, God began to whisper about perhaps trying that as well. He literally kept me up at night thinking about the Love Inspired Blurb to Book contest and I entered because—what else was I doing?
And I won a contract—the day after I was turned down for a nursing promotion. Since then I’ve had a book proposal accepted for another two books with Love Inspired.
Through those years, I wanted to co-write books with another author. My agent now has me paired up with someone and is hopeful the proposal will be accepted. My indie book is done and now in the editing stage.
I won’t deny that the valley is hard. It feels oppressive at times not knowing what God’s Will is and what steps you should take.
But, the valley is also quiet. Quiet enough that God’s voice and gentle nudgings might actually break through the noise of your life to give you the direction you’ve been waiting and hoping for.
If you’re stuck in the valley, a low point, and you don’t know what to do and I could offer one suggestion it would be this . . .
Just be still . . . listen . . . pray . . . and know that God has not abandoned you.
Bio: Short bio: Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping authors write medically accurate fiction. Her first two medical thrillers, Proof and Poison, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal. Proof was shortlisted for the 2012 ForeWord Review’s BOTY Award, 2013 INSPY Award and the 2013 Carol Award. Poison shortlisted for the 2014 INSPY Award and the 2014 Selah Award. In addition to her novels, she blogs regularly at Redwood’s Medical Edge and the WordServe Water Cooler. You can connect with Jordyn via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, her website and via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.