A Year in Indie

On this, my official one-year publishing birthday, it feels appropriate to wax poetic a bit about this journey.

But I won’t.

Instead, I’ll tell you that I started this process feeling kind of alone. I really didn’t want to tell many people about my plans ahead of time, because some have a way of trying to talk you out of your dreams. They tell you the road will be difficult, or you might not have the talent, or that it’s all about luck. I still remember when I was around twenty years old, sitting in a college writing class, with my snarky thirty-something professor telling me that being a published writer wasn’t really a viable goal. “I’m an English professor, and I can’t even get The New Yorker to send me a personalized rejection letter.” Unbeknownst to her, my barely-out-of-high-school self had already received a personalized letter from The New Yorker, where a male scrawl informed me that I was talented and to keep submitting my writing. I just folded it up and sat on it, because the timing wasn’t right.

On the one-year anniversary of my official outing to the world as a writer, the thing I most want to share with you is the fact that I’m not alone. There are some really awesome indie authors out there who have perfected their craft and have quality books. These are a few that I have discovered in the last year (in the order I read their books).

Heather Woodhaven

secret

The Secret Life of Book Club is about four women who decide to start spicing up their lives by doing things instead of simply reading about them. What ensues is a glimpse of real life, with its ups and downs, heartaches and excitements, and plenty of laughs thrown in for good measure. The characters felt very real, which is a huge selling point. My review: I was tearing up at the end simply because these ladies WERE, and I got to know them, and I was grateful. Find it here

T.I. Lowe

lulu

T.I. Lowe possesses a unique southern voice that she uses in narration as though she is simply sitting down and telling you a story. I think that is one of the things that made Leah’s story so heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. After seeing her struggles through her eyes, I felt as though I knew her…every fault and scar and endearing quality that drew Crowley toward her. My review: Beautiful and emotionally raw. Find it here

Sally Bradley

kept

One of the bravest books I have read in a while, that dared to take on tough subjects (life as a kept woman) while keeping the characters honest and realistic. Around the middle, there was a scene that was so well-written, I remember thinking I felt like a fly on the wall. Kept has garnered lots of attention this year, and it’s so well-deserved. My review: Think Francine Rivers, and then bump it up a notch. Find it here

JoAnn Durgin

love

You know that Hallmark movie? You’re scrolling through the channels, and you see it listed…you’ve seen it a million times, but you can’t pass it up. It gets you in the gut every time. This is that Hallmark movie. The love story between Ava and Sawyer was one of my absolute favorites of the year. In fact, if I had to choose one male character that I preferred most next to my own characters, Sawyer might get the nod. My review: JoAnn is a master of dialogue, and this one had me feeling like I was sitting in on the meet-cute and listening in on each verbal faux pas. Find it here

Heather Day Gilbert

daughter

I love history so much, I studied it in college as my second major just because I might want to write a historical novel some day. Most historical novels excel in the facts and lack in the storytelling, or have a good story with no solid evidence. God’s Daughter is one of those rare books that has all the requisite research, but combines it with such a solid story that it feels like it could be a diary from Gudrid herself. My review: The first-person point of view was so effective, I was totally drawn in from the beginning. Find it here

Joanne Bischof

quiet

This one snuck in on me yesterday, and oh my goodness, did it sneak in. I had been saving it for a while because I had a feeling I might get sucked into it, and it did not disappoint. The beginning reminded me a little of Anne of Green Gables, which I loved. Never before have I been slightly emotional reading every page of a book, but from the very first lines, I was drawn in. Gorgeous prose and imagery, a great life lesson, and a love story to melt your heart. My review: One of the most beautiful, touching stories I have ever read. Ever. Find it here

Back to Me

At the end of this roller coaster year, all I have to add is that my goal is simply to write the novels that God gives me in a way that pleases Him. If I had to add a second wish, though, it would be that anything I write would be worthy of being on a list with these great books. As I start year number two, I’m hoping to be one step closer to both those goals. This is my sixth book, Crowned. Harley Laine is a reporter on her way to the top when passion and compassion collide to change her life forever. It’s a story that ministered to me while I was writing it, and now it’s God’s to send out into the world. If you want to check it out, you’ll find it here.

crown

Finally, to every one of you who took the time to encourage me, unlike that professor so many years ago…thank you from the bottom of my heart. I see you, and I love you. You’ve held me up when the going was difficult, and I want to thank you. By commenting on this post, one of you will randomly win a $20 Amazon gift card. (Hint: You can use it to buy some of these fantastic books.) The winner will be chosen on August 22, Crowned’s release date.

Much love,

Christina

46 thoughts on “A Year in Indie

  1. I enjoyed reading your one year blog and it has been a pleasure for me following your writing career and reading your books.

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  2. I’ve always been told to follow my dreams, even when others told me not to. In doing so, I’ve had poems published. I’m so glad you followed your dreams, Christina. Your books are your dreams coming true. I can’t wait to read the next ones, and I am looking forward to reading the other authors you’ve suggested in your blog. God has given you a talent…and has granted you your dream. Thank you for letting us all share in that dream.

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  3. Christina I have loved every book that you have written..just about halfway into the book Crowned and can’t wait to finish it. Can’t wait until your Christmas book is out also. Thanks for telling us in your blog some other great reading that is out there. Don’t ever quit writing! !

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  4. Happy 1st Anniversary!
    I have so enjoyed your books and am looking forward to many, many more of your creative, heart touching stories. Keep up the good work 🙂

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  5. Loved reading all your books, excited for Crowned to release. Really excited for your Christmas book.
    Hard to believe you can write 6 books in a year. Wow. Your brain must not ever shut down.
    Congratulations on your success. Thanks for sharing some more new reading material with us.

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  6. I’m so thankful you took that step out in faith, because I love your books. I’ve read two of the books you mentioned above and loved them. Indie is becoming so common now, it’s never going away. Keep up the awesome writing!

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  7. Happy anniversary, Christina. 🙂 So neat to see some of the Indie books you’ve loved! Honored to that This Quiet Sky snuck in on you! I’ve been enjoying Kept, Sally is such a great writer and God’s Daughter is one of my all time favorite historicals. I’m thankful for the wan Indie publishing can introduce us to talent we might have missed! I hope your next year is as great as your first!

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    1. Oh, This Quiet Sky… I’ve already told my sister she has to read it about three times. 🙂 Most of the great books I’ve read lately have been indie, and I’m so grateful for the different, unique stories.

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  8. I have read several of these books and loved them. Thank you for sharing some that I missed. Indie publishing is a great blessing to readers who don’t want the formulaic stories that have become mainstream Christian publishing.

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  9. Happy anniversary! I also celebrated my first year as an indie author this past July and I can relate to your post, most definitely. Here’s to making tremendous progress in year 2!

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    1. Keely, I knew I’d inadvertently miss someone on my list! The Land Unchartered…I loved Connor and Lydia. Such a great story. Unchartered Redemption is on my Kindle and waiting for me to dive back in. 🙂

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  10. I can honestly say that I have loved every book of yours that I have read thus far! I look to you for wonderful journeys in the life of your characters and I find you as a personal inspiration. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments and I am excitedly awaiting what the future holds for you and your readers!!

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  11. I am so glad that I found your books through a friend. Thanks for sharing the list of others that I am sure to enjoy!

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  12. Congratulations on following your dreams. I just finished “For No Reason”. Really enjoyed the whole series. Looking forward to “Crowned” and in the meantime I’ll check out some of your recommendations.

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  13. Hi Christina,
    You’ve inspired me. I too am a writer and a (homeschooling) mom of four. How have you done it? I thought I was doing pretty good to get four books out in four years. You must be some kind of newbie prodigy. Monster kudos to you! Congratulations on your highly-loved and highly-rated 6 books with more to come.
    I’m super-impressed and wish I could be a fly on your wall to see how in the freakin’ world you DO it!

    Blessings to you, awesome sis-in-Christ I haven’t met yet.
    🙂
    Chana Keefer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Chana! Of course the books took more than a year to write, so it’s not quite as impressive as it seems. Anything I’ve done to this point has been by the grace of God, because trust me, I’m mostly a mess. 🙂
      Congratulations on your own highly-rated books, one of which is currently taunting me from my Kindle. Read me…
      All the best to you!
      Christina

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