How a Second Career as an Author Emerged from Carrie Fancett Pagels Battle with Chronic Illness
Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. and I first met at an ACFW conference a few years ago. We are both clients of the the Hartline Literary Agency, though we have different agents. I was delighted to recently learn that Carrie is a former Michigander, though she was a Yooper and I am merely a troll! (One who lives south of the Mackinac bridge for those of you not familiar with Michigan lingo.)
Carrie and I also share an interest in lighthouses and Mackinac Island. The centerpiece of her beautiful website home page is a picture of Mackinac Island, which also figures into the lovely cover of her brand new release, My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island.
Her story of overcoming obstacles and starting a new career is inspiring. I’m so pleased to have her as my guest, so you can be inspired by her story as well.
Carrie, please tell us about your writing journey. How did it start?
As a child, I loved, loved, loved reading. It was my escape into another world. And if a story didn’t totally satisfy me, I’d change it up and re-write it in my head. For my favorite book, Anne of Green Gables, I added (in pencil!) an epilogue to the story in which Anne marries Gilbert. I didn’t realize that Lucy Maude Montgomery had already written a series where just that happens! I enjoyed reading those stories as an adult!
I can so relate to wanting Anne and Gilbert to marry sooner as well.
What made you decide to write inspirational fiction? And more specifically historical romance?
Before I came back to the Lord, I wrote a secular fiction book. Thank God that one never saw the light of published day! As a new mom, I met my best friend, Libbie Cornett, who introduced me to Christian fiction. Some was historical and some historical romance. After the Lord nudged me to write, I discovered it was really the romance part that intrigued me more than straight historical.
How has God guided you through this process?
First of all, I wouldn’t do this unless He had called me to it. As you know, Kathy, this is a tough business (CBA market) and there is so much competition for very few slots. I was a psychologist for 25 years. If I hadn’t become disabled from Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease I’d still be working in that capacity and waiting until I retired before doing the writing that God called me to do. And I don’t know why He allowed it, but for almost six years I could barely walk (caused by my RA). I was pretty much house-bound. I eventually had Achilles tendon surgery and two PRP procedures before I can now walk (granted it is limited compared to a normal person but I don’t have horrible pain just from stepping on my foot). So God used that time for me to write a bunch of manuscripts, a number of which have been released! And I was busy with my blogs, Overcoming with God and Colonial Quills and with writer groups. God has shown me when to stop and when to go. And I really try to listen to His voice!
Do you have any scriptures you’d like to share that have inspired you?
There are so many but my fave, as so many love, is Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV)For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. God has been SO good to me. Despite all I’ve been through He still gives me undeserved goodies like having this book become an RT Book Reviews Top Pick for July, 2017! And I was recently a Holt Medallion finalist for The Substitute Bride, another of my books set in Michigan!
Yes, we are all blessed with His gifts despite not deserving them, for sure. Congratulations on the recognition for your writing!
Would you like to tell us about your latest release, My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring?
This was my “Problem Child” manuscript. This story gave me fits! And I ended up having to call in the “big guns” like Julee Schwarzburg and Julie Gwinn and Sue Brower to help me out! Sue’s help with the edit for the first three chapters helped this book become a finalist for the Maggie Awards in 2014 for the unpublished manuscript! Julie Gwinn’s edits made me feel like a “grown up” author – she pointed me in the right direction and told me what to do and treated me like I knew what I was doing (which I should have by that point with a number of books out) and she gave me confidence! She did such a great job that my Barbour Editor had very few edits on this manuscript! Julee Schwarzburg is like a maestro of proposals and books – it was amazing working with her on the concept for the proposal for this story. She’d say this brilliant stuff and I’d just blink a few times at how she could both nail something and then put an amazing twist on a proposal. I also had a couple of professionals work with me who kind of sent me in the wrong direction – but God used even that to help me. You see I really didn’t have confidence in my writing and I had to get to the point of being able to say – that professional is wrong and I know better. So although this manuscript was a big problem child of a book, I learned invaluable lessons that have helped me with my other books!
Thanks for having me on, Kathy!
It was my pleasure, Carrie.
More about Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D.
ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over a dozen Christian historical romance books. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper.” Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.
We’re looking for ten individual commenters to qualify for having a drawing of one randomly chosen winner of a copy of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island. So please leave a comment below!
Find Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. on the web at: