Encouraging words breathe hope and possibility into our spirits. Countless people have buoyed my storytelling over the years – by laughing or crying at the appropriate moments or remembering a story years later. Only a handful of people have read We Wait You, but each spurred me on with courage to finish the course.
My first critiquers at my very first writers’ conference (when my book was only one chapter long) were Laura Jensen Walker and Cindy Martinusen. Both women have authored several books. Cindy is a Christy award finalist and Laura’s book, Re-constructing Natalie, was named the 2006 Women of Faith Novel of the Year. Laura wrote the review: “You have a lovely, engaging voice. You drew me in from the start and it almost feels like I’m reading a novel. You’ve made me want to continue the journey to see what happens next. Bravo! Your storytelling is lyrical and compelling. Your wonderful images and description are often poetic. You are a beautiful writer.” That was more than enough to make me want to continue.
A couple years later, after I’d completed the first draft, I attended a weeklong intensive mentoring clinic. My mentor was Kay Marshall Strom, whose wisdom I’d already benefited from in a workshop track at yet another writers’ conference. She gave me these comments during the critique: “Excellent use of fiction techniques. Your description brings all of the senses in. You use drama, dialogue, and character development to make your non-fiction book as compelling as though it were fiction.” Kay’s words infused me with courage to go for it in publishing.
And then after I submitted my manuscript to Wine Press and became angst-ridden, their proofreader gave me a boost by writing: “What an amazing, eye-opening, exciting, and encouraging story of God’s power, love, and faithfulness! I thoroughly enjoyed reading We Wait You. Very well-written and engaging.”