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If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.


1 Corinthians 13:2 

Favorite quote:

Don't ask God to guide your footsteps if you are not willing to move your feet!


Anonymous



I knew at the age of 9 that I wanted to be a writer. An avid reader, I'd read the middle school's entire library well before the end of 6th grade. In 7th grade, I was blessed with a teacher who set out to prove to me that I could write professionally. She'd assign themes to the rest of the class then tell me to write a short story. I thought she was picking on me--until the day she presented me with a $5.00 check. She'd been sending my stories to children's magazines, and one of them had sold. I'd also won some contests that she had entered on my behalf. (Thank you, Mrs. Johnston!)

It wasn't until after my second child was born that I decided to write a book. A college professor pointed me in the direction of romance and gave me some novels to read. I fell in love with the genre and went right to work. Nine months later, I sent the book off to two publishers, Harlequin and Silhouette Books, which was a subsidiary of Simon & Shuster back then. The year was 1980.

In the meantime my sister's next-door neighbor belonged to a writer's group in Dallas. My sister told her about me, and she notified another member of the group who lived near me in Lewisville, Texas. Parris Afton Bonds dropped by my house unannounced and introduced herself. She took me under her wing, introducing me to other writers and advising me to attend a writer's conference at the University of Houston.

​It was there in Houston that I learned Silhouette would buy my book and there that I gathered with a group of other romance authors who decided to found a writer's group, which we ultimately called Romance Writers of America. As a charter member, I marvel at what RWA has become and accomplished.
Back at home, however, I found a letter from an editor awaiting me. She listed 13 revisions that needed to be done before the book could be published. I was crushed.

All along, I'd been telling God that if He didn't want me to publish, He would have to hit me with a very large stick because I wanted to publish so badly I might not be paying attention to Him. Well, I thought, here's the big stick. I had no idea how to accomplish those revisions. Okay, God, I thought, if You want me to surrender this dream, I will do so.

I began to pray about what I would do now that writing was no longer an option. As I prayed, ways to revise the book began to come to me. Soon, I realized that God hadn't taken away my goals, He had simply asked me to surrender them to Him. Excited, I sat down and worked through the night to revise the book.

I didn't make another revision in a manuscript until 22 books later.

Almost 4 decades and 100 books into this adventure, I've made plenty of revisions and seen lots of changes in the industry, but I've never lost the joy of writing or my gratitude for the blessings it has brought to my life. For several years now, I've concentrated in inspirational Christian romance, and I know that's where I'm meant to be.

I also know that someday God will ask me to put this down, and I will do so gratefully. Meanwhile, thank you for your time and your interest.

God bless you.

Arlene