Beauty from Ashes

Today I’m talking about my “Beauty from Ashes” story. I know that sounds cliché, but in this case the description fits.

Turning beauty into ashes describes my writing journey. It began in second grade, when I started a new school. My problems began on the first day. The maintenance person came around to raise the desks of taller students. Trying to fit in, I asked him to raise mine too, even though I was very short. A couple of other students laughed, and I was embarrassed.

The day ended worse than it started. When it was time to go home, I couldn’t remember which bus to ride, and I cried. That was the beginning of many episodes of crying as I failed to adjust to my new school.

I attended sessions with a school counselor. Two other students were in the group with me. We played a game where she started a story, and we went around the circle as each one added to it.

One day, the counselor told us to go home and write a story. I wrote about a real bunny that we’d brought into the house to take care of because it was so small. The counselor had me read it aloud to the kindergarten class.

An author was born.

From that moment on, I was hooked on writing. I continued making up little stories until seventh grade, when I wrote my first romance. In high school, classmates and teachers read my stories as fast as I could write them. However, when I went off to college, I became wrapped up in the excitement of living, and pursued other interests.

It wasn’t until I became a stay-at-home mom that I started writing again. I worked on my novel late at night after the kids were sleeping. Then I’d get up before they did and write some more. When it was finished, I submitted the first few chapters to a publisher. The editor liked it, and asked to see the whole manuscript. After the board reviewed it, however, it was rejected. I was disappointed, but I’ve learned a lot about writing fiction since then. I can understand why it was rejected.

However, I didn’t let the rejection stop me. I went on to complete a dozen more novels. The characters from that first story stuck with me, though, and I often thought about them. In 2019, I wrote a new novel using those characters.

I submitted the manuscript to Anaiah Press and they accepted it. I signed a contract with them in November 2019 to publish The Reluctant Billionaire.

Isaiah 61:3 reads, in part:

…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…

God used the ashes of a child’s sadness and sensitivity to create characters with emotions that readers can connect with. My journey led me to writing the full-length Christian romance that is about to become published.

The Reluctant Billionaire

is coming soon from Anaiah Press.

Published by Carol Underhill

Author of Christian romance. Mom to 3 adult children and a spoiled Lab. Household includes several rescued cats. Loves flavored coffees and quiet mornings. Likes finding new authors on Kindle and binge reading all their books.

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