I grew up in Northern Michigan an introverted child who observed more than participated. I was the type of kid who if a sign read wet paint, I had to touch it to see if it was wet.
I spent many school hours daydreaming, mostly about horses. Coaxed by my teacher to submit a short story to the Young Authors Writing Contest, I wrote, A Dream to Remember, about a girl who daydreamed about wild horses. That contest opened my eyes to daydream with a purpose. After that, my endless imagination was limited only by how fast I could write, and sometimes I stayed up late at night writing by flashlight to finish a story.
Although the desire to write had been planted years ago, it lay dormant while I gained life experiences. I attended Ferris State University School of Pharmacy, in Big Rapids, Michigan where I met my husband, Dan, who was a native Floridian. We married, moved to a small town in Florida, and had three children. (Lexie, Danny, and Sarah).
Writing became a source of peace.
When my son, Danny, was born, life took an unexpected twist. This wasn’t a mere bend or bump in the road—he was born in liver failure. I’ll never forget the day I paced my kitchen floor. I hadn’t ever experienced anxiety—didn’t even recognize the classic symptoms. I was sweating, out of breath, couldn’t focus—couldn’t pray.
The only prayers that came to mind were the generic ones said before eating or at bedtime.
Drained of my own strength, I lifted my hands in the air and asked God to forgive me for not knowing how to pray for my son. At that moment, I experienced God’s peace, which surpasses all comprehension as described in Philippians 4:6-7.
As part of renewing my mind while I waited for Danny to receive a liver transplant, I studied the Bible and wrote devotionals.
During the nine months Danny waited on the National Organ Transplant list for a suitable donor, my faith was tested. However, through it all, God’s peace never failed. I believe because I was determined to have unbendable faith, God showed me miracles. I’ve seen things that as a health professional, I shake my head, but as a believer, I raise my hand and shout “Amen!”
My first attempt at writing a novel
After finishing my first 100,000 word manuscript, I bought the book, The 38 Most Common Fiction Mistakes (and how to avoid them) by Jack Bickham. My book had 36 of the mistakes listed. At least, I knew enough not to pursue an agent with it—or—hold on to it so tight that I would spend years trying to fix it. A clean page was the answer. I tossed that book in the closet and started something different.
(One day, I’ll pull it out and add a synopsis where the main character dies in a car chase for no apparent reason, and call it a complete failure since it will have all the elements of an unsuccessful novel.)
The next book came after several bawling sessions with God over computer problems. When I finally dried my eyes, I sat down and wrote a book in eight weeks. That one I liked, and it was clean of the 38 common fiction errors, so I started my search for an agent.
I found Mary Sue Seymour in a Writer’s Digest article. She was one of the agents listed who accepted new authors. My husband told me I was wasting money on the magazine, assuming she wouldn’t accept my unsolicited manuscript. He was wrong. That was the best $5.99 I had ever spent.
Not long after signing with the Seymour Agency, I sold my first book, A Promise of an Angel to Thomas Nelson.
My interest with Amish
The simplicity of the Amish lifestyle has intrigued me for years. While attending college at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, I lived with retired dairy farmers and had the opportunity to meet many of the Amish in the area. I’ll never forget skipping classes one day to watch a barn raising. I was amazed at the craftsmanship without use of power tools. I’m still intrigued today. I love learning about their firm devotion to God and to each other. I’m blessed for the friendships formed in the process of writing my books.
Things you might not know about me.
• My first purchase upon graduation from pharmacy school was a dog. I named him Zoloft, in memory of the answer to the last question on the last test in pharmacy school.
• While my brother was living in Colorado, I sold his car for $15. (after asking the buyer if he required a title.) I broke the news to Paul over the phone as, “Oh, by the way…”
• When I worked for an ambulance service, I was often teased that my run reports were as long and detailed as a novel.
All Rights reserved © Ruth Reid 2016