How a Second Career as an Author Emerged from Carrie Fancett Pagels Battle with Chronic Illness

 In Author, Books, Let's Chat, Uncategorized, Writing

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!

SPREAD THE WORD WITH A TWEET: Second careers, writing, & illness. @cfpagels tells all. #giveaway of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island.

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! 

Find Carrie’s book HERE.

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:

Website: www.carriefancettpagels.com

Blogs: Overcoming With God and Colonial Quills

Facebook Author Page

Facebook Personal Page

Twitter

Pinterest

goodreads

LinkedIn

Amazon author page

Also find the book at Barnes and Noble, Target, and Barbour Publishing.

Recommended Posts
Showing 39 comments
  • Carrie Fancett Pagels
    Reply

    Thanks Kathy for having me on your blog! I thank God I can write for Him as He gives me grace to do so. Unlike working as a psychologist I can work in the middle of the night if I am up. And I can write for short periods until the pain is an issue. I miss working with real people and helping children but I trust God in this.

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      Carrie, thank you for taking the time to be my guest and share about
      your journey this week. Your story is an inspiration to me and I’m
      sure to many others as well.

  • Peggy Wirgau
    Reply

    Hi Kathy and Carrie!
    I enjoyed this post and the book sounds so good…I love all things Mackinac 🙂

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      So glad you enjoyed the post, Peggy, and so happy you stopped by
      the blog today and left a comment. I agree on the book sounding
      good and I love all things Mackinac too!

    • Carrie Fancett Pagels
      Reply

      Hi PEGGY, I love all things Mackinac a little too much! The stores are so close to us in the cottage we are renting that I may be broke before we get home! 🙂

  • Emily Paige Skeen
    Reply

    Such inspiration! Thanks for sharing, ladies!

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Paige!

    • Carrie Pagels
      Reply

      Hi Emily! To have this, my legacy book — set where I’d have my fave book set and fave time period and to have it receive an RT Book Reviews Top Pick, is a dream come true! Thanks for coming by!

  • Melissa Henderson
    Reply

    This is such a good book. Carrie writes wonderful stories. 🙂

  • kerouser@gmail.com
    Reply

    Melissa, thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’m sure Carrie
    will be blessed by your encouraging words!

  • Wendy Newcomb
    Reply

    So glad God has worked wonders in your life Carrie. It sounds like you handled things given to you like my best friend who passed about 2 1/2 years ago, she was diagnosed with not only Lupus, but all of the collagen vascular diseases, including the RA, in the early 90’s. What did she do, she asked God how he wanted her to handle this and use it for his good. That is how she lived the rest of her life, still praising God, thanking him for his love, the love of family and friends and for her good days when she had them.

    My brother lived in Michigan for many years so I have visited Mackinac Island and loved it. this book sounds great, the title alone grabbed my attention, lol. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      Hi Wendy! So nice to have you visit my blog here and to leave a comment.
      I remember often reading your comments on Novel PASTimes.

      Sorry to learn of the loss of your dear friend and of her suffering
      We don’t always get what we expect to in this life and your friend’s
      attitude is admirable and inspiring.

      Thank you for sharing this story with all of us. I’ve lived in
      Michigan all my life and have come to appreciate the many beautiful
      areas of my state. Mackinac Island is surely a gem and I look
      forward to reading Carrie’s latest story.

    • Carrie Fancett Pagels
      Reply

      Hi WENDY! God is good and yes, we should praise Him all our days! He gave me extra years when I was on my way home to Him about 7 years ago, and He let me stay here! I love it up here and we’re enjoying the gorgeous weather while I am up here promoting my legacy book all of July!

  • Betti
    Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing, Carrie, and thanks Kathleen for hosting her. It is so lovely to learn more about the authors we love and promote! I already have a copy of the book and am enjoying it very much.

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      It’s my pleasure to host great authors like Carrie. Thank you for stopping
      by, Betti. I hope you’ll come back to learn about other authors as well.
      So glad you’re enjoying Carrie’s book!

    • Carrie F pagels
      Reply

      Hi Betti! Great to see you here Pal! Hugs!

  • Andrea Byers
    Reply

    I’m not finished with reading this one yet, but am enjoying it. Carrie, loved learning a bit more about you. Thank you for having her on your blog Kathy. 🙂

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your enjoyment of
      the book, Andrea. And having Carrie as a guest is a blessing!

  • Ann Ellison
    Reply

    Enjoyed the interview with Carrie. I love her books. Please do not enter me in the drawing since I already have a copy.

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment, Ann.
      It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

  • Robbie Pink
    Reply

    Hi, Carrie and Kathleen!

    Great blog post. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Don’t enter me as I believe I already have the book coming.

    Good luck to everyone.

    Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!!

    Blessings~

    Robbie
    (aka RobbyeFaye, aka Robbye)

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, Robbie. I hope you’ll
      visit again sometime. You have a great 4th of July
      as well!

  • Marilyn R
    Reply

    It’s always nice to hear a testimony about God’s timing in our lives, even when we experience difficulites. I had the pleasure of meeting Carrie Fancett Pagels at 2016 Christian Fiction Readers Retreat. She’s a beautiful Child of the King. I must read My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island with all the great reviews. Congratulations Carrie, on on the awards. God’s ways are so much better than ours, even when we do not understand at the time. God’s blessings.

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      Marilyn, so happy to have you visit today! I so appreciate Carrie’s
      testimony as well. As I go through difficult trials it so helps
      to learn from other believers and to remember God always has a
      plan for my good. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such
      a heartfelt comment.

      • Carrie Fancett Pagels
        Reply

        Thanks, Marilyn! It was so wonderful meeting you at the CFRR! I hope you will love Maude and Ben’s story! God’s timing and His blessings are amazing! Thanks for coming by!

  • Janice Moore
    Reply

    I tend to be very interested in books and sermons dealing with the issue of pain. I am amazed how Romans 8:28 works out with different people. Ms. Carrie, thank you for blessing us with your story.

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      Janice, thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. I
      also appreciate the reminder of Romans 8:28!

      • Carrie Fancett Pagels
        Reply

        Hi Janice! God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, doesn’t He? I am so glad you enjoyed the post! Blessings!

  • Cindy Ervin Huff
    Reply

    Carrie, you are in inspiration. Kathleen thanks for sharing your friend with us. This is a great post.

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      Cindy, thank you for stopping by and for your encouraging words.
      It’s my pleasure to host Carrie this week!

    • Carrie Fancett Pagels
      Reply

      Thank you Cindy! I’m happy to be here with Kathleen and I pray our lighthouse stories get to be book babies in the future, and grow up together! Blessings!

      • kerouser@gmail.com
        Reply

        Amen to that, Carrie! 🙂

  • Andrea Stephens
    Reply

    Wonderful interview!
    For a “problem child manuscript,” this book grew up very nicely. As I have said to Carrie, it is my favorite book of hers so far. I do think it is her best work yet.
    *No need to enter me. I own this wonderful book.

    • kerouser@gmail.com
      Reply

      Andrea, thank you for stopping by and weighing in on Carrie’s
      latest book. Your praise for my Heart Belongs on Mackinac
      Island is well put!

      • Carrie Fancett Pagels
        Reply

        Thanks, Andrea! Whew! I’m so glad she has grown up! So glad you enjoyed this story! I am working on Sadie’s novella now while up in Mackinaw City and also going to the island regularly! Blessings!

  • kerouser@gmail.com
    Reply

    Congratulations to Emily Paige Skeen! You are the winner of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island!
    I have sent you an email and look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks to all who participated and happy reading!

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt