Today we welcome best selling author, Beth Wiseman to share some of her thoughts with us.
Each time that I start a new book, I wonder what the surprise will be. I love surprises, and God always sends one my way after I’ve completed a story that I hope will glorify Him. It’s always something special that I couldn’t have foreseen. It took me a few books before I realized that this would be the norm—something between God and me that I could look forward to after pouring out my heart on the pages.
It’s often said that God never wastes an hurt, but drawing on those experiences in an effort to entertain, educate, and provoke thought, can be exhausting—and sometimes painful.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. The Promise is inspired by a true story. Someone close to me traveled to Pakistan and ended up being held against her will there. I had to work with the Embassy in Islamabad, the Consulate in Pakistan, and the U.S. State Department to get my friend (who we are calling Laurie) home. Even though I pulled from actual events to create this fictional story, parts of it were so real that I’d find myself typing real names instead of the character names I had assigned to the players. My editor set the bar high for this novel, and I ended up doing lots of rewrites, had to get a deadline extension for the first time, and for the life of me, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to get my character on the plane to Pakistan. I knew what would happen to her once she got there, and even though it had been over a year since the real-life story unfolded, it still felt like an open wound.
By the time I wrapped up final edits, I was able to identify God’s surprise, His gift to me. Plenty of people had asked me, what do you think will define success for The Promise? Most people in my circle knew this book was personal, intense, and unlike anything I’d written in the past. At first all the standard answers about success came to mind, and I rattled off best-seller lists, dollar figures, and copies sold. But when I slowed down, took a deep breath, and allowed myself some down time, I just smiled. The book was a success before it ever hit the shelves, garnished a review, or slipped into the hands of a single reader.
The success story of The Promise was in the writing itself, the research, the unfolding of truths that were revealed as Laurie and I worked together to tell her story. My goal was to weave an entertaining tale of intrigue, danger, warning, hope, and survival amidst religious rivalries, conflicting cultures, and normal people finding themselves in surreal situations. Throughout that process, I learned why Laurie did some of the things she did. I don’t have to agree with her choices, but through many heartfelt conversations, I gained a better understanding about her motivations. At the end of the day, we agreed to disagree about some things, but my gift shone brightly—and it was a renewed and better relationship with my friend. And for me, that made the entire project a success.
Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan series. Wiseman has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas. In her daring new novel, Wiseman jumps way outside the box. The Promise will take readers far away from Amish country and the small Texas towns of her previous releases to a dangerous place on the other side of the world. Inspired by actual events, Wiseman believes this is the book she’s been working toward for a long time.
Wiseman can be found at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers. Learn more about the author and her books at bethwiseman.com and on Twitter (@bethwiseman).
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Until later...take care & God Bless.