I asked Anne to tell me about her journey into writing, here’s what she had to say…
What made me want to be a writer? I love words. Words can paint the most marvelous pictures in the mind. For instance, just say the word, “mysterious.” Instantly your mind gloms onto the word and creates scenes that evoke curiosity. And I love reading. Reading can be an escape, but it can also be a source of wonder. It doesn’t matter if you read fiction or nonfiction, a book or magazine can invite you into a world you’ve never seen before. Putting those imagination-invoking words together is a joy.
When did this happen? Wow, can I remember back that far? Our dad used to read my brother and I the Sunday funnies, and that might have begun my love of stories. Or it might have been Mom reading the little children’s books to us. The first story I remember writing probably wasn’t the first I ever wrote, but it was in the fourth or maybe the fifth grade. The teacher told us to write a true story about our lives. I wrote one about my brother and I finding a hawk’s nest and doing battle with the attacking parent birds. It, ummm, wasn’t exactly a true story. I guess I preferred writing fiction even then. (Sorry, Mrs. Pierson.)
How did I know it was something I could pursue? My career involved a lot of writing–technical, but still writing. In one of the technical writing courses my office sent me to, at the end the instructor asked me if I’d ever thought about pursuing a career in creative writing. After I retired, I gave a speech for my Toastmasters club about a kitten we’d had. For a switch, I had written out the speech. I sent it to my daughter to read to her kids and grandkids. They liked it. And then there was this book I had started writing when my daughter had been a young teenager…. It only took me 30-some years to finish. So, how did I know writing was something I could pursue? When after all that, a publisher took a chance on me.
When people think of me after I’m gone on to greener pastures, I hope they will remember someone who loved others. I do love my family and friends. I hope that because of something I did or said or wrote they drew one step closer to a life with our loving God. I hope the ones I hurt by stupid actions or words see that God forgave even me and know that there’s nothing they’ve done that God won’t forgive.
The biggest thing I hope readers will gain from my books is the step closer to God. Yes, they are works of fiction, but the stories can be true for the readers, too. God forgives. God leads. God hasn’t forgotten how to perform miracles. God loves beyond their wildest expectations.
The most freeing experience I’ve ever had is, of course, getting to know Jesus. When I asked Him to take over my life, He freed me from all the entrapments I had gathered and stored here and there in myself.
To get published is easy if you don’t care how your work impacts the world. Just scribble up something and pay a self-publisher. They will put out pure trash if you pay them. But if you want your work to carry a lasting GOOD impression on readers, learn everything you can about writing. Join a critique group. Buy a style manual–most of the Christian publishers seem to prefer Chicago Manual of Style. Go to conferences. Listen to other authors. Get on Facebook and Twitter. Start a blog. And write, write, write, write!
My favorite thing I’ve written is usually what I’m currently working on. What I’m working on now is the conclusion of The Truth Trilogy. I’m enjoying the interactions and misunderstandings between the principle characters. Real love never runs smooth, you know. Fictional love is even worse. 😀
Thank you so much for hosting me, Cindy. May God sprinkle blessings all over your writings!
Anne Baxter Campbell
Author: The Roman’s Quest
Blog: A Pew Perspective
ACFW Northern CA Area Coordinator
Inspire Christian Writers Conference Planner