The first clue that I wasn’t ready to be a writer, despite my BA in English, had to be that I started “my novel” with pencil in a tiny spiral notebook. I’m talking, TINY. I abandoned the project primarily because it read like a Narnia knock-off. That was probably thirty years ago, and for a good many years following, I gave up the idea of being a writer.
As I reflect on all that has transpired since, I see God’s hand in bringing me back to writing. One summer I awoke from a vivid dream and decided to jot it down so I wouldn’t forget it. The jotting-it-down process got me to “imagining,” and I ended up creating a map for a make-believe country. For the next several summers, I worked on a story to go with the map—just a fun hobby. Until I attended the Biola Writer’s Institute.
On the second day, between workshops, when I was asking God what He wanted me to do with my writing, He impressed on my mind the need to write the fantasy story that was rattling around in my brain. I wrote book one and started the process of trying to get it published. One wise mentor told me to go ahead and start writing book two while I waited.
That was longer ago than I care to remember. All the while, as I dabbled in writing, my desire to write grew. Finally, God engineered a sequence of events that led me to change careers from teaching to full time writing. I decided to see what God had in store for me in this new, challenging, fun venture.
Since that time, I’ve worked as a newspaper correspondent covering high school sports for a Los Angeles area newspaper and as a freelance writer, with feature articles in Victorian Homes, Vintage Gardens, and Kitchens magazines. I also do freelance editing for AMG Publishing (as the editor of four Bryan Davis books, among others) and for individual writers such as Jill Williamson, Debbie Swindoll, and Rich Bullock. But more importantly, I’ve become a student of fiction.
In 2005 I sold my first short story, “At His Table,” to a Canadian publication, Fellowship LINK. I also won the weekly contest at Everyday Hogwash for a humorous piece posted on this blog, and finaled in the ACFW Genesis contest. Later I sold a short story to the Christian science fiction and fantasy webzine Sword Review (later Mindflights). Then in 2007 I finished in the top twenty-five in the Writer’s Digest Short, Short Fiction Competition with a 1500 word story entitled “Haj.”
Most recently I self-published a writing instruction book for novelists—Power Elements Of Story Structure, first in the series Power Elements Of Fiction. I also am a founding contributor to the team blog Speculative Faith, the managing administrator of the Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour, organizer of the Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction, and a participant in the promotional writing group Ruby Slippers Media.
Nevertheless, as a first priority, I continue to write fantasy stories. In 2012 I completed The Lore Of Efrathah, a tetralogy comprised of Hunted, Journey to Mithlimar, The Stone of Surrender, and Against Blood and Fire. My current project is the prequel, which I’ve tentatively titled Liars And Thieves.
And believe me, I’ve left the tiny spiral notebook behind. 😉
For editing services or self-editing tips, visit my editing blog: Rewrite, Reword, Rework.
To contact me write to rluellam at yahoo dot com.