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***I'll love for you to take a moment and take this month's short poll on the right-hand sidebar. Thanks so much.
Karen is offering 1 copy of THE GIRL CALLED ELLA DESSA to 2 randomly chosen commenters. The winner will be announced here on Friday, May 1st between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment.
Enjoy an excerpt of Karen's novel:
Disjointed Trails by Karen Campbell Prough
My path to a published book has been a lengthy and disjointed trail. But it started when I was about eight. A wooden bookcase in my grandparents’ Michigan farmhouse teemed with books written by James Oliver Curwood and other old authors. Their descriptive words fueled my first dreams of becoming a writer. But my mother planted the seeds.
Those seeds took hold, sprouted, and grew my wild imagination. She let me cut up her outdated catalogs and create paper doll families, who soon lived crazy adventures! We made furniture out of cardboard, and I learned to entertain my two younger brothers with tales of mystery and intrigue. Poor boys, we didn’t have a television in those days, so they had only my storytelling.
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I grew up, got married, and most of my writing was stored in a box. But after our first child was born, I entered a short story contest and won a full-course meal for two at a fancy restaurant. During the following years, a few of my fiction and nonfiction stories showed up in magazines. And then one of my books gained some the interest of a publishing house … until their review board met. That book now resides in a dusty box under my bed.
Writing is fun. You can get lost in another life or imagined world. You might urge your characters to avoid danger and find the right person to marry. But life sometimes takes its toll on a writer. Discouragement hovers, whispering the lines from all the rejection letters you compile. Family members go on with an authentic life, and they leave you sitting on the porch of a haunted mansion, which is piled high with moldy, rejected manuscripts.
A few years ago, I wrote a story about a lonely child living in the mountains during 1836. My imagination took over, and I felt compelled to tell Ella Dessa’s story. I wrote and wrote, and my children moved out to follow their own path in life.
Interest in my writing peaked at three different writer’s conferences. One agent said she wanted to represent me, but proceeded to chop the story to bits. And then Joyce Hart, at Hartline Agency, took interest in my book and asked for my manuscript. But after a year, they said the market wasn’t good enough—but they loved the story! A southern publishing house wanted it, but finally said no—they went with a nonfiction book instead. A large publishing house looked at my book three times, but said it was too long and not their style.
But their words helped me search for help. Eva Everson took on the job of editing and soon told me she was in love with the characters. But when the editing was done, the book remained too long. Months later, I divided the large book into three manuscripts and fleshed them out.
I attended the Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference and from that conference, I signed with an agent. Thrilled, I began more edits on book one, but the contract with the agent was soon canceled. She had to retire because of health issues. Despair took over, but so did stubbornness! I attended the BRCWC once more. While there, I got enough courage to sit down with an agent from Hartline Literary Agency. Through that agent, I made a connection with Linda Glaz at Hartline Literary Agency. It was a full circle. I was back to the same agency, which had loved my book years before. Linda decided to make me one of her writers! And tucked under my arm was three books—not just one.
Ella Dessa could be your neighbor, a child who suffers from rejection and sorrow. But blossoming within my character were the words her mother whispered more than once. They were strong, comforting words, telling Ella not to accept humiliation from anyone—that she was strong. Ella’s battered and beaten mother read words from the Bible and pointed to them. She told the girl there would be someone who loved her and she shouldn’t accept less.
THE GIRL CALLED ELLA DESSA is the first book of a long journey. I could have given up. Many times, I almost did, but the need to write pulled me to continue. It stood in my mind as a story, which needed telling.
Karen's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Visit debut author Karen C. Prough @KCampbellPrough & read about her road to publication (Tweet This)
Karen C. Prough @KCampbellPrough shares tough struggles of debut novel THE GIRL CALLED ELLA DESSA (Tweet This)
#BookGiveaway of Karen C. Prough’s @KCampbellPrough debut novel THE GIRL CALLED ELLA DESSA (Tweet This)
Karen Campbell Prough writes historical fiction and a broad range of short stories. Seven of her short stories have been published in a variety of magazines. She has won awards at the 2014 BRMCWC and the 2015 FCWC. Her first book, The Girl Called Ella Dessa, came out April 2015.
Karen knows her life-long desire to write comes from God. The love of books and the heartfelt urge to be a storyteller has been with her since childhood.
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