Meet Debut Author Glynna Kaye

Glynna Kaye is a contest success story. Her entry in the 2008 Golden Pen finaled. Melissa Endlich, the final round judge, read the partial, requested the full and bought the book. Dreaming of Home (formerly An Inconvenient Love), which took first place in the contest, is a current Love Inspired release.

A Midwestern gal, Glynna has been transplanted to the mountain country of Arizona. When not busy working full time or creating her heartwarming stories, Glynna can be found gardening, enjoying photography and the great outdoors – and keeping one step ahead of “What Not to Wear” camera crews.

Join me as we learn more about Glynna and her journey to publication.

(Look at the bottom of the post for multiple drawing prizes offered.)

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Glynna Kaye.

Glynna’s Journey Begins

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•The period between your first sale and release was a mere nine months, putting you on the fast track to publication. However, your sudden success didn’t happen overnight. When did you begin writing your first story? What led to the decision to put those early words on the page?

Believe it or not, the time from The Call to a book in the Steeple Hill subscribers’ hands was barely 6 months!

I’ve written poetry and stories since I was old enough to hold a pencil and print, so I really didn’t make a conscious decision – it’s just part of who God made me. I didn’t have a clue, though, about GMC, pacing, story arcs, etc., which led to a lot of proposal-length and half-finished manuscripts that are still stuffed away in boxes!

Then I joined Romance Writers of America® in 1992 and that’s when the long journey to learn the art and craft of writing publishable fiction began in earnest (with a little seven-year “sabbatical” from writing tucked in between).

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•Your first sale is a contemporary romance, but your first stories were chick lit-style romantic mysteries. What prompted you to write in that genre?

I’ve always enjoyed first person POV romantic suspense and mysteries where the POV character has a sassy, captivating “voice.” (Big fan of Elizabeth Peters’ Vicky Bliss mysteries.)

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•When did you make the shift to inspirational romance?

I’ve always written from a Christian worldview because that’s who I am. But about five years ago I began to prayerfully explore the inspirational market. I wanted to weave a stronger spiritual dimension into my characters and story lines. But I wasn’t sure I’d fit in the “inspy” world. I mean, don’t you have to be a pastor’s wife to write that stuff? Or be an ex-missionary? Have a degree in theology? Be a more perfect person than I am? What I’ve learned is that the “requirement” is to have a growing faith and a teachable heart.

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Glynna’s High Points

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•You garnered early successes with those chick lit-flavored romances. How many finals/placements did you receive as an unpublished writer and in what contests? What did you see as the greatest benefits of entering contests, your sale aside?

I’m a hands-on learner, so contests were my training ground. I credit the years of feedback I received from them with making me a much better writer than I was when I started out! Plus, when you get a top-notch, full critique of the proposal (as I did when you—Keli—judged my Golden Pen entry!) you especially reap the contest rewards!

In addition to the Golden Pen, my first place wins included ACFW Genesis, Touched by Love, The Winter Rose, and Romancing the Novel. My stories also placed in Heart of the Rockies, First Impressions, Opening Gambit, Daphne du Maurier, Romancing the Tome, Duel on the Delta, Winning Beginnings, and the Maggie!

But remember — for every one of those successes, there were plenty in which my entry got beat up but good by the judges! And it’s probably from the latter that I learned the most, even though it didn’t feel good at the time.

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•Wow! That’s an impressive number of wins. Of all your contest entries, though, one stands out: the 2008 Golden Pen. Your stellar story took first place. I can vouch for its outstanding quality, having been privileged to serve as one of your preliminary judges. Not only did you win the contest, your story captured the attention of final judge Melissa Endlich. Please share with us the whirlwind ride you took in January of this year after you received the request.

When I got home from work the evening after The Call, I had emails awaiting me – a revision letter and a request for an art fact sheet (cover ideas, characters, locales), as well as for a reader letter, reader questions and a bio! I worked like crazy all weekend so I could ship out the latter items the following Monday, then hit the revisions for several weeks.

In mid-March I received the edited copy for my input, then in April the latest and greatest copy arrived for final review. So from the time I shipped off that final version at the end of April until I held a REAL BOOK in my hands was only a little over three months!

Between those two events, I had to hit web site development and catch up on long-neglected non-writing responsibilities and relationships. Oh, and in the midst of all this, there was The Day Job that pays the bills!

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Melissa had the story one short week, and then you got The Call at exactly 7:25 a.m. on Friday, January 23, 2009. Where were you when you received the news, and how did you react? Did you laugh, cry or heave a satisfied sigh?

The night before I got The Call, I’d received an email from Melissa asking when would be a good time for her to call with “good news.” Every time I woke up in the night, my heart was singing happy songs!

So when the phone rang that next morning, I was poised with a pen and pad of paper to write down everything she said! I behaved myself during the call (I think!), but when I hung up the phone, my heart and feet were happy dancing! And after I’d let my family know the good news, I emailed my Seekerville sisters, and the celebration began—another one of us booted off Unpubbed Island!

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Dreaming of Home is on the shelf and has already garnered some great reviews, including four stars from RT Book Reviews (formerly Romantic Times). Congrats! What was it like to hold your book in your hands for the first time? How did you feel when the positive reviews began to pour in?

When I received the box of author copies in August, it seemed so unreal to open a page to words that I wrote! Got a little teary—and I felt God smiling.

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Glynna Kaye with her author copies

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I’ve been so amazed that people take the time to write an author to praise and thank them for the book. So amazing and humbling that people I don’t even known enter this fictional world that exists only in my head and actually ENJOY being there! And so encouraging when a reader says: “Thank you for a wonderful book. Keep writing.”

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Glynna’s Low Spots

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•After writing for a number of years, you were doing well on the contest circuit and moving closer to your goal of a becoming a published writer. The Lord, however, had another plan in mind—a detour of sorts. Please tell us about the health issues that sidelined you for several years and left you with a bionic ear.

I’d been being treated for a sinus infection when out of the blue I began to have episodes of severe vertigo. In a period of four short months I was hospitalized multiple times and my hearing fluctuated wildly before finally tanking. I was left with a fatigue so debilitating that for a time I was too weak to even blow dry my own hair or walk farther than the end of the driveway.

It would be almost three years before I could work full time again. The illness (a virus or an autoimmune attack) also left me creatively flat-lined, so I wrote very little. And because my hearing loss was so severe, I struggled to get by with hearing aids in a world that isn’t closed captioned. It wasn’t until seven years after I lost my hearing that I was able to get a cochlear implant.

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•I’m so sorry you had to go through all that, Glynna. Who or what sustained you during that difficult time, and how did you find the strength to return to your writing once the crisis had passed?

God, my family, my church and faithful friends were there throughout that very scary and uncertain time. For years I didn’t know if the writing dream, desire, and discipline would ever be reborn. But gradually God coaxed it back out, I began to write again, and soon thereafter he gave me The Seekers to make sure I stayed on the path to publication!

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Glynna’s Partners on the Journey

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•What’s it like to be part of the Love Inspired family? What are some of the ways the authors in that line stay connected?

I love being a part of the Love Inspired family! My editor, Melissa Endlich, is fantastic, and the authors are so gracious and welcoming toward a newbie.

We keep in touch via email, and I loved getting to meet so many of them in person at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Denver last month. We went out for an informal dinner, met with Steeple Hill Senior Editor Tina James, and I had the opportunity to take a two-morning mini-course on plotting from Love Inspired author Margaret Daley.

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•You’re part of another special group of writers and authors known as The Seekers. How did the ladies of Seekerville connect? I understand a first took place at the recent ACFW Conference held in Denver. What were the high points of the gathering?

The fifteen of us kept bumping into each other in unpubbed contest winners’ circles as we took turns knocking each other out of first place. You might say it was “a divine appointment!” So when some met in person at a conference, the idea evolved of banding together to pray for and encourage each other, share industry news, critique each other’s work, and provide occasional kicks in the seat of the pants.

In late summer 2005, the Seekers were officially born! Then two years ago we started the Seekerville blog, wanting to share with other aspiring writers what we’re learning on our journey to publication. We still marvel at how God brought us together. Eleven of the 15 are now contracted or published, and the other four are super-close to getting off Unpubbed Island, too!

ACFW in Denver last month was the FIRST time all fifteen of us had been in one place at one time. The night before the conference we got together for a celebration hosted by Seeker Tina Russo and her hubby. Laughter. Hugs. So much fun. Forever friends!  Then each night we met in the atrium at the hotel, joined by our friends from Seekerville who were also attending the conference. So much fun getting to meet them in person, too!

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Glynna’s Debut Novel

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•Please tell us a little about Dreaming of Home.

Dreaming of HomeThe story is set in the fictional small town of Canyon Springs in the beautiful  mountain country of north central Arizona. It opens with the line: At precisely one o’clock on a sunny, September Saturday afternoon, Megan McGuire spied the pirate.

Here’s the blurb: Fresh out of the military, widower Joe Diaz is determined to raise his young son alone. But his next door neighbor Meg McGuire has set her sights on the same house–and teaching job–as Joe.  He’s all about family now, not romantic entanglements, and he won’t give up without a fight. But what about little Davy, who’s growing more attached to Miss Meg every day? Or Joe who finds himself dreaming of a home and family with the one woman in town who could take it all away?

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Glynna’s Journey Continues

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Dreaming of Home is on the shelves. What are you working on now? Another story for the Love Inspired line, perhaps?

I’m working on another Love Inspired set in the mountain country of Arizona.  Joe’s rival, Trey Kenton, and Meg’s friend Kara Dixon have a lot of issues to overcome before they get their happily ever after in Canyon Springs!

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Five Fun Facts About Glynna, the Writer

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~ I’m an early bird — write from 4:30-6:30 each morning.

~ I do proofreading on hardcopies with a red Flair pen.

~ I love the manuscript revision/polishing stage.

~ A framed greeting card sits on my desk of a little girl on roller skates (with patches on her knees): “Success consists of getting up once oftener than you fall down.”

~ And there’s also a framed postcard featuring an elegant, sleeping, 1940’s-style woman which says: “I dreamed my whole house was clean.”

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Five Fun Facts About Glynna, the Person, Even The Seekers Don’t Know 🙂

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~ Like Dreaming of Home’s Megan McGuire, I REALLY DO like fishing. I’ll even bait the hook (but someone else has to remove the fish from it!).

~ Also like Meg, I used to have a blue betta named “Skooter” (But I didn’t carry on conversations with him. Not lengthy ones anyway)

~ My all-time favorite vacation was spent in England, Scotland and Wales!

~ When I was in my 20’s I took English riding lessons.

~ I have a key chain collection from my travels – and use them for Christmas tree decorations!

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Glynna’s Question for You

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•I’ve enjoyed having you as my guest, Glynna. Thanks for your great answers to my questions. Now it’s your turn to ask a question of your visitors, so have at it.

To leave a comment, click on “Comments” below the date in the title at the top of the post.

Thanks, for having me here Keli! And thanks again for your Golden Pen score, which contributed to getting my manuscript on the desk of a Steeple Hill Love Inspired editor’s desk!

Let’s see…I think I’d like to know what readers find makes a fictional hero the most endearing, lovable and memorable?

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Learn More About Glynna

Visit her group blog, The Seekers ~ http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com

Visit her Web site ~ http://www.glynnakaye.com

http://www.loveinspiredauthors.com

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Leave a Comment for Three Chances to Win

To leave a comment, click on “Comments” below the date in the title at the top of the post.

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Special Drawing

Because I feel a special connection to Glynna’s book, having judged it in the contest that led to her first sale, I’m giving away a copy of Dreaming of Home. This story and its wonderful cast of characters are sure to capture your heart, as they did mine. Many times I’ve told a contest entrant I looked forward to seeing her story in print one day, and in Glynna’s case that came to pass. I’m thrilled for her.

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment for Glynna by October 9th and enter your email address when prompted. (I don’t share your information or add it to any mailing lists.) On October 10th, I’ll post the winner’s name in the Welcome post at the top of the blog.

If you want a second chance to win a copy of Dreaming of Home, you can visit my personal blog, Joy on the Journey, where I’ve posted my review of the story and am giving away another copy of the book on October 10th as well.

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My Regular Drawing

My next drawing will take place October 10th. We took my daughter to college recently. She packed relatively few books, but one that went was an unabridged copy of Little Women, which is a classic tale she and I love. We’ve watched the movie version of the story with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon many times. Since I’m missing my daughter and feeling nostalgic, I’m giving away a new copy of this DVD, one you can share with a loved one.

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on any blog post by October 10th and enter your email address when prompted. (I don’t share your information or add it to any mailing lists.) On October 11th, I’ll post the winner’s name in the Welcome post at the top of the blog.

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You could also win a First Sale Scrapbook

If you’d like to have a chance at winning a First Sale Scrapbook created by me, your blog hostess Keli Gwyn, leave a comment on any post between now and September 30th. Be sure to include your name and email address when prompted if you want to be entered in the drawing. (Your information will not be shared.) Click red link above to see samples of covers and pages.

On October 1st, I will choose one person who will have her/his choice of covers on an 8×8 inch, twenty-page scrapbook in which s/he can document that long-awaited first sale. The pages will cover various milestones including The Call, signing the contract, receiving the first advance payment and holding your debut novel in your hands.

(No scrapbooking skills required. You just add your photos and journaling.)

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
This entry was posted in American Christian Fiction Writers, author interview, first sale story, Golden Pen, Romance Writers of America, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Meet Debut Author Glynna Kaye

  1. Keli Gwyn says:

    Welcome, Glynna! I’ve looked forward to having you as my guest since we met via The Golden Pen. What fun I’ve had learning more about you and your writing journey. And I’m delighted your story is published and available for anyone to read.

    I love gentleman heroes. Joe in Dreaming of Home is a fine example. He’s all male–former football player and Navy man trained to save lives–but he’s also a great dad, caring son and loyal friend. He’s the kind of man I’d like to know. I’ve read some well crafted alpha heroes, but I have a harder time feeling close to them than I do a warmhearted guy with winsome ways.

  2. Glynna Kaye says:

    Thanks, Keli! And thank you for inviting me to visit your blog! It was right about this time last year when I learned my entry finaled in the Golden Pen and I received your fabulous critique! Of course, I didn’t know who “you” were at the time. 🙂 I’m so happy you liked Joe! I had so much fun writing his, Meg’s, and Davy’s story. I hope it won’t be too much longer and YOU’LL get the chance to hold your own book in your hands as well. It’s a wondeful feeling!

  3. amydetrempe says:

    What a great story/journey. I used to feel the same way, that I wasn’t exactly qualified to write inspirational. But, who are we to argue with the stories God puts in our hearts.

  4. Glynna Kaye says:

    Amy — I’m sure the fishermen disciples probably felt the same way we do. “What? You want to use ME? Are you sure about this?” 🙂

  5. Susan Mason says:

    Hi Glynna & Keli,

    I feel a special link to you, Glynna, since I placed second behind you in the 2008 Golden Pen. After a technical glitch, I found out that Melissa had requested my ms too. Unfortunately it was ‘politely’ rejected. 😦

    But I loved hearing your story and know how thrilled you must be to see your story become a real book! I can’t wait to read it.

    I love heroes that are willing to sacrifice something dear to them for their heroine’s happiness. Sigh!

    Are you working on anything new for Steeple Hill? If so, when will it come out?

    Btw, I LOVE the Seekerville site! Great job with that. I find so many good tips and wonderful inspiration there! Thanks to all the Seekers.

    Cheers,

    Sue
    sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

  6. Hi, Glynna. I loved the book. You’re doing great work.
    It was so great seeing you in Denver. Great interview, Keli.

    Really? Key chain Christmas decorations? 🙂

  7. Jessica says:

    Hi Glynna,
    I didn’t realize you were in Daly’s class. So was I!
    What a story about your ear. Thank you for sharing your journey and it’s amazing what God has done for you! That’s awesome. And of course, you probably know I love the Seeker blog. 🙂

    Awesome Call story too. Whew. I just saw your book in Walmart and I was like, is that Glynna from Seekerville? I wasn’t sure. 🙂

    Congrats!

  8. Tina Russo says:

    OH Wow! I love that picture of you and your box of books. You look so thrilled. As I am sure you were 🙂 he he

  9. Quilt Lady says:

    Hi Glynna, great interview and your book sounds fabulous! I like my heros to treat their heroines like ladies. Always being kind and wanting to take care of them. Always willing to help them no matter what the chore is.

  10. Janet Dean says:

    Lovely interview, Glynna and Keli. Glynna, you were the one Seeker I hadn’t met yet when we gathered in Denver. We had a great time together! Congrats on your wonderful book!

  11. This was a wonderful interview, Keli and Glynna. I enjoyed learning more about Glynna. Congrats on the debut novel. I’m impressed with a hero when he’s masculine and does not hesitate to show respect towards and concern for all the women in his life.

  12. Glynna Kaye says:

    Hi Susan! That’s right! I remember the beautiful name of your story “Threads of a Tapestry.” 🙂 I’m trying to wrap the next book — about two secondary characters from the first one–and hoping for a slot later in 2010. Seekerville has been so much fun–I love getting to know fellow writers all across the country & the world!

  13. Glynna Kaye says:

    Hi Mary! YES, key chain Christmas ornaments! I always put up a little tree by my desk and cover it with reminders of the places I’ve visited.

  14. Glynna Kaye says:

    Another Seekerville friend! Hi Jessica! I was on the front row in Margaret’s class and you must have been somewhere farther back. It was such a long, narrow room, kind of hard to see everyone. I need to check my local Wal-mart to see if they have my book in yet — they didn’t have it in last week and I’ve been too busy to get there this week!

  15. Glynna Kaye says:

    Hi “Quilt Lady”! There’s something really special about a hero who has a “boy scout” heart, isn’t there?

  16. Glynna Kaye says:

    Tina — YES I was thrilled to hold that box of books! It was a dream that was a LONG time in coming. And I have a feeling I’ll be every bit as thrilled to open book boxes in the future!

  17. Glynna Kaye says:

    Thanks, Janet! It was so much fun to meet you and your husband in Denver. The Seekers are such an amazing bunch of women. I’m so thankful that God brought us all together.

  18. Glynna Kaye says:

    Thanks, Pat! I agree: Respect and concern. That’s so important in real life heroes AND fictional ones!

  19. Julie says:

    Glynna and Keli — what a WONDERFUL interview!! Gosh, Glynna, I learned SO much about you that I didn’t know. I had no idea you had such a rough go with your health. All I do know is that you write a heck of a good book — Dreaming of Home is one of the best LI romances I have read to date. Awesome debut !!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  20. Glynna Kaye says:

    Thanks for the praise for “Dreaming of Home,” Julie! I had so much fun writing it. 🙂

  21. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to all those who stopped by to learn more about Glynna Kaye, her writing and her debut novel, Dreaming of Home.

    I held the drawing for a copy of Glynna’s book, and the winner is Quilt Lady. Congrats! I’ll be in touch.

  22. Glynna Kaye says:

    Thanks so much for inviting me to your wonderful blog, Keli! I’m thrilled about your “Maggie” win and am looking forward to reading YOUR book in the not-too-distant future! And thanks to everyone who stopped by to celebrate the release of my “Dreaming of Home!”

  23. Alma Rosado says:

    I just finish reading Dreaming of Home. I really enjoy your book. I love all the characters. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  24. Glynna Kaye says:

    Alma — I’m so happy you enjoyed “Dreaming of Home!” That means so much to me! And thank you, too for the special blessing. 🙂

Comments are closed.