Someone recently asked me how I created the eccentric behavioral analyst, Kaely Quinn, from MIND GAMES. There is a simple answer, but behind that answer, is a story that I think is worth telling.
Twenty years ago, I began to seriously consider writing stories. I’d written things in my youth, mostly poems, until a high school teacher accused me of plagiarism. If I’d been more secure, I would have realized that her allegation was actually a compliment. Maybe I actually had some talent. But I didn’t come to that conclusion. I let her actions crush me. So here I was again, many years later. Should I give it a go? Or would I just be opening the door to more heartache? I was aware that beginning this journey would change my life. It would take time from family and friends. And I had a lot to learn before I even attempted an actual novel. So I went to God. Was this really what He wanted me to do? I was serious. Unless He confirmed that this was His will, I wouldn’t start down this path. I turned my future over to Him and he answered in a big way. No doubt was left that I was called to write. After His response, surely the first book I wrote would be a literary success. Uh, no. I had a lot of work ahead of me. Some victories and a lot of failures.
As my life became busier and my dreams became bigger, I began to rely more on myself. Less on God. When I realized my mistake, through my tears, I put my entire career on the altar, telling God I only wanted to write what He wanted me to. Not long after that, I had my first contract with a large publisher. Since then I’ve written over thirty books.
I can hear you asking, “Did you continue to lean on God? Did you keep your career on that altar?” I would like to say yes, but I can’t. The busier I got, the more responsibility I took on. Regardless, God always brought me through. I really have no idea how He did it. I’d put myself in an impossible situation, at one time working with three publishers. But He never walked away. Never deserted me. The impossible became possible.
Then came the day when I’d had enough. I was working constantly. Weekends, holidays…every single day. I was missing time with my husband, my kids and my grandkids. Something had to give. So once again I came to that altar. This time I cried out for help. Guidance. He gave it to me. I brought my daughter-in-law in to help me with one publisher, and I went to the other publisher and asked for more time. (That happened more than once.) But now life was headed in a better direction. And I was ready for a new series. I’d always had a desire to write about FBI profilers. I’d read about profiling for years. But I didn’t know anything about the FBI. Surely that dream was out of my reach.
So back to how I came up with the character of Kaely Quinn? God brought her to me in a dream. I saw her sitting at a table. The first line of a book came to me. And then she began to profile criminals who weren’t really there.
I was so excited I called my editor. I knew I might sound insane, but I was convinced I’d heard from God. I really wanted to write about this character. My wonderful editor listened and asked me to send her my ideas for the first three books. Ideas? I didn’t have any. It took some work, but I finally came up with something. Now, what to do about my lack of knowledge in regards to the FBI? My agent told me to contact another author who writes about the FBI. I did. And she hooked me up with a friend of hers. A retired FBI Behavioral Analyst. In other words…a profiler.
God already had everything I needed in place. And MIND GAMES was born.
If you have a dream, I pray you’ll put it on the altar. Let God confirm that this dream is something He put in your heart. And then…relax. Trust God to bring it to pass. Don’t make my mistakes. The truth is, you can’t do it alone. Let Him carry the heavy stuff. Enjoy the journey knowing you’re not responsible for the outcome. God is searching for those who will allow Him to show Himself strong.
Be one of those people.
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